On The Death Of A Brother
My brother Tony was kind, generous to a fault,
tough as nails with a tender heart, and the
best bullshit detector I ever saw or knew.
It pains me to think he will’ve been gone 40 years. (4/18/22)
He seemed to be in possession of a suit
of armor, invisible, but none the weaker for
that. Horse hockey flew off that thing like
it were shot from a cannon. Barnyard biscuits
rocketed off into the distance in a flash. Cow Pat-
ties were flung mercilessly onward to land in
some unknown clump, of, something.
Tony saw it for what it was, and let you know
about it right now. Pronto Tonto.
Bigots may have been his most joyously exposed
“victims”. Those fool enough to use a racial slur
in front of Tony! Even at 12, he called out
a large Kansas City cowboy on a train to Wyoming for
using the “N” word. Wow! I was meeked into stunned
silence. Tony was piqued to give this hick a drawing
down, of the sincere, verbal variety he employed.
“You’re just another prejudiced stud.” my calm and
collected big brother proclaimed.
It was at that moment-like the one after a huge explosion-
where I sat and stared at my brother, awed, frozen in a
void, and was sure I caught a glimpse of something
barely visible enveloping his persona, clothing him
in a shield, of, something.
No bull, Tony caught it all before it landed, keeping
his area clean, his morals on top. Setting an example
of peaceful protest in 1970, as a poor white boy on
a train because mom had gotten ill again. I see now
that I was the entire reason behind this train incident!
He had a little brother to protect, and damned right
not one ounce of bullshit would land on that head!
Tony died on his motorcycle at 24 back in 1982, so
at that point in 1970, he was at his midpoint already.
Halfway through this life’s journey at 12, and exhibiting
the true character, resolve and commitment of those
far more educated and mature than he. A shiny star in a steaming
mound of buffalo chips covered with excrement salsa. A clean
clarion of the truth who never asked for anything in return.
Tony was a brother like no other, a singularity of purpose and
dedication. He has been, and will continue to be sorely missed.