I was prepared to tell you how much my brother means to me. How much joy (and, OK, challenges) he has brought to my life. How much I've learned from him. How many fat lips he gave me over the years during his fits of temper, which are thankfully history. How every one of those fat lips was worth it, although it didn't seem so at the time and, truthfully, I may be exaggerating their worth. How much we've all worried about him over the years. How it still isn't easy sometimes, but how grateful I am that he has been able to live a fuller, more independent life than we ever imagined. How kind he can sometimes be. How much less anal-retentive I seem when I'm with him.
|LIKE AUNT SYLVIE SAID, "HE WAS ALWAYS MUCH BETTER LOOKING THAN YOU. STILL IS!"|
LAKE WINNEPESAUKEE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, 1966.
The Dowager Duchess will read just a bit of this to him (only the good parts) when he visits her on Sunday. All he'll really care about are the photos, the video, and his moment of fame. I phone him every year on his birthday. He told me Sunday when we skyped that I "could call" if I want this year, too. In Chuck-speak, that means, "You'd better call or you'll hear about it!"
|THE BROTHERS ON SKYPE LAST WEEK.|
Happy birthday, little brother (you old fart)! I look forward to many more years of comedy routines with you. Who's on first? Why a duck? Say the secret word and I'll give you a hundred of 'em. A hundred what? That's a very good question; give me the answer and I'll give you two hundred of 'em. Two hundred what? That's a very good question...
Instead of some sappy song, I'd simply like to wish you a very happy birthday from me and "The Big Guy," (oh, and from your nephews, Dudo and Moose). Don't forget: Seven times thirteen is 28 (it's really not). Get it right, Chuck, and you're hired!