My brother texted me late last night. In honor of his 32nd birthday him and his wife (holy shit, I can’t believe my little brother is married) took their two kids (and has kids!) on a trip through Skyline drive.
“The kids only screamed two of the eight hours we were in the car” he tells me. I read between the lines. I get it. Sometimes you just want a ride through the mountains that doesn’t include passing around cheerios and sippy cups.
He texts me random rap videos from our youth and we joked about the lyrics we still knew. We grew up on a farm yes, but it was within a rather (sub)urban area, and just outside the city, you know? So we had no idea that there was anything but rap music until I met my first crush and he turned me on to Nirvana and Blind Melon. (Remind me to Google Antonio.)
We start with Warren G and end up somehow with Pantera. He was all into metal when we were teens. I never liked them because it reminded me of Pantene shampoo and I hate the way that smells.
Then we play a game of “do you remember?” with childhood memories.
“Hey, do you remember that guy Red?”, he asked.
“of course!”, I replied.
“Always bringing us vegetables?”
“You mean always stealing vegetables and giving them to us.”
“He was the Robin Hood of vegetables”.
“OMG he totally was!”
“Who was he?”
“I have no idea.”
“Yeah, me either.”
And that’s true actually. I have no idea who the guy was, maybe some distant relative? But, all summer long he would go to my great aunt’s garden and then bring us bags of her vegetables and leave them on our doorstep. So she just started planting more and it became an understood thing. We looked forward to the double bagged vegetables every couple of weeks. It was like a treasure! Except for the patty pan squash. Because they just look weird like little fat spaceships, so nobody would touch them so they would just sit on the bottom and spoil.
That’s my childhood in a nutshell. Sitting on a farm eating vegetables from some red-haired old man I didn’t know while listening to Warren G.
Glad I have a brother to share that memory with.