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Photo-of-the-Day / 2012-04-04 / My Birthday Brother

April 4, 2012

One of my four brothers celebrated his 45th birthday today!  I decided to recognize this milestone by sharing one of my favorite moments from his childhood, which was captured in one of my earliest photographs.

My “birthday brother”, who was just 16 months at the time, is the little guy seated in the stroller.  The squatting 9-year old kid is one of our other brothers, and the slender waist hiding behind them belongs to our “30-something” mother!

It was the Summer of 1968 and we were on vacation in Northern Michigan. I was 10 years old and armed with my first camera, a Kodak 126 Instamatic, which was loaded with a precious roll of black and white film.  It was a warm day and we were enjoying a visit to Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City. 

As you can see from this photo, my brother’s toddler head was covered with a thick mop of brown curls and he had the most beautiful brown eyes, featuring some of the longest eyelashes a little boy could ever have.   He was so darn cute and adorable that our mom just couldn’t bring herself to take him to the barber for his first hair cut.  

So there we were, in the midst of other tourists enjoying ourselves at the fort, when a lady passed by and remarked “what a beautiful little girl” our little brother was!  It was a jaw dropping moment for my parents, and my dad said that was it!  It was way past time for my little brother’s first hair cut.  They were raising a little boy, not a little girl.  I thought for sure he was going to rush him to the barber right then and there!

Suddenly, the aspiring photographer within me took over.  I knew instantly that I had to capture this image of my little brother because I had no idea how much longer he was going to be keeping his curls.  I just knew I wanted to make sure that I would have something so I could remember them forever.   So I used some of my precious vacation film and snapped this picture.  It was well worth the loss of the unknown vacation picture that would have filled that spot on the film and well worth the money it cost to make the print. 

It may just be a simple snapshot but it is still a special moment captured and preserved forever! 

Happy Birthday to a GREAT brother!

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