I am going to talk about my brothers over the next few months. I will drop one column about each of them every few weeks or so in between columns about the sugar beet harvest, farming and life.
I won the Punt, Pass and Kick competition when I was eight years old. This is not a completely true statement in that I was probably the best-coached child who had ever entered that competition back in the seventies-my brother Steve and I won the competition.
Steve is the brother who owns Town and Country Meats in Newfolden. Steve was a really good athlete and pretty cerebral about how to play sports. He suggested I enter the PP&K competition and then coached me daily on being proficient in each phase of the event.
The proper traditional kicking technique from a tee is to approach the ball from three to five steps back , stay focused on the ball, head down and kick the ball square with a pendulum motion-the knee being the fulcrum. It’s like hitting a baseball-you have to just meet ball and let it do the work. If you try to kick too hard, you will have no control and most likely shank it to the same side as the leg which you chose to kick. I did really well during the punt and pass portion of PP&K however my kick really kicked-well you know what I kicked. I am still a disciplined kicker which was ingrained by all that effort from Steve.
My first real movie was also in the company of my brother Steve. The world still stops for me every time “the Electric Horseman” is broadcast on television. Robert Redford, Willie Nelson and Timothy Scott (who later acted in “Lonesome Dove”) starred in this movie about a former cowboy, turned cereal spokesman, who decides to free a horse owned by a corporation which keeps it drugged to stay calm during stage shows. It is a fantastic movie and played to my love of animals, the outdoors, freedom and country music.
Anyway, Steve and I had planned to attend a different movie but it was rated “R” and I was still too young. We instead attended “the Horseman” and created a memory that I still visit each time I watch Redford free that horse into the wilds of Utah on the tube. I’m sure we went to “Paradiso” for dinner that night but I can’t say for sure. It was a good time.
I think my time as a youth with Steve formed my basis for a relationship with Steve’s son, Jamie. When I was the older one, I took Jamie to rodeos and somewhere to eat until he reached a point when he could drive himself with friends. It is the sort of example started by Steve that now visits itself on Jamie’s two little boys when they spend time together.
I recently called Steve about hauling two steers to him for processing. Steve is incredibly busy but he knows I am the same and needed to get these steers gone. Anyway, when asked about the steers he put his convenience aside said “bring ’em.” Football technique coach and cattle processing expeditor; that’s my brother Steve.