If he had not left us so recently, LeRoy would have been 68 years old today. In my sibling birthday blogs I try to recount memories from my childhood. It makes me very sad that I have very few memories of LeRoy while I was a child. He was 11 when I was born. And in his last year or two of high school he spent a lot of time "working out" (which means something different than it does today....he worked for other farmers). He was a senior when I was a first grader. After graduation he went to school, then moved out of state. I saw very little of him for many years. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I'm sorry I didn't get to know what a wonderful man he was until much later. However, there are a few enduring memories I want to share:
- When Dad was at the Mayo Hospital in Rochester, it was LeRoy who kept tabs on him. I remember the day he called Mom and told her she better get there quickly, as dad was doing very poorly. I felt fear like I had never felt before - but after Mom got there Dad started to improve; and eventually came home.
- I heard someone at school call him "Ozzie". I guess that was his role in a school play. I called him Ozzie once (we were in the barn). He looked at me and said, "Don't call me that". You can be certain I never did again!
- Speaking of his name, the family all pronounced his name with the emphasis on "Roy", contrary to the rest of the world.
- He and a friend stopped by on their motorcycles as they were doing a big tour around the country. He gave me my very first motorcycle ride and it was so exciting!
- He brought his first wife, Judy, home to meet us. She seemed so beautiful and elegant! I was in awe of such a gorgeous creature being in our home.
- I remember some discussions about how he would love to farm. I suggested to mom that we turn the granary into a little house and they could live there (seriously). That idea didn't go over very well.
- The room next to mine upstairs was always referred to "LeRoy's room"; it was assigned to him when the house was first built.
I could find no pictures of just me and LeRoy or just LeRoy earlier than his graduation from high school. But I like this one of my (then) four brothers taken in 1953. From left to right they are LeRoy, Don, David, Tom. He would have been 12 at the time. Looks like it must have been a Sunday, don't you think?
Happy Birthday, LeRoy! We miss you here on earth!