Before I start, a little family background my parents divorced when I was five and my relationships with them have always been a little odd. With my Dad, it has been interesting, because our personalities are fairly similar, but out interests and backgrounds are very different. When I started taking dance classes in college, I didn't tell my Dad for a full year because I didn't want to deal with explaining to him that, no, that doesn't mean I'm gay. (Not that I have a problem with other guys being gay... that just improves my chances with the women on Saturday night.)
Back in 1988, my Dad remarried to someone who is thriteen years younger than he is and they have now had three kids who are 20, 23, and 26 years younger than me. I went to dinner with my half brother Christoper (20 years younger) when I was 25 and we sat down at a table next to two men who were sitting with four kids, "Hey, Dad's night out?" "No, big brother's night out." Just a bit of a weird sensation.
I realized fairly early on that Christopher was a lot like meand my Dad, but with a background closer to mine, he's much morelike me in terms of interests. This is good & bad, but I figured that I could help him have a lot more fun growing up than I managed. Since he started reading, he reads over 100 books per year... almost all of which are science fiction or fantasy. Our Dad has never understood this... he reads, but mainly history and biographies. But since I am an avid science fiction fan, I've been finding books that I thought were cool when I was his age.
Another thing about my Dad is that he is, how shall I put this, "musically impared." On the other hand, I have a decent voice, great relative pitch, and a solid sense of rhythm. Christopher recently started playing the saxophone and has been doing really well. This started the little wheels in my head grinding.
Hmmm...I wonder how I can get Christopher into swing music. Ah-ha! "Hey, Stephanie, can you get me a signed copy of a Johnny CD for my little brother?"
One of my best friends, Stephanie, lives in Fremont, CA and is the webmaster for a guy named Johnny Reno who is a phenominal swing/lounge saxophone-player and singer. I gave Christoper the CD and he loved it.
My plan to corrupt... I mean "educate" my brother was coming along nicely.
On July 6, there was a swing dance in San Antonio and I decided to see if Christopher wanted to go just to see what it was like.
He did well with the lesson and had a fantastic time.
At age 12.
He then went to a lesson on Sunday and came up to Austin and went to the weekly Thursday night dance.
He had even more fun.
And I'm sitting back with an evil laugh admiring how well my plan is coming along.