Happy Birthday, Skip!

Today’s my brother’s birthday. I’m realizing that my gift(s) aren’t going to get there in time. I’m also realizing that I wouldn’t be out here if not for him. He was the one who got me into Star Wars when I was six years old; I was happy just watching Pete’s Dragon. He always liked the coolest stuff. I can remember sneaking into his room and looking through all his old Starlog and OMNI magazines. Anything he liked was just the neatest thing. I can remember taking trips down to Florida and fighting in the back seat of the car, then we’d stop at a road-side store over the state line and get fireworks. I’d just get a box of sparklers while he loaded up on the M-80’s and cherry bombs and roman candles and I’d be jealous because I was always too scared of the neat fireworks. The folks would always try to even everything out between us, but they were fighting a losing battle — anything Skip got would always be cooler than whatever I had. Even if it were the exact same thing.

I remember a few years ago Lucasfilm was doing a promotion with one of the fast food restaurants, where they had a whole set of Star Wars toys you could get with the happy meals or some such. Skip went around to the places and got one of each one and mailed them all to me in one big set. At the time, I just said, “thanks, but I’m so tired of Star Wars at this point.” I was a jerk, and I just didn’t get it. I get it now.

I looked up to him and thought he was just as cool as hell when I was six years old, and nothing’s changed since then.