My dad and Uncle Bill were born 12 and 10 years after their older sister, Laura. It would be another 19 months before their younger sister, Ruth would be born. The two boys would be the main playmate for one another for quite a while. Laura was old enough to be a big help to her mother, but she didn’t really have much time to play games with her younger brothers.
Like most little boys, the brothers were full of mischief and adventure. My dad always looked up to his big brother and my Uncle Bill always thought his little brother was the greatest gift. One look at his face tells the story of a brother’s love for his little brother. They would often play in their Zenith Coaster wagon, the very latest thing of their day. My dad loved having his big brother pull him around in that old wagon. He couldn’t get enough of it. His big brother was a little boys hero.
The brothers loved to go fishing from the earliest of days, and often came home with several fish to be fried up by their mother for dinner. I’m sure it made them feel like they were making a great contribution to the family household needs. Their adventures would later take them from fishing on weekends to blowing a tree stump out of the ground with explosives to the occasional explosives blowout on Independence Day, as well as blowing a gate post further into the ground by seeing how the explosives would act when placed on the top of the post. Of course, they had to quickly figure out a way to fix that one before their mother got home from town, but they got it done, and so dodged the “bullet” or at least the punishment that might have come out of that one when she got home.
As most little brothers do, my dad looked up to his big brother as being just what he wanted to be…not when he grew up…now. My Uncle Bill was very proud of his name, as it was passed down through the generations, as was my dad’s name. Uncle Bill used to say, “My name is William Malrose Spencer.” And in true little brother style, my dad would say, “My name Penchi Marrow too!” It was the best his little boy mind could duplicate the name of his hero big brother.