I’m only here because of a Fruity Chicken.
My brother Max started a blog about raising chickens and fruit trees in the arid desert of our native Las Vegas about a year ago. It’s a sweet, funny, and sometimes technical look at what it takes to make things grow in that hostile environment. I followed him via email until he migrated to WordPress and opened an account to make commenting here easier. Of course I was clueless about WordPress and accidentally started a blog and didn’t write anything. Max started leaving me snide remarks about the amazing content of my empty blog that sound startlingly like the stuff the spam bots send us with great regularity. After enough pushing I finally started a blog aimed squarely at sharing my photos with one person on the planet – Max.
I’m the oldest of my three siblings – Max came second. Max was named after our beloved Grandfather – Max the first. He has always worn the “II” in his name like a badge of honor.
I was thrilled at the idea of having a little brother, but Max has never been content in the role of the younger sibling. At about 14 he passed me by in stature, and his demeanor became that of an older brother. Sometimes teasing, sometimes bossing, sometimes protecting.
Max and I had lots of adventures growing up. He was my first playmate. We explored every inch of Isabelle Avenue on our bikes, we played cowboys and indians, and he and our neighbor Paul did their best to blow a few things up. When I was in high school I started working for the Stagehand’s Union – Max was right behind me.
When our Union was locked out in 1984 he and I manned a food bank for union members and cruised the picket lines making sure everyone was OK – he had a hopped-up Ford Bronco that we zipped up and down the strip in checking on our brothers and sisters.
As he grew into a man I saw in him the best parts of my mom and my Grandpa – loyalty, responsibility, wisdom, compassion, humor – he worked to make a stable home and family that was very different that the one we grew up in. My grandfather used to marvel at how hard he worked and what a good father he had become. I have always admired his earnestness and commitment to make a good life for his wife and his boys. They have all grown to be the kind of men any father could be proud of.
One of my favorite things to do with Max is to go out into the desert in a Jeep – there is no one I trust more behind the wheel. We have made a couple of trips to the northern Nevada site of a mining claim my grandparents worked in the 60s and 70s. The “Diggins” is located about 60 miles from the nearest paved road. I made this video for him after a trip we took with my nephew Brian summer before last. We both had a tough time after my father passed away, but this trip brought us back together in a very healing way. We listened to this song about a hundred times on the trip so it seemed the natural background for our experiences. I only wish I had been brave enough to record during the really deep water crossings. I loved the adventure, but I loved my camera just a little too much to risk it.
I call this “The best tank of gas ever” and it was. It was a blast to just be together in the wilds of the land we grew up in. We never got to the Diggins – the late spring snows in that year made it impossible, but we had an amazing trip. The song makes me laugh because we are only “southern” in the sense that we grew up in southern Nevada.
All this reminiscing to say that today is Max’s birthday. No one’s known me longer or better.
Thanks for pushing me into this blogging thing, thanks for always being there for me. You’re the best man I know – I love you.
Sounds like a heck of a guy!
Thanks for introducing us, and Happy (belated) birthday, Max.
He really is a heck of a guy – thanks for stopping by!
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What a fabulous post! And in this age of disconnect, it is truly beautiful to see the love, laughter, and value you and Max recognize in each other. Happy Birthday, Max! 🙂
Happy Birthday to Max!! 😀
What a wonderful tribute to a fabulous brother — the love radiates. Thanks for sharing him with us. And thank you Max for pushing Lorri into blogging and letting me become her blogging buddy!
HaPPy Birthday to Max! Lorri…..awesome video and song! Love the post. You wrapped this gift perfectly and the pic of you & Max is the best ~ paula
Thanks – Max is the best and now that his birthday is past, the Christmas season is officially here!
Your bro sounds like a really good man. I am waiting for a post since I think I am “folllowiing” him.
He is a good man – salt of the earth. I think he hasn’t posted for a week or so.
Reblogged this on The Fruity Chicken and commented:
Thank you Lorri, what an awesome Birthday Present.
I love you, Max
Fantastic post, and yes, Indiana Jones is a hollywood wuss. Happy Birthday Max! I am glad he pushed you to blog too, may I go pee now, that was a bumpy ride!
LOL – go find a place behind some sagebrush! Thanks!
What a great song to back up your video – I enjoyed it enormously (the video & the song).
Thanks Vicki – I’m no videographer, but it was a pretty fun project. I came home and had no idea if I had anything I could use until I sat down to edit.
Best post ever Lorri. I smiled the entire length of your video and laughed out loud “Indiana Jones is a wus” HILARIOUS and loving tribute to all the good things about brothers…and mud! 🙂
Thanks Steph – This really is all Max’s fault. My nephew and I started talking about Indiana Jones when Max decided to take us down a mountain with no trail over 4 foot tall sage brush. This adventure busted the rear windows out of the Jeep – a wonderful and windy time!
That was the sweetest thing I’ve read in a long time Lorri. You are such a great sister and you’re right, Max is the Best!
Thanks Margo – he really is the best!
Boy, it takes a lot to follow you around, but here you are. Thanks for not giving up on your blog! Love the 80’s stylin’! And the blog snow!
Thanks – Max gave me the push I needed.