Eighty? Is my baby brother Jim really eighty? If he is eighty how old does that make me? You know that I have never really liked him. In fact if I had had my way the stork would have taken him back because after all I was the little princess of the Bolin household when I was suddenly knocked off my throne by a little baby brother. I guess I may have thought he was special when he first came along but that soon dissipated. After all why would I want a little crying brother to take my place for attention? I do remember the day he was born. It was a beautiful spring day as Miss Ellen walked me along the railroad track out to the Governor Little Farm where we were living. (Now Crooked Creek) I guess I didn’t question why I had spent the night with Miss Ellen and Miss Belle as that was my second home as I was growing up. I was born across the street from them and they gave me my first bath. I think they thought I belonged to them. In fact I am sure there were times in my life when Mama wished that I did, especially when I was JUST THIRTEEN.
Back to brother Jim—-he quickly became Sister Maxine’s pride and joy. She would sit and rock him for hours as he sang, “NEEN, NEEN, NEEN.” I grew up wondering if the stork might have dropped him off at the wrong house. When he got a little bigger I decided I might just like him a little bit. Mama let me pull him around in a little red wagon. When he got bigger and we had moved to town into Grandpa Bolin’s house he was riding Pat’s Jenny along the bank of Heartsill Creek when he was suddenly bucked off. When he fell he hit a limb sticking out from a tree. It got him right under one of his eyes. Of course the blood began to flow and I went running back to the house screaming, “He’s dead! He’s dead!” All the neighbors came running out to see what was the matter but I didn’t stop to tell them anything as I was on my way to the house to get Mama. It really wasn’t that bad but because I had begun to love my little brother and because he was now a big brother to our baby sister Jane I didn’t want him to die. After the blood was wiped away the wound wasn’t that bad and he survived without losing an eye.
I remember well when he was little he had pneumonia and the doctor didn’t hold out much hope for him for he wasn’t sure if he would pull through. I remember the Doctor saying if he makes it through the night he will be alright. I had seen Mama praying and I really believe I might have been doing a little myself because I had had bad thoughts when he was born. I can remember the quietness of the night as Mama stayed by his bed side. The next morning he woke up asking for his Pie Dough—his dog named Fido. The crisis had passed and my little brother was going to be alright.
Friday evening his wife had a surprise Birthday party for him. Was he a surprise? I don’t know but he said he was. It was a GREAT TIME for all the Bolin siblings to be together. We just don’t do it often enough. It was great to see the nephews and nieces having such a good time visiting. There were nephews from Tulsa, Springdale, Rogers and Waldron. I think everyone at the party had a good time.
Little Brother Jim I can tell you that after all these years I am glad the stork got tired of circling around and dropped you off at the Bert Bolin house. I love you.