Monday, June 13, 2011


This is my son Brian. He was a bit of a surprise when he was born. Even though Jan had been to the doctor's  we had no idea that there were two babies in the womb. Everything about his birth was unique. First, of course was the fact that he was even there with no one's knowledge.  After Jan delivered Ben and  the doctor was waiting for the placenta, he stuck his fist out, I guess just to let everyone know he was here. Everyone in the delivery room was in a bit of a state of shock, but it was a nice surprise in any event.  God in all his wisdom gave us two boys. One would never have done it for us. Jan mentioned that if there were only one she feared that he would either be a wimp or a bully. To this day they are each other's best friend. They've always been each other's best friend and fiercest competitor. Both boys excelled in wrestling and it wasn't unusual to hear an argument start upstairs between the two and before you know it the scuffling and thumping would start. I think I mentioned here before that I had to patch the sheet rock in their room where someones head went into the wall.
Brian came over a for a few days last week and volunteered to help me with some of the chores on the boat. He likes to be busy and enjoys physical labor- just what the doctor ordered. I didn't hold back any, I asked him to climb the mast and replace the rusted socket for the mast light. Frankly, I'm scared of heights now. I didn't used to be, but I didn't used to be fat either- things change with time. We went out the other day and made a thirty hook set for halibut and were blessed with two seventy plus pound halibut and a fourteen pound one. Of course he did all the pulling of the gear. I had forgotten how much fun it is to pull the line by hand and feel the halibut tugging back. It's a real adrenaline rush. While the set was soaking we trolled around the bay. We managed to catch an eighteen pound king salmon that day too, my first this year, so it was quite the exciting day. We got word that the dog salmon were biting at Homeshore so went over there the next day and picked up a few- thirty seven to be exact, which really isn't that many, but it was fun. We cut them up and turned them into halibut bait for the sport guys under the name Tom's Halibaits. I put a disclaimer on the label that states not for human consumption. You could eat it if you want, but I don't want anyone to eat it and blame me if they get sick. Uncle Bill Courtney used to catch shrimp in a cast net down in Charleston that he used for bait. When we were done fishing he took home the bait and ate it. I like a multi purpose bait. That's real multi-tasking.
  Brian is on his way to Anchorage tonight. He's joined the navy. His brother is in the Army. I guess we have both fronts covered. From there it's on to Chicago and Great Lakes Illinois to boot camp. I well remember that place from my days in the navy. I had boot camp there as well as Radarman A school. I was there from January to June. In January it was so cold the wind blowing off Lake Michigan would freeze the tears on your face as we waited outside for  our turn at the mess hall. In the summer it was sticky hot. I would take a cool shower and fifteen minutes later it would be sweltering again. Ah, good times. He'll do OK though. He's tough as nails. Both of my boys are. Watching him the other day I remembered what it was like to be young and strong and feel like whatever challenges are ahead of you, you're up to t he task. I know that eventually he will read this blog post so I will leave him with this advice- Be a man of integrity. Whatever you put your hand to, do well. You're older than many of the men you'll be working with so be an example. Keep your temper under control and use your maturity to lead. Finally I'll leave you with my favorite scripture. It was written to the people of Israel, but it applies to all of us today
 Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," states the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."
 It's a promise you can bank on. Good luck, and God bless.


  1. Well said dad, and great scripture!
    Also, those are some good pictures as well. Love ya!

  2. A Proud US CitizenJune 14, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    That was a very touching post, and, as Autumn said, great scripture...I hope Brian finds the time to read and be blessed by this as I knowe we all are and will be...I know as your only 2 sons, it's hard to see them in the professions they have chosen, but know that at the same time, as their sisters, we are super proud of them as well and know they will live up to anything they've signed their names you very much.and in case I've not expressed it enough in the proud to know you were a Navy officer, as is Brian, and as Ben is a Special Forces officer..I am thankful for all of you and all the sacrifices you have made to ensure our family remains safe and steadfast, above all, and as does our country..I am more than proud to claim you as my relatives! Love you all...AJ

  3. Thank you for the wonderful post on Brian. I agree, the pictures are great. I'm excited to see where God leads Brian and can't wait to celebrate more of his accomplishments. You and Jan raised a fine young man.

    (Tushyne's mom)

  4. Was so much fun hanging out w/him when I was up there even though it was only for a couple of days before he left. I sure do miss my brothers and sisters and parents to :) love you guys. P.S. thanks Dad & Brian for the awesome fish

  5. That was a great post, Tom. I am so proud of both boys, and I know they'll serve this country well. I had to chuckle at your description of his surprise birth. I remember when mom told me you called to tell her the news and just kept chuckling as you told her...Hope yopu had a Great Father's Day!!

  6. Thanks to everyone for the comments. I've been out fishing for a few days and haven't had a chance to get on the computer. We're very proud of the boys. Its wonderful when they have grown into responsible young men and you get to see the fruits of your labors. There were many days while they were growing up that I wondered what would become of them. Now I know and I couldn't be happier.

  7. Loved the post dad. I have a friend that I work with that read your book and now follows your blog. He's the one who told me that you'd written one about Brian. He's in the Army National Guard...just got back from Suriname where they helped build a hospital and some of them a school, etc....he enjoys your posts and really liked what you wrote for Brian. He mentioned it to me the other day....just told me tonight when we were playin cribbage that you'd written a few new blogs that he was gonna check out before he went to figured it was high time I get on here and catch up! Wonderful pics of Brian, and great memories as well....very proud to be able to be a part of this family and admit to being a part of this craziness we call a family life....I couldn't have asked for a better childhood nor better friends than my own brothers and sisters....I am thankful for the values and morals that you and mom instilled into all of us kids....we're very fortunate. Love and miss you all lots..AJ