My oldest brother, sixteen years older than I, had read my post, The Renters.
The photo he sent is from 1973, from the time of the first renters. The image is in pretty bad shape, but that this photo exists.....this, the first photo I know of taken of my oldest brother and me.
1973 was the year of Ralph - the renter who burned TV dinners at 7 am and left his crumpled, leaking cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon on the flagstone around him when he'd drunk himself to oblivion on our back patio most school day mornings. Ralph, who finally moved away, while the ghost of him stayed.
1973 - also the year I saw this brother for the first time in a decade.
He'd been immersed in the Sixties, early Seventies, far away from our suburban life - there had been rows about money and the draft, our parents finally Drawing the Line. My brother said Fine. He played music around New York City, took off for California and played music some more, eventually headed back east.
After awhile, after my father died, he came around again, during that year I turned thirteen.
My brother brought music. He brought the gift of creative endeavor, of giving oneself over to art.
He explained, he gave attention.
It was as if a new universe had opened.