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Memories of a special brother



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June 16, 2010
In the 'In Brief' column the editor was asking for a captured special moment with Dad, Grandpa or another figure. The accompanying snapshot is a special moment. The story is of my 'big' brother Floyd, or 'Bub-o' as I called him. He was 14 years older than I, not a father figure, closer to a God figure. I did worship him.

Bub-o and Me

My first remembrance of Bub-o was of him playing football for dear ol' Almont High in the early '20s. He came along the sidelines where Daddy, Mama and I were standing, picked me up and whirled me around. What a thrill!

I think I have mentioned before that Floyd had a riding horse, complete with a western brand, named Gyp. We lived on a farm on north Shoemaker Road at the time. Both the barn and home have since burned. I loved it when Bub-o would throw me up in the saddle, then hop on himself and take me for a ride.

Floyd worked out his year apprenticeship as a pharmacist in Bowman's Drug Store and then off to the University of Michigan. He would come home often on the DUR (Detroit United Railway) for a weekend and bring his brown canvas suitcase full of dirty clothes. He would come in the kitchen door, drop the suitcase, grab me and dance around the kitchen table singing "Yes Sir, She's my Baby; No Sir, I don't mean maybe, Yes Sir, She's my Baby Now." How excited was I!

Floyd's sweetheart in their senior year was Bessie Burgess. While he was working his apprenticeship the following year, she was attending Eastern Michigan University, as she did in his first year at University of Michigan. It only took two years to get a teaching certificate then and she came back to Almont to be my fourth and fifth grade teacher.

The second year of Floyd's college, our father bought him a car. Nina Bowman Taylor was attending EMU and would ride back to college with Floyd. When they left Almont, Bessie watching, Nina would settle in the back seat. A few miles on their way, she would get in the front seat (as the story goes.)

Floyd and Bess were married in July of 1926. I cried and cried because I thought he would no longer be my brother. Bub-o consoled me and promised he would always be my brother.

I lived with Floyd, Bess and sons Doss and Dale in Flint and attended Baker Business University. By this time Floyd was a Parke-Davis salesman for the surrounding doctors and drug stores.

Time went by and one fall day Floyd called and was upset. He was having trouble remembering. "I can't even remember where I put my electric shaver," he'd say. At the time he was caring for Bess who was an invalid. About the same time he was found to have three inoperable brain tumors. I went out and stayed with Doss and Dale.

While visiting Floyd in the hospital, we reminisced and really had a few good laughs. I told him the name Floyd never sounded right to me, I liked Bub-o better. He said he did also and asked me to call him Bub-o from now on, which wasn't long.

So, that is my story of 'Bub-o and Me.'

—Country Cousin

Gertie Brooks is a lifelong Almont area resident. A 'farm girl,' Gertie is the premier historian for the Almont area, and frequently offers her memories and first-hand accounts in her 'Country Cousin' columns.
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