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Don's Assistant - Livin' the Good Life

Mar. 9th, 2008

10:17 am - Don's Assistant

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I think I got a fair amount of my self-esteem as a child from my sense of how useful I was to my brother. He was an unusually creative and self-contained person and quite a loner. He was always busy with projects, and he set goals for himself every day. Some of these goals required another person to assist him, and I was only too happy to be that assistant. I learned to stop "throwing like a girl" in order to deliver him a decent pitch when he practiced his batting skills. He would say, "Hey, DD, wanna go out and throw the ol' apple around?" Well, heck, yes! I learned to use our 8 millimeter movie camera so I could film him high-jumping. I never could quite get the hang of moving the camera slowly and steadily enough while he was running, though, and we had a good laugh at my shots of the mountains and trees instead of him flying over the pole. I learned how to be a wrestling partner. (Though I think he would have prefered a partner who took it more seriously and didn't laugh so much.) I was the willing audience for his daily puppet shows. He had a Beanie and Cecil puppet show at the same time every afternoon whether he had an audience or not. (The show must go on!) I sat up in the "control room" of his Spook House in our basement and was required to pull the strings to make the ghosts come up out of the dirt when Don was giving our neighbors the 5 cent tour. I was NOT supposed to giggle, though, and he had to get very stern with me about that! (Actually, he had another girl work the strings once, and she giggled way more than I did, and he never let her do it again. So, I guess I wasn't so bad, cuz I got the permanent job.) But, most of the time, Don holed-up in his room doing solitary projects. And, often he would allow me to join him, just for the company. When he did that, I felt like the luckiest little sister around.