Once upon a time in the late 70's my brother came to visit me on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. We ate at the better eaterers I could not afford ad a college undergrad student. We played one of his favorite sporting activities at the fairly new WVU Coliseum indulging in racket ball which he beat me badly. Sam always felt 'play to win or don't play'. We also played pick up basketball with the famous WVU football alumni and full back who blocked for OJ Simpson when he was a Buffalo Bill. We also went to see the local demo pro football team. This is where the lesson begins for a younger sibling.
Sam and I were late getting to the football game and walked in right when they were playing the United States anthem. I kept walking and Sam grabbed me by the arm and stopped me. Sam said, "Johnny stop and put your hand over your heart and honor our Flag. He said he served our country for 23 years and we live in the best country in the world. He said in a firm voice, "John McCain - always honor your flag and country." From that day on I have.
I first met Sam at my wedding in 1983 in Philadelphia, PA. I was marrying his youngest brother, John, and I was struck by his resemblance to my future husband. I told him he looked just like John and he corrected me and said that actually it was John who looked like him since he was older brother. He was right, of course.
We would visit Augusta every year with our two daughters, Lauren and Kristen, known as “Lawn” and “Christian” by their paternal grandmother, Juanita McCain. Those visits usually included a visit to “Uncle Billy’s” house where we would be sure to experience his jokes and witticisms. The first thing you noticed was his intimidating size and broad smile. He has a larger than life personality and everyone enjoyed being in his company. Like all the McCains, he is highly intelligent and didn’t take crap from anyone.
He is the funny brother, not as serious as Leonard, Nathan or Bobby. Of course, John can be very funny too, but Sam, or Billy, as we called him, always had the final word. Sam loves his family, his girls, his church and the love is returned by all.
Note -- This is written to the eldest granddaughter, Tiffany, to post. The "yours" or 'you" is referring to her.
Here is my fond funny story that brings back memories of our trip to your grandparents home when they lived in San Jose. On that trip I first met Effie's family from Cleveland (Dorothy, Lillian, Charles and his wife, Karen and Floyd, Lillian's daughter and some young children).
It was the summer of 1983 when you were a wee one, maybe all of two years old. When traveling on the highway in a large van and a big semi truck passed us I found out you could read. It was a Coors Beer Truck and you said very clearly " bea". I was impressed. Someone jokingly said, she sees a lot of those logos around the house.
After a very long day of sightseeing in San Francisco we were back at the house lounging in the sun by the pool. I was rather tired and parched when your grandfather handed me this big beautiful ice cream drink in a beautiful glass. I sipped to my hearts content. Billy cautioned, perhaps a little late, Valerie I wouldn't drink that too fast. I believe it was 3/4 gone when he said it.
THREE HOURS LATER, I woke up on the sofa after everyone else had eaten and they were all playing Bid Whist. There were three little okras left in the skillet and not much else. I ate dinner, enjoyed my first experience with okra and Billy watching me said something smart alecky (sic) about me enjoying the okra because he had no use for them. Some folk made lots of comments about how long I slept and Billy chuckled and said, I told you not to drink my concoction too fast.