If you haven't guessed by now, the dark haired characters that inhabit my craft room are modeled after my brother John. A choir boy's appearance from the earliest of ages, a heart for mischief hidden behind his angelic eyes.
My brother's senior year of High School came shortly after the passing of our father. I was a newlywed just moved from our parents home, there was no one to console my brother's grief.
Having successfully performed with his High School's Honor Choir at the Kennedy Center at Christmastime, an invitation was extended to perform in London. My mother thought this opportunity would be the perfect distraction for John. Necessary travel documents, a round trip ticket purchased, a permission slip signed.
My mother kissed John on the cheek as she dropped him off at the airport with a new black performing suit. She did not see that he did not meet up with his school group.
Unbeknown to my mother, my brother had told the choir teacher his recently widowed mother could not afford the trip. He told the airline that he was with the choir group; but because he was still grieving, could he please sit at the back of the plane.
For the next two months my brother traveled all over Europe, alone!
He spent the first month sailing with a French couple he met in London setting sail to the coast of France. He told them he knew how to sail. He learned on the job! He visits them to this day. To earn money once dropped off in France, he would go into night clubs and ask to sit in with the house band and play the piano. He was a kid not old enough to even drink, but he was persistent returning night after night until he wore them down. He was such a success, he formed a following from town to town. An easy supply of money for the second month as he traveled back towards London.
My mother would never know the truth behind my brother's summer in Europe although she did ask how he managed to get so tanned.
I would only discover the truth myself when I started my blog and began to tell the stories of my magical childhood so many involving this special brother of mine with the face of a Choir Boy.