The kid brother: An ode to John

You probably knew a kid like John. It’s when you’re in high school and you’re hanging out with your friends and one of your pals has a kid brother who’s hanging around too.

That was John.

John was Mary Kay’s brother, Mary Kay was Catfish’s girlfriend and Catfish was my pal. That’s how I knew John.

Grant McGee

Grant McGee

We all hung out on the corner; that was back in the day before you thought a bunch of kids hanging out were up to no good. But come to think of it I bet every generation has thought that a bunch of kids hanging out on the corner were up to no good.

John thought it was really cool that I was an Eagle Scout. He was always bugging me, wanting to know how I got this merit badge and that merit badge, Boy Scout stuff.

After a while we all stopped hanging out on the corner. I went off to college, Catfish broke up with Mary Kay and John did go on to be an Eagle Scout.

Over the years I’d get bits of news from the old home town. I heard John graduated top of his class in high school, top of his class from the university and then he went on to work for the university wearing many hats.

John just seemed to be one of those guys who just rocketed to the top of everything, all the while wearing a smile that just seemed to say, “he’s a great guy.”

Then the other day while doing some mindless surfing on the internet I discovered John’s obituary. He had been struck down by a heart attack. Family and friends, of which there were many, were shocked because he was so active and relatively young. Hundreds came for his memorial service. He left behind a wife and three sons.

So, so long John. You really were a great guy.


Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him at: