A big one. The big 4-0.
It makes me think.
He has been my best friend for most of my life (all but the first year or so!).
The one person who can share almost all of my memories back through 10 houses, lots of moves, births, marriages and deaths, friends, campouts--and camp songs, embarrassing stories--everything.
When his voice changed, and he learned that he loved to sing, he talked me into singing the high parts on every song with a good bass line (specifically, "Blue Moon"--the Marcels version, and "Under the Boardwalk"and "Elvira", along with a few others) so he could do the "down low parts". His love of singing and his guitar playing inspired his friends, siblings and cousins, and created quite a few new musicians.
He has always been bold and daring, and ready for new adventures.
He can quote a movie perfectly after watching it once.
He is the world's best dyer of Easter eggs (seriously, he made a plaid egg one year using only standard egg dye and masking tape).
The best perpetrator of clever April Fools pranks.
The best carver of Jack O'lanterns (although his younger brothers are also pretty darn awesome in the "Uncle Arts"!).
He has the most incredibly mobile face--so expressive, so flexible--only Danny Kaye and Donald O'Connor can do it justice. And--as more than one person who ended up snorting liquid out their nose can attest, an amazing sense of humor, genius level comedic timing, and super expressive eyebrows.
Now there are a lot of miles between us, but I still love him just as much, think about him, quote him and look for things that would make him laugh.
TO A GUY WHO IS STILL
OUTSTANDING IN HIS FIELD!