Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Brother Johnny

My brother, Johnny Burns is 16 months older than me. Besides Bud and Dot Burns (our parents), it was just us. He's the good-looking tall guy on the left with his hand in his pocket. I'm the short goofy jerk on the right (with my hand in my pocket). Since Johnny was always my hero (handsome, good athlete, good student and a comedian, I tried to copy him a lot. I failed in the first three categories; so, I became the school clown and started beating the drums to draw attention away from him. When that pivotal change occurred in my life, my grades went from D+ to F - . Nonetheless, Johnny and I had a lot of fun growing up together. Swimming, baseball, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and the whole nine yards. In the sixth grade, he started blowing his trumpet and I started taking drum lessons. After advancing to High School, we started a trash hauling service in our town and drove our trash truck to high school! We’d do about anything to get attention! That's how close we were. Hauling garbage on Saturday morning and playing band gigs on Saturday night. (Well, I guess you'd say we "helped" pay our way through school)!

I cry a lot now, but back then, I hardly ever cried. But the two times I cried the most for Johnny was first when our rock band, (The Mag Five, later evolving into The Soul Success) kicked Johnny out for hiding in his girl friend's closet to avoid rock band practice. He was our bass guitar player, trumpeter and one of our singers. (I was a Freshman in High School when that happened). I was crushed. The other guys jerked my hero from the “group” and me. If I had it to do all over again, I would have hid with him in the closet and we would have started OUR OWN BAND!

The next time I cried for him was when he joined the Army, became a Huey pilot and served in Viet Nam. While Johnny was in Viet Nam, I was a Freshman in college. I'd say my dorm floor buddies and tons of other Christian friends prayed ole John in and out of Nam. Johnny once flew his Huey on a mission, picked up a distress signal and rescued two downed Air Force pilots. IT WAS MY BROTHER that saved their lives! Johnny got a Silver Star metal for that, and after serving his term, came home safely. After all those years, he and his family live in Oklahoma City and he is still serving as a pilot for Oklahoma Mediflight. During his 38 years of flying, he’s flown T. V. reporting flights over the city and Medical helicopter flights in Alaska, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and several other states.

Our distance and duties keep us from seeing each other much, but, we're still buddies and he's still my hero. I'm very proud of my brother, Johnny.

Love ya brother!

I'm Johnny's little brother, and that's something to think about!