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Happy Birthday, Buddy.

This is my brother Evan, that we called buddy.
Chuck Kensinger

The first day of summer was always a special day with this Springfield family. Not because of the change of season, but because it was Buddy's birthday. Christian traditions being what they are, birthdays are special. The second born, another son, came on the 21st of June. All three of the boys birthdays came shortly before the parents' birthdays in October. Kenny in September, two years later Bud and two years after that in August, Charlie.

This year Charlie turns 60. Now, I didn't tell you how old the birthday boy is. You figure it out on your own.

A summer birthday is much better than one in the winter. Especially for growing, active, rambunctious and inquisitive boys. Summer is a time for swimming, either at the city pool, Grant Beach, or the creek at the cousins farm near Marshfield, MO. Summer is also a time for fireworks. By his birthday we could go with our Dad to the fireworks stand and buy firecrackers. They were great for blowing green soldiers and cow piles.

Three brothers did all the kid stuff together. Cowboys and Native Americans & Cops and Alleged Offenders were some of our favorite games. As Kenny graduated from Central High School, joined the Navy and left home, Bud and Charlie were in the photography club, and the chess club together. By the way, one of them convinced the other to breath the vapor coming off of a chemistry experiment once. He was hard to wake up.

When they moved schools a darkroom of their own became a necessity. It was off the shared bedroom and was a great place to hide because the door had to have a lock on the inside to prevent it being opened at an inappropriate time and ruining the negatives or prints.

Cars were shared as they became drivers and so were many joys, disappointments and of course the almost terminal conflicts with parents. Both of which are now gone and we can discuss things like where the round burned spot in the bedroom floor in the house on West Avenue came from and how Charlie's arms, knees and nose were skinned that one summer afternoon. Since Kenny is gone as well the culprit who cold cocked him with a cap gun can now come clean.

Time has grayed the hair, hampered the eyesight and dimmed the dreams of the two boys. They don't get to see each other as often now, but they are still brothers. The occasional phone call lasts to long because they are catching up. Sis is out in Utah, but the two brothers are still in Springfield. Things may change, but they still stay the same. Oh, by the way, if you know Buddy today, you may call him Evan. That's what all his friends at FDC know him by.

Happy Birthday, brother.


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