I could never have imagined in my younger days that I would think my brother was cute. I’m his older sister, and younger brothers generally represent nothing more than pests to older sisters. All through school he seemed about as appealing as an over ripe banana, and I remember spending most of my time either ignoring him, or yelling at him. But we were older now. Not kids.
Smiling in this recent snapshot though, in his dress blues, he was definitely cute. There would be no shortage of pen pals for him.
But he looked so young, too.
It was winter in our part of the world-and winter in the truest sense of the word. Twenty-five degrees. Snow on the ground. My brother was far away, in a strange and exotic place we’d only read about before. Honolulu, Hawaii. Palm trees and sandy beaches. Weather warm enough you could go swimming every day of the year, if you were so inclined.
I worried about my little brother And not just because he was away from home for the first time. I’d heard about those other things in Honolulu - street girls, and rum drinks. I was afraid he might take up smoking. I looked at his photo again, and sternly suggested he keep his nose clean. He just smiled back at me.
He was homesick, his letter said-but really looking forward to this great adventure that lay before him. He was already in love with Hawaii, though this first Christmas away might be rough. Could we send a little fir tree?
Lost in my thoughts, it took me a minute to realize that the music on the radio had stopped.
“We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the following breaking news! “The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor! We repeat, “The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor!”
Then the whole world shifted.