My little brother turns 50? Man am I old

BILL MARTIN

My little brother turns 50 on Tuesday and despite the fact that I have already crossed over that threshold and am nearly four years older than him, I have never felt so old.

The first memory I have in life is bringing him home from the hospital.

Tim (it’s still hard for me not to call him Timmy) and I had a pretty traditional middle class upbringing which consisted of living in Lafayette, La. for 10 years.

We were also pretty normal sibling relationship, which means we fought like, well, brothers.

There came a point where I was just so much bigger than him, that I would just hold him down and that made him madder than if we fought.

Despite our size difference, he never gave up. The second I agreed to release him, he was all over me. A stick, a belt, a baseball bat, lug wrench— whatever was handy.

The thing that really used to get to him was that I would tell him he was supposed to be a girl and that he real name was “Tammy”.


Here’s a sight that will never be seen again, the Martin brothers, riding a horse—together. Here’s a sight that will never be seen again, the Martin brothers, riding a horse—together. We lived on a corner lot in our Winwood Addition in Lafayette and there was a large tree in the back which was home to our four story tree house.

Every kid in the neighborhood was a member of the treehouse club and while I was the president, despite being the youngest, Tim was the vicepresident. Hey, it was his tree.

Sports played a huge role in our lives. As the seasons changed, we just segued from one sport to another.

We were lucky enough to have a vacant lot in our neighborhood and it served as combination football/baseball field.

He was my catcher on our neighborhood sandlot team and baseball turned out to be the sport he excelled in. He could hit and he was fast.

There’s a certain symmetry to that since he is named after a baseball player.

Tim was born in the summer of 1961, right in the heart of Roger Maris’ chase to eclipse Babe Ruth’s home run record.

Our father was a huge Yankees fan so when it came time to choose a name, Roger became his middle name. I guess he’s lucky that his name is not Roger Maris Martin.

It sometimes amazes me that we are brothers. He is a master mechanic who can tear an engine apart and put it back together again in a flash. I can barely change a light bulb.

Of course he graduated from TSTI with a 4.0 GPA so it’s not surprising.

He could have been a poster child for middle child syndrome but he perservered and excelled.

He has a talented wife in Lynn that he is completely devoted to and three sons, Steve, Brian and Alex.

Now they are of course are all knuckleheads, but it is a pleasure to be their “favorite” uncle and I consider them as my own sons.

One of the highlights of my life is our annual LaGrone Reunion for many reasons, but one is to get to spend time with my brother, who I don’t get to see nearly enough.

I know our grandfather Taylor would be proud that we are working on it together.

Happy birthday bro!


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2011-08-11 digital edition



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