Big Brother (not the government,

Big Brother (not the government, but my actual BB) said cool on publishing his letter. Just a note–I had to change my first name in this letter. Not because I’m afraid to tell everyone what my first name was at birth, but because I’m afraid someone will actually use it. For various reasons, I find that intolerable. Nope, not gonna explain that. Anyway, here’s my bro’s wonderful letter:

October 1,1964
6.5 on the Richter scale
Epicenter: 15 Miles S.W. of Olympia Washington

Early in the morning, Dorn is the first one down the stairs, as he reaches the bottom, a light comes on. There is his Mom, pale, very pregnant, in a cheap, pink, quilted, bath robe. She is saying behind her, into the dark living room, “My water broke”.

Dorn doesn’t know or care what that means. Dad steps out of the shadows. The next two minutes are a blur to Dorn. Mom and Dad talking, he doesn’t understand. Zenna races down the stairs, screams at Mom, “Dorn came in and shook my bed to try and wake me up! I’m tired of this! You’ve got to do something!”.

Mom says, “It was an earthquake and I have to go to the Hospital”. Zenna and Dorn understand at once.

And so came Catherine Lourene Crawford.

Dorn never understood the responsibility of Catherine. He invented “put-put”, which was pushing her bassinette around at high speed. Unable to stand up, Catherine would prop herself up on her elbows and stare over the edge of the bassinette, much like a puppy, pretending she is flying out of the window of a car. Dorn soon grew to resent this
responsibility, because he was told to do it constantly, but he did it. Because she truly loved it, and he really loved to hear her laugh and see her smile.

Circa 1972

Dorn offers to take 7 year old Catherine into Lents Park, near where they now live in Portland, Oregon. He sends Catherine down to the swings, he retreats to the hill 50 feet above her and lights a roach left over from Longview. Two hits, a glance, a stare, and a small, sickly, seven year old with a bright smile and beautiful strawberry hair, it was then that he realized he truly loved his little sister. And he always had.

Whoever you are, Catherine, whatever names you may give yourself, you will always be those moments in time…. I can’t forget.

Love you always,



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