Friday, April 9, 2010

My Brother Scott

Scott Richard
February 13, 1958 - April 6, 2009
     When I was a young child around the age of three in 1963, Scotty lived across the courtyard from us in apartments named Beverly Manor, on the east side of Columbus, Ohio, near Bexley, and not far from Whitehall. Scott and I quickly became the best of friends. He was my first boyfriend. We used to sit outside and lay on the grass on our bellies, hands holding up our chins, as we would scan through the Speigel catalog picking out all the things we would buy when we grew up and got married. I would often wait for him in the afternoons when I knew he'd be walking home from kindergarten. I missed him while he was gone at school.
     Then in 1964 we moved to Whitehall, about five miles or so away, and I rarely saw Scotty anymore. When dad would take us back to The Manor, as we called Beverly Manor, to see Mrs. Harvey, who was a good neighbor and friend, we would sometimes see Scotty, but then we did not see each other for a few years.
 My parents split in 1968. Dad, Kym, and I went to live with our grandparents, and in the summer of 1969, dad would take us over to Mrs. Harvey's for the day to give my grandma a much needed break. We were once again reunited with Scotty, his sister Angie, whom we had not known before, and their mom, Alice. We spent a lot of time between Mrs. Harvey's and Alice's apartment since they lived in the same apartment building, but on different floors.
     In October of 1969 we moved to the Manor. We moved into apartment one, right next door to Mrs. Harvey who lived in apartment two. Alice had lived upstairs in apartment six, but when apartment four became available, she moved across the hall, still on the second floor. We lived directly below them.
     . We had already started at the local elementary school, though Scott and I were in the same grade, we were in different classes. We often walked home together. We were also in and out of each other's apartments on a daily basis, getting to the point where we rarely knocked. The doors were usually standing wide open anyway as many people just left the doors open for air circulation.
     Scott (which is mainly what I called him by this time) and I were not boyfriend/girlfriend at this stage! We'd left that behind in 1964 when we were youngsters, but we did become almost like siblings as we fought and argued over silly things, schemed over other equally inane stuff as kids are wont to do, and we were often indignant when our mutual friends would say such things as "Wouldn't it be funny if your parents got married and you two became brother and sister?" No! Scott and I did not think this sounded funny, cool, or anything good at all! We were aghast at such a thought! We both liked and respected the other's parent, but to combine and become siblings? That was entirely a different scenario that we never anticipated.
     Mrs. Harvey moved to Napoleon Ave, near Whitehall, and Alice followed suit by moving to Barnett Rd., just about a fourth of a mile from Mrs. Harvey as she babysat Angie. Dad, Kym, and I continued to live in the Manor until December 18, 1972, when dad moved us to Pataskala, a small town about 18 miles east of Columbus. We were far from Alice, Scott, and Angie, though we still saw them occasionally.
     In May of 1974, dad came home and announced that he and Alice had gotten married! Kym and I were shocked as we often asked dad if he was going to marry Alice and he'd tell us no. So back off to Columbus we moved, and back fulltime into the lives of these people whom we'd had such a long and unusual relationship with. Now they were our family, and Scott and I were truly that brother and sister we used to so vehemently deny would ever happen! Because we'd known each other so intimately in the Manor, and because we went to school together and had many of the same friends, the transition was simple.
     I got married in November of 1974, so I left home and was no longer a direct part of this close group of people as I had once been. Scott and I saw each other occasionally on the holidays, a few times a year, and that was it. Then in 1977 I moved back to the Manor, and Scott was living just down the street from me on Gould Rd., but we ran in different circles and did not see each other too often. In 1978 I headed back to Pataskala and Scott headed off to St. Pete in Florida to attend school. Again we were living distant.
     Scott came back from Florida sometime in the early 80's, eventually moved out to Pataskala where we would see each other more often, though I had a family and he was single, so we didn't exactly hang out. He often called me and we talked a lot on the phone. This would become a lifelong habit up until just a few months before Scott became too sick to call me, just a few weeks before he passed away.
     Scott and I talked on the phone almost daily, sometimes up to 5 times a day for more than 20 years. My husband Bob used to get irritated with this, but he eventually got used to it. Scott would also call me to let me know when a special show was on like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". The phone would ring and Bob would roll his eyes and say, "That'll be your dad or brother calling to tell you that your show is on", and he would be derisive about it. I'd just tell him he was jealous and pick up the phone and it would be either my dad or Scott. If I was talking to Scott, then dad would be calling in; if I were talking with dad, then Scott would be trying to call in. My family has my back! Scott always looked out for me just as you would expect any big brother to do. And my dad still calls me when there is a show he knows I like or thinks I should watch.     
     Scott was an excellent cook who could make foods up out of nothing. He had some kind of magic knack for using fresh herbs and pulling foods together to make the most luscious of dishes. He worked in restaurants most of his life, he catered for awhile with a friend of his, and he often cooked for friends. Scott catered sit down weddings and all kinds of fancy dinners. His food was always a hit.
     Scott was employed with First Community in Grandview, working as a cook in the Assisted Living building. He had special meals he'd make for the residents and they all loved him. He had just gotten his own office and computer in October of 2008, just three months before he had to go on leave once the cancer was diagnosed. The summer of 2008, Scott had gotten permission to put in an herb garden so he would have fresh herbs for cooking. That garden is now dedicated to Scott and is called the Richard Herb Garden.
Scott was so disappointed that just as he had begun to 'make it' that he had had to leave. Scott
 would never return to work, but he was so proud of himself for what he'd accomplished, and we were very proud of him. too.
     I've always said I could open up a diner as my cooking is on the "homecookin" level, the comfort foods that everyone loves and requests. I couldn't cook gourmet very well as I don't like much of what constitutes gourmet food and I would not have the patience; besides, I prefer down home meals that I grew up with. Scott cooked gourmet, though he could also cook down home. He always put his own spin on foods and made them shine above the others. His recipes were often adopted by the restaurants where he worked, and even First Community asked for many of his sauces and recipes as the residents missed them when he could no longer work. Scott didn't cook out of cook books, he cooked from the heart. He would make a roast of lamb or a brisket, and perhaps he'd have juniper berries and bay leaves in the sauce, but it was always so good that people wanted more and enjoyed his foods.
     Scott had signature dishes that were all his own that he had developed and perfected. At this time I am only going to post a few of his recipes as some I want to keep as his own secret family recipes, though some of his friends also have copies of his signature dishes. But though Scott gave you a recipe, he often left out some of an ingredient or part of the recipe so that you did not have the entire thing. He also added things as he was cooking that he may not have written down. But no matter, his dishes were delicious!
     Scott did not bake. His idea of baking was to buy Pillsbury slice and bake cookies and ice them with a tub of Betty Crocker frosting, but he would sometimes call me to ask me how to make something he was making for the residents in First Community. He always said he was the cook and I was the baker. He loved some of the baked goods I made, especially my Cherry Bit Cookies, which I will post much later on. These were his favorites. And so Scott and I would trade our secrets, his cooking ones and my baking ones.
     I miss Scott! He was the very best brother!!! He was always there for me. He was always a phone call away, and I enjoyed our talks. We often talked about our youth, our growing up years, the time we lived in the Manor, and all the capers we did as kids. He was a lot of fun! Always the practical jokester. Scott was also close to Kym and Angie, but Scott and I were so close in age, had many of the same friends, and just had a relationship that you don't often find even in biological families. I'm so glad God blessed me with Scott for a brother, and I am so grateful for all the years we knew one another. How many people can say that their first boyfriend became their beloved brother? I am indeed very blessed. And you will be blessed with the recipes of his that I will share with all of you. Remember, if these seem to be missing something, they most likely are as Scott never completely gave his recipes away. Enjoy!

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