Elvis was born in January. So was Martin Luther King, Jr. And Dolly Parton, Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allan Poe, Jackie Robinson, Sir Isaac Newton and Joan of Arc. You know all about these guys.
Dennis Geoghagan was also born in January. You ask Dennis how he is doing and his answer every time is “better than I deserve.” The ole boy ain’t lying either. He married an absolutely beautiful—inside and out—lady who can sing better than Rosemary Clooney, Tammy Wynette and Diana Ross combined!
Dennis and Kay are the parents of the three most wonderful daughters I ever played chase with under the pews after the preacher mercifully finished the benediction. Those girls are now grown up, just as pretty as their mom, and blessing lives all around them in most remarkable ways. I thank God every day for their touch and influence on my life!
Dennis is quick to tell you how “lucky” he is and how “blessed”, but that ain’t exactly the way it is. He might not have made the famous list in the first paragraph, but he’s obviously done something right with his life!
Robert Holmes Brewer is another January baby who also didn’t make the above list—except in my mind. Bobby is two days younger than me. But he was a whole lot smarter! He’d take our boring stacks of firewood and make forts out of them. He showed me how to take charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter and make gunpowder. You couldn’t count the hundreds of army men we blew off our side porch.
Bobby had the first BB gun in our group. And the first pellet gun. We hunted unsuspecting cans, mailboxes, glass insulators high up on those electric poles, birds…..and the remains of the army men we’d blown off the porch. To say we tasted—and tested—life together would be the understatement of the century.
Pamela Ruth Collins was a January girl. And like Bobby, I don’t remember a day in my life that she wasn’t there. Of course, we didn’t speak much in kindergarten or elementary school; it was the girl-boy thing. And we never dated one day in our whole lives. But by junior high I was more than confused over lots of things; foremost was this feeling that girls didn’t all have cooties.
Pam set me up with her cousin Charlotte in the eighth grade. She was there the January we all turned sixteen AND life got complicated. She was never shy about telling me how to live, and when needed, jerking me back to reality. But she had a great shoulder when life threw me a curve. Pam, in retrospect, was a girl-friend indeed!
James Edward Wiggleton also joined us in January. Buddy taught me how to laugh. I’m telling you, the glass was completely full with Bud. He enjoyed every moment more than anyone I’ve ever known. Oh, he could get mad as a wet hen, but it never lasted. And even his mad was funny. The joy he brought to every life in his path is immeasurable. I loved to see him coming. I can see why God called him home so early. Listen, if I was God and had a choice between me and anybody else.…or Buddy, I’d pick Buddy every time!
Franklin D. Kennedy was as good as they come. Born in the January ten years prior to mine, he was the uncle that picked me to be his best buddy. He’d get down on his knees in the early days, so we’d be “eyeball to eyeball”. In granddaddy’s back yard he’d stay out and play pitch with me when all the others had gone in to eat.
Uncle F.D. would let you break the rules. And laugh about it. He kept my older brother off my back. And best of all, he never left the house without me. He didn’t say I was special in his life…..he proved it by his every action! He was way more of a friend than an uncle.
His eldest daughter, Tami, is also a January-ian. She is my second favorite cousin and I wouldn’t dare throw off on her…..but she’ll drive you nuts with questions about Pa and Gran, Uncle Hugh, Aunt May White….. Our family history is in good hands!
And the first month of this year, we celebrate the twelfth birthday of our eldest granddaughter, Addison Grace Colbert. I’m telling you, the January celebrities just keep on coming……