My oldest brother, Orvis “T” Wade Jr., bears our dad’s name. My older brother Ken and my younger brother Kelvin’s names begin with the letter “K” like my mom, Katy. Until Sept. 14, 1970, however, I was the only one in my family with a name that began with “A,” Anthony.
So when my mom was pregnant with my youngest brother, she told me she would give him a name that began with an “A.” She picked Adrian; Adrian Scott Wade. While he probably would’ve switched to going by his middle name soon after the phenomenon of the “Rocky” franchise began anyway, we started calling him Scott long before that.
My mom would sometimes let me feed baby Scott and I would give him the nasty smushed-up peas and carrots and eat the delicious fruit baby food myself. To this day, Scott is not fond of vegetables.
When they got a little older, Kelvin and Scott shared a room and were best buddies. They formed a secret club called “The Bouncing Beanies.” It was so secret that 40 years later, I still don’t know what that means.
I would sometimes have to baby-sit them. Now, it was cool when they were playing with the Fisher Price Little People because they would make elaborate cities with the airport and train set and have what they called “all day rallies.” They would use their imaginations and play merrily while I caught up on my comic book reading.
Then the inevitable fight would start. Jim Cougar, Grandma and Spike the dog and the other Little People they’d named would suddenly change from toys to projectile weapons. To stop their civil wars, I would get them both mad at me so they had a common enemy.
Annoying both of them was simple, as I had studied at the feet of the master at fraternal annoyance: my brother Ken. Soon they would slam their bedroom door and tell me to keep out, and resume their playing. It worked every time.
Scott excelled at band and played the trombone at Tolenas Elementary, Grange Intermediate and Fairfield High School (he is the sole Falcon in a family of Indians). I now regret being enveloped in a cocoon of selfishness back then and not going to see him perform more.
I was the typical middle child, but never considered that Scott probably didn’t like always being babied – baby of the family or not. When we had a brutally painful family meeting in 1982 and our parents discussed their impending divorce, Scott, then 12, was dispatched to a friend’s house and knew nothing of the meeting until many years later.
Scott was the only one of us to go directly from high school to college – the now-closed Columbia Christian College in Oregon. He met Michelle Peterson, a lovely Canadian woman, there and they have been married since 1992. They have four wonderful children: Braden, Camden, Braelee and Carlee. They live in Saskatchewan and Scott loves it there. I tease him “aboot” his accent sometimes.
Scott was a minister for many years and when I was done acting out the Lost Son story in Luke 15 and went back to church, I was called “Scott’s brother.” He had moved to Canada many years before, but was still beloved at our church in Fairfield. A few years later, Scott came to visit, and when someone called him “Tony’s brother,” I pointed out the shift in perception and we laughed heartily.
In 2002, on a different visit, we had a rare treat as I had won the Daily Republic’s Worst Writing Contest with a made-up story about my brother and an ice cream cone. Scott posed with me for the accompanying photograph. Thus, the Canadian Wade brother got some media love from his hometown paper.
Scott and I keep in touch via the Internet and often crow (or commiserate) on the phone during Raiders or Lakers games.
I am so proud of my youngest brother. He is an inspiration to me to “bloom where you are planted.” Whether it be in Fairfield, Portland or the Great White North, he spreads love wherever he goes.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.