The true story, “True Brothers” first appeared as a syndicated story in the pages of the old Lincoln Park Journal, back in 1987.
Reflections of “Two Brothers”
By Richard Mabey Jr.
“Two Brothers” was a continuing saga, that I wrote, that appeared weekly in the pages of the old Lincoln Park Journal, back in 1987. It was the true story of my Grandpa, Watson Mabey and his brother, Earl Mabey, coming of age.
A picture of my Grandma and Grandpa Mabey when they were young.
Grandpa was a few years older than Great Uncle Earl. When the United States got involved in the First World War, Grandpa was already married. But, Earl was younger and was drafted into the U. S. Army. Long story short, sadly Earl was killed in battle in France.
“Two Brothers” was a regular feature of the old Lincoln Park Journal.
“Two Brothers” was a regular feature of the old Lincoln Park Journal for about a year. The continuing story got a lot of positive feedback from the paper’s readers. It was the springboard for the stage play, “Beyond the North Star.”
Today, I took a little time and went through my notes, which were the foundation for “Two Brothers.” The idea occurred to me rewrite the story into a book form. Most of the work is already done and it would take only a minimum amount of editing work to polish it up a bit.
Great Uncle Earl in his army uniform.
My Great Uncle Earl was born and raised in the old Mabey Homestead at the corner of Main Street and Mabey Lane. He never left Lincoln Park, which was commonly referred to as Beavertown, during the time that Great Uncle Earl grew up. That is to say, that he never left Lincoln Park until he was drafted. Then, after basic training, he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, where he died fighting for his country.
Great Uncle Earl standing beside his Indian motorcycle.
Great Uncle Earl loved to ride motorcycles. He had an Indian motorcycle that he would ride. My grandfather often told me what a good man that his brother was. I don’t think that my Grandpa ever really got over Earl being killed in World War I.
When I was 12 years old, for one year of my life my feet never touched the ground. I was in the fight of my life, battling a very serious attack of rheumatic fever. I was in and out of several long-stay hospital visits. During that time, Grandpa would often come to visit me in my bedroom.
Strangely enough, my bedroom was the very same bedroom that Grandpa shared with his brother, when they were growing up in Lincoln Park. Grandpa would tell me the stories of working on the old Morris Canal. He would tell me of the stories of the adventures that he and his brother had, in growing up. I cherished those stories that Grandpa told me. After Grandpa would leave, I would madly write down the stories that he told me that day in my notebook. Those stories, that Grandpa told me, were the basis for the saga of “Two Brothers.”
I wrote “Two Brothers” at my desk on my old faithful electric typewriter.
I wrote “Two Brothers” while I held down a full time job as the editor of an in-house newsletter for a medical supplies company. It was a very hectic time. It was 1987 and I would write the stories free hand and then type them up on my electric typewriter. It was just a different time then.
I’ve been giving serious thought to doing a rewrite of “Two Brothers” and then madly sending it out to various book publishers. You just never know.
I just found out today that an old school chum, John Alonge, had passed away about a year ago. It hit me hard. I’m getting old. A few of my old buddies from scouts, band and school, have passed away. The clock is ticking. You can’t stop time.
I know that I must dig deep within myself and tap into the sensitivity of Thomas Wolfe.
I know that I have to focus even more on my writing. I must find the fury of Hemingway, within myself. I must tap into the sensitivity of Thomas Wolfe. And, of course, contemplate upon the sheer determination of Earl Hamner Jr. I have got to remove the distractions from my life. I know, now more than ever, I must focus my thoughts and energies like a laser beam.
For truly, life is short. And I realize more and more, I’ve got to dedicate myself in a greater way to making greater strides as a writer. Life is short. We can’t stop the clock. Life is short.