Let us now praise famous men. Today it’s my brother’s turn as he turns 54 around Noon, EST. I’ve known Jim Tench Parsons all his life and I cannot speak greater praise of anyone than I do now for him. Jim Parsons is an avid ham radio operator – W4JTP – a walking encylopaedia when it comes to sports and/or beer, an amazing font of trivia, an amazing freelance writer, and a dyed-in-the wool fan of the Virginia Tech Hokies . He’s got three degrees from that fine institution and if you cut him, he will bleed burnt orange and Chicago maroon. Like his brother before him, he believes that The National Lampoon was the pinnacle of American literature and that the world ended – as we know it – when the Firesign  Theatre broke up.

But most of all, I want to tell of the great help and support he was during our late mother’s last months. No doubt he groaned inwardly whenever I asked “Do you have time for a chat?”, but he more or less cheerfully listened to my account of conditions at our mother’s house in Hopewell, gave advice, did research and was always ready to juggle his schedule so that we both had a respite from our familial duties. In short, I could not ask for better support from anyone.

I just wish that I was half the writer that he is.

Jim took more than his share of grief as a kid from his older brother and has yet to put arsenic in the bottle of single-malt that he bestows on me every Christmas. One or two of those bottles do look a bit dodgy, though. Nonetheless, he persevered though it all and I am – mostly – sorry for these, my misdoings.

I’m both glad and proud to be his brother and I wish him a very happy birthday and the prospect of many more to follow. His life partner, Bob the Cat, will no doubt agree and gift Jim a hair-ball or two in commemoration of this day.

Happy Birthday, JT!

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