Wherever the Road Leads

My Brother, Ian

Going Back In Time

This week started out getting reacquainted with a grade schoolmate from the old neighborhood in Ottawa, who is a much better historian than I have been. She was able to provide the school picture of my brother Ian’s Grade Five Class of 1964/65, at Fisher heights Public School in Ottawa. I was surprised to learn that class pictures were taken back then. My brother, Ian, is in the bottom right. His fellow classmate was Kim Joyce, bottom left, another one sadly missed.

It was a surprise, indeed a gift, to see this picture. My brother, Ian, died in a maritime accident May 2nd, 1977, at age 22. (See here.) As a family, we weren’t big on pictures. My dad had a movie camera when those were the rage and the movies are now long gone. He took slides when they were the rage, those also are long gone. So to see Ian again after all these years, especially at an age hat I have never really remembered him, it is a real thrill and indeed a gift. Thank you Gail Carroll.

What struck me was that he was a quite a good-looking kid. I had always considered that the handsome gene had been passed directly from my father to me. Obviously there were enough handsome genes to go around, he said ever so modestly.

Another surprise came a day or so later when I was helping my mother downsize as she will soon be transitioning from Assisted Living to a Nursing Home. I had no idea that she had kept these from all those years ago… our report cards from the same grade school – Fisher Heights Public School – as is Ian’s class picture.

Again a shock. The little snot inherited the lion’s share of the intelligence gene, apparently. Here are our report cards from 1965. Ian showed up, fooled around and got good grades. I showed up, fooled around and barely passed.

The expression is so true that youth is wasted on the young. I’d love to have a free education today. I’d get nineties because I’d be interested. Well, and mature. I didn’t turn twenty-one until I was forty.

I’m guessing that this picture was taken on the same day as Ian appears to be wearing the same clothes. Or it could be that we were so poor, those were the only clothes we owned.


Ten years later, August 16th, 1975, this is what we looked like.



Yes, there was a woman involved.



For a while, Mrs. Darlene McBrearty. The biggest regret of my life is that I was such an immature ass to such a sweet young lady. That is so very sad.


It’s also so very sad about Ian. Sometimes I think that it would be nice to have a brother.

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  1. elaine taylor  August 21, 2019

    This is a very nice tribute to Ian and thank you for the Kim Joyce mention as well Gordon…. It is so awesome how FB and our group ( thank you Vaughn) has helped recover these memories.. I hope all is well with your Mom and her move goes well . You are correct about the handsome gene for both of you and the intelligence gene reared it’s head once you had a focus Writing , is one for sure my friend and thank you to Gail Carroll for the photos .


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