Canku Ota


(Many Paths)


An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 10, 2001 - Issue 29



Lessons From a Little Brother to Big Artist or Well, Whatever


by John Potter Billings Gazette

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was a big brother. And I still carry the emotional scars.

See, when I was growing up, I had two little sisters, which explains much of the dementia exhibited in my adult years. No young man of 13 or 14 years, full of testosterone (and the desire for adventure inherent in that condition) should be stuck at home fixing formula and handling diapers laden with enough radioactive material to be considered a federal Superfund site.

That was a warm feeling I could’ve lived without.

And, despite my best efforts, I obviously failed as a big brother — both sisters grew up and now consistently vote Republican.

But yesterday, I got the chance to redeem myself as a big brother, through the Big Brothers and Sisters “Big for a Day” event.

Yes, I was big for a day, which did wonders for my desire for adventure, but today I’m back to my normal size.

While you’re getting your minds out of the gutter, I’ll explain that the “Big for a Day” event paired “ready-to-be-matched” children with local celebrities, leaders, and one sleazy two-bit newspaper artist.

No, not Ed Kemmick — me.

Kids were paired off with folks like Billings Mayor Chuck Tooley, Police Chief Ron Tussing, Judge Russell Fagg, RMC Athletic Director Terry Corey, United Way Executive Director Carol Burton and B104 radio personality Roy Brown.

My “little brother” Zach and I immediately recognized that we had a lot in common. We both love Cocoa Puffs and spiders, but not in the same bowl and not necessarily with milk. We both love to draw and don’t make much money at it.

We both get real nervous around girls.

Unlike me, however, Zach has killer good looks though, and even at 7 years of age, he is a total CHICK MAGNET. Parading through the newsroom in his Cub Scouts shirt, it appears he already knows that girls go nuts for a guy in uniform.

I could learn a lot from this guy.

As a perspiring artist, I asked Zach to give me a few lessons. He offered to start the cartoon for today’s column, and then he had me finish it under his watchful, scrutinizing eye.

And the result?

Ed Kemmick, be afraid. Be very afraid.

I learned a lot from my “little brother,” Zach, in the short time that I spent with him, aside from the fact that we share the same level of maturity.

I learned that there a lot of kids out there in need, and that Big Brothers and Sisters of Yellowstone County can always use volunteers to address those needs.

Consider being someone’s Big Brother or Big Bister. Give them a call.

You’ll get that warm feeling from having made a difference in someone’s life, without ever going anywhere near my little sisters’ diapers.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Resource Guide




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