GuyBeau
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“GuyBeau,” New Era, Apr. 1983, 26

My Family:
GuyBeau

When mother announced you were coming, I knew she was crazy-bonkers-looney. Look at it from my perspective. What in the world did I need with another brother? I already had four dribbling siblings to put up with.

Another brother?

Crazy!

Bonkers!

Looney!

Now, I’d never get that

Pendleton shirt I wanted or a

fiberglass-and-resin-coated

balsa monolith.

No surfing board for me.

Another brother.

Insane!

Why Tracy, the youngest of the Jones boys, was

already in kindergarten.

Mother was infant-free at last.

Why start all over again with babies?

You came anyway,

despite my cogent, lucid, and

insightful protests.

Rationality did not prevail.

The biology was already in motion.

I was 12 at the time.

A deacon.

And before long I was ordained

your babysitter,

while mother went to Dales Market

or Giacapuzzi Dairy

or Reseda II Ward Primary.

And that was way before Pampers and

Luvs.

I hated it—tending

toddler you.

Another brother.

What had I done to deserve such a harsh

judgment?

Somehow I managed to tolerate year one of your

existence.

But year two,

that’s when I came to understand the

devastation of

atomic warfare.

Every day I’d come home from high school

to find my room

nuked.

A tornado was a birthday party

compared to what you did to my very personal and

very teenage-important things.

I’m talking about you,

Intradomicile Ballistic Missile expert,

Guy Alexander Jones.

Soon life became complicated

for me

entangled with permanent relationships and

Shock—children of my own.

You were still my brother

in a statistical sense of the word.

Of course, you were at all the Jones family

functions and get-togethers.

Even went to Niagara Falls with us one year.

But you were

just another brother.

Until last winter

when you came to live with us

up in Provo town.

I remember the first day

when you, GuyBeau, came to stay.

We trekked on down to D.I. just above Provo River

and rummaged through the salvaged bedding.

The boxspring was a steal at 8 dollars

and the mattress a real D.I. bargain at 55,

But at least you had a bed of your own.

For four months you became

part of the Utah Joneses,

part of us,

living under the same asphalt shingles

sharing the same forced-air heating

watching the same fuzzy TV.

Sometimes we’d talk late into the night

about the categorical differences between

Mod and New Wave and Prep.

(You, of course, always wore topsiders with no socks.)

And sometimes we discussed

what a tremendous spiritual experience it was

taking an exam in the

Harold B. Lee Testing Center.

When you weren’t talking with us

or sleeping

or protecting Cosmo, our cat, from the kids,

you ate

a wholesome and nutritious diet of

pork’n beans and chocolate chip cookies for

dinner

and blended eggs (not fork-whipped mind you) but

blended eggs for breakfast and …

MALTS.

Malts for lunch and

malts for any time in between and

malts for when Connie’s letters didn’t come and

malts for those times the Harold B. Lee Testing

Center wasn’t a spiritual experience.

Justin and Nathan and Kristen loved having you

around.

You were the greatest Big Kid ever

to come play at our house.

You did legos and tinkertoys,

colored Easter eggs and showed the boys

how to play soccer.

You subbed for me when I was tied up

making ends meet and

meeting the ends of professorial demands.

And every Monday you took more than your

part in our FHEs.

April 23 Winter Semester ended.

You had to go home to make money for a mission.

We watched from the big glass window

in the converted garage as you pulled away to go

back to California.

By April 24th I knew something was wrong.

Luella noticed it too.

Our family was somehow smaller

less whole

in your absence.

That’s when I knew you would no longer be

just another brother.

Illustrated by Richard Hull