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Brother Bud…Ninety-Seven Pound Weakling

Story ID:8414
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Brother Bud…Ninety-Seven Pound Weakling
By Chuck Dishno

I have written quite a lot about my oldest brother, Frank (Shad), but not too much about my second brother, Bud. They were both half-brothers, Shad being 12 years older than me and Bud 10 years. Both were great brothers and doted on me. Shad was the fun loving one who never let a cigarette, bottle of beer or a girl go to waste. Bud was the shy one and always looked up to his big brother to take care of him.

I’m not saying that Bud was a wimp but he was a skinny blonde little kid, while Shad was tanned and muscular, the kind that girls went fore and he had plenty. Bud, on the other hand seemed to always in Shad’s shadow. Bud was the intellectual one and studied hard in school as were evidenced by their difference in grades. Shad was the sportsman and lived for fishing and hunting season and would eat anything he caught or killed. I never saw Bud pickup a fishing poll or shotgun or even play marbles. Bud’s loves were building stick model airplanes and music.

Both my brothers were very musical. Shad excelled on the piano, base fiddle and violin, while Bud preferred the trombone and guitar. He also had a beautiful singing voice. We had a corner in the house that looked like an explosion in a music store.

My grandmother, Etta and my mom were very musical, unfortunately, I didn’t inherit any of their talent but I did inherit a love of classical music.

I know that Bud wanted to be more like his older brother but seemed to be resigned to the fact that he would always be the scrawny one who would never change. I know this bothered him until one day when he was about 14 he saw an advertisement on the back of a comic book. It was a Charles Atlas series of pictures depicting a skinny kid on a beach and having sand kicked in his face by a big bruiser while being perused by a horde of girls. The ad asked, “Do you always want to be a 97lb weakling, having guys kicking sand in your face and making off with the beautiful girls? If you would like to change signup for a Charles Atlas course and become muscle bound and physically fit.” The ad boasted that his coarse could make you a real man in only 15 minutes a day. He stressed “Dynamic Tension” by pitting one muscle against the other and proper eating.

This all appealed to Bud, as he was desperate to improve his physical appearance. Bud had a paper route and saved all his spare cash to sign up for a course that would change his life forever. He didn’t tell anyone about his decision, not even our mom, and as soon as the first of many instructions arrived he diligently started right in. It came with a huge poster of Charles Atlas in his classic muscular pose wearing only a 1-piece leopard patter swimsuit. Bud taped this poster on the inside of his closet door.

I can only imagine the shock when mom opened the door to put away some clothes and being confronted by a life-size, almost naked body builder. Bud finally had to fess up to his new plan to do a makeover on his pitifully skinny body. He could be seen daily standing in front of the door wistfully looking at his ultimate goal and comparing his progress.

Bud would go thru his routine several times a day and we all agreed it was taking effect, not only by his physical appearance but also in his attitude about himself. He would stand in front of a full-length mirror in mom’s bedroom in the classic Atlas pose and admire the progress he was making. I will admit he did look better. He asked Shad to try the program too but Shad he would just as soon get his exercise hunting, fishing and his nightly romp with some local girl.

The exercises included, the standard ones like jumping jacks, curl-ups, push-ups and weight lifting but most importantly it stressed “dynamic tension”. Bud would put his hands together and push hard for about 2 minutes. He would then repeat this by pushing against a wall or something immovable. All together he worked at least 2 hours a day that we know of and it showed.

The other thing that the Atlas course taught was to eat right. He named the proper food groups, which gave our Mom some extra work as she was used to cooking for the “meat and tater” diners. One thing that Charles Atlas stressed was to chew each mouthful of food 15 times. Bud about drove us nuts with his constantly chewing and one day, Pop said, “Bud what the hell are you doing.” Bud replied with a slight mumble, “I’m counting.” Pop laughed and said, “ I don’t think that includes chewing your milk.” We all got a kick out of this but Bud just kept on chewing.

Atlas also made a list of the things were harmful and how many years they would take off your life. I don’t remember how many years but they included, smoking, drinking, red meat, pancakes, which Bud insisted were made with wallpaper paste, and many more items.

Bud started to total up all the things that would shorten Shad’s life, when Shad stopped him and said, “Bud, shut up, you have me 15 years in the hole already.” I don’t remember if this included late night rendezvous with the fairer sex or not but I’m sure it did.

Both my brothers are gone now and are probably residing in Heaven.
Shad died at 61 still indulging in his old habits of smoking, drinking and eating the wrong food, but he married and had to give up chasing, or being chased by young girls. I guess his minus years that Bud had predicted had caught up with him.
Bud lived well into his 80’s, still the picture of perfect health and good living.

I have this vision of them passing thru the Pearly Gates…St Peter frisking Shad for cigarettes and beer.

Bud probably did a couple of chin-ups on the gate frame and gave St. Peter a demonstration of “dynamic tension” all the while eyeing the Angels with the sexist wings.

As for me, I loved my brothers and never tried to emulate brother Bud. One look at you and me can see I never followed a rigid exercise regime and I ate all the red meat and things that were bad for you.

Shad taught me not to overindulge in alcohol and I never smoked a cigarette. As for chasing or being chased by the ladies, I will leave that up to your imagination.

As for who had the best life, I will leave that up to my Creator. Hopefully I will join Bud and Shad in the Great Beyond.