My older brother, Michael is very low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. Now and then, he would yell and bite his hand. I suppose he was frustrated about something when he did this. We never quite knew what frustrated him. When I was a kid, we used to go camping in the summer. Mom told me later, it was the only way we could have gone on vacation.

Once we went to see the Lost River. Dad always used to take pictures of the plaques that explained the attraction at which we were looking.

Mike, Jack and Little Brother at Lost River on rock on top of a plaque

Dad did love the outdoors, though. He expressed himself by taking panning shots of the horizon with his 8mm movie camera. You had to be there.

There are very few movies of us kids. The one I value the most shows my two brothers and me playing ring-around-the-rosie. When it was all-fall-down time, it looks like I jumped on Mike to make him fall down. It really looked like he was having fun. God, I wish I could remember it as if I were there rather than as a third person watching the home movie.

Mike on a rock

I remember that Michael used to walk down the stairs like my grandmother did when she got old. He would step down with one foot, then put his other foot on the same stair and repeat the process until he got all the way down.

I have a foggy memory of one incident with Michael on one of our camping trips. He was on a large, flat, slanted rock. I think he was trying to get down the same way he went down the stairs. He seemed a tentative. Maybe he was scared. I have no idea why I wasn’t helping him. I keep hoping that I find a picture to corroborate this recollection. Was this one of my dreams?

2 thoughts on “Camping

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      In terms we use today, my brother is very low functioning. He was diagnosed as a child as being profoundly retarded, not a term used very much today. So, he required quite a bit of attention from my parents. I don’t know if he understands much of anything, as he has never spoken. My parents along with others helped to start a school where kids like Mike could go. That was the extent of his socialization.

      Thank you for your interest.




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