Tuesday, January 13, 2009
It is time. Have you been wondering about that bookshelf at the bottom of this blog with a lonely little picture book on it? Well, today is the day. I will tell you the story of Skippyjack BK.
Bryan LOVED to read. All kinds of books, most genres. But I am convinced his favorites were picture books for kids. Our family goes to the library every week where we check out gazillions of books. My hubby gets in on the fun by making it his special duty to find the funniest, zaniest, wackiest stories. Bryan would come up and lay on our floor and go through the "library basket". The kids would plead with him to read to them. And he'd barter with them--"I'll read if you walk on my back". He liked the massage their tiny feet provided. So he would read and they would walk. Quite a symbiotic relationship.
Anyway, Bob found this treasure: Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schuachner and Bryan came up and discovered it the basket. Now this is where it may get disappointing. You know what it is like when someone talks up a book and then you get your hands on it and you are let down? Well, I can never recapture the moment--I can never adequately describe Bryan's first encounter with the Siamese cat who wants to be a chihuahua! I can tell you what a fabulous story it is but you may read it an say--what was that all about? It isn't the story, I guess, it was Bryan's sheer delight in the story that is worth writing about.
But you weren't there--to see his big brown eyes light up, his huge smile spread across his face, his loud laugh that rumbled his belly! First, Bryan read it to himself and and laughed until there were tears streaming down his cheeks. At this point, our family hadn't realized what a treasure we had discovered. It just wasn't that fabulous when mom read it! But when Bryan tried out his Spanish accent on the kids and read each rhyming line and sang the little jingle songs and clapped--I kid you not--we were ALL rolling on the ground laughing and crying!
It has to be one of my favorite memories of my brother. His child-likeness, his zest for life, his sense of joy, his incredible ability to just be in that moment and take us with him to where ever the silly book touched him. I am so grateful for that picture in my mind. Of my brother laughing until he cried. Of my kid's just looking up to him with awe--he thinks this is funny too?
Bryan was a fan of Skippyjon: "my ears are too beeg for my head" and he called for days afterwards asking us to get a copy so he could take it to his work and woo his waitresses. We did and he did. Bryan wrote his own BK version of Skippyjon's song and sang it on my parent's voicemail. What I would give for that message! But my dad found the scrap of paper with his writing and today, I share it with you. I am sharing with you quintessential Bryan, who HE IS, distilled down into a few lines from his own pen:
"Oh I'm Skippyjack BK and I play all day.
When people see me they jump and say "Hooray!"
I jump and I bounce and I care not an ounce.
So come and have fun with me--NO DELAY!"
Bryan Klungreseter, Skippyjack BK, November 2007
(of course, it was meant to be sung with a Spanish accent complete with clapping!)
Posted by Reilly Fitzpatrick at 9:24 AM