Sunday, November 6, 2011

Storytelling Sunday: The Summer of 1984

In the summer of 1984, Los Angeles, California hosted the Olympic Games.  It was also the summer after I graduated from law school and was set to take the Bar Exam, a three day pencil and paper marathon which law school graduates must pass before they can actually practice law.  I knew that fate had consigned me to spend a couple of hours each day in a "bar exam review course" learning precisely what I would need to know to pass the exam and then lots of other hours studying and taking practice exams.  I didn't know that my fate also include a summer filled with fun.
I suppose I could have lived with my parents and taken the review course somewhere near their home. But, for some reason which remains blurry in my memory, I decided to go live with my brother Petey and take the review course near him.
Perhaps the reason was because Petey had gotten me a job in his law firm.  He worked in one of the most prestigious law firms in Los Angeles - not as an attorney, but in their mail room. When he learned I was thinking about getting a job, he made several copies of my resume (which was good but not really impressive enough to work at Munger, Tolles and Rickerhauser) and put one in each attorney's mail that day with a note that I was studying for the bar but was interested in working a bit that summer.  One of the partners hired me to do some document review.  To this day, when people see that I worked at that firm and then look at the rest of my resume, they sometimes ask how I managed to get that job. I reply with a sly smile, "I knew someone who worked in the mailroom."  They don't believe me, but that's okay. 
Petey's apartment was a rocking place, located one block from the beach.  He and his friend John originally rented the two bedroom apartment, but when it got to be too expensive, they took in two more roommates to help share the rent. Shortly thereafter, they took in another renter, who was to sleep on the couch - he was an athlete in town to watch several of his friends compete in the Olympics.  Which meant that my "official" bed was now a mattress under the stairwell.  But that was okay.
Because it was a summer jam-packed with work and studying and countless hours of awesomeness. I remember the night before July 4 when we stayed up late, marinating ribs for the next day's BBQ, playing poker and drinking beer.  And I'm pretty sure I won at poker that night! I also remember making chili for a chili contest and hours spent playing on the beach.  Not to mention all the good times hanging out in the apartment, watching TV, talking politics and being part of a really vibrant life.  I was a bit worried that I wouldn't pass the bar exam, what with all this living going on. But, I passed the exam, and that turned out okay, too.
Because each week day morning, Petey and I would climb into his little white pickup truck and drive to the office.  I'd do some work, have lunch, often take a nap (I didn't bill those hours), do a bit more work, and then Petey would drive me across town to my bar review class.  He'd come back and pick me up three hours later.  Four nights a week, he'd add another two hour's worth of driving to his busy day just to help out his little sister.  Because that's the kind of guy my big brother Petey is . . . salt-of-the-earth, kind, helpful and giving. 
My big brother was born on November 13, 1959.  If you look on the calendar, you'll see he was born on Friday the 13th, which is supposed to be unlucky.  For all of us who know Pete, we know the opposite is true.  We are very lucky to have him in our lives. His birthday is next Sunday, and I dedicate this Storytelling Sunday to him.  Happy Birthday Petey! Thanks for everything. 
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Today I am grateful for yoga, especially the new class added at my local exercise studio.

15 comments:

Mommy2CVC said...

Rinda you made me cry because I'm the lucky one that got to marry that guy! I'll make sure he sees this! And he is that awesome still!

debs14 said...

What a great brother - sounds like you had, AND still have, a great relationship!

Alison said...

Sounds like a perfect summer..and a pretty great brother!
Alison xx

Jimjams said...

Sounds like the perfect brother ... and a pretty great summer - glad you found the balance between "life" and study as that's not easy when you're young.

Sian said...

Happy Birthday Petey! I love his ingenuity in finding you a job - that's a brother worth hanging on to! I remember that summer well - it was just before I started my last year at school and all those teenager things I was up to are so clear in my mind; and there is something very cool about finding out what you were doing at the same time.

TTO has been chosen to take part in the inter school Bar Mock Trial Competition here - wish him luck!

And thank you for joining in. I'm so glad you made it :)

Mel said...

What a great sounding brother. I always wished I had a brother!

heart.hearth.home. said...

That's a great story and a wonderful summer memory. Lucky you to have such a fantastic brother and well done for showing that you can work and play and still be a success. Thank you for sharing. Irene

Mary B said...

What a lovely story and what a fantastic brother

Ginger said...

A beautiful story Rinda! What a great brother and a big Happy Birthday to him!

Amy said...

I remember 1984 well because of the Olympics. I was in grade six and during that time Dad drove me to school each day so I could see some of the events earlier in the morning - I was late each morning!

Happy Birthday Petey!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful post to dedicate to your brother and fun memories of a busy summer!

Cheri said...

I grew up the oldest in the family, with four YOUNGER brothers. I always wanted a big brother to look out for me... sounds like yours was the best! And the summer of 1984 had me finishing up several dead-end part-time jobs and preparing to enter law school!

furrypig said...

I could picture all your adventures what a great time... your brother sounds fab I wish him a great birthday for next week xxx

Becky said...

What a wonderful brother you have - this story really made me smile. It sounds like you had such a wonderful summer and you have such happy memories of it. Happy birthday to your brother for the 13th :)

Irene said...

I love reading blogs about your life experiences. Even though we are cousins and live miles and miles from each other, I feel a close connection reading your blog. Happy Birthday to Pete - by the way - my younger brother Ruben also has a birthday this month. Thank God for Brothers. I was blessed with six.