Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I am Tonto.

My brother was first-born and named after my grandfather.  I was the second and final boy, two years behind him, so I was relegated to sidekick status.
When my brother got Steve Rogers, the Bionic Man for his birthday, I got Bionic Bigfoot for mine.
He got Stretch Armstrong.  I got Stretch Monster.
He got Batman.  I got Robin.
And of course, one glorious Christmas morning, he received the Lone Ranger perched upon Silver.
I opened a box containing Tonto in full suede ensemble, sitting proudly on Scout.

I loved it.

I loved the characters that I became and the fact that their purpose was to make the main hero look good.  Being second fiddle appealed to something within me.  I relished being the man in the shadows while someone else basked in the spotlight.  I related best with the goon, the hired help, the anti-hero.  I did my part to save the day even if it meant I was the one to take the bullet or get tied in a knot or have his bionics removed from his chest.  It was all performed for the greater good.  It was my duty.

I am Tonto.


  1. As the oldest of three boys, I of course cannot identify with your Second Born experience. :)

    I of course was the Crown Prince. All was expected of me and I (usually) delivered.

    My second brother, Isaac, was the classic Middle Child.

    My youngest brother, John, was the Family Pet. He was my Father's favorite, much to my chagrin.

    My parents raised us a little differently though. I especially remember one Christmas when I was ten years old. I wanted an electric train. I got one but my Mother told us it was for "all you boys to share." What’s this “share” crap? I was the oldest thus I deserved to get the WHOLE train first. Instead I got the engine and coal car, Isaac got the two middle cars, and John got the caboose. Of course none of us were happy and we only ran that darn thing a few time before each of us took off with our own section of the train. I don't know what ever became of that poor little electric train. It was a Lionel too. At least I got the engine that blew smoke, an apt metaphor for my life since that Christmas in 1951.

    Thanks for giving me the subject of a future blog posting. :)