The lucky charm / El amuleto de la suerte

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

THE KID BROTHER BELIEVES IN lucky charms. (More power to him.) He carried a rabbit’s foot in his pocket for a while, until he learned it came from an actual rabbit. He had a brass horse shoe over his bedroom door when he lived with my parents. But his best lucky charm is the horseshoe I recently wrote about (click here), made of pipestone from the Pipestone National Monument near Pipestone, Minnesota.

Since 1937, only people of Native American ancestry are allowed to quarry the pipestone. (It took a long time for them to obtain that agreement.) The stone has been used for centuries by Plains Indians to make ceremonial pipes and the quarry was always neutral territory. So, that’s the history lesson for today. The rest is really all about The Kid Brother.

During a trip to the Midwest in 1989, we began in Pipestone where SG’s parents had lived for a number of years before they retired. We then drove together to Pierre, South Dakota, for an entire family gathering. From there, we all went to the Black Hills of South Dakota where we saw Mount Rushmore among other beautiful scenery.

A couple of days after Alice (SG’s mother) gave The Kid Brother his good-luck pipestone horseshoe is when Jim (SG’s father) took us fishing in Pierre and KB caught a fish. He has worn and has believed in the horseshoe ever since, even after it broke and Alice mailed him a new one.

I found a photo of us fishing that day (well, I’m not in it, since I took it). Jim was content. He lived to fish. SG and I were bored. I think SG can be seen reading a book in that photo. The Kid Brother was waiting for his good-luck charm to work. I found another photo from that evening of The Kid Brother and his horseshoe.

While looking for a horseshoe photo, I found the earliest existing photo of KB, and a letter he wrote when we lived in San Francisco. A letter he very clearly wrote all by himself and in which he mentioned Alice (who must have sent him a card). The letter also included football scores and standings, bowling scores, and — in case you’re wondering — tommony means tomorrow. (Although, sometimes, tomomy meant tomorrow.) And he wrote SG’s last name instead of his first. Oh, and he got a new Zenith TV set. It all makes me smile.

I have to be sure to show The Kid Brother that baby picture. I’ll tell him he had his hands up because he was under arrest. I can imagine the response.


EL HERMANITO CREE EN LOS amuletos de buena suerte. (Más poder para él). Llevó una pata de conejo en el bolsillo durante un tiempo, hasta que supo que venía de un conejo real. Tenía una herradura de bronce sobre la puerta de su dormitorio cuando vivía con los padres. Pero su mejor amuleto de la suerte es la herradura sobre la que escribí recientemente (haz clic aquí), hecha de Pipestone [piedra de pipa de la paz] del Monumento Nacional Pipestone cerca de Pipestone, Minnesota.

Desde 1937, solo las personas de ascendencia nativa americana pueden extraer la piedra de tubería. (Les tomó mucho tiempo obtener ese acuerdo.) La piedra ha sido utilizada durante siglos por los indios de las llanuras para hacer pipas ceremoniales y la cantera siempre fue un territorio neutral. Entonces, esa es la lección de historia de hoy. El resto se trata realmente de El Hermanito.

Durante un viaje al Medio Oeste en 1989, comenzamos en Pipestone, donde los padres de SG habían vivido durante varios años antes de jubilarse. Luego fuimos juntos a Pierre, Dakota del Sur, para una reunión familiar completa. Desde allí, todos fuimos a Black Hills de Dakota del Sur, donde vimos el Monte Rushmore entre otros hermosos paisajes.

Unos días después de que Alice (la madre de SG) le diera a El Hermanito su herradura de piedra de la buena suerte, fue cuando Jim (el padre de SG) nos llevó a pescar en Pierre y El Hermanito pescó un pez. Él ha usado y ha creído en la herradura desde entonces, incluso después de que se rompió y Alice le envió por correo una nueva.

Encontré una foto de nosotros pescando ese día (bueno, no estoy en ella, porque la tomé). Jim estaba contento. Vivió para pescar. SG y yo estábamos aburridos. Creo que se puede ver a SG leyendo un libro en esa foto. El Hermanito estaba esperando que su amuleto de la buena suerte funcionara. Encontré otra foto de esa noche de El Hermanito y su herradura.

Mientras buscaba una foto de herradura, encontré la foto más antigua de El Hermanito y una carta que escribió en 1999 cuando vivíamos en San Francisco. Una carta que claramente escribió él solo y en la que mencionaba a Alice. La carta también incluía puntajes y posiciones de fútbol, ​​puntajes de bolos y, en caso de que se lo pregunte, “tommony” significa “tomorrow” [mañana]. (Aunque, a veces, “tomomy” significaba “tomorrow” [mañana]). Y escribió el apellido de SG en lugar del primero nombre. Ah, y se compró un nuevo televisor Zenith. Todo me hace sonreír.

Tengo que asegurarme de mostrarle El Hermanita esa foto de bebé. Le diré que tenía las manos en alto porque estaba detenido. Puedo imaginar la respuesta.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “The lucky charm / El amuleto de la suerte”

  1. You could tell him he looks like he’s performing his own good luck horseshoe in his baby photo, too.

    Love his letter. Reminds me of reading Faulkner. Stream of consciousness. 🙂

    1. Mary:
      I used to love receiving his letters and making sense of them. When he lived with my parents, my mother would print a letter for him and he’d copy it. It wasn’t the same… and you could hear her talking.

    1. Debra:
      He’ll laugh and then say something like “Hey, cut it out. I didn’t do nothin, wise guy.”

    1. Bob:
      I might share others of his letters. There weren’t many, but I saved several. Really sweet.

  2. Again, it’s lovely to hear about Jerry’s parents 🙂
    Ohhhh my goodness, do tell us what Chuck says when you tell him he is under arrest in that baby picture! Ha!

    1. Judy C:
      His parents were so kind to me and my family. Alice wrote to both my mother and Chuck and sent them cards regularly. And the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  3. Three men (don’t forget the photographer!) in a boat. Had Chuck fished before this trip? SG came prepared! The photo captures it all.

    1. Wilma:
      Although my father was an avid fisherman with friends and charters, he never took Chuck and only took me once. So, that was his first time and he absolutely loved it.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      He hasn’t written for a while, but he always signed everything “Love Charles Block.” It’s a common thing for kids to do when they learn to sign their names. He’s never outgrown it, and it makes me smile every time.

    1. David:
      I agree about saving letters. We have many. SG had from his grandmothers, which are wonderful. In a depressive frenzy right after Dale died, I threw away most of hers. I’ve regretted it ever since. I think I have one, and she wrote sometimes more than once a week from the day I went away to university.

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