Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Little Brothers

The Tipton Brothers - Ron, Isaac and John December 1985

I am the oldest of three brothers.  I have no sisters.  

I was born in 1941.  My second brother Isaac, Jr. was born in 1943.  He was named after my father because my Mother said she hated the name "Isaac".  Also, Isaac is blonde as was our father.

My brother Isaac, Jr. - 1945
Isaac W. Tipton, Jr. Army MP Germany

My third brother John was born in 1944. He was named after our uncle John Hannum Tipton who our family thought died in World War II (he was a paratropper who parachuted into Belgium).  After the war we discovered our uncle John was a prisoner of war in a German prisoner of war camp in an Austrian castle.
My Uncle John H. Tipton (on right) - 1943

My brother John Tipton - ironically he spent his Army years also in Germany as a driver
Growing up my brothers were best buddies with each other, I was more distant.  I'm not sure if it was because I was gay and felt different or just because I was older.

Me (in the middle) pushing the point in on my brother John's goofy hat.  I remember doing this!  - 1947
I had my own set of friends away from my brothers.  Even though we were only a year apart in age I felt much older.

Of course we had our "differences" growing up. Mainly because both of them resisted my direction as the Older Brother. 

Proof positive that Big Brother Ron is still giving directions to his "little" brothers - 2010
There was a time when I was the biggest brother in not only age but size.  That distinction soon disappeared when I didn't take the second helpings of Mom's biscuits and gravy.

Me (middle) enjoying a Dixie Cup after weeding our eight rows of Pop's corn - 1951
At some point I receded into the smallest Tipton man in our family.  

Me (in the middle) with my brother John and our father Isaac, Sr.- 1962
These days I have shrunk to 6'3".  My youngest brother John is 6'6" and Isaac is 6'5".  Both weigh just under 300 lbs.  I weigh 170 lbs.  

Me and my "little" brothers - 2010

Me (left) with Isaac and John - 1980
One thing my brothers and I had in common though, we all loved our Mom.  She lived for "her boys."  Of course Pop came first but she did everything for us.  We are the men we are today because of her positive and caring influence. Below is a photo of the last time we were all together.  It was taken in 2005 at the Exton Mall.  I arranged to have a professional photo taken of us as a family, something I never got a chance to do while my father was alive and which I regret to this day.  This photo is a collage of photos taken of us while we waited at the J.C. Penney photo studio.  Our Mom was our best friend.

September 2005
Mom with "her boys" - 2005
Brothers John, Ron and Isaac - 2005
Isaac, John and me at the French Creek State Park - 1955 - the day the Andrea Doria sunk (I remember where I was)

Brothers John and Isaac with kittens - Isaac has a cat today - check out the bare feet - we never wore shoes in the summer time - 1955
Pop and Mom and me (middle) with my brothers John (left) and Isaac (right) - 1946
These days I don't get to see my brothers often.  John lives in Greenville, South Carolina.  He still works and is a care pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville.
 Isaac lives in the family home in Downingtown, Pennsylvania with his cat Ditto.  

Isaac and me at the family home in Downingtown, PA - 2012
Me with my brothers on my back deck in 2010.  Guess whose in charge?  So obvious. 


Amanda said...

That is one very good looking family!

Anonymous said...

What a grand tribute to your brothers. I am close to my youngest brother, and less so with the in between one. But we are all best friends. I love them to death (as well as my sister)!

Peace <3

Ron said...

Thanks Nadege! I'll tell my brothers. They'll like that.


Ron said...


Like all brothers we have had our "issues." However, at this time of our life, thank goodness, we're all on good terms. We promised our Mom that we wouldn't fight when she left. We've kept our promise.


Paul Forster said...

Really special to have a photo with your mum. It was interesting to follow the changes the years brought. It would appear you changed the least. Good on you for your self control when seconds were offered.

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