Today I'd like to introduce you to my brother Daniel (or Dan, or Danny).
Dan is the second oldest in the family, and the oldest boy. As a little guy he was very concerned with fairness and with people being kind to each other. One day I came home from kindergarten crying because some other kids in my class had been mean to me, and little Danny -- probably all of three years old at the time -- was all ready to run down the street to the school, find the mean kids and beat them up because they'd hurt his sister's feelings.
Dan is the kind of person whose mood is infectious. As a teenager, when he came into the house upset over something, you could feel the cloud entering with him even before you saw or heard him. Likewise, Dan's sense of humor is offbeat, naughty, hilarious and spot-on. He can make people laugh so hard they cry; I suspect he'd make a successful stand-up comic.
Dan can sell a story like no other. In high school he had most of the kids believing he was Polynesian -- he even made up a fictitious island language on the spot, the better to cement his story. For years afterward there were kids in his graduating class -- even some actual Polynesian kids -- who believed Dan was from the islands.
Dan served an LDS mission to Norway in the early 1990s (this picture is from that era); he is one of three of my siblings to serve a full-time mission. There is a small town called Hell within the Norwegian mission boundaries, so Dan and one of his mission companions can honestly say they went to Hell and back together. He had a number of interesting mission experiences, including sampling his first reindeer roast, consuming his body weight in all-you-can-eat pizza with sliced-up hot dogs on it (?), and having a girl answer the door naked in an attempt to shock the missionaries. Little did she know Eldste Dan is fearless.
Many of us dabbled in music, whether it was piano, violin, drums, flute or bagpipes (yes, really), but only Dan made music his focus and his passion. He played the trombone in band and orchestra all through high school and in college, and provided the brass backup in a couple of local bands. He also loves to listen to music, and has a good singing voice -- good enough that he won a ship-wide singing competition on a cruise several years ago (and got mobbed by groupies in the elevators).
Dan is a good daddy. He and his wife have two children, a boy and a girl, and Dan loves them to pieces. In this way he is very much like his own father, who adored his kids and enjoyed spending time goofing off with them.
Yep, Dan is a pretty awesome guy and an amazing brother. I love you, Dan.