Brian J. Sullivan

I was born in a small mid-western town in Wisconsin called Milwaukee. You may have heard of it—famous for its beer and cheese. It is located along the shores of Lake Michigan, 130 miles north of Chicago. Growing up was, for the most part, uneventful filled with work, work, and more work.

One of my first "real" jobs was helping someone on their paper route until I was old enough to get one of my own. I toiled many a harsh Wisconsin winter for a mere fifty cents a day. At Christmas time I would occasionally get a tip from some elderly newspaper subscriber who saw me toil through two feet of snow to put the paper between their doors. One time I even thought that I scored big time when I found several light blue Easter egg candies in the grass. You know the kind, the ones with the crunchy malted milk centers! Mmmm Mmmmm. I could not wait to get home and wash them off so I plop one into my mouth, and took one giant crunch down on it. But it was not hard and filled with the expected chocolate malted milk filling.  Instead at thick gooey liquid sprung forth, which I instantly spit out along with the accompanying dead baby bird. What a cruel joke to make Easter candy in colors and sizes of robin's eggs. And from that traumatic experience on I have never been able to eat another egg in my life. But maybe that’s not so bad since my cholesterol level is so low as to almost not register on the screening test.

One time, my mother even sent me to school on a day that the school was closed. I stayed pacing in front of the doors most of the day waiting for them to let me in until a nun came walking by and asked what I was doing. "Why, waiting for them to open the doors," I replied. After she readjusted her head covering which had almost slipped off from laughing so hard, she said, "This is vacation, the school is closed."

Sometime around the 5th grade, I was in a sex education class and began to learn about my body. That day after school I asked my mother where I came from. "Why little Brian, the stork brought you," was her reply. I stopped, thought about it for a minute, and then went back out to work. Later that day I cornered my grandmother in the garden and asked her where my mother had come from. "Why little Brian, the stork brought her," she replied. I stopped, thought about it for a moment, and then asked her where she came from. "Why little Brian, the stork brought me also," she said as she continued her work in the garden. So the best that I can tell, there has not been a normal birth in my family for three generations.