Mea Culpa, Holly Jones

The really bad part about apologizing for screwing up is usually just the first bite; after that, the rest goes down pretty easy.

Chew.  Gulp.  Aaaah.

My sister Holly Allison was born on New Year’s Eve, and was greeted with joy by my father, who got a tax deduction out of it.  The boys were less than thrilled, because she meant 3 girls against 2 boys.  That it got worse later took some of the sting out.

But Allison was often in the wrong place at the wrong time.  She’s right in the middle of the girls, number 3 of 5, with the brilliant Elizabeth and social maven Melanie ahead of her and the perfect Catherine and cute baby Diana behind her.  She sings very well, but when Catherine arrived in high school she made it into the top group and her older sister Allison was cut.  She is thin and tall and beautiful, but not as thin as one sister or as tall as another.  She was born on quite a big holiday, which always makes it hard (I know this a bit from personal experience) to get focused on.  She talked less than most of the rest of us (which is still plenty), so it took a bit before we realized that she was more observant than we were, and that when she talked, she said excellent things.

I think we get it now.

Allison was not really a person when I left home, so I can’t say that I knew her well before she grew up.  She was only 10 when went off to college, and when I made drive-by visits after that she was usually busy.  I spent a little time with her before I left on my mission the summer of ’89, and some more when I got back afterward, though by then I was getting married, and we didn’t hang out.  We never hung out.

Fast forward to the digital age.  Like most of my younger siblings, she gets the ‘net more than I do, but both of us, primarily among all of us, get the part where the ‘net makes winners out of those that can write.  I heard a speech by Lynne Truss, the writer of the most excellent Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, about the decline of English and specifically English grammar.  In this speech she outlined the destruction of punctuation and grammar, which occurred because in the 1960s, it was quite generally accepted that most communication henceforth would be by radio and TV, and spoken language has no need of punctuation, unless you are Victor Borge.

Unfortunately for this crowd and those educated by them, the Internet came along and all of a sudden the written word is roughly ten million times more important than it ever was before.  It was a leap forward for writers absolutely on par with Guttenberg.

And just like that, my shy sister Allison is a writer.  A really good one, whose stuff is a joy to read.  She wrote a novel.  A whole novel, all the pages.  I wrote one myself once, and hers is to mine as Big Ben is to a wristwatch.  Her blog, Alison Wonderland, is one of the only things I read every single day, no matter what.  When we went to Blanding for the Jones 100th Reunion, it was Allison I spent the day with, drifting down the San Juan river.  We never run out of things to talk about.  NOW we hang out.  I love it.  She’s become one of the best, and most interesting, people in the world.  NOW when she makes her wry observations, EVERYONE can tell how brilliant she is.

How cool that she should be my sister.

Happy late Birthday, Al.

6 Responses to “Mea Culpa, Holly Jones”

  • Alison Wonderland says:

    Hehehehe! really, you shouldn’t have. No really… Oh who am I kidding? This is awesome! You’re the best! I’m sending all my friends.

  • diana banana says:

    you have cemented your place as the eugooglizer (zoolander reference) for everyone in the fam.

  • Annie Valentine says:

    You are a very very cool brother.

  • Minuteman says:

    I have very, very cool sisters, and that makes it easy.


  • LisAway says:

    Oh! You’re Allison’s brother! I came over to your blog a few days ago because I loved your comment on her Baring it All post, and was completely scared off by the blog description.

    Thanks for giving us a little glimpse into your sister. She’s a great blogging friend and now we know that it’s not necessarily just a show. :)

    Excellent post.

  • Chris says:

    Yeah, you know, once upon a time this blog was mostly about mortgage stuff, but now I post all that over on mortgageblogger and this one is all other things I just like to write about.

    Welcome aboard.

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