I have the coolest brother. Period.

Don’t you love him already?

My brother Tim is just the coolest brother a little sister could ask for. I’ve been wanting to write about him for awhile, to share the amazingness of The Tim through the years.

First, a picture of us Wee Kleins with Kitt-ehs … playing in our grandmother Winnie’s kitchen in Wilmington, DE circa 1972. That’s Tim on the left (eldest), our sister Marjorie (who died unexpectedly in her sleep in 1988 — more on her to come) and I am on the right (youngest). Aren’t we just the cutest?  😉

Baby Tim

 

Tim and I were not very close in our childhood years, and that seems a pity to have all those years under one roof without more memories of time spent together. Nevertheless, during those years, Tim heavily influenced my taste in music. These were the 70s, and Tim had FANTASTIC taste in music. To this day I know almost every word to many songs by Queen, Heart, Pink Floyd, E.L.O., Yes, David Bowie, the entire range of the Beatles … I could go on and on. During my college years, he used to make me mix tapes.  The first one was titled T.A.P.E. (Timothy’s All-Purpose Entertainment). I got T.A.P.E.  T.O.O. (The Other One); T.A.P.E.  T.H.R.E.E. (This Has Recordings Eclectic & Euphonious); and T.A.P.E.  F.O.U.R. (Full of Unbeatable Recordings).  To this day I am *heartbroken* to have lost those tapes.

When I was accepted to culinary school, he sent me this homemade card with a note inside congratulating me, with the sentiment “The past is prelude.”

Tim

Tim was notorious in our family for finding one-frame cartoons like this one and glueing them to manila file-folders, to create homemade cards.  I got a mix tape, then, too — with songs about Hotels, Restaurants and Food … including Billy Joel’s “Italian Restaurant,” Don Henly’s “Sunset Grill,” the Beatles “Savoy Truffle” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” and more.  Wonderfully creative!

He was the type who would leave little messages for you to find months in the future.  For instance, our mother always hung a 12-month wall calendar in our kitchen. Who knows when it would have occurred to Tim to write this note, but one year when we got to the month of August, in little tiny letters on his birthday date, he had written “Best Day of the Year.”  Many years ago, my mother baked a tray of cookies and must have needed to go somewhere before they were finished, because she asked Tim to take them out of the oven at a certain time. Unfortunately he forgot, and the tray of cookies was ruined. Months later, when she made the recipe again, she guffawed at the edited baking directions: in little tiny letters were the words “do not trust son to remove from oven.”

When Tim graduated with his Master’s in Computer Science from Ohio State back in 1995, he sent a simply wonderful invitation (by email, which was excitingly still new!), with too many hilarious segments to include here, but I’ll share a couple:

Back in the first half of this decade, I said I’d have a housewarming party. But now that my departure from said house looms imminent, it seems only fitting to call it … Tim’s Housecooling Party!

Sloppy Joes will be provided, as concocted by Sloppy Mary!

Free beverages of choice will be served to those blessed souls who helped me move in, and have since been suffering in unrewarded, unslaked thirst! The rest of you can bring your own damn beer — whaddya think grad school is, a money tree???

Sleeping accommodations (i.e. floors) will be provided at no charge. Please be aware that these accommodations are not, um, entirely parallel with the plane of the earth’s surface.

Through the years as we have gotten closer as adults, he has given peerless professional counsel. In my first office job when I was a tradeshow coordinator, headed to my first show — the biggest one in the trade — a couple of days before departure, my boss resigned!  Tim sent me the following advice:

I hear you’ve suddenly been made Responsible. Seems to me you’re in a great situation — lots to gain and little to lose. Nobody can blame you if things go badly, since you’re a newbie whose boss just disappeared, but they sure will take notice if you manage to have a big success. So take chances! By the way, similar circumstances turned me into a project leader on my first project during the first few months of my first real job. I dived in, pretended I knew what I was doing, and made it work somehow.

Later, when I made the transition to my current role as Executive Assistant, there was a time when I was struggling with heavy information that I was privy to, and the temptation to share it with a close colleague of mine whom it impacted.  I turned to my brother for sage advice, who responded, “An Executive Assistant without lock-box discretion is worthless.” A wise soul, that Tim. Not only creative, but deeply rational, which has been an admirable example for me. When I remarked about how he approached life rationally versus emotionally (like moi), he simply said, “It’s the only way to be.”  I’m still a fairly emotional person … but a lot more rational because of him.

We are both carriers of the canker sore virus (kind of like cold sores, but on the inside of the mouth, on the gums). When we’re around each other, we both tend to get them. One time, he sent me this cartoon:

Tim 1

 

He’s one of the most intelligent people I know, and one of the most creative. Seemingly equal parts left- and right-brained. He bought a Chrysler Imperial (and promptly called himself an Imperialist!) and covered it in velcro and then miles of yarn, to create an Art Car:

YarnCar Tim
Photo by Harrod Blank, 2002, Baltimore

Check out more details here — and please do yourself the favor to read the FAQ’s: Yarn Car

While you’re at it, check out his most recent art-medium of Puzzle Montages.  From his website:

Jigsaw puzzle companies tend to use the same cut patterns for multiple puzzles. This makes the pieces interchangeable, and I sometimes find that I can combine portions from two or more puzzles to make a surreal picture that the publisher never imagined. I take great pleasure in “discovering” such bizarre images lying latent, sometimes for decades, within the pieces of ordinary mass-produced puzzles.

He gave Mr. Batch and me a mounted copy of Metamorphosis (Unburdening) for our wedding last year.

Yep, he’s just that cool. Brother o’ mine, Tim Klein. One cool cat.

 

Tim 3
Selfie, in our parents’ home, 2016

 

 

 

2 Comments

    1. Thanks so much, Lil! That’s what I was hoping — that it might be fun to just look at the pix, or read the “Reflections.” Something for everyone! Thanks for reading & subscribing! Love to you, Dave and the entire family!!!

Leave a Reply