Today, September 21st would have been my brother Devin Brown’s 51st birthday. Devin passed away this past June 2019. My brother and I were very different yet very close as kids growing up in south Huntington Beach throughout the 70’s, 80’s and early-mid 90’s. Devin and I had a quiet respect for the other’s “game” and distinctly different and similar approaches to life during these formative and important years.
Devin and I played soccer and baseball in the same leagues as kids coming up. We hit the snow together with our mom on occasion. I remember one such trip that was nearly a white-out. The white-out gave Devin and I a chance to test our wetsuits we used for surfing in the harsh conditions. The wetsuits held up amazingly well. Devin and I were certified to SCUBA dive when I was 13 and Devin 15. Our first dive was at Shaw’s cove in Laguna Beach. Devin and I enjoyed playing tennis with our dad. On warm weather holidays, Devin and I along with our dad and his wife Jan, would go over to Catalina on our boat and side-tie with their friends.
We used to enjoy bodysurfing with our friend Jason in Laguna and at Beach Blvd in Huntington. Devin and I enjoyed working out and playing golf together. I have a low ball flight that is favorable for wind and controlling golf shots. Devin’s ball trajectory was sky high. I enjoyed watching Devin hit the ball so high. It’s easier to knock a shot (trajectory) down as opposed to going high with the shot, in my opinion. Devin had no trouble launching the ball straight up in the air. After rounds of golf our tradition was to get Little Caesar’s pizza along with 40oz beers we referred to as “cannons” to wash it down. Devin liked Miami Vice and Magnum PI, we’d argue and figure out who gets the remote control and “plush” pillow. Devin and I golfed at Princeville in Kauai, a memory I’ll never forget. We used to chip golf shots back and forth in our backyard on Vacation Lane.
Devin and I enjoyed surfing together. My first session in the water was with Devin at the best place on Earth (in my opinion) to learn to surf, Waikiki beach on Oahu. The longboards, clear warm water and gentle waves provide a wonderful, first surfing experience. We went back for a second trip with custom-shaped surfboards years later. Devin once told me how much I’d enjoy driving as I approached 15 ½. Devin was right, anybody that knows me, knows that I ‘m a road warrior and love getting away. My first three cars a ’66 Mustang, a ’76 Scirocco and an ’86 Scirocco all passed through Devin first.
Devin received a scholarship for debate out of high school in part due to our step dad Rob’s financial contribution toward Devin’s M.U.N. activities in high school leading up to the scholarship. Devin was handsome, tall, articulate and had beautiful blue eyes. Devin used to study vocabulary words to impress our dad. It was impressive. Devin went on to do great things in business and worked for IBM and SAP as the government relations representative covering the west coast region.
Devin had a bumper sticker on the door to his bedroom that read: LEADERS ARE RARE THAT IS WHY IM FOLLOWING MYSELF. I’m cool with that bumper sticker 100%. I don’t have kids yet, I will and know that Devin would have been an amazing uncle. I love this photo. The photo was taken in 1992 on our boat on the backside of the island, in Catalina Harbor. I was 21 and Devin 23. I love you Devin. I miss you. Happy Birthday! Your brother, Andy