Family, Random DJB Thoughts
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It’s a Wonderful Life – A special #91 for Tom Brown’s 90th birthday

Tom Brown transition

Wednesday’s post about my father’s upcoming 90th birthday brought nearly 500 views (huge in my world) and elicited all sorts of comments from family and friends.  I heard from the head of the Heritage Foundation in Franklin who said she was “feeling proud that the Heritage Foundation not only saved his beloved Franklin Theatre but the Bearden House too!”  (They rescued the house after the city had let it fall into serious disrepair.)  A long-time musician friend said he had seen my father earlier in the week and, “He was truly excited about his upcoming birthday celebration.”

Tom Brown at the Franklin Theatre
Tom Brown

Of course, major birthdays are not without their traumas in our family, and Dad’s 90th is no different.  On the day I posted my celebration of all things Tom Brown, he slipped on his patio and dislocated his shoulder.  My sisters and brother again came to the rescue, seeing him through an ER visit where they popped it back in place.  He’s now in a sling and moving a bit slower, but still ready to celebrate.  We’ve spent the past two days with him, and are looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Of the many comments made about my blog post, one touched me as especially thoughtful and in a way that captured Daddy’s generous spirit.  It came from a Facebook post by my nephew Kelsey, as he shared my post with his friends.  With his permission I’m sharing it with readers of More to Come in its entirety.

My Uncle David wrote this wonderful post about my Granddaddy. I’d really recommend everyone who knows me to take the time to read it.

Today the loudest voices of bigotry, in particular regarding race and LGBT issues, are associated with Christians and people from “the South.” My Granddaddy embodies all the best parts of both those groups. He is kind, liberal, and a good man, not in spite of his Christianity or southern-ness, but because of them. I hope that one day, everyone who identifies themselves in such a way is more like my Granddaddy than the people spewing hate on the news.

In honor of my Granddaddy’s 90th birthday, I’d like to add a #91 to David’s list:

91. When I came out as transgender to him via email, I got a simple message back “This is an area in which I am not familiar, so I will have to read up on it. Just rest assured that I love you.” When I went to visit him a few months later, he told me that he appreciated my email, and while it was outside his realm of experience, he still loved me. We went out to dinner later that day, and the waitress commented on him being out with his son and grandson, and Granddaddy smiled at her and told her we were visiting for the weekend.

I can only hope to grow into the kind of man my Granddaddy is. The world could use more men like him.

I couldn’t have said it any better.  I am so proud of my father, and I am so proud of Kelsey.

More to come…


This entry was posted in: Family, Random DJB Thoughts


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.

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