Photos: Jake Vivori
I love my mother. She did a great job raising us, but she comes from an old-school era bound by religious duty that forces her to glaze any imperfection with denial. If you ask her, we’re the idealistic “Brady” type family. I’m being faced with the challenge of asking her how she knew I was different from other little boys, a question that will make her extremely uncomfortable, but I have to find the answer, as it will be an important part of the book I start writing in 2014.
I’m the youngest of seven children, and Brady we’re not. I thought I’d share a little insight into a prominent Mormon family that has all the real–life problems of “less important, non-title holding members.” I’m thanking god, at this point, that none of them read my column, cuz honey, I’m about to get real on you bitches! All the same, I will replace names for obvious reasons.
Let’s start with Mike and Carol, my Mom and Dad. Both from immigrant families (Italian/Swedish), they met at an East High vs. South High football game in 1945. They have now been married for 60 years. Mom has owned high-end clothing stores and Dad has designed almost every freeway you drive on in Utah. My father has a high position in the LDS church, but I will never tell you what, or his name, so don’t ask. My father had affairs, which sparked my mother to scream suicide threats from the bathroom window while my sister and I tanned on the trampoline.
Greg, my oldest brother, still lives on the Navajo reservation where he served his mission 40 years ago. He married a native, had three children and lives the lifestyle, including speaking in the specific native dialect of the region. He’s blonder and more blue-eyed than I, making him the “ghost” of the Navajo Nation. My mother kept quiet about her pregnancy with me, and my brother was 16 years old when I was born, spawning rumors among both family and neighbors alike that I was his love child that my parents had taken in. I look just like him.
My brother Greg 2, born a year to the day after Greg 1, is still extremely active in the church, lives in the Bay Area and was my biggest supporter in my family, never missing a drag or band performance. He’s a little on the “Martial Law” side, gun-obsessed and owns the largest shooting range in NoCal. He has four children, two of which are local SL celebs, making our family the punk rock Osmonds.
Marsha is a special Kennedy case. Her mother (my mother’s best friend’s sister) dropped her off for Mom to babysit and never came back—my parents raised her. Her favorite teenage pastimes were LSD and running away. When I was 10-ish, she reformed and went back to “The Church.” Her meth-addicted son kidnapped his daughter and shot himself in front of Marsha after a stand-off with the police at a casino in a Nevada border town near where she lives.