A little story to share with the friends and family of Brad – Eggplant – Eddie – MacDowell.
Growing up on Helen St and Brad on Franklin Ave. as well as 10 or 15 other kids on both
Streets. A great gathering of kids would meet on MacDowell’s front porch sitting on pins
and needles awaiting the next great chapter of some hero, Tarzan, Zorro, The Lone Ranger,
or whatever hero was in fashion at the time, and there were many. All told in meticulous
detail by none other than the one and only infamous Brad MacDowell, the greatest story
teller that ever lived, and drew a breath on this earth. If this seems like over inflated
idolization, then YOU did not know Brad period. He had a way of creating a verbal masterpiece
out of anything that popped into his head, or jumped out of it. He could do a 20 minute
dissertation on a bubble gum wrapper, and before he was done had you believing that he
had been there for the production, manufacturing, printing, folding, and placing the gum in
the package. And he may have hinted that he had something to do with the cartoon on the
wrapper. The whole time you were totally engrossed in the story hanging on to every word
as if it had came directly from God. Anyone who knew Brad knows exactly what I am talking
about. Many a pleasurable afternoon was spent intently listening to his utterances, and you
were always begging for more.
Another part of my interaction with Brad and how he influenced me was with my introduction
to music. As many of you remember Brad was a drummer and played with The Intruders, a local
rock and roll band in the sixties. I would sneak by his basement window listening to him play the
drums with great interest and excitement. Ha Ha, one day he caught me looking in the window,
and I was petrified that I had invaded his space and I would be not be invited back to the story
telling porch again. But, to my delight Brad invited me in for a personal audience to watch him play.
I was on cloud nine to say the least, it was as if Sandy Nelson himself had plucked me from the crowd
and wanted to entertain ME. I was the envy of the neighborhood, at least in my small circle of friends
anyway. Not long after my privileged audiences with Brad I ask him if he would try to teach me to play
the drums. About 3 or4 months later, and probably some disappointed neighbors, with my bad playing
Brad gave me my first set of drums. It was an old beat up set of Rogers drums, but to me they were the
best set of drums that I had laid eyes on. I did go on to be in quite a few different bands for 25 years or
so. But, I have often wondered if my playing was so bad at the time that he gave me those drums so I
would go home and annoy my parents instead of him. Geesh, I was always invited up on the porch for
the story telling sessions, but that was the end of my time with Brad and the drums.
Although throughout the years, even in a small town, as we grow up we often times lose track of
one another. I am always happy to say that even though we did not see each other for a year or a
month, When you met Brad it was you or he had never left or missed a beat in your relationship.
A new story would start and no matter how old I was, I was hanging on to every word he uttered. And
I always felt the better for seeing him again. My last visit with him was last week in Tops, the whole
range of memories were relived in that 20 min. meeting with him. We discussed the whole range of
great times we both had enjoyed back in the day. I did not bring up the drum lessons, HaHa.
R.I.P. my good friend I shall never forget the times we had together.
Your always remembering friend, Wayne