Sibling Rivalry

It was a difficult relationship from the beginning.  Even before he could walk William had made several failed attempts on his elder brother’s life, including tripping Charles headfirst into the coal chute, down the cellar stairs, and once nearly over the church choir loft.  To be fair, Charles continually “forgot” William in his bassinette in such inconvenient places as the outhouse or the middle of the street.  Perhaps it was the day Charles dyed his brother from head to toe with a bottle of bluing left behind by the laundress, or maybe it was the occasion in which William fed Charles’ toy soldiers to the dog (who mercifully threw them back up).  Whatever sparked this Cain and Abel struggle, the rivalry lasted well into adulthood when it manifested itself in the most ruthless competition for top billing on the vaudevillian stage the world has ever seen.


  1. Ha! This is a particularly funny one. Partly autobiographical?

  2. Thanks Ben! No no, not autobiographical...after 24 years I've kind of gotten used to you. ;)

  3. This one is courtesy of my Aunt Martha:

    Baby Will was a precocious child, and was always alert for brother Charles' attempts on his small life. After hearing his nursemaid speak of vampires seen in the neighborhood, he finally understood his brother's refusal to smile. One of the ways to detect the un-dead, he had heard, was from the lack of a heartbeat. Here, he is quickly checking Chuck for the telltale sign. Alas, he became so startled at finding none, that minutes after the shutter clicked, he toppled over to his left, tangling his baby feet in his silken dress. He never wore lace again -- and only wore dresses on the most special occasions.

  4. Pictured above: T.L. Woodbury's first and only attempt to start a child modeling agency. The unsmiling child in the suit was lured into Woodbury's home with promises of "lollies" and the babe was "borrowed" from a pram left unattended by a local nanny.

    Who knows what icons T.L. could have rendered if his endeavor had suceeded? Alas, the boys were not fond of one another and would not pose nicely for the camera (they were no Gibson Girls). To derail the mission even further, T.L. was arrested for kidnapping. Pesky loud-mouthed servents.