[caption id="attachment_1679" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Ray, Bobby, Me, David, Jim, Glen, and Evvy"][/caption]
This is the first post in my Placencia Series that focuses on two people in the same blog. They're my cousins Evvy and Bobby. These brothers both grew up just outside of Chicago and, I'll be honest, as a kid from a small town of 5000 people (and at the time my family pretty much made up the city's minority population), these guys pretty much scared the crap out of me.
They had Hispanic accents, they had the big-city tough attitude, they spoke Spanish to each other, and they were loud. Everything about them intimidated me. I was shy around them and never knew what to say.
The first time I ever heard rap music, it wasn't on the radio. It was on a bootleg tape they brought with them from Chicago. I recall riding in the car with them and their mom (my Aunt Emma) and their tunes were blasting. I remember being really curious about some of the weird sounds in the music...they were sounds that I'd never heard before, and I couldn't figure out what they were. Every time the sounds came on Evvy and Bobby would put their hands in front of them and jerk them back and forth. Of course, being the DJ Hero that I am, I know now that they were "air scratching" along with the music. But as a kid in the back seat of that car, I could not for the life of me figure out what instrument they were pretending to play. Who knew you could "play" a turntable?
Evvy and Bobby were also both amazing dancers. Again, the first time I saw anyone breakdance, it wasn't on MTV or on television at all or even in a movie. It was watching Evvy and Bobby, and they were incredible. Spins, popping, locking, everything...they had it all down.
Of course, now that I'm older and have gotten to know Evvy and Bobby (a little) better, I know now how freakin' hilarious they are. Like the rest of my relatives, they are hysterical. It's just that their sense of humor comes from a different place. Where I grew up around a mostly Bill Cosby-sense of funny, they blew my mind coming at me with their edgier Chris Rock-style. They're like a well-oiled comedy team and because they're brothers, it's even that much tighter and funnier. They play off each other, they play off whoever is around them, and you can't do anything but stand back and laugh.
As a kid, I was intimidated because, although we're cousins, we came from a totally different place. Our experiences and influences growing up were totally different; we couldn't be further apart.
As an adult, I've found how much fun it is to jump on the train and roll with them. And once we're there, I find we have a lot more in common I ever would have thought.
And if all else fails, we can always just make fun of Glen.