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Dee McLelland: A sibling story with a duck
Dee McLelland new

My brother got hit in the head by a duck.

That’s nothing unusual when it comes to my brother. Lynn or Jeff, as he goes by now. Nothing notorious about his name, his full name is Jeffery Lynn McLelland.

This is my brother.

A little inside joke for my brothers and sister, Lex and Cynthia. Lynn is what I call him and always will.

We are the same age for about four weeks in February. Lynn was born on the same day, February 2 as our grandmother Momma Powell. Momma Powell is another story at another time.

We were born 11 months apart, so in February we are the same age since my birthday is March 1.

Lynn has travelled the world as part of the Navy and has also crossed the country in adventures. He has been married, divorced and even lost a wife to cancer. He has remained as he always has, Lynn.

My brother, to give a description, is, for lack of a better way, looks like Snoop Dog. I give a rat’s butt if that’s offensive to anyone, but that is the way I describe my brother. My brother enjoys some of the same things that Snoop does and it isn’t a stretch to say if they ever met, they would be the best of friends ever.

Lynn let’s things roll off his back. He has a big heart and cares about people, but if you want to know more about him it will take a 24-pack and then some to get all the stories flowing.

So, about the duck.

We were kids playing in the front yard one summer night in the 60’s when it happened. I remember it as clear as day. I know all the other siblings are fuzzy, but I remember it clearly. The ‘War of the Worlds’ was on TV that night in color with Gene Barry. It had been released in 1953 but was showing on network TV for the first time. Also remember there were only a few channels back then so it was a big deal.

We were playing a game in the driveway, waiting for the movie to come on, when out of the diminishing twilight sky there was a cackle of bird sounds. It looked like little footballs falling from the sky. What it was, was a trio of ducks coming from the North and heading south. They seemed to get closer and closer by the second and we all stood and looked, except for Lynn.

It was ducks. Dang ducks. And they were landing whether we had to watch War of the Worlds or not.

The trio of ducks seemed to have a landing pattern and they hadn’t guessed that four kids would be playing games on a warm night in a driveway. Duck #1 perfect landing.

Duck #2 perfect landing. Duck #3 hit Lynn right in the head.

The duck wobbled. Lynn wobbled. We were as stunned as kids that ranged in age from 8 to 5 can be. The ducks sat for a few minutes and then took off again heading south.

I would love to say we said something hilarious, but I will take credit in yelling “Duck!” It wasn’t an instruction, I just saw the bird heading for Lynn’s head.

War of the Worlds was scary as movies were to kids under 10, but the whole night I remember thinking “Lynn got hit in the head by a duck.”

I don’t know if Snoop Dog was hit in the head by a duck, but I do know my brother’s path in life was set in motion by that moment. Maybe that set a lot of things in motion.

I love you, Lynn, Cynthia and Lex.

If you see me say, “Hey.”

Dee McLelland is Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.

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