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Jay Lovelace Beck

Talked to my cousin, Joey, for a couple of hours this morning. I’d written her about some things that had bothered me through the years about some information where my older brother, Jay, is concerned. I’ve never met Jay. According to Joey, through the years my Aunt Margie (who was Joey’s grandmother) had tried to stay in touch with Jay’s mother, Carol, but that she’d never gotten much in the way of a response. According to Carol, Jay wasn’t interested in getting to know me or our brother, Justin.
Well, through the years I’d gotten it into my head that Aunt Margie was hiding some things from me and Justin. Turns out what she was hiding from us was the fact that Jay wanted nothing to do with us, and that most of her letters and phone calls to Carol had gone unanswered. That jibes with the person I thought Aunt Margie was, and helps me to reconcile something that’s bothered me for years.

It was also really, really cool to get to talk to Joey after all these years. Most of my summers when I was a child was spent with Joey and her sister, Debbie, and the family in Blacksburg. It’s wonderful to renew those old ties. Now that we’re older and our lives have settled out a bit, I think we all realize that as important as our immediate families are, the extended family is important, as well.
But this is about Jay. Long story short, Jay’s name is now Jay Beck, and he lives in Madison, South Dakota. I’ve found the phone number and address of a Jay Beck in South Dakota, who I assume is him. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, though. So far I haven’t had the courage to pick up the phone and call the number to find out. I’d started tinkering around with the idea of just writing, but Victoria rightly pointed out that if I wrote and it wasn’t him, and the letter just got tossed in the trash, I’d never know if it was him or not. Better to call.
Here’s the issue. My brother Justin and I have discussed the possibility that Jay doesn’t want to be in touch with us. That’s fine if he doesn’t. Neither of us have any interest in forcing ourselves upon anyone. But if Jay doesn’t want anything to do with us, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Justin and I to expect him to “man-up” and tell us himself. As Joey rightly pointed out, it may be possible that all these years his mother and grandmother have run block between him and the family in Blacksburg, and he might think that we don’t want anything to do with him.
All I know is that I have a name and a phone number. I’ll have to call it. If it’s him, all he can do is hang up on me. And if it is him and he hangs up on me, that’s an answer in itself, isn’t it? All I want is for Jay to know that we’re out here, and that we’re interested, and that if he ever cares to get in touch with us, he’ll surely find us waiting with open arms. Or if he doesn’t want anything to do with us, he’ll at least know that we tried, and that if we don’t have any kind of relationship that it was by his choice, and not because we didn’t reach out to him, or that his mother had run block for him.
In the end, whatever our father may or may not have meant to Jay’s mother, Carol, or whatever he may have done, or whatever he may not have done, Jay Beck has two brothers who are as much his blood as is his mother. If he chooses to hold us at arm’s length because his father has been made into some kind of mythical bogey-man instead of just the flawed human being that he was, he’s robbing himself more than anyone else. Personally, I’d prefer to think that one of my brothers could not possibly be that bone-headed.
All I know is that this is between brothers. In my not-so-humble opinion, Carol has no say in this matter. If Jay Beck wants nothing to do with his brothers, it’s time to man-up and tell them himself. Jay is over 50 years old. It’s way past time for him to step and acknowledge that Justin and I are out here, even if all he does is tell us to fuck off.
Now. I’ve got the number. All I have to do now is find the courage to call it.

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14 years ago

Hey, you made a good point. I was about to cross him out, but it’s true what you say. If he wants absolutely nothing to do with us, that’s fine. But it would be nice to hear it from him directly.
Whatever you decide to do, you know I’m right there with you. Heck, I don’t mind calling, if it’s too much for you. Like you also said… all he can do is hang up.

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