The above photo was taken about twenty-five years ago. That’s my cousin Zack on the left, my sister Josie on the right and me in the back chillin’ with the road bike. Front and center is my step-brother Andrew. I think I was around seven years old when I first met Andrew. Our parents (my dad and his mom) were together for over twenty years, but never actually got married, so we were done the disservice of never formally becoming “step-brothers.”
The main problem with this has really only ever been a matter of semantics and efficiency. It has always just been so cumbersome to have to explain, “well this is my best-friend Andrew, actually he is my step-brother, well basically my step-brother, um, you know, our parents were together for over twenty years…” Lately, I have just been telling people that he is my step-brother. It says all anyone needs to know and there is no doubt that Andrew is my brother.
That’s Andrew with the midriff shirt in the middle and me with a little stuffed animal resting on my crotch. I guess we were doing the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” thing and it looks like my cousin Zack was doing “smell no evil??”
Andrew has always been a couple of years older than me and was always a huge influence. Andrew got me into skateboarding when I was in the seventh grade. We used to take the city bus out to Bachman Lake in Dallas to go skate the famous “Clown Ramp” at the Skate Time Skatepark. Andrew also used to play ice hockey and so he also got me into ice skating. I never played hockey, but I bought hockey skates and would go to the rink and mess around with Andrew.
When rollerblades came out, we both got a pair and took them with us on a family retreat to South Padre Island where we found a shop that had a half pipe in the back. Every night we would go to the shop after it had closed, take the chain off the ramp and then session the half pipe on our rollerblades.
After high school Andrew and I both moved to Austin. I kept rollerblading and Andrew took up bikes and started riding dirt trails. A couple years later I moved out to California to see if I could make a career out of rollerblading (I could!) and Andrew followed me out and we got a place together in Venice. Andrew never kept up with rollerblading, but we would go down and skate the boardwalk, Andrew with his skateboard and me with my rollerblades. Andrew was the first person who ever suggested to me that I should try using skateboard wheels in the middle of my skates because they were smaller and harder than inline wheels and would make grinding easier. This set-up would become known as “anti-rocker” in rollerblading and it is how I am still skating today.
Andrew is opening a restaurant in Dallas called “Dr. Bell’s BBQ.” His last name is Bell in case you were wondering and no, he is not a doctor. Andrew has been working in and around the food industry for nearly twenty years. He has worked for some of the top chefs and in some of the finest restaurants in the area and has traveled all over visiting the world’s best restaurants.
We went to check out the site of Andrew’s new restaurant in Downtown Dallas.
Andrew was busy getting the restaurant ready to open. Obviously it is going to be a BBQ joint, but several nights a month Andrew is also going to host special dinners at his restaurant where he will really get to flex his culinary chops with more progressive menus.
If you are ever in the area, make sure you look up Dr. Bell’s BBQ in Downtown Dallas. And if you happen to run into the Doctor himself make sure to tell him who sent you…
You can just say it was his brother.