Mentoring Profile #12: John Clayton Greene Sr.

I was about to write about how the “mentoring series” isn’t going well and I don’t feel like writing another one.

But, when I signed on I felt like writing about my other big brother – Clay.  

This is not Clay, this is the actor who plays Chubby in Teen Wolf.  He is currently Clay’s FB profile picture.  I think Clay is pretty open with his FB friends, so if you wanted to know why he chose Chubby as his profile you should just go ask him.

Clay and I (and now Amy, my beloved sister in law who might be better than he or I) quote a lot of movie lines.  If we have been friends for awhile and you were wondering about the origins of my own quoting: look no further than my big brother Clay.  I lived with Clay starting when I was 8 (his mom married my dad when I was 5).  If he or I got to the basement first we would put on Ghostbusters (beginning, because we taped it from HBO, with Bill Murray/Dr. Venckman yelling at Dan Ackroyd, “Whoa whoa whoa whoa…  nice shooting Tex” – incidentally, “Tex” was filmed in Tulsa, my hometown).  If Carrie or Christie (sisters) got there first we would watch Girls Just Want to have fun.  We had that one fully taped.

If Clay or I were to see each other we might say, “This car makes a statement.”  And, then the other would say (with a cracking voice), “Yeah, it says ‘Hi I’m garbage!'”  This is a line from Girls just want to Have Fun.  Our favorite quotes are from Brewster’s Millions, Vacation Movies, Ghostbusters, Splash, Airplane, Airplace II: the Sequel, etc.  Richard Pryor’s “Moving” is not an especially good movie, but we have one really good takeaway from it, “Mr. Pear?”  “Yes.”  “How’s it hangin?”  Clay has shortened it to (when we see each other), “Mr. Pear…”

Clay taught me how to drive a stick shift car.  He rode shotgun around our neighborhood when I only had my permit.  Eventually his neck started to give out, and he got out of the car and said, “you drive around for awhile…  just stay in the neighborhood”.  So, I did; I drove around for about 2 hours and passed my drivers test the next morning in my mint-green 900s 4 door Saab.  I purchased this car for 4200 when I was 15, having saved with the dream of a Saab…  OR, I didn’t really know how to make decisions and bought the first car that was within my price range.  Clay acted with confidence that is really helpful from an older man to a younger man.  He trusted me to not drive the Saab into a house (or mailbox, like I did exactly one hour after getting my license).  He didn’t consult our parents, etc.

Trying to figure out what you may or may not have learned from someone you lived with isn’t easy.  Its a lot easier to talk about a book or a professor I think.  Clay also used to jump into the bathroom and yell if I was peeing…  The ensuing reaction from me was to pee everywhere because I was startled.  Then I would yell at Clay.  I would like to think I then cleaned up…

Clay is the older brother I watched with girls and with sports.  He took both seriously, and drove home the importance of confidence.  He had a lot more game than I did with the ladies.  He was a good baseball player, and would have been good at football too (fast, strong) if he had started playing sooner than senior year.  He also didn’t play a ton even though he worked pretty hard to improve at baseball.  My own story with basketball is pretty similar.

Confidence then, is my take-away if I have to distill our relationship.

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