Vintage photo of siblings in Kissimmee beginning of enduring brother-sister bond

Photos for Headline Surfer / Shown above is a snapshot taken in 1980, of the then 5-year-old Geoffrey A. Lopez and his sister, Gillian, 3. And to the right are the siblings all grown up with families of their own, Lopez, 43, and Gillian Campbell, 41.  Lopez posted the image for Siblings Day, which actually pre-dates the early days of social media

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- It's a black and white picture that hearkens back to early childhood where the kid sister adoringly looked up to her big brother -- she a mere 3 and he all of 5 years old.

But it's a vintage photo that St. Cloud resident Geoffrey A. Lopez II proudly displayed on his Facebook page Tuesday to commemorate Siblings Day with his sister, Gillian Campbell, recognized throughout most of the US on April 10, as a customary day of celebration and not an official state or federal holiday.

For her part, Gillian Campbell was taken aback in seeing it posted. "How cute!" she responded to her brother's social media posting. " Where do you keep these classic pictures?"

The photo from long ago displays the warmth and love the siblings have had for one another from their beginnings -- the toddler with her arms wrapped around her pre-school brother with a big smile who towers over her in a protective kind of way when the photo was shot by one of the parents way back in 1980. The brother and sister were born in New York just shy of two years of the age from one another when their parents emigrated from Jamaica. 

"We're of Portuguese descent," Lopez explained. "Our immediate parents are from Jamaica but the Lopez family came from Portugal. My great grandfather migrated to Jamaica to start a business. My parents moved to the U.S. for further opportunity."

They settled in Kissimmee where the photo was taken shortly after the parents left New York for Central Florida, and Kissimmee, which has a large Portuguese population

Lopez said the photo is an invaluable keepsake for him because it "reminds me how close we were and as many would say, we were well behaved. Our parents brought us up with admiration, morals, and structure. With that, she’s actually in the process of building her house next to me so we can grow with our children together." 

He recalled with fondness, the memories of their emerging young lives: "She used to have this name for me, 'Wawee,' And we never understood where that word came from, but she would call me that during those years. We had our struggles like any siblings."

But Lopez was quick to add, "We were very protective of each other and for sure caring. I currently have four children and she has two, both of us married."

Geoffrey Lopez and his kid sister, Gillian Campbell and their vintage picture / Headline SurferGeoffrey Lopez said the photo of him with his sister, Gillian, is an invaluable keepsake for him because it "reminds me how close we were and as many would say, we were well behaved. Our parents brought us up with admiration, morals, and structure."

He continued, With that, she’s actually in the process of building her house next to me so we can grow with our children together." 

He recalled with fondness the memories of their emerging young lives: "She used to have this name for me, 'Wawee,' And we never understood where that word came from, but she would call me that during those years. We had our struggles like any siblings."

But Lopez was quick to add, "We were very protective of each other and for sure caring. I currently have four children and she has two, both of us married."

Lopez, a Realtor with Radius Realty Group, whose slogan is "My Home Team" has had the family home team so to speak in terms of sibling bonding in his earliest memories, he now 43, and she just shy of 41,when she embraced him in that photo, hearkening back to1980.

Decades, of course, before the digital age, when the the decade of America's greatest weakness perhaps -- the 1970s Energy Crisis, Watergate scandal, humiliating defeat in Vietnam and yes, Disco, too -- gave way to the Big '80s and ushering in a tough-talking conservative-values president in Ronald Reagan

And there was the big brother, Geoffrey, protector to the wide-eyed kid sister, Gillian, having surpassed the terrible twos and past toddler stage. And so it goes -- one story worth telling even the day after Siblings Day, thanks in large measure to a vintage photo shot what seems like ages ago and re-appearing out of the blue as a relic in today's digital world.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.