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COSTA MESA : Big Brother Volunteer, 79, Puts Heart in Friendships

You’re never to old to be a big brother.

Jules Marine, 79, has had four little brothers in the past 15 years under the Big Brother and Big Sister Program of Orange County.

Last weekend, the Newport Beach resident introduced his most recent little brother, Jeff Swann, 10, to his second eldest, Jason Werner, 23, at a wedding reception in the latter’s honor at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

“People think you have to be a punk and play touch football on the beach to have a little brother, but that’s not true,” said Marine, a former Louisiana lawyer who moved to California after World War II. “There are so many guys my age who’d do anything to have little brothers. The only problem is, they’ve got this huge misconception that they can’t, and in the meantime there’s 100 kids just waiting for somebody to come along.”

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That, however, can’t be said of Marine, who entered the Big Brother program in 1979, taking former Costa Mesa resident Gary Rollins, now 25, under his wing. After that, it was Werner, a sound engineering student from Northern California. Then, it was Chris Scholl, 15, who has since moved away. And the latest, Swann, a brown-haired boy who Marine was assigned to a week ago.

So far, they’ve gone to the Fun Zone three times on Balboa Peninsula and Marine says he has a lot more in store for his new friend.

He also remembers the good times he spent with Werner, who has since found a companion for life in his wife.

“He (Werner) used to be as little as this guy,” said Marine, pointing to Swann. “But now look at him. He’s huge. I’ve got to look up at the little devil.”

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Shirley Werner, Jason’s mother, still remembers how the two immediately hit it off.

“They were a perfect clique,” she said. “I remember my son was only 7 years old, and he’d come home so happy.”

As for Marine’s other two little brothers who have since moved away, they haven’t kept in touch with their big brother as much as Marine would like.

“I hope they’re doing OK,” said Marine. “I hope they give me a call.”

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For more information on joining the Big Brother and Big Sister Program, call (714) 544-7773.


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