Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities

Alix Spiegel

The fight happened a long time ago when they were still in school. But for both Tom and Eric Hoebbel, the fight was a defining event — the kind of family story that gets trotted out for new acquaintances because it seems to convey something important.
Tom, as the story goes, was just back from college, and the two brothers were together in the kitchen late at night. They chatted aimlessly about school and sports. Then the conversation turned to money.
Tom’s position was that money was inconsequential. “I said, ‘I could just, you know, take out a dollar bill and burn it, and that wouldn’t really matter,’ ” Tom says. But this idea horrified his brother. “A dollar bill is very valuable,” says Eric. “Even if it’s only $1, you can still do stuff with it.”