I did take time to extend to my adolescent guest that we are all young at that one special stage of our existence – stressing that many of my age group would like to return to the fifties and sixties, solely to meaningfully slap the back-of-the-skull of the youngster that was us all – a timely assault to stymie the errors and greenness of judgement that we all so naively extolled during the era of our human development and teenage rebellious years – and possibly beyond – I am certainly one.
Ultimately, young Claire submitted her thesis some days later, dealing specifically with the popular music of the sixties decade, gaining a credible A-plus for her literary definition of the pop industry at that time…and her prose was better than good, a real joy to read.
On the 15th of January this year, I was invited by Claire’s teacher, one Miss Watson, to attend the school and listen to her class deliver a series of lectures and participate in a school play concerning life in sixties Britain, this with the understanding that I would be prepared to summarize and deliver some of my own recollections regarding the family/social values of that era
This exciting event takes place on Wednesday the 23rd of April. I’m looking forward to it immensely, to say nothing of mixing with a group of enthusiastic and educated youngsters, the same who until only recently, I regarded as the enemy.
Since young Claire’s autumnal visit to my home, I have come to learn that we must never singularise or consider ourselves compartmentalized through age, there is scope out there to continue enjoying life, providing we each want it.
My personal status too has improved considerably, where I was once that, (utterly misunderstood), “grumpy old guy who lives in the middle house of the street” or ‘Mr K’ or simply ‘Sir’, I am now Gordon and I enjoy a rapport with a section of the community that was once upon a time, light years removed from where I stood.
To summarise best this delightful renaissance – just before undertaking a recent trip to the Far East, a number of local kids discovered that I had played top-flight soccer for the British Army – thus; another knock on the door, this time I was met with a sea of six or seven grubby faces, none yet of teenage years.
A shy, redheaded spokesman from the rear of the group, with soccer ball in hand, nervously enquired, “Hey Gordon, any chance you can come outside for a kick-about? I did just that and scored twice in a thrilling 5-4 match, with tracksuits acting as goalposts.
We have a replay this coming Friday evening and I’ve been selected to play once again – final result to follow soon!
My own book of life has many chapters to follow – and from where I stand at the present time, I’m nowhere close to completing the final installment – or so I have been reliably informed, and by those considerably younger than myself.
“In youth we learn, in age we understand.”
(Marie Von Ebner Eschenbach)