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Och sure, yis are mebbe right. We cudn’t sing a note, but boysaboys, I remember four of us walkin’ back towards town along what was then a country road, way up past the Wallace Park, beltin’ out numbers from Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma. That was about nine or ten at night. Not a bad thought in our heads. Nor even a drop of drink in us, wud y’ believe. Do y’ know, I do believe Ken didn’t touch the stuff. He was always a fine healthy lukkin’ specimen, with his Charles Atlas course ‘n’all that. We went to his house once, and he disappeared for a few minutes, and came back with only a pair of shorts on. Aye, we did think it a bit strange, but not like yis wud nowadays. God no. I don’t remember if he was welter or middle, but he could punch a hole in a door. And there was one girl, I never met her, but her name was Beth, that he was very fond of, and sometimes ‘went out with’. I often wondered if they ever became a permanent twosome. But anyway, he used to lead us in those singsongs. He was no Mario Lanza, but he could actually keep in tune. Why am I tellin’ yis this? I just like talkin’.
Dabbler I remember the film also
Doris Day singin, " I can,t get a man with a Gun" or " Anything you can do I can better". I remember seeing that film either in the Regent or Majestic. If my memory serves me right Will Thompson, Liz,s brother, Joseph Lavery and his sister from the Low Road and another few , accompanied by our Aunts who worked together in Hilden Mill.
Was that chap Ken, by any chance Kenny Coates? If so then I can assure you that he was at least married , as a schoolfriend of my brother called Micheal Ferris married one of his daughters. In the late sixties he had a fish and chip shop over the Co Down, before that he worked as a fitter in Hilden Mill and for a time was foreman fitter in the maintenance dept. in Grundig
I know the name Kenny Coates, Donald; but no, it was, and I think -no harm done - Burns. At that time, in the fifties, a clean living, hard working, hard punching teenager, and one of the nicest lads I ever knew. He was never a ‘Ted’, and even in those days I understood that he was one of those people who was sufficiently self confident to stand out from the crowd without the need for exaggeration - one of my own crutches - or to don peacock attire, like the majority.
Lavery. There was a girl called Lavery, older than I, who used to collect signed photos of film stars. She got me interested, as we sat on the wee stone step outside her door. She had a lot more than I. Errol Flynn , Robert Montgomery, Robert Mitchum, Gene Autry. All you had to do was send off to Paramount Studios, Burbank California, etc.
That’s about sixty years ago. She would have been twelve or so. I think her brother was older. His mother got so fed up with him coming home late that she persuaded a neighbour to hide in the dustbin and to jump out of it as John; I’m nearly sure it was John; came to his door in the dark at the bottom of the entry.
Maureen, if you ever read this, your enthusiasm for autograped photographs rubbed off, and gave me an interest for a time. A time, which, as you can see, I always remembered. Thank you!
Proof reader’s correction - autographed.
Talkin about collectin, who remembers the "Ciggie cards"? They were collectors items, inserted into *** packets, usually futballers, we used to swap swap them or play " Blowin ", a competition where each player laid a card face down on the windie stool, and each took, after playing " wet or dry" turns to blow, any card which turned face up as a result of your blowing belonged to you.
Grüße an den Herrn Englisch Lehrer!
Robbie, I sometimes just ‘send’ without doing a check on my stuff. I don’t feel that it matters too much. Although age is taking its toll, I have always had an uncanny ability to spell correctly.
The use of the vernacular is intended to amuse, and to attempt to draw the reader into the ‘atmosphere’ of the narrative. It is assumed that all readers will be familiar with Norniron dialect.
It is also my arrogant attempt to follow in the footsteps of great writers.
Donald, I remember the ciggie cards, and have writen about them here previously.
It has been a while, your patter is taken in the spirit it is given, let us not forget where we came from, however you only have to read your prose to know how articulate you are.
Ken Burns did not finish in a twosome with Beth, as a matter of fact I went out with Beth after Kenny, I know for sure she has been recently divorced. I didn't know about his singing exploits,I know he could punch like "Tyson" and a super nice guy.