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John Curtis' 50th

It’s half a ton or two score ten

And takes me back to past times when

We went to Pope Street in our shorts

And sweets not girls were in our thoughts.

Those licorice whirls and sherbet dips

The Wagon Wheels and candy lips.

Recall the faces if not names

Of those who shared our playground games.

The ciggie cards to flick and swop

The lines of chalk across to hop

Conkers held on knotted string

Splitting ’neath a practised swing.

Desks of wood with pots of ink

The morning milk with straw to drink

The niff of greens and shepherd’s lamb

The frog spawn topped with blob of jam

The smell of chalk, of powdered paint

The tables chant and manners quaint.

And then the wait to hear that bell

At four o’clock and run like hell.

Through labelled gates with freedom’s speed

To seek the park and home to lead.

Coronation flag and pen

And Everest climbed by those brave men.

Next the days of club and church

To Midnight Mass from pub to lurch

Our by-pass walks with Anchor fags

Our teenage years and mother nags

Those Marcel Moons and At The Hop

Those Anton parties without stop

With Rosemary and Val and Mick

And Merrydown ‘til I was sick.

The whist and poker, rummy too

With background noise from budgies blue

The Norfolk nights aboard a boat

With local girls to take afloat.

We did most all and yet survive

Surprise, surprise – we’re still alive.

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