I didn’t really have a suitable photo to add to this blog. However, the story is partly about a handsome wood cutter (Me) and a beautiful princess (Rosemary). The added photo shows I’m still handsome (although no longer a wood cutter)) with two beautiful princesses one on each arm. In the play I rescue the Princess who naturally falls in love with me. In the final scene I kiss her. We rehearsed for weeks before the launch of the school play, unfortunately the teacher said we didn’t need to kiss during practice, only on the actual night of the play. No practice meant I didn’t know to tilt my head and our noses collided.
In the first week of December we performed the school play to a packed gym. Hundreds of people watched me make a mess of kissing the beautiful princess, and I suffered the sounds of laughter from the audience. Where was Tyrone Power when I needed him?
With the end of term exams completed, the Christmas letter boxes were placed in the school corridors and the sending of cards to the girls we fancied began once more. It was exciting time each morning, the class postman arrived with the day’s mail. Of course, it wasn’t so exciting if your name wasn’t called. For me, though, it turned out to be a very successful year. Most unexpectedly I received a card from Rosemary, my beautiful princess. Maybe my kiss hadn’t been so bad after all? Whatever her reason, I was truly flattered and propelled into a romantic and festive mood. Quickly, I created a masterful and romantic response to send her card, and a vision of a new and wonderful love blossomed in my overworked imagination.
I was brought down to earth with a jolt, however, upon receiving a very cool card from an angry Lorna (Lorna was at the time my classroom girl friend). It seemed the girls discussed in detail the cards they received from boys. I received several other cards from girls that Christmas, but Rosemary’s remained the best of all.
Christmas season was a happy time. Our classroom was brightly decorated, and we played games, sang carols and made ornaments for our trees at home. I attended Christmas parties at Sunday school and the village hall, and I was invited to a party in the town of Cowes, about 12 miles away.
We travelled there on our old school bus, singing popular Christmas songs like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” We laughed and joked and made eyes at the girls. I was in a very happy mood, confident that this Christmas of 1951 would be the best ever. Unfortunately my prediction would be far less accurate than I could have possibly imagined. Indeed, this Christmas would be very different, but not the best ever. It was so bad, in fact, that it turned into the final straw for me, and, from that moment on, my life focused on shaking lose the shackles and returning to Ireland. I was almost 13, several hundred miles from home, and facing a daunting task. Nevertheless, it was a task I vowed to complete.
God Bless and keep reading.