John and I go back to junior school perhaps around 1953-4. We shared similar paths, both our mothers were long term ill, so we shared thoughts. We also shared an avid love of the BBC radio program 'The Goon Show', which reflected in our mimicry of all the Goon characters, from Major Blodnot to Bluebottle.
When we moved to a higher school, Barnfield Secondary Modern in 1956, we found ourselves in a world that niether of us liked. Two boys named John and a future that seemed threatening. All around us there was gloomy news, and atomic bombs were being tested all over the place. Earth issues were not things that were talked about at school, but John was very much into, peaceful things. He was a vegatarian, had never eaten meat so his mother said, and they never forced him.
Together in those last few years at school, and the first few after we left school in 1960, we did a lot together. Motor Shows, TV and Radio Shows, cylced to the coast, (I admit that was Johns encouragement to do the 70 miles there and the 70 back.) We even met Yuri Gagarin the first man in space at a London Motor Show.
It was around 1963 that we started to see less of each other, girlfriends were more interesting, and our friendship was then taken for granted I guess.
In 1964 I married Miriam, John married his girlfried Avril a few years later.
Well we all moved, changed addresses several times, and the arrival of children created less time. We last all met around 1966, it was in a resturaunt that Peter Sellars used in Mill Hill, he and Spike Milligan had been there several times.
I lost touch with him, his parents said he and Avril were on a journey across the world in a mini bus. Remember these were the days before mobile phones and internet. We had moved again, which was making striaght line more fudged.
Over the years I did call at his parents home, he was apparantly in New Zealand and they said they woul forward my address to him, later I realised that did not happen, he also was on the move.
I had not given up hope of finding John, just things got in the way. He was during this time looking for me. Our parents health changed, my father died, later my mother had cancer. John's mother had MS and her condition was more intense.
It was the age of the internet that started to open doors, though they were not always the directions that had developed into the way that was to come.
From the 1990's I had used various modes to search, but it had resulted in nothing, accept in later years we had crossed paths several times, just one or the other gave up in a search and looked in other areas. It was when doing a ritulistic search of Facebook in June of 2008 that we finally caught up with each other.
Like two old dears we have exchanged many conversations, and not lost any of our Goon humor. He lives in Australia and had returned to the UK the year before, even walked around where we used to live, not aware that he had walked right past the rear garden of our home for 30+ years.
Alright we are now two old farts who have nothing better to do than talk about things that more or less are where we left off, but its good to be in touch again on the internet, over Skype. He has proof read one of my books, and after rearranging a photo he sent of himself, theres another on the way.
Might have been 42 years too long, but nice to know we are both as mad as we were.