Sunday 30 November 2014

The class of 59

In 1959, I started at Grocers; actually the Hackney Downs Schools, formerly the Grocer's Company School" but we all called it Grocers. So did 104 other kids my age.

Today, two dozen of us had our first reunion, at Reubens kosher restaurant at 79 Baker street. I had chicken soup with lockshen, salt beef and latkes followed by lockshen pudding. Yummy! When it comes to food, I'm not an atheist.

The main thing that happened, was for us to tell each other what happened after we left school. Some became doctors, some became dentists, some became teachers and some went into IT.And some went down less common paths.

Everyone looked older than when I'd last seen them, about 50 years ago.

Barry Brooks is an orthodox jew; fringes, hat - everything. He came all the way from Israel to this reunion. I would never have predicted that from what I knew at school. Most of us had acheived moderate success, although quite a few had been made redundant 10 or 15 years ago. One told me that he considered that his life had been wasted - he was a bright lad when I knew him, and we had a common interest in electronics. But he dropped out of university, and he considered that things hadn't gone well for him since then.

One had a heart problem, and had major surgery for that, but was looking good now (and he'd lost a couple of stone). Most of them was bald or baling, all of them were grey. I think I had the best head of hair, although that might be my vanity. We'd all put on a few stone - some more than others.

We all gave each other potted histories of the last 50 years. I was told by a few of them that I was famous, although one of them said he saw me on an Open University program - actually that was another person with the same name as me. Some told me that when they heard about the antivirus, they'd thought it was me, and I told them they were right.

It was a very good day out, and I hope we do this every year from now on. Many thanks to Gary Gray and the committee for organising it. And I can recommend Reubens.

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