John’s third twenty-fifth
We was talking âbout Birthdays and one ah we Classmates reminded me dat John Horneâs Big Birthday coming up and ah must wish him âOle Boys Greetingsâ. And why not? Ah thought of all de boys who sat in class wid John in 1958, how we would all gladly want to congratulate him on his Diamond Due-Billy. Ah canât remember who all dem guys were, nobody keeps dey middle school friends forever, but Fotos help. So ah went on de Website, looking foh an Ole Foto filed on âToney Oldies Homestead,â datâs Toney Hadleyâs archive of âVin-see His-story in Photography.â Nuff respect to Toney, One ah de Baddest Website dat Vin-sent-shuns should visit and get ah trip down Memory Lane.
Ah found de Foto on Page 106, Boys Grammar School (BGS) Old Boys (1958 Form 4B). Ah bunch ah bad boys we were eh, so much so, dat when we were promoted to Form 5, it should have bin either 5A or 5B, but we were so Rotten dey named ours 5R, so we objected and were told, âde âRâ was foh Remove, one bad-stroke and yuh out ah school!â But out ah evil cometh good, we all turned out to be useful citizens.
Bear wid me as ah list some ah de most ain-no-saint looking teenagers yuâll find in ah Foto: Seated in front, Dr Jeff (swindler) Dellimore de Form Baby. Standing l-r: Cooper Prescod, Trumpeter; de Encyclopedia, Ardon âNuttyâ Anderson in de UK. âMikey Crichton, Tony Young and Dave âStone Wallâ Jackson;â peeping-thru is Ex Policeman/Athlete Brian âde Robotâ Charles â yuh dare not say Robot so we pronounced it backward âToborâ; Fred Stephens USA, Edrick âArchillesâ Bascombe in TânâT, Robin âEinsteinâ Punnett, Maths uses to terror-eyes him; Stephen Gellizeau UK; Earl âEJ de DJâJack, Lab Scientist turn DJ. Middle Row: Lincoln Bowman – Auditor, Ray Dougan – Architect/Builder; Gordon âMickey Mouseâ Brisbane, UK; Retired Judge Trevor Peters TânâT; Carl Glasgow – Lawyer/Planner, complete Sportsman; Back Row: Me myself; in de UK is Charlie Harold â he and Dellimore swiped ah lot ah chemicals from de Science Lab, made ah bomb and brought it to school! Lyden âBig Beeâ Charles, USA; Olivet âTen Centsâ John; De birthday man John âJohn-Clarkeâ Horne, Rodway âSkinnerâ Fraser, devastating fast bowler; Carl Tucker – great voice USA; Raymond âFuzzyâ Knights – cricketer/footballer! Errie Corea, USA; Mc Kingley âBully/ Elo manâ Lawrence – fast-bowler in de US and Chesley Saunders, USA.
Great guys… most ah dem went looking foh greener pastures, some have left fh de great beyond, keep sending messages, asking when we coming! John and I are among de few who stayed back in Paradise explaining to de Powers dat Accountability and âAh-count-ah-bail-ah Teaâ are not de same.
John celebrated his birthdays using positions. At â25â he boasted dat it was de âFirst Twenty-fifth!â At â50,â he was overwhelmed, pull-it-to-kill-he all over, Minister of Edgy-care-shun; so jokingly ah said to him: âtoday yuh âturn 50?â In his humour-us John Horne, Queen Elizabeth-perfect Grammar style, he said: âYou always seem to have gotten it incorrectly, it is my âSecond Twenty-fifth!â Ley me use his word, Alas! Heâll be 75 on Monday, de position too close foh comfort, so he hinted he want Jewellery: âDiamonds!â But ah done whisper to his daughters to get Mas Man Blondie Bird, to mek him ah Birthday Card, use silver foil, shaped like de Diamond he looking for, and write pon it: â Dad, Itâs Yuh Third Twenty-Fifth!â Happy Birthday, John! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.