|May 1966 - the three boys and Tony Witts|
Like anyone in their fifties, I get pangs of nostalgia from time to time. You don't need to wait til your fifties, you can get them anytime. When it washes over me, I reach for my old photo albums and realise yet again that I don't have nearly enough pictures of myself, family and friends from the past. Not having a family camera didn't help when I lived at home. Nowadays of course, its second nature to take a picture of everything on your mobile phone, but back in the 60s and 70s that wasn't the case. This particular photo is a rarity. It may be the only one in existence of my natural father with his three sons from his relationship with my mum. They never married as he was married to someone else. He finally arrived to take over as our guardian as my mum was dying, around the time I was thirteen years old. I didn't even know he was my father. I just assumed he was my mum's boyfriend. I kinda worked it out by the time I was sixteen and asked him if he was my father. His response was; "of course I am, didn't your mother tell you?" Well, actually no she didn't. Plus there's her ex-husband's name on my birth certificate. The penny dropped when I realised that all three boys looked alike, and my mum's husband had left the marital home before I was born. As you might imagine, I didn't have a meaningful father-son relationship with Tony Witts. I grew up without a father. That never changed.
The photo was taken in May 1966. I know because my mum wrote the date and our names on the back of the picture - Paul, Andrew and Timothy. Tony is holding Tim, Paul is the tallest with long trousers and I look as though I want to go to toilet. It was taken on the grass outside our house at Tennyson Road. As my mum's boyfriend, Tony must've been paying us a visit and she surreptitiously snapped a photo of us together. I was six years old.
Labels: Pangs of nostalgia, Tony Witts