I was very lucky to find a nice job in a Chemist/optical shop, which would be a pharmacy/optical, all in one little tiny store. My boss, Mr. Buckley was a giant, I mean literally, a giant 7 feet tall and 500 lbs. he was huge. Please forgive me, but he was ugly, I mean scary when I went in the dark room in the back of the store for the interview, I was terrified. When he spoke this tiny little sound came out, he had this little squeaky voice. I thought, I was in a movie or the twilight zone, but he turned out to be a gentle giant and a genius.
Mr. Buckley was an accomplished pianist and I had many hours of listening to him play. He would play everything from classical to popular and we would sing our heads off during our lunch breaks.
He and his huge sister were master cooks. Sometimes I would sit in the optical room for lunch, with no lunch and they would invite me to the back of the shop to their home to eat with them. The food shepherd’s pie, steak and kidney with flaky pastry that melted in your mouth and the pies were so good. I started to get really fat at that time, no wonder.
Finding this job was perfect for me as my first job because they treated me with kindness and I learned a lot in a short time. They made me feel smart and gave me hope for the future.
Things got really bad at home, even though my parents had divorced; I was still living with my mum. I was helping take care of my sisters full-time and taking care of the house. The neglect was getting unbearable, Mum was drinking, partying every night and the steady stream of men she was bringing in the home became too much to handle.
I had 2 Aunts in a place called Blackpool, about 150 miles away, who were sick and needed help. I had spoken with them on occasion and one morning I just got up through some clothes in a plastic bag. I got on a bus without saying a word to anyone and left.
I was still 15 soon to be 16 and I had no idea what would happen. I just had to go somewhere anywhere. I put my little ear plug radio in and the song that was playing “He is a real nowhere man living in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody, doesn’t have a point of view knows not where he’s going to isn’t he a bit like me and you.”
Still more to come