There was a time.

When he owned the concrete.

Johnny Kennan (him off the telly) kicks it old school:

A friend of mine told me about his 12 year old son graduating from national school recently.

I cast my mind back to the day I graduated from national school. It was 30 years ago. I’m old!

I don’t remember having a graduation. I remember the principal telling us we were getting nothing because we were the worse class ever. Looking back we were just young lads finding our way through life and any trouble we got up to was just hijinks.

It got me thinking though. When I tried to picture myself sitting in that school desk the first thing to hit me was the memory smell of pencil sharpener. Usually I have to smell something to give me a sense of memory.

Then I remember the football match we used to have on special Fridays in the school yard. If we were good. All week we’d wait for that game. Because it was just our class that would have the playground to ourselves.

All week we’d wait just to be told we were too bold and we couldn’t play. But then on rare occasions we would get our game. For one hour on a Friday afternoon we were playing at Wembley on FA Cup final day.

We played with a tennis ball and that made it more magical. It meant the purists could play. I had eyesight in just one eye. Still have. It was very important to have foot- eye coordination. With my left foot and left eye I owned that concrete.

Then I got thinking some more.

Could I name my classmates from 6th class in 1987? 30 years ago? I have 32 in my mind. I don’t know why. One for every county or every chess piece.

After a lot of serious thinking I came up with 25. I know I can ring my friend Jim and he can name the rest. I think it’s better pay him a visit and catch up.

What I wouldn’t give to be back on that yard with those boys for one more day. Just to remember and feel what it was like to be 12 again.

Now I’m casting my mind back to the last line of ‘Stand By Me‘.

“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?”


Pic: Shutterstock

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14 thoughts on “The Friday Game

    1. realPolithicks

      Unfortunately, thats also what I mostly remember from my primary school days which were in the seventies…what a sad reflection on Irish society in those days.

  1. Al Jeers

    I remember getting slapped across the knuckles with a thick length of bamboo that the mendacious headmaster had split into a kind of Cat o’ nine tails for maximum stinging effect. Happier, simpler times indeed…

  2. badatmemes

    @ Bookworm
    It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong.
    Your opinion doesn’t count until you write something yourself.

    1. It Won't Stand Up In Court

      I’m sure Bookworm’s going to heed such sage advice from a nasty, vicious drunk

  3. badatmemes

    My schooldays were spent in St. Stephen’s Green / The Art Gallery / The Natural History Museum et.
    I can’t remember anyone who was in my class.

    You wouldn’t get away with it these days.

  4. Joe cool

    Yes. I met mine on the first day of school. Still my best man and was my best man. 35 yrs as friends

  5. Brother Barnabas

    Another lovely piece, Johnny. Bring a different angle and pure insight into everything. Fair play.

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