Dear John,

20 years ago I wrote a letter to myself…

Many a surprise in there, not least the boy who had influenced me…

Jamiel Nurmohamed (Jez)

‘A bit of a dagger to the heart’… I’d plunged that dagger with my words, my racist words.

Cowardly, only off camera would I ask Jez if he recalled my abuse.  

He did.  

With words to the effect that the boy is not the man, he would influence me again.

Michael Talbot (Talbot)

‘He was a gentleman’ Michael (Mic now) said of Jez back then. 

And a gentleman was Mic…

Michael Douglas (Mike, Doug)

Michael’s lot was vast too.  Vaster than I thought it would be when we met…

Reminiscing, Mike said, ‘I imagine I wanted to be some sort of, much like yourself, a millionaire at this age and have a supermodel wife.  I’m not a millionaire but I’ve not done too bad with the wife! Probably I’m a little bit humble coz I would say I’ve probably overachieved a little from what I was at school.  I think I skated through the years at school in the bottom classes.’

Mike D

The demands of a six year reprographic apprenticeship began with the loss of school friends and culminated in redundancy.  But Michael had changed…

‘I got taught a lot of life lessons as well, more so than trade which I don’t use at all now.  The way to handle yourself in front of adults, how to accept a bit of banter, how to grow.  A lot of my personality now is very much based upon that apprenticeship rather than my school.  I sort of flourished within the work environment.  I became a lot more confident in myself and that has only grown since.’

386366_2830862617581_1074059068_n

Entertainer at work and play, Michael now travels the world as a salesman. 

‘I am probably less secure about who I was at school and look back and sort of kick myself a little and think if I was a bit more driven and confident at school, I wonder what direction it may have taken me.  It’s an interesting thought.’

The greatest achievement in his life?

Family…

‘It makes everything else irrelevant.  The family environment, the love that your kids give you, having a harmonious marriage.’

His children ‘light up the room.’  And his wife?

‘She is the rock.  She drives me to do better things for family.  It makes me want to progress up the ladder, to provide them with a life which is what I would expect from what my parents gave me.’

Michael is a man of strength.  Tested in his life’s ‘dramas’.  Recalling his daughter’s birth…

‘When she was born she wasn’t breathing.  For that brief moment I had to be strong for Laura (his wife).  I was there being reassuring.  The midwife came back in the room with this beautiful baby.  The experience was levelling.  It’s just an incredible experience.  It was a relief, happiness, immediate love.’

He spoke of ‘not freaking out’ or ‘getting angry’ in tense situations…

‘My mum’s had breast cancer.  That was a tough time for me personally.  I think I held it quite strong for my sister.  She has been in remission for two years.  Hopefully touch wood that will be it.  I was always very positive which I hope gave my mum a respite when she saw me.’

Michael’s parents divorced when he was young…

‘There were times when it was hard being the child in a divorced relationship because you are used as leverage.’

But…

‘I enjoy my life a lot better now.  I wish I was like I am when I was 16 because my whole path would have been a lot different.’ 

Perhaps with the confidence and drive he has now he would have taken the job in Australia offered to him when redundancy struck.

That’s in the past though.  While in the future, Michael looks forward to travelling the world with his wife, although he’s already made one discovery…

‘You could spend your whole life trying to figure out who you are.  I think I have already done that and I am 33.  It’s one less worry, isn’t it?’

59996_10150266409270094_5693186_n

And now to another family man who also stood so comfortably in the limelight…

Alex Ross (Toss, Licks)

Of all the friends I had lost touch with, I regretted Alex the most.  

Why?

Perhaps because our friendship had lasted so long…

After this chat our friendship may just have a future, a future in a trip to see Alex and his family in the New Year…

From one man comfortable in his own skin to another…

Simon (Si, Tumb)

Oh Simon, you didn’t half surprise me…

In 20 years time I’m not fussed about being a millionaire.

Friends, family, a home; they’re my hopes, my dreams.

And realising them should be easier as I, John Wilson, Journalist, walk with confidence…

me copy

MORE

Watch/listen to the extended interviews on my YouTube channel, including (from 30minutes in) Simon and my hilarious stand up comedy attempts and recollections of our flame throwing fight and friendship… https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCreV4SU1BdrbfEVqP49s9xw

Comment below. 

Tweet your past, present and future #hopesanddreams #dearjohn

Follow me on twitter @snoop2003

IMG_0018-2

CREDITS

With much thanks to Hilde Chruicshank (@MissMartens83) for filming.  Thanks to friends and family for their creative input, notably Hilde, Joel Papps and Richard Storey.

Read the heart-wrenching follow ups;

Dear Dad,

Dear Mum,

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Dear John,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s