On the Subject of Demons, I Have a Story to Tell.

by snugglebunny 46 Replies latest jw experiences

  • snugglebunny


    My parents were gutted by the divorce and by my disfellowshipping. Once again, dad decided to move where the need is great and get more blessings,(ho-hum, yawn) so this time they were off to Matlock in Derbyshire.

    I stayed in Portsmouth and rented a flat in the Southsea area. I wasn’t short of company and was now spending time with Mike and another ex called Larry. I’d also really got into Irish folk music and was often to be found swinging my beer in a bar with some other ex’s who’d been part of the “Portsmouth Dirty Dozen” who had all been excommunicated too. On Sunday nights we'd have a riotous evening at Southsea's Coral Reef Bar singing along with Jon Isherwood, Noel Murphy, John Fitzgerald and sometimes Jasper Carrot.

    I was now also in the motor trade! I’d go with Mike to Southampton car auctions, buy an old wreck and tart it up so I could sell it at a profit. I concentrated on British sports cars so I’d always got something flashy to travel around in. I had a number of Sunbeam Alpines, a frog-eye Sprite, MG Midgets and an MGB.

    By early 1973 I’d also polished up my wardrobe, grown my hair fashionably long and got some Ray-Ban specs. And a purple suede jacket. The biz! Then, one day, Cindy contacted me totally out of the blue. Snuggy, let's try and be civil to one another, how about just the two of us go out for the evening? Hmmm, I thought, ...well OK, let's meet up in the Barley Mow in Southsea for a drink - oh yes, I've just had my membership through for Club Tiberius Casino, let's go take a look there as well.

    So that's what we did. Suitably armed with a five-pound note, I paid my first ever visit to a casino as a member. I quickly learnt how to play roulette and after an hour was around £30 up, which I duly split 50-50 with Cindy. We then made our way to the lounge area. I saw a waitress on the far side, so I wandered over to order coffees and a cigar. Oh my..

    The young lady turned round and smiled at me. I was totally dumbstruck. I'd never seen anyone so attractive in all my life. She had an extraordinarily pleasant voice and took my order for coffees and a cigar. A few minutes later she came over to the table where Cindy and I were sat. I put a 25p chip in the little silver bowl on the ladies tray and then caught Cindy looking at me with one eyebrow raised above the other.

    Hah, you like her, don't you said Cindy, not unpleasantly. I replied that I did actually think that she was a stunner. Then feeling brave, I said that was the kind of girl that I should have married. Snuggy, said Cindy, she is way, way out of your league! Well yeah...I guess she was.

    But she wasn't!

    I became a regular visitor to the Casino from then on. Sometimes I'd scrape together a whole pound and play roulette with just 10p chips. By this time the lady was working behind the casino bar, so it was easy to just sit on a bar stool opposite and make small talk while drinking whisky and American Dry. I could make my drink last for hours!

    I learned that she’d been a nurse previously and had suffered with glandular fever, so the doc told her to get a job in an outgoing situation so as to help lift the depression associated with the illness. I also found out that she liked folk music and my God, she was a Pompey fan! A soccer fan who was absolutely gorgeous too. WOW!

    However, I also discovered that she was only 19 and was painfully aware that casino staff dating clients was an absolute no-no. I didn't even know her name. Also, I was aware that if did ask her out and she refused, there would be no second chance so I had to be content with spending many weeks just sat at that bar talking. I didn’t want to blow it!

    But I was putting a devious plan into operation..

    I kept on telling her about this amazing folk club in Southsea that put on a really entertaining show on Sunday nights. Again and again I told her about it and how great it was and how she should really pop in there sometime. This went on for some considerable time

    And then, one Sunday night.. she turned up at the club exactly as I'd hoped she would!

    It was the first time that I’d seen her not wearing the casino outfit. She was wearing old jeans and a baggy top and still looked sensational. Then she offered to buy me a beer. Buy me a beer? Gosh. Girls never did that in 1973, they just looked for the toilets and somewhere to sit while the fellas bought the drinks.

    I discovered that her name was Christina and that she had 2 brothers and that she wasn’t living at home. Her two brothers had left the area, so there was no-one to accompany her to football matches. Oh dear.

    I bet you can see where I was headed with this information...

  • James Jack
    James Jack

    Dam it, I'm suck in to this well written story. You must be one Hell of a good looking or a very charming guy to score beautiful women!

  • Gorbatchov

    Good story!

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    bunny--i think we married the same woman...?

  • snugglebunny
    bunny--i think we married the same woman...?

    You got a Pompey gal too?


  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    @ hi bunny...no..I was referring to my first wife..a born in harridan control freak with a nasty personality. Tried to run me through with a 10 inch kitchen knife..but that was a lifetime ago.

  • snugglebunny

    The last bit!

    So off we went to Fratton Park and we saw Portsmouth beat Nottingham Forest 2 - 0. Then we went out on a friends boat for the day. Then I heard her sing. She'd strum a guitar and sing stuff by Cat Stevens and could even play and sing Don MacLean's American Pie all the way through. At the time I wasn't looking for a heavy involvement and just enjoyed Chris's company. We'd drive around in my old Hillman Minx singing Kris Kristofferson songs as we went. We were companiable together and stayed just good friends for a long time. It was just what I needed. Just what she wanted too. An easy-going pleasant friend,undemanding and non-judgmental. A soul mate. The first girl I'd actually liked as well as fancied.

    I wrote to my parents in Derbyshire. Their shunning of me meant that our contact was almost nil. I told them that I had a special friend. My dad wrote back and said that he hoped that she was kind. Later he wrote again and spoiled it all by saying that we must marry immediately so that I could become "clean in Jehovah's eyes" as the first step to me making my way back as a JW. Pfft.... Fat chance poppa.

    I eventually saw my parents again. By this time they were really leaning on me so I finally told them that, no, I wasn't coming back and that was for the simple reason that I simply didn't believe a word of their religion, and that futhermore, I never had believed it in my heart either! They were shocked. They'd really thought that I was just being temporarily rebellious. It hadn't occurred to them that I wasn't a JW for the clear reason that I didn't accept it as the truth and had never, ever wanted to belong in the first place. It wasn't the truth! I'd just been imprinted with their beliefs when I was a child. Armageddon never came in 1975. All their prophecies failed.

    By now my divorce from Cindy was almost through. By this time she'd also been disfellowshipped. Chris and I moved in together and rented a house in Lee-on-Solent. Her parents treated us well, as did her brothers.

    We got married on December 7th, 1973 and honeymooned in Jersey. My parents would only attend the wedding if I guaranteed that no ex-witnesses were present at the ceremony or reception and that it wasn't a church wedding. I regret to say that I agreed to their demands and that my father gave a little pro-witness speech at our reception which just about embarrassed everybody.

    I was in regular contact with my children with Cindy, and they adored Chris too. 43 years on and they still do!

    We decided to have a family. Chris always reckons that watching Jaws at the cinema is what brought on our eldest, Simon, 3 weeks too soon.

    Later we had James. Then Ben. At that point I was offered a job back in WSM which I accepted. We're still in Weston today.

    Our boys have grown into fine young men and we are immensely proud of them all. We see them and their ladies on frequent occasions. I have a sensation of having taken a major part in the re-building of my family. In the early 90's, once they were all into education, Chris went to uni. She got her BA at Bristol and later an MA at Bath, and then became a lecturer at WSM college. She retired last year.

    Dad died in 1984 aged just 62. My parents were then living in social housing and alweays short of money. Such a come-down for a once professional man! Mum died in 2010, still wondering what was delaying armageddon. We'd got closer, Mum and I, and she was finally able to accept my choice not to be a JW. It grieved me to hear that she wasn't expecting to have got so old.

    Brother Tim left the witnesses when he was 17. He'd loved his neighbour a little too well and was thrown out of the JW's. He too said that he always hated the whole thing. We see a great deal of one another at holiday times. He designs model aircraft and makes unusual stringed instruments. Ex-wife Cindy died just a few months ago. I attended the funeral, not just for Mark and Sam's sake, but for mine too. Cindy's JW siblings - who had shunned her for years - were told to stay away from the funeral. They did.

    So now I'm 71 and Chris is 64. We have six grandchildren. She's still my best friend. Sometimes, if I prime her with a couple of whiskies, she'll play guitar and sing Cat Stevens stuff to me just like she did when she was 19 years old.

    So life really did turn right round for me in my mid 20's. I finished up with a lovely family and a great social circle. And I'm very, very grateful. I'm a very lucky fella!

    That's it! Here's a couple of pics from our Jersey honeymoon:

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    Great story with an incredibly happy conclusion. Well done!

  • jookbeard

    great enjoyed that Mike

  • notsurewheretogo

    I read every bit of it...utterly absorbing...many thanks for writing that...

    I'm a Leeds fans...safe to say our teams have both been through the wringer! Looks like we are both on our way back up though!

    Hope you still go to matches!

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