Yup. I did it.
A while back I came across someone whom I'd been at school with back in the late 50's. It was an all-boys school, quite tough, with the accent on games and machinery skills. Factory fodder I guess.
We communicated on and off and eventually I became part of a social FB group where no fewer than 20 of my old class mates made occasional posts. Including a few who'd really given me hard time because of my JW connection.
Eventually, after some gentle questioning from these one-time tough guys, I referred them to a link in which I'd told my life story a couple of years previously. They were astonished. More than anything though, they were intrigued as to how someone could be brought up in a cult and then lead a fairly normal sort of life once they'd left.
We arranged that I should attend a get-together in South-West London.
So, just before the Christmas festivities were due to get going, I set off for Middlesex along the M4 corridor.
3 hours later I pulled into the car park of the pub where we had arranged to meet and duly went inside. There was nobody there!
I ordered a pint of shandy (driving drink) and stood at the bar. Then a voice came from behind me. "Hello Snuggs!" It was my old class mate Bob Allen. Last seen at age 15, then skinny and into Buddy Holly, now a little larger and wanting Real ale.
Soon the place filled up. Eventually there was 15 of us present. All in our 70's. One or two musicians included. Most were more intrigued by how I'd managed to leave the dubbies than anything else.
So that's it. A persecution ghost laid to rest in a way. But mostly a realisation that life is a learning process and that most folk do indeed get kinder as the age. Here we all are: