Friday, 1 July 2011
Henley is always going to be special for David. He was a rower and rowed in a winning team which qualifies him to be a member of Leander. He and his team used to meet here every year for many years until they started dying off. There are only two of them left now..reliving old glories, nattering all day and drinking far more than is good for them.
The couture here is startling. Brightly multicolored blazers are topped with boaters. David's boater is very old, as are all his Henley clothes. Around his boater is an old college tie. Imperial college still has many good rowers and of course they get the full support of the ancients.
Sitting in the Pimm's enclosure today a man came up to chat. He had seen the tie and knew that David had been at at Imperial. Reminiscence was inevitable.
". We had a wonderful coach ." the younger man said,"Absolutely wonderful, got us through some great Henleys". David beamed at him. Suddenly the man took a closer look at him.
"It's you isn't it. ?". He realized then that he had in fact found his old coach. He kissed David who was an interesting mix of pride and embarrassment.
A certain amount of reminiscing took place then and I watched my dear old boy becoming young again. For a few precious moments he became again the great sportsman he had been.
I was very proud of him.
I am so glad it happened today because the decision has been taken that this would be the last Henley. No handkerchiefs needed. We left in a cloud of glory. Tears may come later.
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