things of little relevance

sentimental education
July 15, 2009, 11:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I met Simon Goldman in 1960 when I was 16 and he was – he said – 27, but was probably in his late 30s. I was waiting for a bus home to Twickenham after a rehearsal at Richmond Little Theatre, when a sleek maroon car drew up and a man with a big cigar in his mouth leant over to the passenger window and said, “Want a lift?” Of course my parents had told me, my teachers had told me, everyone had told me, never to accept lifts from strange men, but at that stage he didn’t seem strange, and I hopped in. I liked the smell of his cigar and the leather seats. He asked where I wanted to go and I said Clifden Road, and he said fine. I told him I had never seen a car like this before, and he said it was a Bristol, and very few were made. He told me lots of facts about Bristols as we cruised – Bristols always cruised – towards Twickenham. He had a funny accent – later, when I knew him better, I realised it was the accent he used for posh – but I asked if he was foreign. He said: “Only if you count Jews as foreign.” Well of course I did. I had never consciously met a Jew; I didn’t think we had them at my school. But I said politely: “Are you Jewish? I never would have guessed.” (I meant he didn’t have the hooked nose, the greasy ringlets, the straggly beard of Shylock in the school play.) He said he had lived in Israel when he was “your age”. I wondered what he thought my age was: I hoped he thought 19. But then when he said, “Fancy a coffee?” I foolishly answered, “No – my father will kill me if I’m late.” “School tomorrow?” he asked, and, speechless with mortification, I could only nod. So then he drove me to my house, and asked: “Can I take you out for coffee another evening?”


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: