When I was 12 I had a friend who had a school girl crush on David Soul, alias Starskey, or was it Hutch? You see it never meant anything to me, all this hero worship and swooning over characters with whom I would never meet. I was more realistic in my expectations in life, I mean, how on earth would I ever get to meet a Pop Idol or a TV Star, let alone snog him; because lets face it, that was what we were all thinking about back then? But Helen was not daunted, every wall was covered with centre folds of her current muse. And she was fickle! I couldn't believe the rapidity of the turnover of posters and photographs, no sooner were they blue-tacked up on the wall, then they were ripped from their shrines and frames and replaced with a better and more appealing 'sex god'...
So, you see, my list of 7 people who have influenced me will not be about anyone you know. I have never brushed with the rich and famous (though I did catch a glimpse of Jonny Kingdom the other week if that counts?) and have never really longed to meet any stars or superstars. They may have influenced me, through popular culture as a whole, but it is my everyday influences that have made me who I am. And every time I meet someone else, the possibilities grow.
...A couple of years on and I found myself in the local park at lunchtime with Paul. I don't remember much about him as a person, I don't think it occurred to me to ask, all I knew was that he made my knees go all wobbly and his dad drove a blue Porche. I remember lying with him on the grass, ridged with anticipation of a first kiss, when he leant over and slipped his hand inside my school shirt. I could have died with embarrassed. Not because of what he was doing, but because I knew, as with all women and girls, that unless you have implants, that the flesh beneath slips sideways and diminishes! Now, I'm not sure anyone had thought of implants back then, but if they had I'm sure I'd have craved some, just to stop the awfulness of the situation happening again. I mean, where had my chest disappeared to right when I needed it?
Anyway, I'm not sure we ever kissed. I think he asked me to the cinema just to be polite, and because he was late we missed the beginning of The Deer Hunter, a film which gave me nightmares and disturbed me for years afterwards.
I have included him here, for two reasons. His best friend became a good friend of mine instead, no kissing was ever involved, just friends. I often walked home with him. I remember his mum showing me her newly decorated dining room one day in 1979. I was stunned, the walls were hung with luxurious wallpaper; navy blue with gold stars, I'd never seen anything like it before. And later, much later in my life I became an interior designer and recreated her dining room for myself in a large executive house. This was the late 80's, all was opulent and extreme, the 16 year old long gone.
Yet the real influence was how he looked. After we both left school I only spotted him once, walking through my home town, alone and aloof. I can remember now how my heart missed a beat, such a wonderful feeling when that happens, so much more powerful when you are just 16. Yet we never spoke again. Then one day I saw someone who looked just like him. I was sitting in the local Wine Bar with my best friend. If I'd not known Paul would I ever have noticed this new man? I don't think so, but because I did notice him it changed my life's path, things were never quite the same again...
I loved this post. There cant be many people who didnt spend time in the local park with their first boy/girlfriend.
Such an fascinating post. Interesting to remember how people have affected us, and the sometimes "peculiar" ways in which that has happened.
What a fascinating idea... paying homage to those who have affected us. I guess we never know what influence we have on other people... even tghe smallest action can produce huge results that we may never see because they happen in someone else's life.
David Soul!!! I'll have to show this to my other half. She loved him too! She went with her Mum to The Winter Gardens in Margate when he did the music thing and apparently (according to her Mum) jumped up and down on the seat screaming at him... well I've seen that response to Mick Huknell as well so no doubt it is true... :-)
Love this post! It's easy to forget what a huge big deal things like first kisses and first boyfriends were to your teenage self. This made me smile for my own forgotten memories :)
I'm not inspired by celebs either, because what do you actually know about them except their carefully polished public image?
Lots of people have inspired me in my life, particularly people with very positive personalities - warm, generous, creative, open-minded. I remember them so vividly when all the negative, whingy, mean-spirited individuals have long faded from my memory.
Interesting how you can suddenly notice someone because they remind you of some long-distant friend. What a fortunate encounter!
Brilliant post, Burby! I think the adoration school girls feel for famous guys is that they aren't really attainable. The admiration from afar is a 'safe' way to feel lots of feelings without it ever going any further than that.
And I'm pretty sure David Soul was Hutch. ;)
I remember that blue wallpaper with stars, was it Osbourne and Little? Loved it but never had any ... very intriguing post, interesting the way one person can have such an influence.
That's the one DD! I presume the O&L one was the more affordable version of the much more expensive paper that had inspired me over 10 years before. Don't work in those circles anymore, I wonder if you can still buy it?! I did stencil a room with stars once, took bloody ages!
We never know how much someone might influence us later. I had a crush for a few years in high school on a "bad boy" who later spent some time in prison, I think. Good thing he didn't reciprocate my infatuation:)
Hope you are doing well; I'm having some computer problems and can't always leave comments on posts.
Nice job on this. I can vividly remember many a time in the park trying to cope a feel....
Can't think of any influences as yet. I'm very much the realist, but I must confess to having had a fair few 'swoons' during my life!
I love this idea. In real life people that have influenced you.
I love it.
Now, I have to think on it. This will be interesting what I come up with.
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