I Wanna Tell You A Story. Max Bygraves 1922- 2012

I thought it might be remiss of me if I didn’t say a little about Max Bygraves as I heard his death announced on television earlier last night. At eighty nine Max has finally taken himself, his pink and blue toothbrush and his hands, out from the limelight and consequently closed another little link we had with the past. He will be sorely missed.

It got me to thinking all about the melancholic way we can feel when something or someone that gives us a cosy feeling of a yesterday, leaves us. What is this warm nostalgic feeling? Why, sometimes, do we feel unsafe as we move further away from a time we believe we knew? Why do we become aliens now in a world that we created and why is nostalgia a welcome digression from reality?

To be able to manage nostalgia bouts would be a good thing. However, in the real world, nostalgia can hit you like a wave when you least expect it and rather than making you think of the past it can just make you look dispassionately at the present.

The facts are clearly evidential, nostalgia gives us a warm, filtered and beautifully sunny place to be, where summers were warmer; nights were more romantic, when we were the young, when we knew how to have a good time and when the world was ours at night. Can we still claim that or have things changed? Are we but slaves to nostalgia?

I am moved to ask this unanswerable question because whatever the answer, yesterday, with the death of Max Bygraves, we realised that he and others like him kept us in touch with the place we’ve all come from, that place being  the past. As I saw the tribute on the news I felt that another silver thread between me, and the friendly cosy past I spoke of, had been snapped.

His totally child friendly act, his ability to engage the very old and the very young was almost the default setting for entertainment in a world where it was considered filthy to listen to Alf Garnett swearing or to laugh openly at the rude bits in Monty Python.

Because of him ,yesterday I had an unexpected surprise trip into nostalgia. Thank you Max Bygraves. I, like many, are sorry you have gone.


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on www.ojlwritingservices.co.uk.

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