This is part of what I do in realtime gentlemen and it will also give you much of the motivation I have for the game. This piece, retells my first Test match, Feb 1969 at the SCG. Sitting in the old Sheridan Stand, I watched Doug Walters become the first Test player to score a double and single century in the one Test. I scored most of his first innings double in the back of an old maths exercise book, using tally marks. Forty years later, the passion is still so hot that I still have to suck that extra bit of breath when I come around the end of the Churchill Stand and see the ground on the first morning early January at the Sydney Test. I guess you guys have similar stories about "The G".
Anyway, expressed in my favourite form, the following is "When Dougie Made The Double"
Summer blazed in grainy black & white,
until I walked through a TV window
past stands of old corrugated iron and older wood,
into the vivid colours of my youth
and found a new home between
the Randwick and Paddington ends.
White skins were pink and brown
and black came in different shades
as a battle between willow and leather
made the sounds of resonant gun shots
across an oval billiard table
of deep green, light green mown magic.
I passed my first Test watching a first.
National service done but, he still stood to attention
to clip laconically to leg or pull with surprising violence
and all recorded in scribbled tallies
in the vacant back pages of 5th class maths.
Such days, such firsts
never to be repeated
never to be forgotten.
Heroes dressed as heroes are,
all stains and flaws lost in the whiteness,
all the same, all different,
all heroes through twelve year old senses
fresh to colour and sounds and smells
too big to imagine or rich to swallow
without savouring the sensation.
Cut grass aromas new just now;
a bobbing towelling hat mosaic
in hues so bright I still squint;
the cheering politeness to both victor and vanquished;
and a crowd wit still entertaining
down this winding corridor of years.
Wonders not lost on an aging boy’s spirit.
I was there.
I still am.