Aggie Davis, a foster mother, was indeed a nasty piece of work! Wicked she was, and prone to fly into a rage without warning. She made life very unpleasant for me. I was a nervous wreck most of the time I was in her company. Nervous and timid, that was me in those days.
Yes that was me, nervous and timid. I wouldn't say 'boo' to a goose. At least that was what Bert, Aggie's husband thought. He thought it for a long time, and he kept on thinking it. He kept on thinking it until I was about 19 years old.
In fact he was still thinking it when he stood up in court and agreed to let me move back into his and Aggie's house. He still thought it when he agreed to stand bail for me.
I was in trouble again for fighting. At least that was what the charge was. The truth of the matter was that I had merely stood up for myself against a bully. I'm not making excuses here. OK I admit I was no saint during my teenage years, especially when I'd had a drink or few, and perhaps in some instances I behaved like a drunken lout. But mostly, I was standing up for myself.
Anyway in this incident the other fighter had made a complaint and I was arrested. I shouldn't really refer to him as a fighter, because I only hit him once, and he gave up!
It was me that was arrested though. In those days if you had a police record, and the other person didn't, well, basically you were done for. Done up like a bleedin' kipper, as they used to say in the parlance of the day.
On the bus going back to his place, Bert was shaking his head in a perplexed manner. He was still thinking along the lines of: "When you were a kid, Johnny Boy, you wouldn't say 'boo' to a goose!"
He was right too, I wouldn't have. Not until the day, when aged about 12, and in the midst of being beaten once again by Aggie, I suddenly decided to fight back, and gave her an almighty thump on the nose!
It was then, as far as I can recall, that I began to stand up for myself.
From that day on. The goose was the timid nervous one. Not me.