Remembering A Friend

Those were the days

Form 1 boys Woodcutter n’ soldier in old school hall
“Hit-wall style” soccer skill developed on chapel wall
Early 80’s we played bridge and mah-jong
Biweekly in winter, spring, summer n’ fall
Ventured on hi ridges, explored lo valleys
Hit long tennis rallies, executed net volleys
So many ways to exercise the body and brain
He’s at his best centering ball from the right wing

Sundays met at Po Leung Kuk, Caroline Hill Road
Then to Gov’t Stadium to cheer for South China goals
To celebrate conquering the tip of Lion Rock
We drank lemon Seven-up “on the rock”
In Cantonese the drink’s called “cold zero-7”
In cinemas we watched movies featuring “Double-O 7”
Bathed in Chung Shan hot spring piped to the house
And tried to learn golf on the brand new course
Both of us quit after consistent 140-plus scores
Not to mention constantly losing balls

Took a jet plane to Taiwan on a group tour
On tour coach we sang like The Brothers Four
Co-rented a unit for years on Cheung Chau east shore
For many weekends slept on Tung Wan apartment floor

Tung Wan first saw our class’ outing in Form 1
When Miss Teacher advised against renting swim trunks
She said: “Rental swimwear are not clean”
That’d never been thought of by us pre-teens
45 years later on November 11, Two thousand 11
Hiking on Cheung Chau kicked off our reunion
Tung Wan again saw the class of ‘71
With spouses sharing wine, seafood and fun

Climbed to see sunrise on cold Lantau Phoenix
For breakfast shared chocolate from a tiny piece
Another trip to Lantau was to camp for a few days
One evening set up tents at Silver Mine Bay
Among us there’s no boy scout or girl guide
While still asleep all were soaked in the rising tide
Though “salty-wet” not how our character’s described
That’s the smell n’ look of these foolish guys

The fast winger’s faster in finding a fiancée
Then each a groomsman on each other’s wedding day
Stella’s and Fonda’s names both end with an “A”
They became moms, still fond of Lamma Yung-shue Bay
Our families invited to BBQ in Tai Po and Shek-O
Children n’ adults all loved food cooked on charcoal

Men’s-only nights in Lee Garden Yum Sing Bar
Cheers and laughter mixed with Löwenbräu
We invested in his stocks-heavy Yum Sing Fund
In 2011 received handsome gain and dividends
Ah Gai once hospitalised for months at Prince of Wales
Chuen-gor brought his son to see weak uncle on many a day

Good ‘n challenging times with Chuen-gor
That dated back to the century before
On earth such times can repeat no more
But someday, somewhere, somehow
Regardless of whether it’s in old school hall
Or on big stage in a new theatre
Whatever play or game doesn’t matter
Wouldn’t mind remaining as a small character
This soldier will play endless times more
With dear friend Chuen-gor the Woodcutter




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