Thursday, April 30, 2009

Antics in the shelter in the early 1970s

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L to R: Steven Juliusberger, Iain Ferris, Fachtna McAvoy and persons unknown.  Looks as though there's a bit of wrestling or tickling going on and Iain's fretting that he's going to get a McAvoy elbow in the eye.

A story springs to mind about Steven Juliusberger (also known, inevitably as Julius Cheeseburger) whom I don't think I've ever met.  I'm pretty sure this story was told to me by a combination of David Southwood, Ian Ferris and John Parry, so it has an excellent pedigree.

Steven Juliusberger was interested in American politics and it was the year of Watergate and Richard Nixon's resignation.  The way the story goes, Juliusberger was obsessive about wanting to know how the story unfolded as it happened. He was much given to listening to a radio that was at Ullenwood at the time.  For all I know it may even have been his own radio.  He was listening to the news about Watergate, even at night.  

There was also a dart board and a set of darts.  One night, long after everyone else had gone to bed, Juliusberger stayed up late listening to the radio and playing darts to pass the time.  On the other side of the wall on which the dart board was hung, was one Terry Courtney, trying to sleep.  

Terry didn't have a very good night's sleep and all he could hear, all night, was "Thump, thump, thump", " Trudge, trudge, trudge", "Thump, thump, thump", "Trudge, trudge, trudge", "Thump, thump, thump", "trudge, trudge, trudge" as Juliusberger threw the darts at the dartboard and shuffled up to retrieve them, listening all the while to the radio.

In the morning Terry wasn't in a very good temper which is entirely understandable.  Terry acquired for himself a large bowl of cornflakes, to which, it is alleged, he applied copious quantities of milk and a liberal sprinkling of sugar.  He then sought out Juliusberger and upended said bowl of cornflakes, milk and sugar over the Juliusberger's head, in retribution for his lost night's sleep.  Doubtless words were exchanged.  Does anyone remember this story?  It is even vaguely an approximation to the truth?  Did it ever happen?  I think we should be told ...

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