As I walked home from my final day in formal education, I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with my life. It was 21st December 1967, and I was 15 years old. It’s now 2016 and looking at teenagers today, it seems strange when I consider that I didn’t drink, smoke, or swear. Okay, I admit it, I was also a virgin in every sense of the word.
Where are my manners?
My name is Jim Faulkner, and before I go any further, I’d like to thank you for taking an interest in my story. I like to think that from my mid-teens, my life evolved to become colourful and diverse, but to put my story in context, I think we should have a closer look at me, back in December 1967.
I was clean, tidy, organised, respectful and dutiful. I went to church every Sunday and feared the wrath of my God. I enjoyed walking, cycling and playing football. In my quieter moments, I loved to read, draw, learn about: history, geography, natural history and listen to music. I only had one close friend.
My brown hair had a few blonde streaks, was always short, immaculately combed, and neatly parted. I was 5 foot 6ins tall, fresh-faced, blue-eyed, and slightly built. According to most, I was a handsome young man. Not so bad you might think, so let’s dig deeper.
As a boy, I was shy. By the time I reached the age of 15, the only females I’d ever kissed were adults. No, not cougars - relatives. Let’s take this slow at first eh.
I first got peculiar urges looking at girls when I was about 12, but the urges remained unexplained. Sex education in those days was limited. No, let’s face it, sex education was non-existent. To put that in perspective, it was limited to PE lessons.
You’d like an example?
All the girls changed in one dressing room, and all the boys changed in another. The world was a different place back then. My parents weren’t big on talking about sex. To be honest, for most of my life they didn’t talk about anything; they shouted.
As you read on, you will be introduced to the story of my journey into manhood and beyond.
Although my tale is mainly of my military career, I believe it will have a broad appeal, so there is no requirement for the reader to have been in the Armed Forces.
It is a human story - a coming-of-age ... A Life of Choice.
Saturday 6th January 2018
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