Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: RJ Willey

Cherry Pickers

Pages: 546 Ratings:
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18-year-old Bobby Kemp got to the ‘60s in time alright, no further than Leeds, and remembered all of it. What a year: school out and passed the 11+. So, being a white-collar worker for the council is his future. A steady job then, set for life. A steady girl, engagement, marriage, kids, house, car, pension. But steady on, is that all? He hasn’t done anything, yet.

His feeble rites of passage – steady as she goes, poop-poop, bleat – are dissed by a passing back-packing Californian, Ben Gaunt, who’s seeking his family roots near York. To Bobby’s ill-content at getting nowhere, slowly he offers, ‘It’s your life, man. Just go...’ And he does: he drops everything and goes on the road into the ‘60s.

Along this passage there are side alleys, little ginnels and dead ends, each with characters and their stories to walk with for a while, until he just goes...

Willey’s career graph since 1960 is neither a Manhattan nor a High Alpine…more flat savanna with termite mounds.

Post War secondary grammar…note the runner-up status. So, office-worker, not artisan, the fastest losers. Even in the Army, sergeant-clerk, not a wannabee officer.

Raised himself a tad in flat East Anglia, wardenning youth hostels, for self aggrandisement in the hospitality business that led to hotels in South Africa. Timeously, as President De Klerk had choked, providing the opportunity to wawyk some in the uncertainty of an emerging African democracy.

Writing about what you know then dated from 1960, the author is well into the fourth of the Cherry Picker content, Cherry Picker Too, the one after this.

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