Zorro's Children

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Zorro’s children



on rainy Saturday mornings

a well-spent ninepence

was all it took

to leave a headscarfed mother

in some chattering queue

for luncheon meat

or lardy cake

and step inside the transport

taking us

to Planet Zog

Or Dead Man’s canyon

via Keystone or some cartoon city


fortified with Mojos

and Mambo juice

in strange shaped cartons

we’d jostle for the back row stalls

or balcony

pudding basin, plaits and pigtails

the order of the day

de-rigueur long shorts

and gabardines in any colour

as long as it was grey

and before curtain up

those “birthday boys and girls”

paraded on the stage

to claim

their prize

of dolly mixtures and

Turkish delight to

whistles and catcalls

from the


bolder boys


settling as the lights

go down
we’d whisper theories as to

how old Hopalong could possibly


that snorting stampede

or Flash dodge

last week’s meteor storm

without a single scratch

and for the next two hours

sit in awe

of granite jaws

and iron fists

- unless the film broke ��"

“Put another bob in”

“Ouch! Who threw that?”

- CLAP! - CLAP! ��" CLAP! ��"

“Sit down! Be quiet! Get off those seats

or you’ll be out!”


but who cared?

we were invincible

and bore

the mark of Zorro

and, after tumbling into daylight

had all afternoon

to be

pilots of the future

fight the Mekon

eat cow pie

and shoot Apaches

from the back seat

of the country bus



when my credits roll

and the final flickering reel

is run

let no one sing

Abide With Me’s

or spout

pomp and piety

but to the strains

of some rumbling arpeggio

and crescendo

write on the falling curtain

these silver words





◄ lifelines

risk ►


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Cate Greenlees

Thu 2nd Jul 2009 13:27

Dont know how I missed this Anthony, but Ive been looking back at your work,and I love the way youve captured the nostalgia here.....you dont see too many kids playing Zoro these days!!
Cate xx

<Deleted User> (5646)

Sun 14th Jun 2009 11:33

Hi Anthony,
you just can't beat those old movies can you?
Love the imagery in this one, i can remember queuing up for the Saturday morning matinee, then when i was old enough to travel on the bus with friends we got free tickets to the cinema 'cos my auntie worked there. Oooh, she had to share them out equally between several nephews and nieces though. Great times!

I'm beginning to sound like Steve Regan with his reminiscing! :-)
Good stuff Anthony and thanks for your lovely comment on my profile.

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winston plowes

Sun 14th Jun 2009 00:17

Hi Anthony... You have encapsulated an era of a certain age never to be repeated. Brilliant stuff. nice end too. Win

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Steve Regan

Fri 12th Jun 2009 21:44

Lovely Anthony, very evocative. Took me back to my days at the ABC Minors on Saturday mornings. We'd sing a song before the film show began ... "We are the boys and girls well known as / The Minors of the ABC! ... And every Saturday we line up / To see the films we love / And shout aloud with glee!" Summat like that. Then on the eay home we'd buy bags of broken biscuits from Wigan market and munch on 'em as we dawdled our way home through Menses Park. Oh, Lordy, don't get me reminiscing...

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Fri 12th Jun 2009 19:54

I wonder if you watched the Mask of Zorro the other day, as I did with the kids? You just can't beat a good swash buckling family film. I love this glimpse of the past, linked so beautifully with the future Anthony. You were lucky to get to the cinema though - we were just pitched outside to play or we read and argued inside because the telly never worked. In some ways, I think we were rather lucky. Modern life seems to stunt the imagination so - or am I just getting old?
Isobel x

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