Jon Crispin's Notebook

John Wilson

Posted in Friends, History, People, Travel by joncrispin on 09/12/2011

I’m in the UK for a few days helping my friend John Wilson do some work on his house in Chiswick.  We don’t get to see each other often enough, but when we do it is always a treat.  We met when we were both living in Berlin in the 1980’s and became close immediately.  I have always been fascinated by his personal history.  He was born in Trinidad, went to boarding school in Barbados, moved to the UK when he was 16, and has lived and worked all over the world.  His family had been in the Caribbean for generations, and his father’s father was the Postmaster General of Grenada.  (Charles Livingstone Wilson)  Today we were in his studio and he wanted to show me a suitcase that contained some family items.  (Suitcases seem to be a theme for me lately.)  The name tag above is sewn on to the tennis shorts that he wore while at the Lodge School in Barbados.

The Pan American tag was on the inside of the case.  It was full of family items and lots of folders, including reports to his mother and father about his progress at school.

I really like looking at old documents.  There is something about the typefaces and writing in ink from a fountain pen that appeals to me.

  Above is his housemaster’s comment (turquoise ink).  And he still is quite the gentleman.

The comment above from the headmaster is a true reflection of the times.  This is from his last term at school. / I am constantly reminded of how amazing all of my close friends are, and am so lucky to be a part of their lives.

5 Responses

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  1. Theanne said, on 09/12/2011 at 4:15 pm

    Became engrossed in your photos of the contents of Mr. Wilson’s suitcase…I enjoyed writing with an ink pen…there was something quite grand about the ink flowing onto the paper.

  2. joncrispin said, on 09/12/2011 at 4:23 pm

    John and I are still both using fountain pens, and probably have far too many between the two of us. In fact it is one thing that brought us together in Berlin.

  3. chewybooks said, on 09/12/2011 at 4:26 pm

    Your friend is exactly the sme age I am – and I remember all that long hair on boys. My father used to say it made them look girlish, but I always liked it.

  4. L.S. Stuhler said, on 09/12/2011 at 4:32 pm

    “His long hair makes him look girlish.” I remember those days! What I think is funny is that my son’s hair has always been shorter than my husband’s. Each generation is unique. Wish I had friends in the UK. You are a lucky man!

  5. Florence Hochman said, on 09/12/2011 at 5:35 pm

    I can remember those days of long hair on my son, too. His Father hated it but I figured it was his hair and not mine, and he would have to deal with it in his own way. And he did. Wonderful to share these memories.

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