John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Chris has a fit

Early Days1965, the year that changed my life
Chris’s reaction to the programme “Sharon”

Chris, ca.1967

Perhaps December 1964
 Shortly after this, Chris and I were at my place. My Mum and Dad don’t feature in this memory, so perhaps they were out; but our Steve and my Grandma were in the house somewhere. Perhaps my Grandad was, too, but he also doesn’t feature in the memory.

"My Mum and Dad" in 1967

"Our Steve" in 1967

"My Grandma… my Grandad" in 1967
 Chris and I were in the rear downstairs living room, listening to records on Steve’s record player, the one with a wood-veneer cabinet which stood on four slender legs. Suddenly, Chris fell across the corner of this, making the pickup bounce across the record, then he lay still, face-down on the floor.

"Steve’s record player" — a similar Carousel Capri record player, seen for auction on eBay in 2010
 Either Steve and my Grandma were nearby, in the kitchen perhaps, and came over to see what had happened, or else they heard the thump as Chris hit the floor and came into the room from elsewhere. They stood there in the corner of the room, shocked and motionless, pale with fright, staring down at the motionless figure of Chris.
 They remained there, not knowing what to do, when he started to shake, growling and grinding his teeth, and beating with his fists and feet on the floor. There were two or three episodes of this lying still, then convulsing.
 Meanwhile, I was calm and cool; I was playing the expert, having seen this happen before, oh, at least once!
[more] I simply said, “Let’s put the kettle on.” They were horrified at what they took to be my callousness: “How can you say that!”; but what I intended to do was make a cup of coffee, which I thought he would need when he regained consciousness — which he duly did, feeling worn out and perhaps with a headache, and with no memory of what had just happened, but otherwise none the worse for what he had been through.

On 21st November 2005 my Mum recalled to me an occasion when Chris had a fit, which I don’t remember at all.
I don’t know what time of the year it was. But you and Chris were upstairs. I think Steven had the little back bedroom at that time, didn’t he; and you were playing with his record-player. And so I called up to you, and I told you to take care, because you were making such a jolly racket! Then I heard this thud, so I thought, “Well, this is the last straw!” And I stomped upstairs; and there was Chris, lying face downwards in your bedroom. And he had pale blue jeans, and he looked absolutely immaculate. And he was shaking, all from head to foot. And you went into the bathroom, and you got a face-cloth, and you wound it up into a roll, and you put it in his mouth. And I left you to it. And he came round a little while afterwards, and — I can’t just remember any more about it. But I do just remember that fit. I always remember how immaculate he looked, because he was always a clean lad; and you sometimes looked rather grubby! But he always looked clean.
Chris has another fit

Chris wrote (Mon 2011 04 11 16:09):
Thanks for sending the link to your blog. It was nice to hear your Mum's voice recounting the details of that incident. I guess that must have been recorded around the time that I last saw her in the summer of 2005. I can remember the pale-blue jeans, but have otherwise no recollection of the event she describes. I do vaguely remember the other incident, however, which took place in your dining room, when your grandma was there.
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