John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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It may have been in the first year at Fleetwood Grammar School, in 1961 when I was 11 years old, that I developed my first, true adolescent crush on a girl.

Childhood crushes
Up to, and even around, this time, I’d had childhood crushes, where I couldn’t stop thinking about a certain girl or woman, and imagined circumstances in which she and I met. These fantasies were usually of a heroic nature, e.g.:
  • The story of Princess Anne and the wreck of the royal train at Thornton station; see Class 5: Crushes.
Similar feelings hit me for:
  • Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara) in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I saw on TV in perhaps the late 1950’s;

  • Dorothy Provine in The Roaring Twenties, a TV series around 1961 which was shown too late in the evening for me to watch it, but which I must have seen once or twice (we have now reached the time of the “first, true adolescent crush”, but somehow these other ones seemed different, less personal, less “consuming”);

  • Joan Collins in The Road to Hong Kong, seen at the cinema around 1962;

  • Margot Fonteyn, the ballet dancer, who was enjoying a lot of TV exposure around that time;

  • Hayley Mills in the film In Search of the Castaways (theatrical release-date: 21 December 1962);

—and doubtless for others. Most of my childhood crushes were on people seen on TV or at the cinema, but there were occasional ones for “real” people:
  • I do not definitely remember, but I suppose I experienced the feelings of a crush for the two Alisons, the first when I was in Class 4 at Church Road County Primary School (1957–58)—see Class 4: Alison—and the second when I was in Class 2 (1959–60)—see Alison King;
  • And there was a girl in my class called, I think, Marilyn that I remember having such feelings for perhaps in Class 2 (1959–60) but, on refection, more likely in Class 1 (1960–61);

    From class photo, taken 27th October 1960
  • And I must not forget Sandra Gorst, about whom I later wrote: “After I had started at Fleetwood Grammar School, in September 1961, my Dad reported that Sandra thought I was ‘stuck up’, because I hadn’t acknowledged her when she had spoken to me at school; quite frankly, I hadn’t noticed her—which was a pity, because at Beechwood I had a childhood crush on her.” See Beechwood Baths and I learn to swim.
Adolescent and adult crushes
The chief difference, as I perceive things now, between what I am calling a “childhood” crush and an “adolescent” (or even “adult”) one, is that in the latter case the feelings of affection, such as I felt during earlier crushes, were suddenly, for the first time, accompanied by initially nameless and goal-less, but strong, sometimes almost unbearable, urges.
After Audrey, which of the girls, whom I fancied, came within the “crush” category?
  • Glenda Bird (March to April 1969). I fancied Glenda Bird, but she said, “No,” when I asked her to go out with me.

  • Karen Hodgkinson (mainly in the first part of 1971—even though I’d been going out with Gillian Ashworth since April 1970: tch! tch!). The first time Karen was mentioned in a favourable light, in my writings, was on Friday 30 May 1969, at a party: “…Karen came… She is quite pretty and attractive”—though I had been acquainted with her for some considerable time before that. There were also other mentions of her after that in 1969, and I even asked her out on Saturday 6 July 1969 but she turned me down. She was a somewhat strange, unstable character, but that fact either wasn’t apparent to me or I ignored it.

    Karen Hodgkinson, 30 May 1969
  • Miss J. Quick” (very briefly in February 1971—again, while I was going out with Gillian).
Getting married, I’m afraid, provided no immunity against the onset of crushes, and since I married Janet (not Aikman) on 23rd August 1975, there have occurred the following three: Philippa (eighties)[1]; Sundeep (nineties)[2]; Helen (“noughties”)[3]. One might suppose that getting a crush would heighten “5:28” towards the object of it, but in fact I have found that “5:28” has diminished; and, indeed, in all three cases, I have tried to turn my desires into spiritual channels, and try to win them for the Lord.
[1] See Philippa.
[2] She appears in some of the photos on Friday 14th March 1997.
[3] She appears in photos on Friday 16th December 2005, Friday 14th December 2007 and Friday 27th February 2009.
So there have been quite a few crushes over the years!

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