Out of my grief at the news of Godfreys passing came the idea to trace his pathways through the stories and poems still roaming the world.So I placed a series of random ads- WRITER SEEKS STORIES-OF ANYONE WHO MAY HAVE ENCOUNTERED GODFREY ON HIS WORDLY PEREGRINATIONS
The response has been as random as he was and as heartwarming. The runaway, the librarian, the hobo, the wino,the cook,the poet….I realized that nothing was ingnificant to my freind, whom I met many years ago at a riverside Mangold Wurzel Hurl, I was bonked on the head by the winning beet, and when the fog cleared I was looking into the very worried eyes of Godfrey…but ours is a story for later in the book, for I will begin with his EARLY DAYS,HAPPY TIMES AND THE CHILD WHO WOULD NOT BE BROKEN.
He was a peculiar looking baby and on the odd occasion that he cried, his mother developed the habit, of putting baby Godfrey outside.To Godfrey it was not a bad thing, music to him were the sounds of the seabirds and horns of the ships heading out.His Grandma would pick him up from the grass to sing and dance him about.Then Godfrey would sit on her lap in the pub where she’d sneak him a sip of her stout
In weather foul when his crabby Ma did not leave him out on the lawn, she would put Godfrey in the spare room with a pickle or pork rind to gnaw on.When his older sister Alice came home she would sneak her brother out the backdoor.With a tin they begged sweets in the streets, by looking both orphaned and poor.
He was a peculiar looking baby, dancing before he could walk and speaking only in rhyme,an odd little boy to most everyone,barefoot in the streets he would run,barefoot past the beets in the market he’d run, barefoot and free he would run.
It was from Beatrice Wambe I learned of Godfrey’s youth,he rarely spoke of it.Beatrice alone knew the bullying, neglect and indifference he had triumphed over…and told me of the truly wonderful childhood the two of them created..