Window No. 6

My father was a serious man. He wasn't cold or unfeeling. He loved my mother and me deeply but living through hard times had created a quiet reticence in him. A teenage injury at the start of the second world war had left him in almost constant pain, not that he asked for or expected pity, quite the opposite. His normal expression was a frown. He had what you would call a furrowed brow. Amid his serious mood though, certain things would bring an understated smile to his lips - his family, jazz music, the sight of a Scottish landscape. What was rarer was to hear him chuckle. Rarer still was the sight of my father laughing so much that tears washed down his face.

The comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise were one of the few things that reduced him to this state. They were a straight man (Ernie Wise) and a funny man (Eric Morecambe). Both worked incredibly hard to acquire not only fame but a place in the hearts of the British public. Ernie was constantly at the mercy of his taller companion's quips but then so were their guests. The child that I was took delight in seeing two grown men doing a silly dance (as they exited at the end of each show after singing themselves out with 'Bring me sunshine' ), Eric slapping Ernie's face (not as violent as it sounds) and the way they could persuade even the most serious of actors to do silly things.
Their Christmas shows were the best. In fact it wasn't Christmas without a visit from Morecambe and Wise.


  1. Oh I remember them too! Another comic duo I loved was the Two Ronnies. On tv this wekend, I will be settling in to watch "The One Ronnie" a birthday special made by Ronnie Corbett.

  2. My Dad loved them too. Do you remember the mystery raspberry blower of old London town?

  3. My husband and I spent the cruise when we got engaged listening to jazz music every night at the jazz bar. It does relax you and put you in a good mood.

  4. It was a great love of my father's.

  5. Not quite Gene Kelly, but a good laugh and memory. It is interesting learning about other family traditions, we all have our own.

  6. Oh yes I do remember the mystery raspberry blower of old London town, now that you've reminded me - happy memories!


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