This post was updated on .
It was in the early summer of 1968 when I first saw the wave. The car horn blasted and I saw this chap waving like a lunatic, he was vaguely familiar and grinning like a cheshire cat, but I could not place him. A few days later I did, when he walked into Dolcis Shoe Shop, my then place of employment, he was very tall, still grinning, and he asked if we could meet somewhere. He said he had a business proposal to make and hoped I might be interested, I agreed to listen and we arranged a time to meet. I was intrigued as to what he could want and It turned out he wanted my knowledge, It seemed he had been a customer of mine in my previous job and he said I had impressed him. In turn his proposal impressed me and soon we shook hands on a deal, one month later we began working on a project that would enrich both our lives, but today I'll just tell the story of "The Wave."
My new working colleague was called David and together we would drive for miles in his "Ford Cortina" estate car. When we passed someone he knew, his horn would honk, the manic waving would commence, and the grin would light up his face. I liked David, he was a warm and friendly man. He looked like a better looking version of "Cardew Robinson", a once famous comic everyone knew. Our business together flourished but as our success gained momentum, David began to change, his smiles were fewer, his waves less manic. By this time we were always busy and we spent less time together, the Cortina had been traded in and David now proudly drove a "Mercedes Benz". I noticed that If he passed an acquaintance he never touched the horn, and "The Wave" had changed, he now would gently raise his right hand a few inches, gently and slowly, almost like a Royal.
The years passed and our status grew, David and I were now co-directors of our very successful company, but our values caused a schism between us. The Mercedes had not been status enough and David now drove the ultimate status symbol, for he had a "Rolls-Royce". You won't be surprised when I tell you that "The Wave" altered yet again, This time we were travelling to some function and we passed an old school friend of his who saluted us. David, with his hands on the steering wheel, just about managed to raised the index finger of his right hand.
Needless to say in the fullness of time David and I went our separate ways. I have not seen him for almost thirty years but I'm told he ended up a rich man. Somehow, I feel he was far richer when we first met, when he would drive around blasting the horn on his old Cortina car, grinning like a Cheshire cat and waving like a lunatic to his friends!