Four of them approached us; two girls, two boys and things escalated fast. By the time they'd finished, I had been kicked in the head, my ear cartilage was broken, I had bruises all up my arms and my back had been stamped on repeatedly.
My parents took it further and the police took two of the attackers to court.
I had to endure the next day at school and the main instigator and her friends (who hadn't been there at the time) coming up to me all day saying I was overreacting and that it had been a joke.
When they realised that it had got serious and they were going to be in court for it, things began to get nastier. I was in the same classes as the two girls and the opinion of our year was divided. I'd already been beaten physically, but that year I had to endure the mental beating-up too - not just from those who had been there on that playing field at the time either. Everyone had an opinion on what had happened, depending on who they preferred to listen to.
When the court case came around, the Magistrate (juvenile court) asked me a question I've never forgotten.
"Are you frightened of this girl?"
I replied that yes, I was frightened of her. I didn't say she'd kicked seven shades of shit out of me, why the hell wouldn't I be? But maybe if I had, I wouldn't have come to this thought-process:
Yes, she and three others intimidated me to the point that my mind decided not to fight back because I'd save myself a more severe beating - hindsight is 20-20 but I'll never know if that notion would have held true. One of the boys had no problem in hitting girls, I know that because he hit me so would one or all of them have jumped in if I had started getting the better of the instigator? I'll never know, the only thing I do know is this, they did beat me, they did intimidate me - there and after, for months - but they did NOT kill me.
I survived, I developed and after the case I started thinking "Yes, she DID frighten me, but if that was her best effort, she didn't kill me, I got up, I went on and I believe I'm a stronger and more tenacious person because of it."
Did they do me a favour that evening back in the 70s? Hell NO! I took the situation and I built on it. I get the reward, I get the praise, the kudos, I did it.
I survived it all.
So do I celebrate this anniversary? No, not particularly, but I remember.