Proud dad John Rogers tells of his emotional rollercoaster as he watched son Chris Rogers' maiden Test century in England last week.
We sat frozen all day, despite wearing thermal singlets, shirts and jackets, with a cold breeze coming across the ground.
We were also in a state of nerves, so dynamic was the bowling of Broad, Anderson and Bresnan, and the threat of Swann.
Chris reaching 50 was as anticlimactic as I'd seen: a single from a dropped catch.
Through the 60s, it was a single every second over. Gradually he made it to 80, then stopped a bit on 92 and then again on 96.
He generally accelerated through the 90s, but Swann and Cook fenced him in. Then Watson got out and Chris knew another wicket must not fall.
A complete ring field hemmed him in and he tried every which way to hit the ball through.
Suddenly I saw a desperate sweep and thought: "Oh, no." It was so dark I immediately thought he was LBW, until I saw them looking square: there was the ball, careering to the fence.
The crowd roared. I was gutted, drained - I even shed a little tear. I couldn't even stand up like everyone else. I gave Ros a hug when she sat down, completely spent after riding every near-miss. So many appeals.
In the next over, after the hundred, I saw Chris leaning on his bat, looking at the ground, the realisation dawning. He said later he had a little tear, too.
My close mate Frank Magnus and his partner Rai flew in from Italy on a whim - he reckoned Chris was going to get a hundred - and booked into Lumley Castle overlooking the ground.
He bought tickets from scalpers and found himself in the rowdiest section of the ground. Show-pony Frank, all dressed up in a maroon and green-striped Midlands Club Cricket Conference blazer, found himself surrounded by hundreds of beer-swilling, singleted Poms.
As only Frank can, he rose to the challenge and let them know of his relationship to Chris and his parents (Chris used to duel with him at tennis and calls him Frankie-boy) and cheered and groaned with every shot.
He became the focus of their attention. They branded him "Henry" after flamboyant British commentator Henry Blofeld, whereupon Frank stood up, beaming, and egged them on. But in the end, they all stood as one for Chris' 100.
We, on the other hand, were sitting two stands away in the outer, in an area for friends of the Australian players - only there weren't any, apart from us. No one in the seats in front, no one behind, and no one alongside in an otherwise packed stadium. No one knew our relationship to what was happening out in the middle. We were lost souls in the middle of it all.
"Stuff it", I thought, I'm going to do a Pat Cash at Wimbledon in reverse: the parents are going to storm the shed! I texted Frank to insist they come with us.
Once upon a time, it was a matter of catching the eye of one of the players, and in you went. Not now. There was a cordon at the entry to the two dressing rooms, with security guards every couple of metres. The Indian betting scandal means the players have to surrender their phones and can't talk with the plebs.
To the astonishment of the mob, we were waved through and told to wait, while another half a dozen layers of security were checked and re-checked. Down came the Aussie manager, Gavin Dovey, who wanted to know about Frank. Chris' uncle Frankie, I assured him.
"Chris is not here," he said. "He's over at the media centre doing interviews. Come in."
There was no ante-room - it was straight into the dressing room. It was like any changeroom. Cricket coffins everywhere and blokes in states of undress, sitting against lockers having a chat.
Apart from the team and a few physios, we were it. Steve Smith and Ed Cowan looked up quizzically. We nodded and said g'day.
I congratulated Shane Watson on his innings and lamented his leg-side dismissal. When Ros reached him, he told her how disappointed he was that he wasn't there for Chris' hundred.
Amid the debris of discarded shirts, creams, socks, gear and jockstraps, Frank and I and the two girls met many of the guys. Far out. They were all as nice as pie, clearly appreciative of Chris' achievement.
David Warner gave me a strong handshake, looked me in the eye, and gave a little nod. Jeepers, I thought, was this the Dave Warner I've heard about?
"Would you like a beer," he asked. "Is the Pope a Catholic," I thought, and he grabbed a stubby, ripped off the top and handed it to me with another level gaze.
We headed towards the balcony and for safer waters. Darren Lehman is a bit more in our age bracket. We chatted a bit, but like most coaches, he was not giving much away. Assistant coach Steve Rixon was in front of me. We went back a long way and chatted as old friends.
Ten minutes later, Chris returned. We all gave him a big hug, Ros first. Chris was still a bit stunned. Knowing our failed attempt to get him married a few years back, he told us that in the interviews he had remarked how he now had something to tell his grandchildren. When he noticed a long-term friend from University of WA cricket club, _The Weekend West _cricket writer John Townsend, he added with a laugh: "if I ever have any".
That was in contrast to his aside to me a few months back: "If you had my life with Middlesex in London, JR, you would never have got married and had me."
Later, Ros and I drove to Chris' hotel and the three of us had dinner together. "Did the Poms get stuck into you verbally," I asked. It seems they had, making great play of his age, what an ugly and lucky dig it was, and that it was his last chance to get a hundred.
Ian Bell, who played at Uni after Chris had left, when I was chairman of selectors, was one of them. But when the hundred came, Bell also made it very clear the rest should congratulate him.
Next day I bought the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and The Observer. They all had at least four pages on the Test and at least two big pictures of Chris. One beauty in the Sunday Tele spread across two pages showed Chris acknowledging the crowd with Lumley Castle in the background. Gotta get a copy of that.John Rogers was general manager of the WACA from 1979 to 1986. He has been following the Ashes series with wife Ros