I have known a lot of Joes in my time, none of them I would say were or are what I would call an ordinary Joe.
The first Joe that springs to mind was Joe Dorosz, my mother’s first husband, my father being her second. Although I never actually met Joe we were sort of linked through my mother who often talked about him, and she cried when he passed away despite knowing him only for a very short time, their marriage lasting not even two years.
The next Joe was Uncle Joe who lived next door to my grandparents with his wife Auntie Rene, neither were related but in those days children called all adults Auntie and Uncle out of respect. Uncle Joe and Auntie Rene could not have their own children but they were always very good to us.
Joe number three was actually a galah that my Uncle Max found, gaain no relation but Uncle Max played an immense part in my life and is sadly missed. Anyway back to Joe the galah who like most galahs was an excellent mimic. In those days Uncle Max flew racing pigeons and when it was time for them to come in from training he used to whistle, you guessed it, Joe mimicked the whistle and used to call the pigeons in too early.
The next Jo, note the different spelling, was one of my best mate’s sister, part of the teenage gang I used to hang around with. This Jo left our gang early as she was the first of us to marry outside the group and our lives just went in different directions. A couple of years ago I organised a reunion which she attended, it was lovely to see her again, I look forward to the next reunion.
Moving forward a number of years there is another Joe, and not a particularly nice one. I met this Joe when he was dating my youngest sister Carolyn, he then dated my ex-wife’s niece whom he did not treat very well, and went on to marry my other sister who thoroughly deserves him.
Jo number six and her partner Kate are now two of our closest friends, we see them often and always have a great time. Jo has a heart of gold and I am sure this friendship will be a lifelong one.
That is it for me and my Joes. If I have missed anyone I am sorry.
What has happened to my idyllic little world, the world where Disco music, Suzi Quatro, and ABBA ruled. I had no problems, great friends, a world where I coasted along from day-to-day, a world where I felt safe. Oh yeah, that was the 70s.
Granted we had terrorism then as well, who could forget the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, but that was on the other side of the world, I was safe. Who can forget the Family murders, the Hilton Hotel bombing, my innocence still told me I was safe.
Then came the 80s, marriage, and four wonderful sons, friends start to drift apart, the reality of a mortgage and responsibility set in. Then came the 90s, divorce, more responsibility, the passing of friends taken too soon, and my remaining three grandparents and my beloved Uncle Max pass on.
I remember the year 2000, I could not celebrate, not that I wanted to as my life was a shambles by then as I fought with my sexuality. I had to work on 1 January, the joys of working in IT and the dreaded Y2K bug, the biggest hoax I think we have seen.
In November 2001 I met Brian, what a roller coaster that has been. We have bought and sold two businesses and one house, we are now in our second house, but in between we rented and moved, rented and moved again. We lived apart for a year as we tried to juggle two collapsing businesses, it was the toughest decade yet, at times the happiest, but the tough times were just too much and depression set in.
Here I am in 2014, Brian and I are still together, despite the odds being stacked against us at times. I still battle with depression although it is not as bad and does not hit me as often. My children are adults and three of them have their own children, and I have become reacquainted with old friends thanks to Mr Facebook, things could be worse.
What will the rest of this decade bring, a healthy retirement I hope, and world peace, a world without terrorism of any kind any where. One can only hope.