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Living in the 70s

Our formative years, the years when we go from being a child to a teenager to a young adult, for me those years coincided exactly with the 70s, the disco era, what wonderful memories. The Old Lion, the Melbourne Street Underground, Suzi Quatro, dare I say it Garry Glitter, Sweet, Abba, KC and the Sunshine Band, the memories come flooding back.

Anyway back to November 1970 when  I turned 12, I attended Hope Valley Primary School and I was in Grade 7 as we called it then. Mr Hoff was my teacher and my overriding passion was pigeon racing. I did not have a lot of friends, just Chris really, in fact this is when I really started to get bullied, I did not like sport and I was not very good at it, it was the start of a tumultuous decade in my life.

In 1971 I started First Year high school at Modbury High School, I didn’t do too bad academically, I wasn’t top of the class as I had been in primary school but I was up there, I held my own. I still was not interested in sport, and I was definitely one of the weaker students, I was no good at craft either, things like woodwork, metal work and plastics, and again I was bullied. I got my first girlfriend in First Year, Angelica, I thought she was it and a bit, but like all teenage romances it fizzled quite quickly.

Second Year came in 1972 and I started to make some friends, mainly with what would today be referred to as nerds, but at least they were friends, I started to fit in somewhere. This is when I first met Tom and Phillip, not that I am saying they were necessarily nerds. My grades started to slip though and from then on they declined steadily as I tried to fit in with the cool kids, I did not want to be a nerd, I desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids.

Third Year in 1973 was a turning point for me, I was making real friends, lifelong friends that I am proud to say I still see today. The students from the new Banksia Park High School moved to Modbury High as their new school was not quite ready, something that I am eternally grateful for. Mandy, Anita, Christine, you all know who you are, and over time the group  grew as we welcomed, two Julies, Louise, Fiona, Margaret, and others.

Moving on to 1974 and I just scraped through my exams, but I did have a new friend in Sylvia, but in 1975 when I was doing my Matriculation Year all interest in study was gone, I wagged school constantly, and failed my exams dismally. I had just tuned 17.

In December 1975 I got my first job selling encyclopedias door to door, and then moved on to circuit breakers. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out how that went, I had neither the confidence, the personality, or the drive to succeed here, but before long I had my first full-time job as a sales assistant for Lloyds Australia, and then three years later I was managing a small independent hardware store before becoming unemployed early in 1980.

Back tracking to 1979 when my life changed forever, I met my ex-wife, became a father, and then got married, in that order. The racing pigeons were gone by now but my friends from Banksia Park, Chris from primary school, and Sylvia, Phillip and Tom from Modbury High, were very much a big part of my life. Four wonderful children later, well we all know how that ended, enter Brian, but I still have those wonderful friends.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..1 January 2013

Brian and I had a lovely night last night with a small group of friends from my days at Solver Paints, and some “new” friends. It was a nice change to be out and about and not sitting at home on the couch on New Year’s Eve with just a cursory “Happy New Year” exchanged to each other come midnight.

Today we went down to Clayton Bay and had lunch with friends Jan and Harvey, but not before a stopover at the Strathalbyn Hospital to visit our sick friend Mary who has Parkinson’s Disease. Mary was not herself but I hope our visit gave her some reason to smile. Mary’s partner Marg was also there, these two very special ladies were a great comfort to me during a very lonely time in Clayton Bay when Brian and I were forced to live apart whilst running our businesses, and they remain firm friends.

As usual Brian and I took the opportunity for a quick drive around town to see what had changed and we happened to spy another old acquaintance standing looking out of his from window so we stopped and had a chat . Kevin seemed genuinely pleased to see us and as both he and I share a love of racing pigeons I told him about my plans to again take up the sport.

After a pleasant lunch with Jan and Harvey and their son Jason, another old friend Judy called in as she knew we would be there, it was great to catch up on the local gossip and Judy looked well, we had not seen her since we left Clayton Bay over two years previously.

It was a very long day for us, particularly after a very long day on new Year’s Eve , so we were pleased to collapse onto our respective lounges when we arrived home. Brian was pooped and went to bed a little after 8.00 and it is now 10.35 and I have the same idea.

Until tomorrow, thank you for reading.