NUMBER 28: Growing Up
For a long time I was always wanting to brush the past under the mat and leave it firmly where it was. Perhaps in part, this is because growing up wasn’t a pleasant experience at times. My family were quite poor, I was forced into a horrid Catholic education and molested by teachers and priests and my dad used to hit my mum.
In the past 12 months, I have gone down a pathway of reflection. In essence, I have tried to remember more of the positive things from my youth. And you know what? There were indeed plenty of wonderful memories.
Perhaps some of my earliest memories come from a few years spent in a little country town that say just outside of Dubbo in New South Wales. The place was called Wellington and it certainly was a small town. Everybody knew everybody. I guess that was the charm of the place? My dad drove a taxi, my mum kept the house and we went to a Catholic school where discipline was the answer to all our problems. There were daily bible stories too where we were told a lot of horse shit really. But that is religion for you right?
I saw my first ever film at the cinema in Dubbo during 1983. It was Return of The Jedi. Not a bad start ey? I think we saw Jaws 3 there as well around the same time. On weekends we would be outside getting up to no good and playing with the neighbors. And in 1982, I remember watching my first Rugby League grand final on the television. Parramatta defeated Manly the losing team wore unfamiliar white jerseys with maroon trim.
My dad, despite his many faults would take us on bush walks and picnics. Sometimes we’d even go to the caves nearby. When at home we would pretend to be characters from Monkey Magic and Doctor Who! And if we were good, mum would allow us to watch The Kenny Everit Video Show on ABC!
There was this one time where my brother taught me to say the word, “cunt”! Instead of just teaching it, he also got me to go on the old CB radio in my dad’s taxi one morning before school and say the word repeatedly on live taxi radio so every man and his dog, including the lady who owned all the cabs could hear. That afternoon, I was taken to her house and made to apologize. Funny thing is, I had no idea what the word meant so was unable to comprehend why I was in trouble?
Some day soon, I should really head back to Wellington and see what has become of the old pad. I’ve heard it has turned into a bit of a shit hole but then again, most country towns go that way sooner or later. The morning we left to move back to Sydney was a sad one because our little white cat, Snowball refused to come along so we had to leave her be. I often wonder what became of her…….