It is amazing how things change over the years…
When I was young, I grew up in the Brisbane suburb of Kedron. Life was simple, pleasant. The familiarity of the street was something I was comfortable with. Yes, there were times of stress in the house, but the place held a certain knowing that this was the place of my belonging, at least for a time..
I had always thought that Kedron would be a suburb that would remain the same, despite how things seem to change.
I had always thought that the old house I grew up in on Tenth Avenue would stand forever. Our house was a two level, 3 bedroom brick/weather board home what was painted this tacky color of creme, and the wrap around deck that was painted almost dark purple.
The old tin shed in the backyard, and the old homemade brick barbeque, where I would spend countless hours practicing my bowling techniques for cricket (such as Don Bradman would do when he was young… Hey, this was Aussie, and what boy didn’t wanna be like the Don!).
In our backyard we had 2 trees. A large mango tree that I would always climb and knock down the mangos, and fruitbats used to haunt at night, and some other eyesore of a tree that looked like it belonged in a swamp… Then came the front yard of our house. Our two gardens were nothing to look at, and I mean that LITERALLY. I mean, we had two L-shaped gardens, one on either side of the yard, and nothing grew in them.. period. It was like the gardens were a present reminder that they belonged in the wasteland! It was not that they were tended to, because they weren’t, except for maybe twice or three times a year when I was pretty much told to dig the garden… which always involved using a pick and a shovel, and pretty much most of the entire day… I can still remember when VCR’s first came out, and one needed finance to buy one! (yes folks, we had a salesman sit in our house and tried to sell us a BETA!)
I remember my next door neighbors, Jack and Emma. There was their nephew, Steven W who would visit them on occasion, and whenever he visited, we would spend hours and hours playing cricket in Jack & Emma’s backyard. (The amount of times the tennisball went crashing through their window was countless… and priceless! ) Steven must have been 2 or 3 years younger than me maybe, and he had a younger sister, Edwina. Of course, we never allowed her to play cricket with us, as this was a man’s game 🙂
Next door to Jack and Emma lived Peter Glenn, who owned a Nursery/ Shadehouse business. From the size of his house, and the massive shadehouse in his backyard, I figured at the time that he must have been a millionaire.
Across the street, lived a boy around my age, Stephen Amos. To this day I wonder how it was that one week we would be best friends then the next week the worst of enemies at the drop of a hat.
I remember one time when Stephen introduced me to the world of computers. This would have been back in around 1982, or maybe 1983. Apple computer I think he had, with those floppy, saggy disks that took hours to load anything, that ugly green screen, and the dot matrix printer which was so loud you didn’t need an alarm!
The school I went to, Kedron State. It was simple. We had a cricket pitch at one end of the front of the school, and the other end the pool. Those were the days when we were not allowed to use a calculator to figure out mathematics, and to urk everyone the teachers would scratch the chalk across the blackboard.
Once a year, a visiting dental van would come, and stay a week. Everytime they came meant two pretty dental nurses for us boys to stare at, while we tried ever so hard to look manly. One boy in particular, Craig M, was always called out of class. At the time we thought he was lucky and teased him with that he had a girlfriend. Of course, we knew that was never the case… Still, one had to envy him, sitting in that dental chair with two pretty nurses while he got his teeth choked-full of fillings 🙂
The house I grew up in, the area, were all things I had once desired my own son to see. But somehow, things are not that simple.
You can imagine my surprise when I used Google Street view tonight to look at the street I grew up.
That old house I once lived in has changed; the school I attended at the top of the street was changed, Jack & Emma’s house was gone, replaced with a couple of Townhouses… Even the house where Vicki lived on Eighth Avenue was gone.
The last time I was in Kedron was in 1988, just before my father sold the house on Tenth Avenue and we moved to Albany Creek.
21 years. It is amazing how things so quickly change in the course of a lifetime.
Gone is the cricket pitch at my old school, gone are the Purcell’s, gone are the days when I would run amock in that neighborhood.
One cannot relive those glory days, but one can always hold some fond memories of those young years 🙂