Make time for reminiscing
HAD the boys up here for a couple of days and we reminisced about when they were young. "Young” to them has always included mobile phones, PlayStations, computers, et al. They eventually headed to bed and I poured myself a Scotch and thought about when I was a kid.
I'm fond of telling the kids that "I remember life before Glad Wrap”. Remember wax paper? Hell, they don't even know what wax paper is!
Those were the days when I'd wake up at 6am, leap out of bed and be off to a mate's place for the day - no booking in advance.
Sleepovers were a thing that happened maybe once or twice in your whole youth, not every other week as it now seems to be. For two bob I could get a piece of fish, a serve of chips and the biggest, freshest cream bun you've ever seen.
We'd tunnel through the blackberries to make a cubby (NOT a good idea), and if the opposing group had a better cubby up a tree you could do as we did - wait till they were in it and set the tree on fire. Seemed a good idea at the time!
At primary school we played a game called "Stretch”. This involved throwing a fishing knife into the ground as close to your opponent's foot as possible.
They'd move that foot out to where the knife landed and then return the favour.
Great game and the occasional hole in the school shoe and foot was all part of the fun. Imagine doing that now!
My first "tranny radio” was a National that came in a leather case as thick as the hide of the cow it came off. We dreamed that one day, Dick Tracey's walkie talkie wrist watch would be a reality. We marvelled at television - and again in '74 when colour came in. We saw the start of the jet age, landing on the moon and the first satellite TV broadcast.
I moved to Sydney from Victoria in 1972 and there was no way I could find a pub or bottle shop that sold Carlton Draught. Same went for every other state. I spent two long years watching rugby league before Channel 7 started televising AFL up there.
I remember when there were no white lines painted on the side of the roads - just the middle. There were no red and white reflectors on the road posts. Hell, there were no road posts. Armco? You must be joking!
In my teenage years if I needed to get out of town I'd simply stick out the thumb for a lift. Stranger Danger wasn't even considered.
There were nights when the fog was so thick across the Yarra Flats that one of us would have to walk in front of the car - remember, no white lines.
We all learnt to drive in manual cars - autos were the province of the wealthy. Air-con? Bucket seats? Seat belts? Nope. The headlight dip-switch was just that - a press/press button on the floor. Petrol was just petrol - no 91, 95 or 98RON. Trucks with 175 horses managed to do jobs that seem to require two Mack Titans these days.
The sleeper was a board thrown across the seats. Licences were obtained when the local copper suggested that "It may be a good idea to get legal”.
Today we have amazing TV, communications and comfort. What the next 10-20 years will bring I'm not even going to try to guess. But when you young bucks and buckettes are cruising down the divided highways, sitting on that air-ride Isri, flicking the power steering this way and that, while listening to the latest iTune - or you're relaxing in the air- conditioned sleeper watching whatever on the OLED telly in your downtime, and you happen to run across an "Old and Grumpy” - sit down and have a yak. I guarantee you'll learn a thing or two and appreciate what you have today, rather than taking it for granted.
Take care of you.