Friday, November 18, 2011

History, Never Repeat...!

I love that song from the '80's because it's true.  History doesn't repeat; well not exactly.  Yes we had dreadful floods last Christmas, however they were over 20 years after the infamous ones in 1974.  
The history I'm talking about is the history of where I grew up; and how I remember it.  I have found that history happens differently for all of us depending on our point of view.  We all remember the events of our lives differently - even though we were all there at the same time because how we felt and how we saw things happen and what we thought about those times are all individual to us as people.  I remember growing up in my area as a very interesting time; as well as sheltered time.  My family lived in a PIN House on what once was a quiet street with only a few other homes.  We were only one of four or five houses on the now busy-as-hell, highway-like Cinderella Drive here in Logan City; and it's amazing how quiet it was at night, how silent the streets around Logan became after 9pm compared to today where nothing closes down completely and Brisbane has become a mini-metropolis-like-New-York-lookalike where it doesn't sleep.  I wonder where the time has zoomed by and how it took all the privacy, silence and my childhood with it.
In the last few weeks, I've looked around my old childhood stomping grounds and found not a single thing has survived from when I was young.  Down Thornhill Street - if you walked to the very end (where the townhouse complex is now), there used to be a block of dirt that went right through to Springwood Road to the left and if you kept on walking, it took you through to another dead-end road and onto another street.  This used to cut fifteen minutes off my walk to primary school every day... and when you're a short kid like me, that was a lot of time!  I remember the day I walked that short cut alone.  My brother, Gabe, was sick with a cold (or something) and I was running late for school; and I didn't have a choice but to take it.  Mum and Dad didn't want me taking it, but I did and arrived at school early enough to get to class just on time.  However, on the way through, I had heard some kids riding their BMX's up near the Springwood Road end of the vacant block.  When I hit the halfway mark, they all stopped and watched me.  I found out later, they were boys who were new in my class that day and turned out to be bullies from there on in.  Great, just what every small, redheaded kid needed in their lives... bullies.
However, that short cut isn't the only thing that I've noticed is gone completely.  On the corner of my street and Fitzgerald Avenue is a large block of office buildings.  Now, they've been there a long time; but I remember when they were built.  And I remember before they were built, when there was a vacant block of land there with a track running diagonally through it from the corner of the Skov's house to the corner of the New Springwood Post Office (which we called The Big Pink Elephant... any guesses why?  Okay, I'll save you thinking about it.  The undercoat for the grey paint you see today was a lovely baby pink!  And so, thus the nickname.  Pretty funny, eh?).  I used to walk that track nearly every weekend to buy myself a Bubble-O-Bill ice-cream... and believe me it was my favourite type at the time.  And the bubble gum nose was massive!  It took up most of his face!  And it only cost me .80c to buy!  How cool is that!!!  Now, it's sickly sweet, the bubble gum nose is tiny and it costs around $2.20 to buy; a complete rip off, and yet kids still purchase them.
The kids who we played with in the neighbourhood were cool.  There were the Walker Girls next door on the top side, the Carstens two doors up and the kid across the road who lived on the corner.  Now, I mentioned the Skov's before.  They were great people who had migrated from Denmark and just moved from Mt Isa after they climatised there and learned a bit of English.  They had an original way of talking to us; but inserting curse words in amongst their ordinary speech.  We helped them with how their diction.  For example:  they had a kitten and the kids called it Little Shit.  Gabe and I said it wasn't the proper name to call a cat - asking what they were going to call it when it grew up - and they said, Big Shit (of course!).  We talked them into calling it fluffy.  It was stuff like that we had to get them to alter because it wasn't correct around the city for them to say.  It's turned out that they became some of our closest friends.  Unfortunately, one of their sons died in a horrible car accident and it split up their whole family.
The Skov's house isn't there anymore.  It was sold and moved to another location and the Springwood Wellness Centre was built in its place.  It's been a very lucrative business since it's been there; but I do remember that brick house well and that many families rented it.  However it's the Skov's who were the best remembered out of all of them.
Well, the Carsten's and the Walker's have moved on.  So have the Williams' (the people who bought the Walker's house after they left).  After all these years, we've stayed on.  However, this area has changed so much that I can't put it all in one post.  So, I'll be splitting this up into a few posts over a couple of days.  And I'll find a few more old photos I can show you too.  

No comments:

Post a Comment