Well, facebook has a group for my old school. I don't find any of the old gang there, just me, and a few others. Lots of chitchat about our weird and wacky art teachers. Yes, being the second best ranked school in NSW, we had the best in Avant Garde... I also like the group 'I went to a selective school. You'll be working for me someday...'
So, Class of 78 is reuniting this August. Now I left, came back and ended up in class of 79, but I am remembered. For all my finest points, now, I hope, although at the 20th renunion of the '79's, there was a man/boy from the boys school who remembered me from the bus!!! Ah we had good fun trying to keep the boys from getting on first. My seat was obviously the back seat, of course. I could rule the entire bus from there... It was my first 'mobile office'.
Sometimes the bus would come early, and as the boys got our five minutes earlier than us there was standing room only for the girls. One set of maniac busdriver/conductor (our bus went 'public' as well as carried us) used to speed down the bus lane on Anzac Parade, with all the girls screaming and then screech to a halt at the intersections, sending us all flying towards the front... Oh the fun we had.
The morning bus was even better. It came at 8.25, and got to school at 9.05. five minutes after school began. Try explaining that to Mrs McKinnon, Feared Deputy Head... It could be even later if the Randwick Girls convinced the driver to take them right to their front gate. Or worse, a complete cooks tour...
Ah those were the days. We could have complained about the service, I suppose... Occasionally some fool girl got run over by a bus. Like my best friend, and 'upstairs' neighbour. Have I told you about it before? Anyway, there is a fence up the entire track to stop silly girls from absent mindedly walking where they shouldn't.
There are lights at the crossing now, no more mounted policeman to chat up. I son't suppose they have fixed the drainage, though. If you were on the school side of the road you could get drenched with filthy gutter spray by a speeding motorist. We are on a major road, you know.
Back to the '78' reunion. Thirty years... Wow. Soon I'll be middle aged. Who will I see from my group? They all came to my engagement party. Well, E, S, J, anyway. Gave me four facewashers!
We weren't very rich back then. All working class, broken homes, a few step-parents, living in flats. Except for S. She lived in a hovel not far from Grace Bros Bondi Junction store. Sort of looked like it was made from tea chests tacked together.
Her father was an alcoholic. Mum was, too, as to survive, many wives took to the bottle too. Like my friend 'Leigh'. Her parents at least. Bondi Junction was pretty tough back then. She went to the local Convent School. Learned real early how to kick the door down when her dad was bashing her mum. Kicked a nun down the stairs at school for trying to bash her.
Lovely aint it. But back to S. Mum left dad, moved in with another man, left the kids with him and went back to the dad. Stepdad offered $100 dollars a week if S would sleep with him, but he was an old codger. S ended up moving home with her brother when the stepdad left them to fend for themselves. Pay rent, etc...
S found her dad dead in bed one day. Alcohol poisoning. Soon she found mum the same way. What a way for a kid to live. Big bro said she didn't have to work. But at one stage she worked at Doyle's, with my mum.
Wonder how she turned out?
E. No idea what happened to her.
J became a sports teacher, a very good one, too. She had been Captain of our House.
Who's married and/or has children, apart from me? I haven't found them in facebook, though one was on one of those old school friends sites. Only a handful of the '79's have reproduced. Most are busy with careers. Upstairs neighbour has two children, now adults. I was the only one at the 20th reunion who had teenagers.
'Wow. How do you cope?'
'I just thank God they're not doing what I used to do!'
Other related posts:
Just you leave the worrying to me...
The boy is back...
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