Saturday, March 24, 2007

18

My oldest daughter is 18 today. Legally able to drink and drive, though not at the same time. I remember 18. It was 1975, and I was working as a public servant having deferred university for a year to build up my bank account.

They were days of platform shoes and flairs, tight around the bum, but very baggy to hide the ridiculous shoes we wore in those days.

I worked as an accounts clerk at the Ministry of Conservation and it was not only my first true work experience but my first exposure to older work mates. There was Harro who played footy for Williamstown in the VFA, Lairdy who played for Norwood and was typically immersed in the culture of drinking that is a suburban footy club, Youngy who also was a very good footballer and I think was on Richmond's list; The older of the group was GOM - Geoff O'Meara - I think married but one of the lads anyway; Paul Walker, nicknamed retreads coz he walked so quickly, my immediate boss who took me under his wing.

The tea lady used to visit twice a day - something I think has disappeared in most offices now - and most of the office workers smoked - thnakfully soething that has definitely disappeared.

I used to catch the train into the City then walk up from Flinders Street Station to Victoria Parade where the office was and nine times out of ten the train was one of those old red rattlers, jammed full of people who all vacted work at the same time each day, normally 4:36pm. You could still buy an evening paper in those days and I'd usually grab a Herald from on eof the paper boys on my walk back down to the station after work.

Being 18 was good in those days, probably still is, with a lifetime ahead of you, no real inkling of what lies in store, and no real expectations or problems to live with in the here and now. My darling daughter, I love you very much and wish you a wonderful life. Remember it does have ups and downs, that's what living is about. Try not to get so caught up in the future that you forget to experience the here and now.

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