New mem­o­ries, old friends

Ker­mie cel­e­brates the new year with mates and fam­ily


WEL­COME to 2018.

I trust that you all had a fan­tas­tic Christ­mas and a great New Year. We were joined by our Nick and man­aged to have video calls with Steve and Tom who are both overseas.

It was a quiet but en­joy­able Christ­mas for us.

For New Year we had very old friends of mine, and more re­cently Rita’s, join us.

Don Wishart and I go back some 48 years – to our last year of high school. Bet­ter known as DC (Don­ald Charles – the name sound­ing much more sar­to­rial than the man), it was won­der­ful to have them join us here in MooTown.

Ever the Jour­ney­man, Don and Linda have moved home 17 times over those years, own­ing many of them along the way.

Most re­cently they lived in Hobart, sell­ing up and buy­ing a home at Jarvis Bay on NSW’s south coast. They im­me­di­ately rented it out and went car­a­van­ning for a year. Upon their re­turn DC was of­fered a job back in Tassie which, hav­ing re­gret­ted re­tir­ing early, he took. Nine months later they have again sold and moved back once again to the main­land, to the town of Don’s birth – a lovely lit­tle place called Yackan­dan­dah, a lit­tle ways south of Al­bury/Wodonga. Un­der two hours from MooTown, they are vir­tu­ally our next door neigh­bours and I am ex­cited to have them back in our lives on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

That last year to­gether at school. What a time we had! There was the school gig the stu­dent so­cial club or­gan­ised. Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs no less! After an hour the prin­ci­pal pulled the plug and the whole school went on strike out on the oval. DC and I were in a band. We called it ‘The Way of all Flesh’ (sounded cool at the time).

Our first ever gig in the as­sem­bly hall, the cur­tains pulled back and there were 500 kids! We froze! Even­tu­ally we got go­ing and on our third song (I think we only knew four) some 2nd For­mer screamed. Shit yeah! We’d made it!

We had mostly great teach­ers that year and a bunch of us un­der­age lads and gals would of­ten join a few of them at the pub over the road of a Fri­day after school, be­fore head­ing to yet an­other all-night party. And what par­ties we had! Out on a Fri­day, sleep Satur­day, out again Satur­day night. School­work suf­fered but jeez we learned a lot about life.

Be­ing a few months older, I got my li­cence first and hitch-hik­ing went out the win­dow to be re­placed with a sales pitch to the olds about bor­row­ing the car. God knows why but they usu­ally swal­lowed my BS and the world was our oys­ter. One time there’s me driv­ing, my girl­friend and Donny across the bench seat. I’m let­ting her steer and we come to a fork in the nar­row dirt road we were on. Long story short, I pull right on the wheel, DC pulls left, the girl screams and we col­lect the tree in the mid­dle of the fork. Dam­age was min­i­mal enough to blame it on a roo. I used to let Don drive the old Austin so I could go a-kissin’ and a-hug­gin’ in the back seat. Now there’s a mate!

DC and I thought we were fat all those years ago. I look at those old pho­tos and pray to be that fat again. Guess we grew into our night­mare. Damn that was a good year!

When I got en­gaged to wife Num­ber 1 Don was the only friend to tell me what a mis­take I was mak­ing. Wish I’d lis­tened. When I got of­fered a job in­ter­state and was wa­ver­ing, Don was the one who said, “Your friends will al­ways be your friends and the ones who don’t re­main your friends never were.” Sage words indeed.

Over the past half cen­tury we have lost touch on a few oc­ca­sions but when we re­con­nected it was al­ways like yes­ter­day. I am so happy at them mov­ing ‘just up the road’. We started our adult lives side by side and we will fin­ish them the same way. To me that’s a big­ger win than any lot­tery.

Take care of you. Ker­mie.

❝I look at those old pho­tos and pray to be that fat again.


RING­ING IN THE NEW YEAR: Ker­mie cel­e­brated with friends Don and Linda Wishart.

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