And So It Begins

Sonder – n. the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

The realisation that my parents had lives before I came along didn’t strike me until I was in my teens and I started having conversations that weren’t just disgruntled replies and idle chit chat.

They met at Forrestfield Speedway in 1968, two complete opposites.  He was a shy stock car driver – blonde, skinny and quiet in his early 20’s.  She was a sporty spectator – dark haired, tanned and gregarious in her late teens.  They were introduced by a mutual friend and the attraction was instant.  They began dating the very next weekend, doing the usual young couple things like the drive-in movies, days out to watch the football and the occasional meal out at a pub.  Whether it was just a case of young hearts in lust for a short time or if it was genuine love that was meant to stand the test of time, we’ll never really know.  A family tragedy cut the relationship short and this should have been the end of the story…But luckily for me, it wasn’t over just yet.

A night out at the speedway brought our couple back together.  Two well meaning brothers accosted our shy, young stock car driver and convinced him to start dating their sister again.  It wasn’t long before things were full steam ahead.  Our dark haired beauty fell pregnant in May, speeding up the process and the couple got engaged and planned a winter wedding.  On June 30th 1973 at 3.30 in the afternoon at a place called Alfresco’s in Perth Western Australia – she in a long white gown with draped sleeves and a train edged in ostrich feathers and he in a hired suit – married and began their lives together.

After driving off in a car festooned with toilet paper, tin cans and shaving cream writing, they bypassed a honeymoon and drove back to the Grooms family home in Raleigh Street, Carlisle.  There they returned to every day life – he worked on the trains and she worked in the printing press – and awaited the arrival of their firstborn

© Melinda McKeon 20 January 2020


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