Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things start getting hard.

The long gone Sydney Stadium.  What a hole.

Killer.   Jerry Lee Lewis.

Little Richard.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

What a complete and utter waste of time.  Sorry Mr. Galway.

Brewing liquid shit.

Dibbing Dubbing, Bobbing Dobbing,
All the time ones heart was throbbing.
Playing the flute was similar to going to the movies on a Saturday arvo, in both cases it was a matter of learning how to pucker up and blow.

There comes the time in every childs life when physical and attitude changes begin to occur quite unexpectedly. These changes tend to be during that brief period when young boys realise that nature has created the opposite sex to be more than merely a source of frustration and annoyance, but as something soft and warm to snuggle into during a cold snap. Almost overnight the gawky bespectacled female tom boy from up the street suddenly transforms into a ravishing sex symbol, causing uncontrollable changes to specific parts of the male body, one part in particular. A new hairstyle is desired, shorts have to be replaced by long trousers, becoming a member of a social or sporting club becomes appealing and participating in some form of community activity becomes fashionable. 

God only knows what inspired us all to become members of the Glebe Police Boys Club Pipe band. Once a week on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm we would all head off to the clubhouse, taking the short cut through the notorious and dreaded Jubilee Park, running like the clappers to avoid having our delicate little bodies interfered with by the many pillow munching chocolate highwaymen lying in wait to rape us all, that is, if they could catch us.

Very scary at night.

After several weeks of blowing and sucking we were still having great difficulty getting a squeak out of the flute, let alone play a tune on it. Some of the more talented and musically minded band members at this stage were capable of playing classical masterpieces while our little group were still having problems playing the scales. We ended up solving the problem by quitting and joining the Annandale Boy Scouts.
The Dibbing and Dubbing didn’t last that long as our ability to adopt and apply various forms of bushcraft was on a par with our musical talent. Knots designed to save lives constantly came undone, fires could only be lit by using matches or a cigarette lighter, billy tea tasted like liquid shit and although taught the basics of bush survival one kept on burning ones hands whilst attempting to drink it. Whilst strolling home from a scout meeting at age 12, we all had our first puff on a cigarette, which became responsible for many of us louts being addicted to the dreaded weed a few years later.

At the Saturday afternoon movies it was common for males and females of the opposite sex to engage in whispered conversations with one another before pairing off in the back stalls after entering the cinema. Things had certainly changed. Previously the young tom boys had no problems with normally covered up parts of their anatomy being flashed in front of the guys they happened to be rough housing with, but all of a sudden modesty took over and it became politically incorrect to continue to do so, although some still did. What was now concealed from a young man’s eyes became something to be desired and at times even lusted over. The days of enjoying oneself kicking the old oval piece of leather with one or two of the local Sheila’s down at the park were replaced with indoor pastimes such as spin the bottle or postman’s knock etc. when Mum and Dad weren’t at home.

One tradition that was responsible for an adrenalin shot was when one or more of the more risque 13 to 15 year old young ladies would lift their skirts or dresses to reveal their bright coloured cotton or polyester briefs and/or allow us all a quick flash of their first fair dinkum bra that did not require hankies or tissues to boost its shape and size.

All the speed riding and showing off on our push bikes that impressed the girls all went by the wayside. Now we were all expected to be young gentlemen and to refrain from anything that resembled bad language. One of our responses to this was to travel further afield attempting to locate females who were not that fussy, but sadly this was nothing more than wishful thinking on our part. We were made aware a few years later that we were not the predators, but the quarry. It was a case of us chasing females until they caught us. It mattered not where we were, there was always a pod of stray girls minus partners who would be approached and invited to either join us for the evening or allow us to escort them home at evenings end. More often than not we would bomb out ingloriously, but every now and then we would have a victory. I remember Owen and I escorting two cuties home from the Easter Show to Engadine by train. Many promises were made, but none were kept as we never saw each other ever again.

We all commenced hanging out in groups of 8 to 12 and some of the previously unknown local young teenage girls would travel with us on the old toast rack trams to Bronte Beach on Sunday mornings and to the Rock ’n’ Roll concerts at the old long forgotten Sydney Stadium at Rushcutters Bay.
We got to see what were regarded as the world's best Rock acts.  Bill Haley and the Comets, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Bobby Darin, The Platters, Eddie Cochrane, Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps, Paul Anka, Chuck Berry and the man in black, Johnny Cash. Before these concerts came to an end, one act ended up stealing the limelight from all of the overseas mob and that was Johnny O'Keefe and his Dee Jays. The Dee Jays were one of the only groups who could read music and were in huge demand to back many of the international acts as well the King, which they did on a regular basis.
Up to 20 of us would pile into the two outside sections at the front or back.

The Sydney Stadium was built mainly for one fight only back in 1908. Later on they erected a roof and there it stayed until it was demolished in 1970 to make way for the Eastern Suburbs Railway.

Sydney Stadium 1908.

How it ended up. Sydney's Mecca of Entertainment.  What a hole.
The boxing ring ropes at the stadium would be removed and a revolving stage installed. It was a crude venue, but it could hold up to 14,000 screaming fans and at the time was the closest thing Sydney had as an entertainment centre.

Every Wednesday and Saturday evenings there would be Rock ‘n’ Roll dances in the Leichhardt Police Boys Club, featuring the future king JOK and his group. My little mob would attend hoping to meet someone more than worthwhile and although this never eventuated one never tired of viewing the flying feet and the well rounded and colourful cotton covered posteriors of the female dancers as their multi petticoated skirts became to resemble spinning tops. 

JO'K and fellow entertainers.

Some of the local females would attend our weekend Rugby League matches, most of which were held on a Sunday. We had joined a newly formed club that became known as the Glebe Youth Club and generally speaking gave a good account of ourselves. I believe the club folded sometime around 1969-70.

The Glebe Youth Club's Clubhouse in Jubilee Oval Glebe, (The white viaduct under the train line).
GYC's Home Ground.   Birchgrove Oval.

Before we knew it certain couples started going steady and to an extent the old gang began to change if not fall apart. I was not the only one who was becoming more than annoyed with events as they were beginning to unfold, but in all fairness I was one of the single guys and possibly there may have been some sour grapes.

When one looks at the past it’s interesting to note that even all the love birds who married all ended up separated and divorced within next to no time. Although not being aware of it at the time, I was not that far away from adopting a new and completely different way of life that not only was going to be a fit and healthy one but enabled me to meet and partner many beautiful young cuties who on many occasions were responsible for much more than merely just turning my head.

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