New Farm Park, Brisbane

Friday, March 18, 2011

EXPERIENCING COUNTRY LIFE AT 15

At the end of 1957, during the school holidays my parents asked me if I would like a holiday in the country. They had arranged with their friends, Ida and John, in Mudgee for me to spend the school holidays with them so that I wouldn't be home alone. So I packed my bag and off we went in our new (second hand) car over the mountains and out onto the plains to the little country town of Mudgee.
Mum and Dad stayed over the weekend and then waved goodbye and back they went to work in Sydney. Ida and John owned a corner store and the house was attached. I found it fun to be allowed to help myself to sweets now and then. Occasionally, I helped out in the shop but I was always worried about getting the change wrong, in the days before the cash register told you what change to give.

Early every morning the baker brought the hot bread into the store for sale. He was a boy with red curly hair and freckles. Ida introduced us and suggested he took me to the town's swimming pool when he had finished the bread run. I loved swimming and I was keen to find the pool and make some country friends.
And so started a country romance but I wasn't sure about the red hair. However, hanging out at the swimming pool was fun. I joined the Mudgee Swimming Club and toured to neighbouring towns for swimming carnivals. On Saturday night I went to the local dance with the Baker Boy but I was starting to get put off country life after I saw the boys at the dance got drunk and then started brawling. So I didn't go again.
 Hanging out at the pool with the Baker Boy

The town was hot dry and dusty and there were millions of flies. It was surrounded by nice grazing land with sheep and cattle. Today it is quite a modern town catering for  tourists visiting the many vineyards and wineries in the area. I was surprised when I returned a few years ago to see the change.
The Baker Boy, John, Dad at the corner shop in Mudgee. 
Mum and Dad came to pick me up at the end of the school holidays.

22 comments:

  1. You and the bakerboy, it is a funny story. Ahh, those child memories are so sweet.

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  2. My parents owned a Zodiac, very similar in appearance to your folks' Zephyr. We were living in S. Rhodesia at the time.

    Wonder what happened to your Baker Boy holiday fling? He must have felt so proud, with such a lovely lass by his side :)

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  3. The story of your life is interesting to see in the little glimpses you are sharing. After seeing how much of my mother in law's memory has been lost due to Altzheimer's, I decided to make a "Story of My Life Scrapbook" and it's almost complete...a few pages left for travel adventures...

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  4. Hi Diane, sounds like you had a nice 'vacation' in Mudgee... Wonder what ever happened to the Baker Boy??????

    I love reading your 'story'.... Love that car. We had a 1950 Pontiac which looked like your Zaphyr.

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. Cute story -- (I lived in a similar country-town, never mind just visiting, but still our teen years were relatively innocent!

    The one where we grew up, in Eastern Washington State, hasn't changed that much though. We are glad to be "from" there.

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  6. This brings back memories of trips to the lake and and swimming fun. It is amazing how towns get built up and spread out covering farm land. Wonderful that you have the photos.

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  7. Oh la la! You and the red-headed-baker-boy look very cool together...but I'm glad you found your Prince Charming elsewhere!!

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  8. Love reading this story and your Baker Boy looked lovely - wonder where he is now and what happened to him. Life moves on.

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  9. The corner store was always the backbone of communities (apart from the pubs of course!) in those days. What fun for you to have that experience.

    A holiday romance too.

    Lovely reminiscences :D)

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  10. As the others have commented I wonder what ever happened to the baker boy? Red hiar is a "love it or hate it" type of thing, isn't it? It sounds like a wonderful summer full of memories!

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  11. Yes it sure is a different town today. Very trendy, just a bit too much so for my taste. My favourite spot is the cheese factory for lunch ... it's a quickish 60km drive to there from Whistler's Rest when we have city friends with us who like towns with a bit more sparkle than Clandulla.

    I remember my teenage romance at the swimming pool with great fondness too.

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  12. I wish I had enough pics to do a story like yours Diane. It's fun to look back with you and remember certain things about my own childhood. I have swimming memories but no pictures.
    I wonder too what might have happened to Baker Boy. Bet he still remembers you. :)

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  13. You look so cute on the pictures. I had also some little holiday flirts and yes the boys loved beer too, lol ! That was in Austria !
    Nice holiday souvenirs.

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  14. Hi Diane! In 1957 I was already going to the beach; never spent holidays in the country... ;))

    OK; I know that contemporary art doesn’t take unanimous approval... But some pieces are worth seeing. Check it at Blogtrotter Two, enjoy and have a superb weekend!!

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  15. What fun to share your memories of growing up. The photos add so much. I love the new car! And the red headed baker's boy reminds me of Daryl....ah. He, too, was a red head and I was about 15....sigh.

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  16. In 1957 we had just moved up to Denman and as country towns go, that was a real shock to the system. Being sporty would have stood you in better stead than being booky like moi.

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  17. I like the good old time like this, and old photos..Those are wonderful time..

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  18. Our parents cars are great, aren't they. MyDad had a Fiat 110.

    Hmmmm! those green bags, are the New Zealand bags the same as Aussie bags? Did some one report the lead content?

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  19. i must be about your age, these photo take me back in time and my first car i bought in 1962 was a 56 chevy that looks so much like the car in the photo. i want to know where the years have gone, so fast they flee by us.

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  20. Thanks Diane,
    Love the story and the "bakers boy", the swimming and can allude to the drinking of some of the wacky backy country boys back in the days....:))

    Lizzie

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  21. Sounds like it was a fun summer, for the most part... except for the brawling. You and the Baker Boy look cute.

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  22. Mudgee? Oh how different it is now. I think the swimming pool is the same though. It looked a bit run down when I was there last year. Beautiful old photos. How nice to still have those.

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