Hainsey, Schnoz, PawPaw, Di and Jane. A small reunion strolling a memory lane littered with mischief and mayhem brought upon a small country school way out west. The place where we, loved, fought, learnt and morphed from kids to adults, bonds thinning as wanderlust, education continuation or career progression transitioned us to ‘the big smoke’
We giggled at collective high-fives as teacher upon teacher limped away mentally broken and emotionally destroyed before each term concluded.
Snickered at the memory of a headmaster reduced to tears at finding his office stripped of paint, two floors flooded, a waterfall staircase – the overnight aftermath of a fire hose equivalent lawn sprinkler placed strategically upon his desk.
Reminisced at peeling silver foil lids off sun warmed quart milk bottles, cheering fights at the school gates, catching a fag behind the toilets, choirs, parades, sun-blistered noses. A teacher who wore sexy lingerie, another who unleashed his willie on our innocence…the nice, the mean, the keen. Blackall State High.
Smiled for marriages that endured, sighed for those that didn’t, cried for loves lost to illness, accidents, one marriage, two, three kids or more.
Cheered at career successes, commiserated those that faltered, championed those still unfolding. So much to absorb, so little time as current life pressures demanded attention.
As we planned reunions, Facebook connections, coffee catch-ups and swapped numbers, I cast my eye around my companions. No signs of physical enhancements here. Simply the same vibrant, animated, smiling faces that 45 years had failed to ravage. A few grey hairs, a little more cushion and a whole lot more wisdom.