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My passion is genealogy and family history. I host a podcast about Australian family history, Genies Down Under. In my day job, I work as a lecturer and a researcher in higher education, teaching pre-service teachers.

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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Memories of a super dragster Christmas and a super Dad

I've really enjoyed reading blogposts lately about different people's memories of Christmas days gone by. One of my own memories keeps coming to the surface and it makes me smile every time. Remember back in the 1970s (that long ago!), it was a very BIG THING to get a bike for Christmas. It was an even BIGGER THING to get a bike that was new from a shop, not a recycled and repainted hand-me-down.

I'm not sure exactly what year it was, but it was the early 70s. Us three kids all received a shiny new bike on Christmas morning - one each! My sister and I were lucky enough to get the most trendy bike of the day - yes, a dragstar with a politically innappropriately-named sissy bar and all! We were impressed. So was my brother ... he was impressed not to receive a dragster because they were seen as girls bikes back then. Even so, I'm sure he was impressed to be a member of a household that included two groovy dragsters.

However, the most impressive thing was still to come. You see, there were quite a few other kids in the neighbourhood who also received bikes that Christmas. We were all keen to try our new bikes in a bigger space besides the suburban streets outside our homes. Can you imagine? About 10 or so kids with new bikes itching to give them a spin, circling the parked cars and the street trees in the narrow streets of suburban Sydney. Instead of sitting around relaxing on Christmas day, our great Dad decided that he'd take us ALL down to the local oval which had some nearby flat ashphalt (a new bike owner's dream!) so that we could test out our new wheels. Yes, not just his three kids but the whole neighbourhood of bike-riding kids. It must have been a strange site, a forty-something year old man walking along at the front of a pack of kids on bikes. He was a king of the kids that day, and a king of the kids-on-bikes as well, not to mention a king especially in his own kids' eyes.

Our Dad did a lot of things like this that I'm only just appreciating now in later years. Picking us up from discos at all hours of the night, dropping us off at friends' places near and far with his voice echoing in our ears, "Remember love, no matter time it is, ring me and I'll pick you up." What a Dad he was.

Thanks Dad for the bike, for the trek to the oval on that Christmas Day way back in the 1970s and most of all for the memories. Wish you were still here with us, especially at Christmas time.

In loving memory of our dear old Dad,
Carew Joseph Trevor NORTHCOTE (1932-2002)

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