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24 September, 2021

Wayne’s World: A very Evel misspent youth

G’DAY Tropicairnsians,

By Wayne Marshall

A lot of people say that I think like a dinosaur, small brain moving in one direction and on the brink of extinction. Yeah, that’s a fair call.

 I do admit that I miss the way we use to do things “old school”. Yes, all the fun we had, even though sometimes these activities did have tragic endings.

I remember as a rug rat running after and jumping on the step of the green rattler trams in Vicoldia.

Hanging on for dear life to any form of hand grip as we flew along the roads into the city for free with the tram conductor yelling at us for fare evading.

Good times with some great laughs, but also sometimes ended in disaster like when we were running in the rain after a rattler when one of me mates slipped and went under the tram and lost both legs.

Bad and sad accident yes, but it did not stop us from doing it again, in fact it seemed to spur us too even more stupid and dangerous stunts because after all we were ten foot tall and bullet proof.

 It has been said that we had all the unregulated fun back in the 60s and 70s.

I admit looking back, this seemed to be true, as growing up in the Holden St Council flats in North Fitzroy brings back some bloody fond memories for me.

We had fireworks consisting of skyrockets, penny bangers and so many more legal explosives that as kids we could purchase cheaply from the local newspaper shop for the great bonfires we always had on Guy Fawkes Night.

How stupidly game we were back then, to the point of shooting these lit crackers into the air with our sling shots or putting them in mates back pockets and watch them do the cracker dance.

Yes, to you modern kids, back in the day we had sling shots and air rifles with needing no such thing as a firearm license that we could legally and publicly walk around with because we apparently had more smarts back then (yeah some of us maybe).

But we were good citizens, especially when it came to being kids with sling shots, rotten eggs, and open doors of trams. Yep, we could be mongrels.

 But some of the real great memories I hold are with rebuilding pushbikes from all the parts that I recycled from the local rubbish trip.

We sold most of those rebuilt bikes, however the bikes that were not sold were then turned into my version of Evel Knievel stunt bikes to be used to recreate his famous jumps.

Picture this, along the Yarra River amongst all the dirt walking and bike tracks you will find small mounds right beside the river, large enough to inspire great dreams of being used as ramps for flying up and across to the other side of the river.

Crickey, there are a lot of bike frames at the bottom of that river from our dreams of greatness and believe it or not, like the great man with his Grand Canyon attempts, I never made it across either.

  Probably explains why my bones creak and groan so much when I get up in the morning.




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