So, with a few butterflies in my stomach I drove into Gladstone on Wednesday morning for the interview in The Gladstone Observer. I worked in Gladsonte in the early 80’s and had not been back there since ’85. Yes, it had changed, but, for all it’s heavy industry, I was pleasantly surprised how green and ‘nice’ it looked.
I had to meet the journalist and the photographer at the Barney Point Beach, same suburb I lived in back then. I had some time to spare so thought I’d chek out the old address. I drove around and around, I couldn’t even find out street for ages, let alone the house!!!! Finally found it, structurally the same, but painted and with larger trees in the yard. Once I parked near the beach I sat and waited. Soon a small red car pulled up with a female driver. She was just sitting there too, so after a few minutes I assumed that she must be the one I am to meet. I walked up to her car and asked, “Are you Tegan?”. She looked at me strangely and replied, “Am I what? Taken?”
I repeated myself and we had a good laugh once she realised what I actually did say. The mind boggles about what she must have been thinking for those few seconds!!
So, pretty soon Tegan and Brenda arrived, Brenda laden down with all the camera equipment. The wind was howling it’s bum off from the ocean which made the beach very choppy. We sat at a picnic table for the interview where I proceeded to go totally blank a few times. Once that painful part was finally over, it was photo time. My hat kep blowing off and I had to kind of hold my head down to keep it on, all the while squinting and continuously brushing the hair from my face. I was so glad when Brenda said, “Okay, we have enough now.” – About 40 clicks and flashes later!!! It was quite an experience, one that this shy ol’ country bumpkin won’t forget for a long time.