Wednesday, 3 July 2013

So why a Clayfield Cowboy?

Well I am of the baby boomer generation. And when TV came to Brisbane in 1959, most of the shows were the good old "Cowboys and Indians". My best mate Stephen Hart and I were mad on being cowboys. We carried 6 guns in holsters and wandered the streets as 6 and 7 year olds looking for people to defend from the bands of marauding Indians. Our hero was Roy Rogers and whatever he said was right! It had to be! How could Roy be wrong? Now our reputation as cap pistol wielding gun slingers must have spread far and wide because no indians ever showed their heads down at the Clayfield Tram Terminus nor in Kalinga Park.. another favourite haunt of ours. Now my mum wouldn't let me go to Kalinga park.. but Stephen's mum would let him go. I would tell mum I was going to Stephen's home (which was true) and then we'd hit the road to the park.And it was a pretty wild overgrown place back then. These days I still have my 6 gun.. the holster and my rifle have bitten the dust.. but the gun lives on. I even had a Roy Rogers Harmonica.. kept if for 44 years and gave it to Stephen for his 50th as he was with me the day I bought it at the Clayfield Toy and Hobby shop. Of course these days toy guns are viewed as a bit antisocial.. but you know I never shot a mate who didn't deserve it. And I never shot a mate in the back! (My brother Viv told me that was important!) My brother Max called us the Clayfield Cowboys as a lot of gun fights took place in our back yard. Me, Stephen Hart, Russell Roberts, Russell Jaycock (He lived over the next fence) his sister Robyn (Annie Oakley) Ross McDonald and his brother  Scott. Wow.. Scott McDonald.. I always worried he would hit us with the gun. A bit of a worry was Scott!

As we grew Stephen and I became crazy about toy soldiers. We used to collect them and sometimes recreate WW2 battle scenes on the lounge room floor at Stephen's home. Mr Hart, Stephen's dad had seen brutal service in PNG during the war and would sometimes tell us a little of his experiences. Actually, Stephen was my first male friend. (My first friends were Cathy and Helen Harris.. but that's another story) Stephen lived two doors down from my mums shop at Clayfield. And that is where I met him at the age of 3.5 years. As his mum told me a few years back.. you two were inseparable. My mother owned Commercial Supplies Unlimited and Fruition Tuition now stands where her shop once was. I do remember Stephen and I trying to load a stray dog into the back of mum's Austin A40 delivery van and take it home to Chermside where we lived at that time. And now? Well my mum has gone to God, Mrs Hart is still with us and Stephen is now one of Australia's most talented sculptors. Google him!
Steven in his studio.