I guess in a way, Bess Court was a turning point and a marker in the timeline of our lives.
It didn’t just affect me but to a greater extent my older brother and my mother.
Of course, it was the same time my cognitive memories kicked in, something I could have done without.
It was a while before all our lives went to hell in a handbasket.
Of course, back then I didn’t know anything about my father’s service in the second world war and the effect it had on him, mentally and physically.
Perhaps it was the mental effects that crept up on him as it had left him with anxiety and I suspect it was undiagnosed and not recognised as it is today as PTSD. Nor did we realise the recurring nature of malaria, and how he had battled it off and on since 1944.
But as I said, we knew nothing of this at the time.
So, the good times?
Bess Court was a family area and there were lots of other kids to play with. That’s what you did then, after school and holidays. None of these computers and watching the television.
Working for General Motors, my father could get now box sides made out of timber and one year he arranged for a truckload of them to be delivered for the holidays.
That particular year the kids in the street came over to build the world’s largest cubby house with four sets of kids, so it was four stories tall, and of course, we were on the top floor
And notable for one reason only. An overzealous building inspector came and told us we had to pull it down. Yes, it must have been quite large.
It was also a time when there were no houses between our street and the creek where some years we re-enacted battles, other we went picking blackberries, growing wild on the banks of the creek.
Summers were good in one respect.
Sometimes during the holidays, we went camping, at Lakes Entrance, Wilsons Promontory, Queenscliff, and even as far away as Adelaide and places in between.
And Easter, nearly every year we’d paint the house, the paint provided by the same people who supplied the paint for the Holden cars. The worst colour I remember, is a shade called Mushroom.
Then there was a series of unfortunate events.