Wednesday, 1 November 2017



The As  lived up Moffitt Street, a little bit further away than the 'Vogeltown Boys' but on occasion would join us in after school games.
The two boys, Gary and Glenn were about the same age as us - in this story about 8  - but always seemed to have more and better toys, clothes, sports gear etc. than us. They were working class as well but their dad was a taxi driver so maybe, being a cash business he skimmed and didn't pay as much tax as the rest of our dads.

More likely though was that he was making money in the (gasp) underworld.
Old man A went to prison for 'helping to procure an abortion'. I don't know what the exact charge was but it was one of those that featured in The Truth the salacious weekly news rag of the day.

Mum used to tell dad off for buying this so he kept it in his truck where my brother and I would sneak a read.
Being a taxi driver meant that A senior would have made extra money from taking customers to illegal drinking establishments and brothels as well. This is how Gary and Glenn had all the goodies.

One day, as I said when we were about 8 we'd been playing cowboys and Indians and the As, as usual, had all the gear. They had cowboy hats, vests and 'chaps' with frills. They also had guns and holsters. These guns weren't the crappy plastic ones that the rest of us owned. These were made of metal. The only plastic was the white grip covering. The guns had heft - weight and size and had revolving chambers that could carry six caps that actually worked. The gun belts were made of leather and the holsters (each kid had two) actually held the guns properly.
They must have cost a fortune.

The next morning, before school, I was mooching around trying to delay going to school as long as I could when I saw one of these guns lying in the grass. I went and picked it up. It was wet with the morning dew and I remember thinking how bad it was for Gary or Glenn to not look after such a valuable item - I'd never do that - and then found the matching gun. I was about to take them up to the house so we could return them but then thought no, they didn't deserve them I hid them in the garage instead.

After school I sneaked them out and played with them on my own as I couldn't tell anyone about having them. The next day Mrs A came to our house asking if we'd seen the guns. I denied having seen them of course. Mrs A didn't seem satisfied but couldn't prove anything though. I think she thought that my poor mother was involved in the theft which is unfair of her - well, unfair of me really. I kept the guns but discovered that it wasn't much fun playing with them surreptitiously and eventually lost interest. I also felt guilty.

I can't remember what happened to these toys as I soon outgrew them. For a while I felt bad about keeping them but being a kid, that didn't last that long. I don't know if I confessed in the confessional. I usually only made stuff up to please the priest in those days


  1. Tell us about Rob in the Murray Roberts truck, you little thief.

  2. Actually, to be fair, a similar thing happened to me when I was that age. I found a cool gun at the Botanic Gardens. Some kids came looking for it and I pretended I hadn't seen it. I remember a lot of guilt.