94th Birthday Party

Went to a party today for my wife’s grandfather’s birthday. Her pop turned 94 on Friday.

A couple of years ago I took him for a drive around the local district to anywhere he wanted to go. A lot of theplaces we went to he had not been to in at least 25 years. The stories he told about the local area were great. Stuff like being offered the chance to buy the entire hillside and beachfront of Wategoes Beach at Byron Bay for next to nothing. No-one wanted it.

The road was a track that used to cave way over the cliff and into the ocean. The hill was too steep to farm anything on but bananas but no truck could get around the track to take the bananas to market. The bloke who bought it did turn it into a banana plantation (some pockets of plants are still there if you know where to look). To get the bananas to market he’d hire a team of guys from the whaling ships. They’d row around, fill the whaling boat with bananas and row back to The Pass and meet the waiting truck.

And other things like rowing out from the beach at Byron Bay to Julian Rocks to go fishing. They’d stop when there were so many fish in the boat it threatened to sink.

I found out some new things today too. Like the fact that he saw Sir Charles Kingsford fly his epic ocean crossing. Since then (with the aid of television) he’s also seen man on the moon, space shuttles, incredible advances in medicine and electronics, the development of motor vehicles and, unfortunately, two world wars.

With more than 50 years to go until I hit 94, I’d just love to see a glimpse of what the world will be like then.