My own private Idaho — sorry, VJ Day 1945

Loved that movie, based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV.

But I meant to tell you about VJ Day in 1945 — and yes, I was alive then. And saw something very like this.

I told my blog readers about it first around 20 years ago.

On my old Diary-X blog I had a series that pleased some readers (one very much). For each place the idea was to recall a few stories, or to try to capture that time and place. I guess it is the sort of thing a poor old sod does in his dotage! Fortunately, some of the earliest ones survived the great Diary-X crash.

Auburn Street 1943-1952


Auburn Street: the front yard in the 1940s: my brother Ian, sister Jeanette and I

The house is still there….

At the bottom of the backyard was a line of gum trees, a paling fence with allegedly poisonous gourds growing on it, and in front of that the chook yard. The story goes, as I can’t remember this, that my grandmother (whose nerves were not good as she had two sons and one son-in-law away in the War) was coming back one day from feeding the chooks when an American in a Kittyhawk or a Mustang appeared at treetop level and chased her up the yard. Convinced it was a Zero and she was about to die, my grandmother dropped everything, screamed, and ran for the house.


I do remember sitting on my dinkie on the gravel drive, near the Dorothy Perkins climbing rose which I called Mrs Perkins and confused with the lady next door who I thought was also Mrs Perkins. A yellow biplane flew over very low and the pilot leaned out and waved to me. My mother later told me that must have been the end of World War II….

Poor Grandma Ada! Imagine this chasing you up the backyard.

And as I posted on Facebook yesterday:

Conscious of my Dad and Uncle being RAAF, I was passionate about planes as a young kid. How could I not be? Dad’s RAAF greatcoat was still in the wardrobe. I saw the medals frequently. I attended the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Sutherland at least once with my Dad and went to the “breakfast” after and heard the talk and felt really proud of my Dad. At my Uncle Neil’s place in Kirrawee there were wartime plane identification pics under all the Women’s Weeklies in the hall cupboard. And These Eagles, which I read avidly. Again as I acted as DJ and played the old songs I heard the talk. It was truly part of me. Mind you neither of them were great RSL types in those days, though I think Uncle Neil was a member of the Air Force Association.

I am a war baby.

Don’t you forget it. I don’t.

Finally, a bit of blog stat news.  Already we have passed the total views of all of 2019!  Thanks, people.

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