Monday, August 1, 2011

Memorabilia from my grandad

My dad's dad- Coo  
Nickname, Keepsakes and Apple Corp  

The following is some of my recollections of my grandfather, as this is my family story site- ie clean. Maybe. Don't tell the kids they were not brought in by storks, okay?

My dad's dad was a teacher before WW2. He married a seamstress, a city girl, also from Our Big Smoke*. Adrian Francis was slight bloke, and strict. I think I was told he was really good at calling out to people in the bush when they were all out of each others sight with The Great Ozzie Bush Or Outback Call, done  at the top of your lungs:

If you were lost or looking- it was recognisable everywhere-like in  "HERE I AM, CALL ME BACK YOU SORRY 50#@$@%!!". [That sounds like an advertisement, sorry.].

So that is why I think he was called Coo.

He was brought up in The Big Smoke and Country Victoria- Leongatha. If that's wrong- it will be fixed. Coo was the youngest of a big family, and by the time I was planted in their midst, some of his married siblings and his family calling the suburb Ivanhoe their town, next to the Yarra. Where my dad grew up in his teens [he and his brothers collected golf-balls from billabongs they drained to be sold back to club members...]

My dad was born after they were married [of course! See- I have a Catholic background] way up in north central Victoria, not far from the Murray river and in fact where my dear departed partner Tarn was born- an amazing connection, and there is another story there too, but this is about me and me grandad Coo. Or as he was known to his eldest grandchild [Me]: Poppy Coo. By the time his youngest grandchild came around, I think my cousin was calling him by another name- and that will be corrected as soon as this posting shakes the tree [family tree members- note please]. Anyway, my eldest children knew him as Poppy Coo too. The gels were known to him in-utero on his deathbed when he was 87.

Poppy Coo was retired from being a Principal of a inner city suburban primary school in the late seventies [?]. At that milestone, he and his wife Glad, my grandmother known to me as Granma til she died at [94!] moved from their elevated river valley view perch on the north side of the Yarra to a bayside suburb, also elevated, with a view of the bay and The Big Smoke. The fomer home even had a coke scullery/basement/cellar that little brother and I used to scuttle around in, exploring. The new place had a view...

He was certainly a trendy grandfather in the late sixties too, I think he was one of the first people to buy the new two door Monaro GM-Holden, the first ever Ozzie "sports car" when it burst onto the scene, a silvery golden or bronze colour is what I remember- [Unca Bern, I need help here] And a 25th Anniversary Holden [car something- to be inserted- Unca Bern, again?]. He did not get the later 70's Monaro, but my Mum's dad did! canary bright Yellow!

Coo liked football, a one eyed Maggies supporter  (Collingwood's The Magpies, an Ozzie football team). I think. Not a real sporty fella though. Canoeing and fishing I remember as his outdoor interests. And fruit trees and a vege patch. My brother and I filched almonds and fruit off his backyard trees in Ivanhoe.

He was never going to join a bowling green club. Ever. Never. Ever! My aunt lived a few streets away from her dad, and opposite, more or less, a bowling green. Within a few years- he was a club champion! Never say Never.

Coo was an avid new tech sort of guy when I knew him. He must have been the first in the street to have a colour TV and later a video tape recorder. A Beta type model I think. And then a portable video camera!

When the Apple Corporation came out with their first or second desktop computer, he was one of the first to get one. When you think about it, that must have been a bloody fortune in the early eighties back in Oz. And for a retiree to buy and use one! All the bowling club members were on a list as soon as he mastered the database or what ever he used then. The family tree was done too. I have that printout somewhere around here. Somewhere. We go back to 1600's, northeastern Scotland!

The whole point of the post. 
Some Memorabilia from my grandad!

From when I was a child, he used to pass on little keepsakes to the grandkids.

For when I went fishing, an old army satchel :

From a trip to West Australia with his wife and daughter, a roadside trinket, one of two**, and a from Albany, a whale tooth. Small aside- he said that on that trip, it was maybe a two thousand miles of gravel road, Adelaide to Perth, and one car driver overtook a bunch of people, leaving all their windscreens broken!

 There was large 2 inch shark tooth too, that I put on a thread to hang around my neck. Now lost.

When the old couple had moved on to a retirement village, he showed me some thing else he wanted me to have, a set of pen knives he had collected over the years. Coo like to leave his mark on nearly everything:

The above shows the pockets the bag had, one either side, a map pocket inside and even at the bottom, a little buttoned pocket too. It can be seen it could be attached to shoulder or backpack webbing via the steel hook devices sewn into its back side. Construction- heavy green canvas. Age- who knows, I got it in 1968!

Something else my brother and I had to share was an billy-can set, like Russian dolls, a sort of kidney shape that had two billys and a eating plate. My brother should have it. and a picture will be added here at some time...

When I left home, I also left behind a reel-to-reel audio tape recorder. When Neil Diamond toured Melbourne mid 70's, I managed to record the televised Hot August Night concert on to it! As my folks moved on, all that old stuff of mine was boxed up or given away (Biggles books!), and I tried to revive it years later. The old sharp box was broke, dude. Bugger. There was a lot of music on them there tapes offa the telly! I don't think I let on to Coo that it was now junk.

There is probably a million other things he passed on to his grandkids- I think the tech thing was a shared give away in the genes- , my dad likes new stuff too. Like me!

*alright alright alright. melbourne victoria australia
** my brother got the other one

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