You'd think then as I'm upon this rd, having just started at the monument, that the next significant landmark might be Otahuhu college yet it isn't and I have no idea why though somehow, and I go forward a bit here, to the eighties when I hung out big time with my brothers and his mates and we had that notorious house in Onehunga, 16 Matiere Rd, where the landlord disappeared for a few years so we had it rent free... which isn't really a good idea for a bunch of twenty somethings who enjoy drinking lots of beer, smoking Marijuana just about all the time and riding big, fast motorcycles as quickly as possible all over the places then havin' fun coming up with excuses to get off with a warning when the traffic coppers finally caught you.
But we also had our quieter side too and that was about sunday afternoons playing cricket at various parks, usually one tree hill and often in the field where the archery was because we'd always have it almost to ourselves in those days.
One sunday though we were in Otahuhu at Gary's parents place for some reason and he came up with the idea of having our game in the grounds of Otahuhu college and I still kinda remember that day for it's bleakness... there was something about those grounds I didn't like, don't have any idea what it was and really, because the buildings are so old and made of stone, I should feel an affinity to it, I love old buildings so it's kinda weird I'm really not at all interested in Otahuhu college.
But across the road, oh yes, I loved that little shop there. That little corner shop with the workshops out back was absolutely wonderful. It was Bob Andersons place, and I ended up being in standard 4 with his daughter Sandra, though I didn't know her well, and they lived up the road from us in the only two story house I knew of... until you got to Manger Bridge of course, then theres was loads. Bob, Mr Anderson sold bicycles and repaired motorcycles which were tow of my favourite things. I can't remember but it must have been he sold the odd motorcycle too 'cause Dad ended up with little Hondas to go to work on and he must have gotten them from Bob. Those bicycles though... I loved them to bits. I'm not sure if I'd learned to ride in Canada, I'll have to ask Dad sometime, but it makes sense somehow as Mr Anderson, in his shop, had a selection of small American style bicycles, you know the ones, curved elegant frames, bright metal flake colours, high handlebars and banana seats... beautiful.
I'd had other bikes before that as theres a photo of me, with my brother and sister, out front of our house one sunny morning all kitted out to go to school and I had an English style bike it's very obvious I'm proud of.
All those thing together, and I must have been about ten when Dad decided me and my brother could have new American bikes, and he himself, my dad, had the little black Honda ninety with the flared guards and nice little touches of chrome, it all came from this little shop and behind the counter, where Bob's wife used to preside, was Bob with oil and tools and even machines and for me, that was my church, that was the hallowing of life, the true religion I yearned for.
It might have been quite simply about my fathers reverence for machines simply because, like my brother, he had absolutely no interest in understanding the arcane and esoteric knowledge that made them go and do things for us... but me, I couldn't wait to dive in. And Dad must have understood this because even whilst he treated all mechanical things like Gods to be protected in their innocence he stole tools from work, which really ramped up once he got into the storeroom, and filled the bottom drawer with them so I could get into trouble doing what I had to do. And i did get into trouble... quite often actually as even to this day I don't really understand the concept of ownership.
I mean I completely understand respect for things and the passing on of knowledge which flows on from the respect and care of things but ownership itself has always alluded me. That little shop, that glorious and sweet smelling oasis of man stuff was a shrine and therein I knew in my bones it was something that enthralled me... it was Bobs kingdom, as it were, and nothing was more obvious, of course it was.