I know. A pet lamb the size of a dugong, with its own collar. What’s not to love?

But the rapture of those Grade Eight girls at Stuartholme still caught me by surprise.

Who could have guessed those old seventies photos would be such a hit?

Author talks are still a novelty for me.

Dust has only been out for eight months and this is the first time I’ve pulled out the paisley.

I’d swear that this little number on the right (made by Mum for the Biloela Show in May 1972), was one of the new generation wonder-fabrics: rayolene, a one-hundred-percent synthetic cross between rayon and crimpilene.

I could be wrong, but how could that be when I remember everything else so clearly?

The dress and matching jerkin were fully reversible. It was a warm day for May, which is why I’m not wearing the toning hat that Ma crocheted for me, the one with twin pom poms dangling from the crown on strings.

The knee boots laced around hooks; they were the envy of every girl in the valley. Bought at the Mac and East sale in Brisbane when Mum took a bit of a break from us kids. To get kidney stones out, from memory…

There’s more, but I’m saving it for my next school visit. Stuartholme College, you were great; you were the first to prompt me to pull out the paisley, but by jingo, you won’t be the last. πŸ˜‰

  1. OMG, Chris, I had a pair of those lace-up boots too – I was definitely the coolest chick in Hughenden wearing them.
    We must’ve always been dressed up for the local shows – I remember having a wear gloves one year because my Nana said there’d be germs! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the memory-retrieval, Chris.

  2. Trudie Trewin says:

    Oooh oooh – I had those boots in white. Never owned a jerkin (don’t actually know what it is!) But I remember wearing the boots with a rather fetching poncho to cracker night!

    • chrisbongers says:

      The coolest girl in school had white knee boots. So that was you, was it Trudie?

      • Trudie Trewin says:

        lol – I’m going to say yes – because I’ve never seen any of my old classmates from Mundulla commenting here! So while there’s no-one to dispute it… yep, uber-cool like a cheese sandwich, that was me!

  3. Gorgeous, Chris. I also have some beauties from the 70s. You look like the oldest sister (the cool one) from ‘The Brady Bunch’. My daughter and siblings reckons I’ll always have something of the 70s about me. Lol. And why not?! Joanna :))

  4. Lynne Green says:

    Good old Mac & East. I was quite upset when they finally went under for good.

    • chrisbongers says:

      We’d pore over the mail order catalogues, agonising about whether we should go the bell bottom hipsters in yellow or orange. Theoretically, I guess, because we couldn’t really afford much in those days.

  5. Sue says:

    I first read that as ‘parsley’ on my email! Paisley is much more interesting, and these photos are wonderful. Thanks for showing them, Chris. (Rayolene? I thought nothing could be worse than crimplene!)

  6. Donna Theodorou says:

    Thanks so much for visiting Stuartholme yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed Dust and meeting you in person. Unfortunately my daughter could not be there as she had a compulsary meeting to attend. She was so upset when I told her you had photos (she wanted to know if Punk was as handsome as she had imangined).
    My favourite part was when you fell in love with your baby brother.
    Thanks once again for taking the time to speak to us. Good luck and congratulations on your success. Looking forward to reading your new book.

  7. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Donna, the girls were gorgeous and I had a wonderful time at Stuartholme. Tell your daughter that Punk was a big spunk, then and now. πŸ˜‰

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