I had the opportunity to travel down the Hume Highway to Melbourne recently – a road trip that reminded me of holidays with Mum and Dad as well as when I was in my late teens/early twenties and used to drive to Melbourne from Sydney for a weekend – leaving Sydney on a Friday night and staying at Frankston in those days, arriving early on Saturday morning, sleeping, then heading out for a party. Sleep some more after the party and leave Frankston about midday to drive back to Sydney.
So, I drove south, stopped at Yass, Wagga and Albury to visit some potential business contacts. The dog was still on the Tucker Box, unchanged from when I last saw him. What had changed and was sad though was the old roadhouses were now closed, located as they were off what is now the main road, replaced these days by McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC. I remember as a kid my first Passport was provided by the Golden Fleece Petrol company (or was that Shell Oil) and every time we stopped for petrol or at a Roadhouse for a meal, the Passport was stamped by the staff.
My Passport has long since changed from one provided by the petrol station that showed stamps of Gundagai, Echuca, Mildura, Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra and such to one that is provided by the Australian Government and now bears stamps of places more exotic, such as Seoul, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Beirut and Brussels … but then, to a kid from Sydney, Cootamundra is exotic.
To remember back to the early programming on what was then 2JJ and quote Russell Guy when first broadcast in 1978 by Double Jay, “what’s Rangoon to you is Grafton to me” (or was it James Dibble that actually spoke the words?).