The boy who named me and the man who knew him.

The boy, on the far left is Neil. One day, when my parents, and the van Hoorns and I were visiting his parents, again, he suggested we go down to The Stadium and see the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Sydney Stadium was only a few streets away.
As we walked down those streets he met a friend of his, walking a dog.
Neil introduced me as Joe.
And so I changed my name and used it from then on.
It was the summer of 1956 -1957.
In recent years I use my original, Dutch name, just as much, or more often.
It’s Joop. Pronounced: Yope.
( One of the various short versions of Johannes, which is commonly made into John, in English. )
The teacher, in the nissen huts, in Villawood Hostel, used to smile and say: Jope, the Dope and I still wouldn’t mind. He was nice and seemed to recognise my abilities to draw, play music, etc..
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The photo was taken, I believe, in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney.
Beside Neil sits his sister and his parents are sitting opposite.
Last year I went along with the occupational therapist of the Abel Tasman Retirement Village, (where my father is ) to a ten pin bowling alley, in Campbelltown.
She introduced me to the residents who had come along but Mr Kees Santiford, (93?) said: No need to introduce us. I know Joop!
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I am so impressed with the vitality and memory of Mr Santiford. He and his wife and family were friends of Neil’s parents in the fifties.
For quite some time, on Saturday nights, those two little vws used to take us to Neil’s parents’ house because
they had television.
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The men then watched Sugarfoot, The Naked City, 77 Sunset Strip, Route 66, Rawhide, etc., in the little crowded room and my mother and Mrs Gerda van Hoorn would go and keep Mrs de Vries, Neil’s mother, company.
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Mr and Mrs Santiford lived one block away and so were sometimes there as well.
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It was round about the time that I went along to the ten pin bowling, last year, that Mr Santiford took another trip to Holland again.
I wonder if I’ll be doing that in my early 90s!!
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Above, at the far table: Gerard van Hoorn, sitting down. Me leaning forward. My mother trying to be in the photograph and then the boy who took me to Potter’s Dance Studio . Netty’s friend and Netty van Hoorn and Mrs Gerda van Hoorn smiling.
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In the mid fifties those two little v.w.s covered so many miles (as they were then ) and visited so many Dutch-born immigrant friends!!
My father’s v.w., at the front. Mr van Hoorn’s v.w., following.
My father (older) liked to lead.
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At the bowling alley, Mr Santiford brought me up to-date about Neil and his sister and their parents, whom I’d known half a century ago.
Absolutely nothing wrong with Kees’ memory!!!!
A favourite word on redbubble is: awesome.
In this case, it applies!
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In 1987, I dropped an ‘e’ and added a ‘holland’.
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Joe Mul became Jo Mulholland

Journal Comments

  • madworld
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