Steve’s stroll along memory lane shadowing The Swan
Steve was sitting having a well-earned rest, it’d been a long day and he couldn’t remember the last time he had walked that far. He didn’t notice it at the time,
but now resting he realized that he had been walking as if in a dream, and not sure for how long; a dream that took him back through time and space. He did take in the beauty and the enjoyable lovely sites and surroundings, but, with every glance at the river, noticing boats bopping and swaying on their mourrings, sounds of familiar birds all took him back to another place, another memory and flashes of life with people past and present.
After sitting for a while Steve began to feel relaxed and recuperated enough to continue his journey. He took a big gulp of his drink and gathered up things and then became more aware of his surroundings and a couple of people a few metres away. They seemed to be coming toward him.
He’d been sitting in his own little world, for how long he wasn’t sure, maybe about an hour, drinking a Coke, and enjoying a smoke; drifting dreamingly down the river watching different thoughts and memories go by. How long have I been here, how long is this river, could I still swim across the other side?
“Hi; excuse me, sorry to disturb you”, a fit middle-aged man said in a pleasant bright American accent.
“Hey: how you doing? This is a beautiful place aint it?” he added.
Gidday; I’m doing alright, and yep this is a beautiful spot, one of my favourites”, I replied warmly.
“I’ve been showing my wife the sites and some of these nice peaceful quiet parts of this grand river”, the American man said while giving his wife’s hand a little gentle squeeze and gesturing with his other hand dramatically to indicate the vista of the river in front of us.
I was based at Leeuwin Barracks for a couple of years some time ago, and fell in love with Freo and these riverside areas”, the American said with pride.
Steve paused and then simply replied, “that’s nice”.
He was still pondering his own thoughts and remembered he still had a lot he wanted to do today.
The American guy noticed Steve take another drink of his coke and said; “hey, sorry excuse me, we were wondering where we could get a cold drink and a snack”?
“We didn’t come prepared, and didn’t bring any soda, or anything”, he added.
“Sure, just over there down the road a bit at the water polo club you can get a drink and maybe some kind of snack”, Steve answered.
“Water polo”, exclaimed the equally pleasant and bright American woman; “I used to play that in college” she to her husband.
“It was fun but a tough sport in many ways” she added playfully.
“I’ve never played, but, do no a few people who have, and have told how rough and tough it can be” I chimed in.
Steve then gave the couple an extremely quick and brief personalized history of the water polo club including the fundraising party to help complete the building, when his friend Bob drunk too much and vomited in the back seat of his parents car; the same friend enjoyed a fabulous and beautiful wedding reception there looking out over the water just a few years later. Steve chatted with them for a short while about the area and general life. Steve discovered the American guy Chris was in the U.S Navy and he was part of an exchange program with the Australian Navy and that was when he stayed at the Leeuwin navy base in East Fremantle.
Steve’s chat with Chris and his wife Brenda just prodded and fired up his nostalgic memories and he to set off on pleasant journey along the river and within his memories. He giggled to himself as he thought how apt there I was sharing fond memories and thoughts about his best mate Bob and now he is off to meet up with him and the other boys ffor a few to many and to see which one of us will tell the biggest lies.