Of all the people who have made an impression on my life, there would be no question your impact would be the greatest.
It was late 1971 when I first noticed the tall, elegant blonde who worked upstairs in HR at the Department of the Treasury. Because of my role with salaries and pensions there was a lot of interaction between our two departments.
I would volunteer to take stuff upstairs just so I could have a conversation with you, we would laugh with each other while going through the stultifying and boring detail we needed to discuss.
I would go to work in the morning, looking forward to the time I would get to spend with you during the day.
I had spoken to Chris about my infatuation with this vision on the 5th Floor and he made some excuse to go and check you out.
Thumbs Up; was his verdict and finally, I worked up the courage to ask you out.
I have tried to, but can’t remember where we went for our first date, but I do remember the elaborate preparations which went into getting it organized.
Chris and Bep were adamant that going to pick you up on a cold, Canberra, Winters’s night in my breezy and colorful Mini Moke would not create a really great first impression.
I spent the afternoon before our first date, swapping cars with Bep and being lectured by both of them on the rights and wrongs of dating.
Taking romantic advice from Chris was a big stretch, but Bep was different.
All thoughts of sexual confusion were thrown to the wind as I made my way out to Queanbeyan to collect you at Cameron Road.
Meeting your parents and your Grumpy Grandfather for the first time was an unnerving experience, this was the first time I had ever done this and I was a bundle of nervous energy.
I was surprised when we walked out to the car and you looked at Bep’s old VW, before asking “where is the Moke?”
I had no idea, you even knew about my colorful and distinctive means of transport and I guess I realized right then, that I was not the only person who had been doing their homework before this fateful night.
I remember our conversation that night and I remember on the drive back to Queanbeyan, thinking “I want to see this person again”
It was a perfunctory kiss in the driveway before I watched you walk into the house at five minutes to Midnight, just in time to beat the curfew imposed by Ernie in his gentle but very forceful way.
Much would happen between us in the next forty years, but I have never once regretted asking you out for that very first night.