Saturday, February 19, 2011

My home town Griffith!

"You can take the boy out of Griffith, but you can't take the Griffith out of the boy." Or the other thing I always say, usually in a crowded bar or work event, is "I'm a bogan from Griffith and proud of it!" 


Yes I'm very proud of my home town Griffith, always have been. Loved growing up here, all my family are here, so are lots of my school friends, and SOOOOO many memories that even after 18 years I still get sentimental coming home. I’m back for the weekend for my brothers Bucks Night (read about that on Monday!), and to catch up with all the fam. After the past few weeks its perfect timing to come home and get completely boozed up with the cousins! 

I lived my whole life here until I ventured out into the big bad world when I was 20 to go to Uni. So it’s been a long, long time since I’ve called it home, but still whenever I’m asked where I’m from I say Griffith. It’s a strange place though, lots of contradictions. It’s a big farming town but bizarrely cosmopolitan. Its got fantastic restaurants but absolutely no decent menswear stores. There are lots of jewellers and hair salons but you can’t get a good coffee past noon on a Saturday.
Big wine country.
Now Griffith has a reputation – a long history of scandals. I really didn’t understand it until I moved away and it seemed everyone knew about it. Now thanks to Underbelly it’s taken on a whole new life. I would bet your image of Griffith is completely different to the reality. It’s a good place, normal in ‘almost’ every way. Just a little bit more gold jewellery than your average country town.

So I get home at least twice a year, sometimes more, depending on how many family events we have. I always love coming home. And your hometown is always gonna trigger memories of events and times that are special. I have heaps, especially with my family. But today I'm going with non-family stuff cause I'm sentimental enough as it is, that would push me over the edge.

Between the ages of 10 and 19, if I wasn’t at school than I was at either the indoor or outdoor pool (although now the outdoor is now indoor and the indoor is apartments). I swam competitively for so many years, I permanently stunk of chlorine with brittle, bleached hair. I loved swimming so much but my love for the sport always far outweighed my talent. I am a wide-set midget after-all. But I loved everyone who was ever involved with the Griffith  Swimming Club, and I still wear the t'shirts and use the towels. As rampant teenagers we used to have an absolute ball. I loved those pools and everyone I swum with.
Griffith postcard
I used to be a bank teller. For two years, for the State Bank of NSW. And I thought it was the coolest job ever! It was my first job out of school while I tried to work out what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I worked with this amazing group of women, all hot and all Italian. I went to all of their 21sts and most of their weddings. I think I was a pretty shocking bank teller, spent most of my day flirting with customers or laughing with the girls. I remember at my farewell I sobbed like a baby. Carmela gave me a diamond earring, she was a very special friend and still is!

I had my first ever bourbon and coke at The Area Hotel. Bought for me by a swimming friend of mine to celebrate our HSC results. Yes, and many will find this impossible to believe, I had never tasted alcohol until I was 18 and a half cause I was such a dedicated (and delusional) athlete. The Area Hotel used to go OFF!!! Especially on Xmas Eve and Easter. Easter used to be phenomenal, especially with everyone home from Uni. Every time you’d go there it was a reunion in some way. Still to this day, when I taste a bourbon and coke it takes me straight back to the Area in January ‘91. Back when I had a six-pack.
The Area Hotel
So that is more than enough sentimentality for one day. If you ever get the chance to visit Griffith, I recommend you do. Give me a call for all the local hot tips. It’s a town the locals know best. But if you think the streets are going to be overrun with drugs and mafia-types you will be sadly mistaken. Its a very cool place.

6 comments:

Nicstar said...

ahhh thanks for your memories Steve. Is funny because this weekend I too have ventured back to my hometown (newcastle) for my pseudo-sister (long story, but half of sydney and newy think we are sisters so who are we to dispel that myth!). I don't have as fond memories as you do. Well I do, but its a whole bag of laughter, good times, anxiety, tears, thrills, embarrassments etc... but am having similar "memory lane" moments you'd be having in Griffith.

Tonight will be my first night out in Newcastle in .... 4 years...I hope its everything I remember and I hope its everything I don't remember. I hope you have a blast on your brother's bucks night. And yes, you should wear something off the shoulder.
x

P.S. Did I say I am loving your blog hey. Like the way you write, like the stuff you write about, and some of the stuff makes me reflect on my life a little as well. Thank you! :)

Donna said...

I hear you! The place I grew up (Coffs Harbour) is always refered to as "home", even though I've not lived there for about 12 years... Every chance I get I go back and wallow in all the wonderful memories.

Enjoy your trip down memory lane/big bad bucks night!

Anonymous said...

You were the HOTTEST bank teller ever, i used to get so excited coming into the bank to do the daily banking and have you as my teller boy!!!!
I shed a tear the day you left there, i tried to convince the boss to even change banks as the daily chore of doing the banking would no longer be a highlight because you had left :(

ST. MURPHY said...

ok. Now I am ACHING to know who Anonymous is???? xoxo

Anonymous said...

you need to think very very hard Mr Murphy, back to those banking days and you might just remember ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve were you also including the Married Italian women as being hot too!

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