I felt I had to include this man in my list of family members as, after all, he WAS the father of my two children so at one time WAS a big part of my/our lives.
I will not hold my punches here and will try to tell it as best I can so forgive me if at times it sounds a trifle one-sided as you are of course only reading my side of the story.
It was quite by accident that I went out with him. Actually before that we had lived next door to his grandparents (we were on one corner and they on the other) and in all those 5 years I am not sure he visited them very much as I never noticed him at their place at all. Probably teenagers don't take much notice of what is happening in their immediate neighbourhood.
Another chap I knew, and went out with casually, had a brother who was getting married and, as he was involved in the wedding ceremony but did want me to be able to go to the wedding, he asked AGL (who had an invitation to attend the wedding but had nobody to take) whether he would like to take me. I had known the bride and groom since I was 15 but had lost touch with them over the past couple of years so no invitation for me to their wedding.
We went to the wedding and a very nice wedding it was too and it all started from there. Mum and Dad had built a new house and we were due to move in shortly after I'd attended the wedding and Mum always said we moved and AGL moved in too. No, he didn't live with us but may well have done as he rode his bike (young people didn't have cars back then) over almost every night. You could perhaps say I was taken out of circulation by his sheer determination in seeing me all the time.
We did go out occasionally when he would borrow his step-dad's car and we'd even take mum for a drive on weekends occasionally (Dad was usually off playing lawn bowls) but much of the time the evenings were spent at home listening to music, the radio or perhaps playing cards or similar.
One day AGL and I decided to buy a block of land (gee, things were perhaps getting serious although I'm not sure if it was just him or me as well). For some reason my mother looked on this big step as putting the cart before the horse and mentioned that perhaps we should thinking of getting engaged if things were serious enough to be buying land.
Looking back on that now I can see the stupidity of the whole thing but I guess in those days things we tended to go along most of the time with what our parents said as we though of them as knowing so much more than we did. Boy, how that has changed now.
We got engaged on 18th July, 1952(had a lovely diamond engagement ring bought for me) and set a wedding date for the following year on 18th July, 1953.
In between times mum and dad gave me a lovely 21st birthday party in the Mt Lawley tennis club hall with dancing a a delicious supper.
Several months before the wedding a friend of mine from school days was up in Perth and she came to our place for dinner one night and although I had told AGL that she would be there he still insisted on cycling over as usual. JT and I had so much to talk about that I guess we rather excluded AGL from our conversation but he kept being a nuisance and I eventually turned around and gave him just a light tap on the cheek and tried to explain that JT and I hadn't seen each other for ages and could he just let us have this time together. With this he flounced out of the room and slammed our front door very hard as he left. Mum came to see what on earth had happened and she and JT then proceeded to sit down and talk to me about whether this planned marriage was the right thing for me to do. I knew AGL was a very jealous person and in my heart I think I did realise perhaps I was making a mistake but I've always been a fairly sort-hearted person and I knew he would be very hurt if I broke of our engagement so decided not to heed the sound advice I was being given and go ahead with our plans.
The wedding took place as planned and we had a brief honeymoon as money was scarce and we found place to live consisting of a kitchen and a bedroom/sitting room and share bathroom and laundry. I think we had enough cash to buy ourselves a broom and dustpan and brush and little else. A friend had given me a pantry tea so we had sugar, tea, flour and similar items to start off with which perhaps was just as well. Anyway, we didn't starve.
One incident shortly after our marriage brought home to me just how jealous this man was. I had received an invitation to a friend's kitchen tea and he wanted to know when we would be going. I had to explain that it was for the girls only and he was horrified that I would even contemplate going somewhere without him. I then wondered if perhaps I should have listed to Mum and JT.
This story is turning out to be rather lengthy so I think I will tell it in two parts so as not to bore the hide of anyone who happens to tune in here to read what I've written. Watch this space!!!