When I was a kid we emigrated to Australia in a BOAC plane that had to stop three times to refuel.
When I was a kid my parents rented a television for one night. They watched a movie that had something to do with a leaking submarine.
When I was a kid my dad stuck his arm out the car window to indicate where he was going. Straight out meant he was turning right, bent up meant he was turning left. (They drive on the wrong side Down Under.)
When I was a kid my parents took us in our Holden station wagon to a drive-in movie theater. We slept in the back in sleeping bags.
When I was a kid my favorite TV show was Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. My dad liked to watch I Love Lucy and McHale’s Navy, and, for some reason, people rollerskating around in small circles.
When I was a kid I lay reading in the back of the car on road trips.
When I was a kid TV was black and white and copies at school had purple ink that smelled nice.
When I was a kid we didn’t have a phone. This came in handy when I played hooky for weeks on end in second grade — the school couldn’t call my parents.
When I was a kid you got thrown out of the Australian movie theater if you didn’t stand for the English national anthem.
When I was a kid we played games at birthday parties. No, not computer games.
When I was a kid a nice man called Humphrey wanted to be president of America. He had to be nice because he had the same name as the bear in the TV show The Magic Circle.
When I was a kid I wrote a “book” on my aunt’s typewriter — no, not electric — and then we drove all the way from Yanchep to Perth, where someone made super-duper modern photocopies so my illustrations were in black and white, which made it really real!
When I was a kid women over forty had blue or purple hair in hairnets.
When I was a kid my favorite band — and the only one I was aware of — was The Seekers.
When I was a kid I had the mumps, the measles and chickenpox and really trippy dreams each time.
When I was a kid we watched the fireworks over Sydney Harbour for the Bicentennial.
When I was a kid in Australia for five and a half years, I saw exactly three people who were not white.
When I was a kid, we had an outhouse.
When I was a kid my 3-year-old brother got up early one morning and took the money from all the front steps in the neighborhood, so my mother had to frantically figure out who was owed what before the milkman came around.
When I was a kid skin cancer hadn’t been discovered yet, and neither had Sesame Street.