Ian Horrocks writes...
My backyard was huge, on each side were huge vacant blocks and then Granddad's house was next. It was my territory to explore, build cubbies and play games each day. I was the second child; I had a brother and three sisters and a wonderful Granddad. Importantly I was given incredible freedom to roam, explore and learn. I kept and bred ferrets, pigeons, rats, chooks, several dogs, budgies, cockatiel and a cat called Pussy. Twice every year for fourteen years Pussy delivered a litter of kittens in a cavity at the foot of my bed. As you can guess, animals rank very high in my life.
My best friend then and now was my cousin. She and I spent endless days riding our bikes all over Adelaide. We hung around a bakery and managed to regularly ride in the horse-drawn bread delivery vans until the day I fell while delivering the bread. With me covered in grazes and cuts, we returned to my auntie's. Until then she had never asked what we did each day. That stopped that fun.
I grew vegetables in my backyard and delivered and sold them to neighbours, freshly picked and totally organic. Veggies were my pocket money, from which I bought my first watch (I still have it) and a 3-speed semi-racer bike that transported me everywhere until I bought my first car. What a car! It was a 1926 Durant Tourer and cost me my first week's wages as a pre-apprentice: ten pounds, or in today's money, $20. I put my bike in the back and drove home. Mum was shocked but she and Granddad loved it. Dad reckoned I had been gyped.
My life from then has been an endless adventure. I've worked in every State except Tasmania. I have been fortunate enough to work closely with Aborigines for over 25 years. I've managed a million-acre station and have ridden horses for work ten hours a day. I've ridden buck-jumping horses and wild bulls. I've managed to crash a few cars and live. I've fallen in love with some wonderful women and been blessed with two especially beautiful and interesting daughters and a grandson.