I got some kindergarten in England around age five and I might’ve learned to read then.
In late 1972, my family returned to Avondale College, a Seventh-Day Adventist institution two hours drive north of Sydney. My dad chaired the Religion Department. He had two PhDs.
Sister Ellen G. White, the founding prophet of the church, taught that it was good for kids to begin school late, so I ran wild from age six to eight. I was pretty lonely. I only had one friend — Wayne Cherry — and he was at school.
So I ran around in the bush outside our home, a mile from the college. I had a tomahawk. I chopped down trees and imagined I was blazing a trail like they did in the Wild West in America. I told myself Cowboys and Indians stories.
There weren’t many abos around. They were mainly in the cities. You’d see them passed out drunk in the gutter after they got their welfare checks.
When I finally entered school in second grade in January 1973, my social skills were not strong. I used my brain to make fun of people. I remember one day in class, I dribbled urine down my leg.
My parents caught me lying and so as punishment, I had to bike the mile home to eat lunch and by the time I got back to school, recess was over.
I told a lot of lies because I didn’t want to get hit by my parents for sinning (eating candy etc) and I usually got found out so I was always getting punished and exiled from normal contact with my classmates.