A school-friend kindly sent me a telegram after I won at the Australian Schools Athletic championships, admitting I was good enough despite wearing cheap sneakers called ‘Trax’. I still have the results of the event which show my Australian record just below Cathy Freeman who also won at the same event. For those of you that don’t know, Cathy Freeman went on to win the 400 meters gold medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. This is arguably the most heralded track event win in Australian Olympic history. You can watch this historic moment here.
Later the local paper would interview my brother and I:
WALK STAR SHARES HIS SUCCESSES
Most 15 year olds would not readily admit they owe their success to their brother two years junior.
I have few claims to fame, but as Charles Bukowski put it, ‘Hey baby, when I write, I’m the hero of my shit’.
I have kept my friend’s telegram all these years. The first two sentences were written to the lyrical arrangement of U2’s “All I Want is You”, which was a favourite song of mine at the time.
YOU SAID YOU WANT A HOUSE WITH A FRONT DOOR.
TWO PAIRS OF TRAX OR MORE. NOW YOU’VE GOT YOUR TWO PAIRS OF TRAX AND SHOWN EVERYBODY THAT TRAX ARE THE BEST.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESS AT THE NATIONAL. WELL DONE MATTI AND ALL THE BEST IN THE FUTURE.
BRAD AND FAMILY
It’s true we didn’t have a front door. Our poor guests had to use a side gate and then dodge the snapping jaws of our little canines all the way up the steps to our back door.