You approach the site of the old Country Women’s Association hall on Marine Parade, but it appears to be some sort of Yoga studio. However when you peer down the side, you see the old hall seems to be intact on the other end in Griffith St.
You walk around the corner, past the old pink motel and palm trees, right into Clarke Street and right again into Griffith Street. And there it is, a survivor of a bygone era amongst the high rise – the original old CWA Hall where your grandparents first danced during their courtship. The door is open and you can hear someone playing the piano, tapping out a rudimentary version of that classic old show tune your grandparents once danced to, It’s Hot In Brisbane But It’s Coolangatta.
You open your grandparents’ letter, the one they insisted you take on this forced adventure of theirs, and start reading:
You know how precious you are to us. You were always THE special grandchild. We knew as soon as we saw your face that you would grow up to be the one who brought us together all those years ago. We’ve been holding this secret a while now, even from your parents, so it’s exciting to be able to tell you that you, got us together back in the 1950’s.
Yes, we understand how crazy this sounds, why that would mean you’re a time traveler! But cross our hearts it’s true. We don’t know you make it back to our holiday in Coolangatta but we hope that this letter will somehow act as the gateway to making sure this strong love begins (and survives!).
Good luck, but ah, just a quick word of advice, try not to bugger it up so much this time, ok? Frankly things could have gone a little smoother… That’s all we can say though, according to those space to shows any more information could mess up the time line. We’re counting on you. Don’t mess this up! You wouldn’t want to wipe out the entire family tree.
No pressure. Ha ha.
Love, Grandma & Grandpa.”
You carefully fold the letter, replace it in its envelope and slip it into your pocket.
Whoo-boy! That old pair have really lost it this time, you muse.
As you peer inside the CWA hall you swear you can see two shadowy figures twirling around the dance floor arm-in-arm and you stare transfixed, not wanting to intrude on their private moment. Then the vision fades and the tune seems to melt into the ether, echoing gently in your ears.
When you step back on to the street you feel strange, as if you and all around you have fundamentally changed. You bump into a young man walking hurriedly past and send him sprawling on to the pavement, where he lands heavily. He gets up and brushes himself off, wincing as his hand brushes his knee which is now badly skinned. He look at you for a moment, then hurries on his way, now walking with a pronounced limp. He looks vaguely familiar but you’re distracted from your thoughts as you look about you.
The cars, clothes, people, buildings, all look different, like you’re on a movie set depicting a bygone era. You turn towards the beach and see a large crowd gathered in the corner at Greenmount and a booming voice crackling over loud speakers.
“ARE YOU READY?”
“ARE WE EVER!” the crowd screams.
You cross Marine Parade to get a closer look and gradually it dawns on you – they were bloody right, you’re back in the time of your grandparents’ courtship! In that magical era of innocent fun. This is the Hokey Pokey. That man you bumped into, who looked familiar, THAT was your grandfather.
Whoa. You gulp. Sure, no pressure! Thanks Grandma!
You haven’t exactly gotten off to a stellar start. Might that bump, that skinned knee, that limp, that split second delay of Grandpa’s hurried journey to the beach in search of the young woman he’d set his sights on earlier, might that be enough to alter the course of history? Have you inadvertently altered the precise timing that led to their meeting and romance?
You hurry towards the beach, determined to ensure that the course of true love will run smoothly, this time at least. Cross at the pedestrian crossing in front of Reflections towers to the beachfront walking path, and about 70 metres to your right you’ll see a marker for the Gold Coast Oceanway Walk, labelled “Greenmount Beach, 1.5”.
Go to Greenmount Beach Front.