First Love and 1950 Ford V8.

First love and The Ford V8.


We all remember our first love. I certainly do. Her name was Marga. She lived opposite us at 104 Liguster Straat, The Hague. We were of equal age but she was much more advanced than I. I mean, I was getting the occasional twinge but staring at it I wondered what it was all about and did as yet not associate it with having anything to do with the opposite sex. The details are hazy and are of 60 years ago.

She had a broad smile and budding breasts which she implored me several times to touch.  She wasn’t asking it verbally. It was more the way she twirled around and did funny little hop-scotch things in front of me. She was most charming. I was too hesitant and shy but walking home afterwards for my dinner of mainly potatoes and mince, I regretted for not having done so. I made up my mind to do so next time. I was resolute. Yet, next time around, I again refrained. Why was that so?

I often wondered for the reason. It was at the time when my parents decided to give the three eldest boys sex instructions. We were given a few days notice of this monumental event and told not to play outside during the allocated hour or so when we would be informed of the important facts of life. I was the second eldest and had some rough idea of those facts already including that adults did some strange things together, but I had not as yet associated those ‘strange things’ as holding pleasure or joy. I thought it then as some aberration of mankind, seeing they had just bombed each other to smithereens during WW 2, nothing surprised me much at all.

Anyway, with Marga’s continuation with imploring me to touch her breasts and my parents’ well intentioned program to educate her sprouts with the basics, something stirred in me as well, none too late, and I finally touched her softness through her floral blouse. Hoorah. The sex education lesson at 5.30 pm (before the mince and spuds) was pathetic with my father being mainly silent and leaving it to his wife to address the main issue. The main issue being for my mother anyway was, to repeat several times; “whatever you do, keep your hands above the blankets, and don’t touch ‘it’!” Heaven only knows what she implored her husband to do or not to do, but she did have 6 children. Needless to say, I soon did nothing else but keep my hands under the blankets, relishing, rejoicing and reliving my recent bravery overcoming my reticence with the touch of the lovely softness of sweet Marga.

A few weeks after, I experienced an even more unforgettable and momentous event. We lived opposite each other on the third story of our block of apartments where we often used to see each other behind the windows. Holland bares their living space as nowhere else by hardly ever drawing curtains or blinds. One sultry summer evening, we, lovelorn, were looking at each other again across the street, when she lifted her blouse suddenly and utterly spontaneously, and with a smile, affording me a view of her small roseate breasts. Not only having touched them previously but now seeing them as well brought me almost to my knees. My lovely Marga. She soon moved away to Utrecht.

All these idyllic, romantic and sexual mores of my pre-teen years were rudely interrupted by my parent’s decision to migrate to Australia. What a schism. That suburb in Australia of single fenced off green painted fibro houses, empty streets and not person in sight, let alone a Marga. I could not share my loneliness no matter how lovely the rockeries or how well the suburban lawns were kept.


A great consolation was my first car. It was a 1950 Ford V8 single spinner and painted a light powder blue. That first time I brought it home after having traded in my Triumph ex police motor bike with side-car was a triumph. It was almost, but not quite as unforgettable as my memories of sweet Marga. Next morning, turning the key and pulling the starter knob it brought the eight cylinders to life with a roar that brought the whole street to attention.

It was this FordV8 car that I took my first Australian girl friend out in. I decided to show her the devastation of a small village named Woy Woy that had been blown to pieces by a huge swirling tornado  named ‘Willy Willy,’ an obscure aboriginal name . The Newspapers were full of the Willy Willy at Woy Woy. I could not shake the title of those headlines and had to find out what this devastation was all about.

The trip was a disaster even more than the Willy Willy at Woy Woy. She was nothing like my soft Marga. She was unrelentingly practical, hard as nails and tough as leather jackets. She complained of my car giving out blue smoke, also, “Get me a malted banana milkshake” she demanded. Late in the afternoon I dropped her off at Sydney’s Coogee. Her father was formidable, over 6 feet and wearing bib and brace overalls with tools hanging from a belt. He was most suspicious. He should not have worried.

No twinges of any sort.

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11 Responses to “First Love and 1950 Ford V8.”

  1. petspeopleandlife Says:

    The memory of those long ago days should have either caused you to laugh or cry as you wrote this. A follow up is in order to let your readers know if you ever found another Marga or not. I have a feeling that the Ford V8 might have been on equal footing with the pursuit of a suitable cutie.

    I have a question though. Do Australians still drive Fords and what are some of the popular car brands?


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Pets peopleand life.

    Glad you enjoyed this piece. I found my cutie and have been with her ever since 1965. Yes, Australian still drive Fords but not for long as Ford had decided to close down in Australia. Pity, because thousands will now lose their jobs.


  3. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Gerard, you have this extraordinarily wonderful way with words. You are a demon! Yes! a demon at capturing so perfectly those moments of ALL of our youths. Precise, raw, feeling, – at times like this I wish I was blessed with a better command of the English language because I’d love to give you the credit that you deserve in my comment. Alas.

    Just for the record, my first love is a heroine addict. We ‘found’ each other after 25 years but it was agony. Pure agony. At times when we spoke it was ‘normal’ but then the drug (dealer) took over. I realised that despite our love I could not go to that place of hell, I had to divorce myself and carry on. I’m happy I did.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Lottie,
      You’re a pretty good scribe yerself. Don’t under-estimate your own words. I loved your latest on Bali and the bathing and washing women on the kali photographs. You are showing a Bali that many tourists miss.


  4. Andrew Says:

    Evocative writing to which we can all relate. Mine was a yellow Golf, rapidly followed by a shiny black Golf GTi. Willy Willy at Woy Woy. Wow wow. That made me laugh a lot. Maybe later this year we will get a Typhoon Willy Willy. I do hope so.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Andrew.

      There was a Willy Willy at Woy Woy. I cannot find any references to it but seeing it was during the very early sixties, I am not surprised it is residing in the bowels of history and forgotten.

      A yellow Golf? My V8 used almost as much oil as petrol. Worn out rings. I lifted the head and did a de-coke and valve grind. Everything was simple in that car.

      “willy-willy” or “whirly-whirly” is thought to derive from Yindjibarndi or a neighbouring language.[2] In Aboriginal myths, willy willies represent spirit forms. They are often quite scary spirits, and parents may warn their children that if they misbehave, a spirit will emerge from the spinning vortex of dirt and chastise them. There is a story of the origin of the brolga in which a bad spirit descends from the sky and captures the young being and abducts her by taking the form of a willy-willy.


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    A wonderful coming of age story Gerard. I doubt I ever gave any pre-teen boy any interesting twinges, since I never lived in one place long enough in those years. Later my favorite means of transportation was a yellow Carmann-Ghia named Herman I drove for 20 years. The only things I transported though were groceries and a couple of large German Shepherds!


  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Kayti; Are you sure about never having given interesting twinges to boys? It’s not as if those sort of things got announced by the Town-Crier preceded by a drum roll.
    A car called Herman? Interesting name.


  7. Obaid Akhlaq Says:

    A wonderful story. Its really sad that you and Marga didn’t get much time to spend. I too have a similar story but in my case the girl moved away. My first car is a jeep that I used to drive around with friends and simply race each other. The good ol’ days, their memories are sweet.


  8. Patti Kuche Says:

    Wow, what a beast of a car that is, and such a sweet story to go with it. How Marga would have enjoyed the trip to Woy Woy!


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, first love. It took me a long time and lots of Schubert’s music to get over Marga. (plumbing the depth of despair and solitude)


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