“Oh my goodness, he’s wearing an Expo 88 shirt”, I thought to myself as I stood net to a man at the lights near Taylor Square.
Although I’d left Brisbane earlier in 1988, I did return briefly on a couple of occasions throughout the year. And while I was there, of course, I visited Expo 88.
My memories of Expo 88 are somewhat dim now. I really only remember the queues.
But Expo 88 was definitely a turning point in the history of Brisbane. I think it’s generally regarded as the time when Brisbane made the change from “big country town” to “important Australian city”. Still, I think it might have been quite a few years later before Brisbane really was able to claim such a title.
So with a fondness for Brisbane, and a fondness for Expo 88, I debate the pros and cons of asking the bloke if he minded if I took a photograph. I ummed and ahhed for a minute or so, until finally summoning up the courage.
“You mind if I take a photograph of your shirt?”, I asked. “Not a problem”, he told me, adding that he’d been wearing the shirt since 1988. “It’s an original” he told me. For a shirt that’s been through the washing machine, hopefully, quite a few times since 88, it was in pretty good shape.