It was a g’day, mates

The Way I See It



The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity for several families in South and Central Texas. Friends from Australia were in visiting for their last leg of a five-week vacation, or holiday as they would say it!

Some of you may remember our Rotary foreign exchange student Daryl Gogel who was here in 1985-86. He was from Adelaide, South Australia and became a favorite fairly quickly. He visited twice more in 1989 and in 2005.

He and his wife, Sharyn, and son Jack have been on a U.S. trip with a quick journey to Mexico City and are by now on their way back home via Las Vegas.

My son, Daryl, is named for the Aussie Daryl. When he was leaving back in 1986, he said to me, “when you have a son, you’ll need to name him after me.” Little did I know when he spoke those words that I was already expecting.

Reconnecting with him and his family was simply the best. His classmates rounded up his friends and everyone brought some great South Texas fare to share. Roland Rodriguez was our main chef with perfect fajitas and sausage. More friends and family brought dips, chips, ice, paper goods (Stef- I still have some left!), homemade hot sauce and guacamole (so good, Sue Ellen!), Texas sheet cake (yum, Carol) and it was all coordinated by Monica Chacon! I stood back at one point, watching folks have different conversations with the guests of honor and among themselves.

They visited the Frere/ Lawrence families and the Starr families on two separate trips, and then we snuck in a quick tour at the Alamo and Riverwalk with classmate Jerry Lane and then we were off to Garland via Waco for a must-see stop at Magnolia Market at the Silos. I wished I could have crammed in a stop at Gruene Hall and at Buccee’s, but there are just so many hours in a day!

The way I see it, I sincerely hope it won’t be 13 years before we see the Gogels again. But, when we do – I know we will all pick up where we left off. That is a true sign of friendship.

SUE BROWN is a columnist of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at

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