This is a Peter Spann Biography vanity project – pure and simple.
I was involved in a project called “My Life in 25 Photos” which was designed to have people you know find out interesting things about you in a non-challenging way.
It’s not designed to be cool or arty – just a chronicle and representative of the people and events that shaped my life.
So, those of you who know me well I hope you find something interesting here.
If nothing else it preserves my memories for posterity! A perfect Peter Spann Biography!
I have followed some conventions… All photos include me in them, except if it is a photo of somebody special or dear to me that had a significant impact on my life. If it is a photo of a thing it again represents something important or a mood or feeling that pervaded me at the time.
It’s MY life story so I haven’t asked permission from anybody to publish them. Go ahead and tag away if you like and de-friend if necessary!
1. First thing to know about me is that I was adopted
If you had asked me 10 years ago I would have sworn this event did not impact my life but it did. Deep down I have always been terrified of rejection and that has impacted just about everything I have done.
It has impacted relationships, family, business, my relationship to authority and even my health. I am grateful that I was adopted by such loving parents. But I have never felt good enough, ever. And I am always scared that people I love are going to leave me.
2. I was (am) a cutie
Kids really do grow quickly don’t they?
I really think I look like “me” here.
So many people say I haven’t changed a bit. (Ok, maybe excluding the waist line!)
I am recognised, easily, by people who literally haven’t seen me since I was this age. When I go back to Proserpine I am often stopped on the street by people who knew my family back then and they still recognise me.
It is a bizarre experience.
3. I am an Island / Beach Boy
I spent so much time as a child on the beach and in the ocean.
Of course back then nobody cared about kids being on their own. My parents taught me how to swim at an early age and I can never remember being supervised.
The beaches where we lived were mostly deserted and I was left to wander, swim and play all day by myself with the only rule being to be home by dark,which was about the time my father preferred dinner.
How beautiful are the Whitsunday’s?
No wonder I have been drawn back there over my life.
From my early childhood we would spend days just pottering around in boats, lazing on beaches and just generally having fun in the sun!
4. I had an unusual relationship with my father
My father was not a happy man.
I don’t know when he thought life went badly for him or if that was just the way middle aged men were back then but I rarely saw him happy. And he never really got my measure. He was stoic, I was emotional, he was an introvert, me an extrovert, him studious, focused and linear, me got by on my whits, and all over the shop in my imagination.
In grade 5 we moved to overseas for about 10 months and then to Atherton which, of all the places we lived, was my favourite.
This is about a week after we arrived.
My father, unusually, was in a very good mood and we stopped on the drive to Cairns to take photos.
I rarely had my photo taken with my Dad so this is one of the few in my collection.
5. It was my mother that raised me
My mother was a golf widow.
I guess both my parents were functioning alcoholics, but it was up to my mother to function a but better than my father.
She wasn’t always up when I was up but she kept the house immaculately, was always there for me, and encouraged my artistic side.
But like many women of her era she bowed to my father’s iron will and always backed his decisions.
6. I loved to fly
This was my first flying lesson.
I learnt to fly in a glider because my parents could not afford flying lessons in a power plane.
Glider flying cost about 1/3 of the price of power planes back then.
I was taught by an amazing man – Gus Mauch who was a WWII fighter pilot. He had been shot down over Germany twice (so maybe he wasn’t that good after all!). He escaped once and went straight back to flying. Close to the end of the war he was shot down again and put in a POW camp. He was liberated a few weeks later by advancing allied troops.
He was a seriously cool dude!
He used to pour a coffee before we’d do aerobatics to show me how much faith he had in my flying.
I got my license on my 15th birthday (yup, back then you could fly before you could drive).
Soon after they let me fly the gliding school’s tug plane so I was able to clock up sufficient hours to get my commercial license on my 18th birthday.
7. I was a public speaker from an early age
The next part of the Peter Spann Biography is I really didn’t like boarding school so I have virtually no photos of that era – in fact I hated almost every minute of it.
But there were a few things I liked…
I was B Grade swimming champion, they had a really nice church organ and I was Captain of the debating team – here I am in 3rd speaker role clinching the state title.
So public speaking got into my blood from an early age.
8. I both love and hate being tickled
This is what happens when I am tickled. There is a whole sequence of these photos but this is the last of them.
Me on the floor at the feet of a bevy of girls!
I quite liked one of the girls in this group and got thrown out of class one day for crawling under her desk and biting her on the knee.
Have no idea why everybody got so upset about that!
Written by Peter Spann
Peter Spann – Film Maker | Director | Business Coach | Writer | Public Speaking Coach | Presenter | Investor.
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