The places that I never see, are places where I long to be. A new location ‘neath my feet, makes all anew and life is sweet. The search will never end, perhaps it’s like the rainbow’s end. These places that I never see, are places where I long to be – Kevin Platt
Micah Platt: “Hanging around with dad on the Sunny Coast as a young grom was pretty cool. Walking through the surf shop, watching boards being hand crafted, they are all fond memories of mine. Hanging out at Nan and Pop’s, getting fed well and having custom ‘PLATTS’ clothing made for myself and my sisco (aka sister). Nan’s voice was one in a million, “Hold your horses Micah” she’d say, as I asked about dinner – lol Lance and Dad would chuckle. Hanging out at Boginvar Pub with Dad and his mates (definitely not the PC thing to be done these days!)
Before long I was telling Dad, “I wanna learn to surf”. Iremember the very day. Dad borrowed a knee board from a mate and off to Cabarita Beach we went. First, he taught me to stand up on the sand, then off into the water we went. It was only the second wave before I got up and was riding! It was an awesome time and from then I knew I wanted to be just like dad, a surfer!
When Mum and Dad separated and we moved with Mum to Gympie in QLD and pretty far from any beaches. I forgot about surfing and soon found other interests, like motorcycles and mechanics. I was young and grew quite angry with my parents for the way life had turned out. As years went by I didn’t get to have a lot to do with Dad and hated it. I recall one time, where I was able to go stay with him for a weekend and Dad wouldn’t let me go back with Mum when she came to pick me up. It impacted the whole family, Mum had to bunk up with all my younger siblings in a local Salvation Army refuge, while dad and her fought out custody, in court. Dad trying desperately to get custody of me, which wasn’t granted. That time with Dad, when it was just me and him, was like a taste of how life could have been, we were hitting the beach, surfing – it ripped me apart when I finally went back to Mum.
As time went by, things slipped back to having very little contact with Dad or Nan & Pop. I grew pretty rebellious and probably started to blame Mum for taking me away from Dad or for what felt like, her keeping me from him. We eventually moved to Carrington in NSW, so we were back in the surf scene. I started connecting with Dad again through letters. I wasn’t aware of the extent of Dad’s drug and alcohol abuse through all of this time and couldn’t understand why it felt like mum was trying to intercept my letters. I get it now and know that she was trying to protect me a little but at the time it all just felt so wrong. At one stage, Dad came to visit us kids in Carrington. It was good to have him close but most time of his time was spent at the local Seven Seas Hotel.
In 2000, when we got news that dad passed and learnt how he had died and the state his life was in, I stopped surfing pretty much straight away and really started hitting harder drugs and consuming more alcohol than is ever good for anyone. I didn’t even attend his funeral; I was a pissed little boy! I continue to self-destruct. I was heading down a shitty path for years. Having my own kids was a bit of a wakeup call. It opened my eyes to a lot of thing. I gave up drugs when my first daughter was born, thank god for that saving grace.
As years rolled by I always wanted to give ‘PLATTS’ another lease of life. I had thought so many times about the ‘what ifs’ or the ‘what could be’. I knew Dad and Jean and Lance had a significant role to play in the history of Australian surf but I didn’t really know how to make that happen., instead I concentrated on writing a book on Dad. Doing this made me have to face a lot of truths about Dad, my childhood and even about myself. In 2018 I started surfing again. It was like a deep soul therapy that I had needed for so long. I started to come to terms with the significant grief I had carried all those years for what was lost, the father I could have had and the life we could have had.
Getting in the water again as a 30+ yearold man, was the beginning of things starting to feel like they were falling into place. After purchasing a few of Dad’s boards from vintage surfboard sites and others by word of mouth, more things just starting coming back to me, shorts, photos, magazines, information just starting falling into my lap. So many good folk, were simply keen to see the stuff make its way home to the family. It was a pretty special time. All of this showed me that I had to travel and do some more research.
Last year was the 50th anniversary for the Noosa Boardriders Club, which Dad was an old original lol. So, I made plans and headed up slowly, surfing along the way. While there I got to catch up with a few of dads friends from Noosa, that’s when I really knew I had to dig deeper.
I have spoken to many. Bob Mctavish,Bob Cooper, Barry Andreaus, Hayden Kenny Dianna Lascelles, Michael Cundith, Alby Falzon… the list goes on. All of them continues to inspired me to write a book of sorts and get the Platts story out there. It was an honour though to get to sit with some absolute legends of the water and hearing them retell their stories, all of it was significant in helping me as a man, forgive myself, forgive Dad and Mum and have started to really let go of all the anger.
I can genuinely say now, that I am content with it all. I still and always will miss the old boy, more than I let on but he knows how much he means to me”.