Childhood sweethearts back together again
Murray Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke is often seen out and about with her partner in crime, Charlie.
He is often holding a camera and sometimes even Robyn’s handbag, but the pair have a love story — almost — greater than Romeo and Juliet.
It was the summer of 1978 when a 13-year-old Robyn met a 16-year-old Charlie through the tinder of the day — CB Radio.
The radio station let people talk on an on-air channel and other people could listen in.
“Razzmatazz Robyn” and “Red-back Spider Charlie” — as they were known on the station — hit it off and started dating. After a year, Charlie decided to visit Robyn’s family.
He rocked up in his panel van and Dad just stopped him at the door and said ‘off you go’ and Charlie was made to leave.
Robyn was never allowed to go with Charlie, but the lovesick teen would often fib about her whereabouts in order to see him.
“As a parent now, I know my parents would have known what I was up to, but I was quite a naive young girl” Robyn said.
The lovebirds continued to date until her father decided to put an end to their relationship.
“I got home from school one day and the car was all packed up,” Robyn said.
“Dad told me to grab my things and said we were leaving town.
Robyn’s family decided to embark on a six-month trip around the country and would homeschool Robyn along the way.
“But what about Charlie,” Robyn asked her father. To which he replied: “he is the reason we are going”.
The heartbroken teenager cried for hours as the family drove across the West Australian plains.
When Charlie caught wind of what had happened, he hopped in his car and tried to find Robyn.
I was pretty emotional when I could not find her.
“She meant a lot to me.”
Robyn would write to Charlie and posted him letters along the way, however, Charlie was never able to reply as Robyn was always on the move.
When Robyn returned, another school girl told Robyn to stay away from Charlie — and she did. Charlie then went onto marry that girl and had two children.
Robyn married another man and had three children.
After 35 years of no contact, Charlie attended a high school reunion and asked for Robyn. A mutual friend put them back in touch, however, Robyn had suffered suffered long term memory loss and could not remember Charlie.
In 2004 I had two brain tumours removed.
“Little things were wiped and would only come back with triggers.”
Robyn suffers from fibrous dysplasia, which is a rare bone disorder in which scar tissue develops in place of normal bone tissue.
Robyn met up with school friends and her memories of Charlie came flooding back.
They were both divorced and decided they still felt the same way they did when they were teens.
Charlie proposed at Robyn’s 50th and asked her son for her hand in marriage.
The childhood sweethearts said love always prevailed.
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