My name is Simon Peter Lee. It is not my legal name, but it is the name I chose for myself. I was adopted, taken off my mother without her even seeing me, and it took me thirty years to find her. In this blog I will be discussing all aspects of this situation as I understand it.
My adoptive mother collected a whole series of books for me, on science and geography mainly. I bought How and Why books from the local Newsagency. The books my mother ordered for me were titles like the Nelson Doubleday Around the World series and the Nelson Doubleday science series. She bought Arthur Mee’s children’s encyclopedia. I read them all assiduously and they were the making of my intellectual fortune. I simply knew things that other people didn’t. Event today, ask me the capital of Venezuela and I will say in an instant: Caracas.
My daughter often goes skiing in Bulgaria and to this day I entertain myself by reading the history of Bulgaria and Romania. I can still conduct an intelligent conversation with a Romanian. Also I met a West Papuan Freedom Fighter over the weekend and saw the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. Immediately I sent my oldest daughter’s children books on Papua New Guinea and Canberra. After all I am not going to live forever, so they may as well have them. More to the point I want them to have them.
My adoptive father frequently told me toward the end of his life that he had tried to teach me the value of money. I remember going over the hill at Mount Lewis to buy him cigarettes when I was five or six. I think a packet of B & H cost about two shillings then. I would help him around his garage.
Around this time he started giving me two shillings a week pocket money and when I bought the cigarettes for him I would buy comics for myself. Two shillings would buy a lot of comics in those days. I learned to work safely around cars, to keep out of the way when a motor was hanging from the ceiling, and to keep out of his light and to hand him his tools. Later I was able to lift up small cars while he was under them fixing things.
Ten years later, apart from some skills with cars, I had runs of all the Marvel comics from 1 to 100. To give you an example of what they were worth, an Avengers 15 sold for a quarter of a million dollars a couple of years ago. When I left home my father gave away the whole collection to the Carlingford Boys’ Home. I didn’t mind because I had played soccer with them and saw the cruel conditions they lived under: loneliness and the barracks being the norm of their existence.