Garden City right for a ‘T’ change
FIFTY years ago, former Texas (USA) residents Jed and Claudia Perkins decided to head to Australia and planned to stay here "for about three years".
That was in the 1960s and the couple have been in Australia ever since.
Initially, it was the weather back in the States that prompted the move down under.
"It was about 30 degrees below zero and my wife looked at me and said 'Australia would be nice'," Mr Perkins grinned.
After stints in South Australia and parts to the country's north, Mr and Mrs Perkins chose to move to Toowoomba in the 1990s, ostensibly for the climate.
Having lived in north-east Texas near Red River, the couple had experienced the extremes in temperature from the very warm to that below zero.
Preferring the cooler climate, but not the extreme cold, Mr Perkins said he found the Garden City's climate to his liking.
"Toowoomba is perfect for me," he said.
"It's not too hot, and not too cold.
"Toowoomba is a nice town and we've got four boys and they all live around here."
Mr and Mrs Perkins have watched Toowoomba mature in the years they have lived here too.
"It's a friendly place," Mr Perkins said of the Garden City.
"Even with all the different religions and cultures, the people get along pretty well."
He hadn't been back to Texas since the 1990s.
"I'm getting older and (travel and health) insurance is getting too expensive.
"And, I don't want the American health system to get a hold of me."
Mr and Mrs Perkins are regularly spotted driving through the streets of Toowoomba in what has become their family car - a 1923 Model T Ford.
Mr Perkins has had the vintage vehicle since the 1990s.
"I bought a wagon load of it and put it together," he said.
"It's our only car and the insurance is only $150... and I can fix it.
"There's no starter motor, no fuel pump, no water pump... you have to crank it up.
"I can remember them (Model T Ford) when I was a kid and now that I'm in my second childhood I'm driving one."