Australian FJ Holden
The rumblings through the ground (and our home) as the steam train passed over the cement viaduct, three doors from us.
The old chap and his horse selling Horehound Beer door to door.
Collecting all the lead (thrown away wastage) sweepings from the rear of The Daily Examiner building in Grafton, melting down into a block and selling to the fishermen in town to make sinkers.
The party line telephone where everyone's call could be listened in on.
Driving in my Dad's green 1926 Chevy (superbly kept vehicle) and the rain coming in from all angles and Dad busy on the hand windscreen wiper.
The Daily Examiner carefully cut into squares and hanging on the back of the door of the outside lavatory.
The back fence sagging under the weight of the Choco vines.
The Milkman delivering raw milk to your door in a metal galvanised dipper or jug with a hinged lid
The Paper boy with the timber box cart drawn behind his bike. The familiar whistle Sunday morns.
You or your Neighbour selling your surplus fruit and vegetables by placing a sign on your fence
The Lay Preacher on the corner of your block Sunday evenings voicing his praises
The Salvation Army Band playing in your street Sunday evenings.
When there was always a good feed of fish in the local river or creek.
Coming home after a feed of mulberries and all parts the body covered in purple stain, especially feet
You Dad cutting off the chooks head for Christmas.......say no more!
Your first Billy Cart and all the skin off your knees and elbows
Having been stung by a bee or bees and your Mum covering you in "Blue" or "Bluo"
The large car type wet cell battery running out in the old valve radio right in the middle of your best show
The family all singing around the piano as your Mum played the favourites of the day
You pegged a piece of cardboard to the fork around the back wheel of your bike to sound like a motor.
The radio shows "Blue Hills", "The Burtons of Banner Street", "The Shadow", "Randy Stone on Nightbeat", "The Smilers Club", Bob Dyer's "Pick a Box", "Leave it to The Girls", etc
The old picture theatres, the ushers flashing torches in your face as you rolled Jaffas down the aisle
Vivid memories of a vile, cruel and drunkard headmaster named K. B. Fordyce who by today's standards, I believe, would be spending time in gaol.
Making a canoe from galvanised roof sheets and waterproofing with black bitumen
Winifred Attwell piano music as the huge curtain opened at your local picture theatre
Your Dad using a length of stick or rod to measure the amount of petrol in the family car's petrol tank
Your Mum, Aunties and friends gathering together to make the yearly soap requirements in the old "copper" (normally used for boiling clothes).
The old clothes line strung between two posts and propped in the middle by long timber poles
Using ball bearings or wheel bearings as wheels for our very fast billy carts.
Your first push bike, be it a Speedwell or Malvern Star. The lucky kids had mud guards, did yours?
The hand washing machine with a metal cone linked to a handle you pumped up and down
The grocer who placed all perishables in your fridge when delivered to your home
The first motor vehicle that you owned? Mine was a Austin A40 Utility that kept blowing head gaskets.
Collecting old newspapers from all over town and selling to the local butcher for twopence a pound. Also collecting bottles and selling them to the local "Bottlo" in town.
My Dad telling me the hard crockery egg used in the chooks (chickens) laying box, "came from the the rooster".
Using a beer bottle as the hand reel when going fishing. (Unlike today the fish didn't seem to know the difference.)
My neighbour Mr Goodwin mowing the lawn Saturday morning with the Victa lawnmower then the taking the motor off and putting it in his boat and both of us going fishing. (special Victa outboard conversion)
The massive Clarence River Bridge, over the river at Grafton, New South Wales, lifting for a ship to go under.
ABOVE-The dairy and bails (four stand) of Hazel and Joe Long at the rear of their then residence in Milton Street, Grafton NSW Australia. The small fibro home still stands today, although their small farm is now residential. They were very popular raw milk vendors around Grafton in the late 40's through to the 60's.
At eight years old milking cows (above) by hand for the local milk vendor, Mr Joe Long and wife Hazel in Grafton NSW. My first paying job, what was yours?
Recalling The Past by Mal Lyons
Remember when sugar was weighed by the pound and bread was a shilling a loaf,
Milk was delivered direct from the can to a billy, container or both.
Remember the days of the old horse and cart and the trains were driven by steam,
timber was cut by manpowered axe and carted by old bullock team.
Remember the days of the horse and plough and farmers that drove them all day,
the joy and the fun at the end of the week when father came home with the pay.
Remember at times when nothing went right but still all the family could smile.
The times you went to the pictures and jaffas would roll down the aisle.
Remember when pies were filled with meat, real sausage was put in the roll.
Mums used to make little cookies and kids used to lick out the bowl.
Remember those nice Christmas puddings with the threepence and sixpence's in,
and a bag of broken mixed biscuits and the bird on the old bikky tin.
Remember the very first scooter and also the three wheeler trikes.
Remember when Santa was bringing the fabulous Malvern Star bikes.
Remember when girls played with bride dolls and boys with arrows and bow
and remember the nights round the wireless, with Biggles the number one show.
Remember when steam trains were banished and diesels were put on the track.
Remember some train weary travellers, sometimes would sleep on the rack.
Remember the Morris and Prefect and cars of the earlier day,
Hillmans, Vauxhalls and Vanguards and remember the Holden FJ
Remember when blue was used in the wash to help make the clothes look nice
and food was kept cool in an ice chest with a daily delivery of ice
Remember when fly spray was manually pumped and a lantern was used for a light.
Remember the hot water bottle, to keep yourself warm for the night.
Remember when School girls wore tunics, and blazers made students look smart,
the boys in their Stamina Trousers and hair was all combed with a part.
Remember the hoop and marbles and games with a long skipping rope
Remember the old boiling copper and a bar of reliable soap.
Remember when things cost a Guinea, or pounds shillings and pence
and the days when neighbours would gather, to chit chat across the back fence.
Remember when weight was in ounces, hundred weight, tons or stone
and music was played for enjoyment on an old HMV gramophone
Remember we measured in inches and twelve of them equaled a foot.
Remember the walk to the back yard each visit we made to the toot.
Remember bonfires and crackers and the pen nibs and inkwells you had,
the slope cards and all of those blotters to help when your writing was bad.
Remember low level buildings, nothing was built very high,
and planes with single propellers were seen in a smogless blue sky.
There are things we may always remember and things that we like to ignore,
but if all of these things you remember, you now must be fifty or more.
Copyright Mal Lyons The Lyons Den
My thanks to Mal Lyons (and family) for the rights to reprint the topical poem Recalling The Past. View The Lyons Den site for more great Aussie poems and their family details.
Our world will become a far greater place when all the killing stops.......and that's just our animals. E. Jason Brennan
DROUGHT by Will Ogilvie
My road is fenced with the bleached, white bones
And strewn with the blind, white sand,
Beside me a suffering, dumb world moans
On the breast of a lonely land.
On the rim of the world the lightnings play,
The heat-waves quiver and dance,
And the breath of the wind is a sword to slay
And the sunbeams each a lance.
I have withered the grass where my hot hoofs tread,
I have whitened the sapless trees,
I have driven the faint-heart rains ahead
To hide in their soft green seas.
I have bound the plains with an iron band,
I have stricken the slow streams dumb!
To the charge of my vanguards who shall stand?
Who stay when my cohorts come?
The dust-storms follow and wrap me round;
The hot winds ride as a guard;
Before me the fret of the swamps is bound
And the way of the wild-fowl barred.
I drop the whips on the loose-flanked steers;
I burnt their necks with the bow;
And the green-hide rips and the iron sears
Where the staggering, lean beasts go.
I lure the swagman out of the road
To the gleam of a phantom lake;
I have laid him down, I have taken his load,
And he sleeps till the dead men wake.
My hurrying hoofs in the night go by,
And the great flocks bleat their fear
And follow the curve of the creeks burnt dry
And the plains scorched brown and sere.
The worn men start from their sleepless rest
With faces haggard and drawn;
They cursed the red Sun into the west
And they curse him out of the dawn.
They have carried their outposts far, far out,
But - blade of my sword for a sign! -
I am the Master, the dread King Drought,
And the great West Land is mine!
THE RED ROAD by John K Ewers
There used to be a red road running o'er the rise,
Dipping down to fernland and climbing to the skies;
And there among the tall trees the sleepy shadows lay,
And the forest birds were singing there the livelong day.
I used to like to walk there as the days grew old,
Beneath the stately gum-trees afire with sunset gold;
And watch the pale stars steal there, beyond the eastern hill,
Then trim my lamp, a nearer star, within my window-sill.
I used to hear the storm-winds among the ravaged trees;
I used to see the spring spread her dainty tapastries;
I used to watch the summer come with anger in her eye;
I breathed the very breath of life beneath my virgin sky.
There isn't any forest there beside the cottage now;
The trees have bowed before the blade, the shrubs before the plough;
There isn't any red road; they've covered it with tar.
And the birds that come to steal the grain are strangers from afar.
The fallow lies behind me, my face is to the east;
I'm going from the haunts of man to haunts of bird and beast;
And somewhere near the sunrise, before my days are done
I'll build myself a resting place where still the red roads run.