Archive for April, 2012

Green leather jacket, creaks to

Blues & jazz fusions.

Stylish, tasteful.

A time past, never lost.

The past fades,


Like fading masterpieces –

By a song.

Lighthouse beacons sweep.

Shadows follow, rhythmically.

Between shine & shadow

Lines blur, destinies detour

And all the tea in China.

Is not as heavy as …

Note & Extra:

* I know there is a fantastic live version of this song available – you really should find it and have a listen – but this studio version is never far from any playlist of mine. It just touches a spot.

* Happy birthday jam!!

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Re: smiling interloper;

Timid boy in leather pants on a cold morning on asphalt playground…

Can’t say more than “hello” in English.

We form a circle around, curious.

Soon makes good friends and

Can play soccer.

First choice in team picks.

18 months later:

First in English!

I am still amazed.


* Bill Joyner, one of my Penrith Primary classmates, has an excellent memory, a treasury of sacred souvenirs, and a great turn of phrase. He sent this to me about Peter Herrmann, who appeared in 365 Short Memories #54 – A smiling interloper … . I hope this is not cheating but this was just so vividly told by Bill – in 50 words – and is a great picture of the little German boy in leather pants, unable to speak English, being circled by a bunch of curious kids – who rise to the top of the class, and engages his cohorts.

Thanks Bill, and I hope you don’t mind me including this.

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Homing pigeons, popular pastime pet.

The Porter’s* had pigeons.

Reserve St move, we start the hobby,

Breeding homers.

Epic fail.

Talking up our “aviary” at the new school.

Perhaps to impress,

At least seeking acceptance.

“Dropping by” – easy – en route to pool

Big talk easily unveiled.


Lesson: Lessen expectation.


* The Porter’s were at No. 2 Guildford Rd. Gary Porter was our friend. That’s him sitting on the grass at the right of this photo, and that his dog with the black eye – I can’t remember his name.

The backyard at 1 Guildford Rd.
L to R: Stephen, Peter (in stroller), Max, Philip Percy (on drum), Gary Porter, Gary's dog.

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Term 1 about to finish.

Summonsed to Mr Smith’s office.

Firm voice, if confused … bemused.

(He likes me, no harshness.)

“Max, you are still reading The Lord’s Prayer.”

“Yes Sir. I still can’t recite it.”

“What’s stopping you.”

“I don’t understand it, sir.”

“Homework for holidays, learn it!!”

“I’ll try, sir.”


* This Short Memory has its starting point back in Short Memory 91: Ignorance exposed, prayer answered.

* Maybe I had a better hope of pleasing Mr Smith if Sister Janet Mead had been around 6 years earlier than she was.


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Never having seen snow,

Transfixed by Antarctic purity

Loving icy-cold weather

Late autumn school excursion to

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme

A delightful prospect.

The bus trip is long,

Food intake  – questionable.


I see a sink.

Rush, lurch, hover, retch …


Volume and bright colour palette overpowering.




After that … my face at first just ghostly, turned a …

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The game was tense.

Solid crowd.


A commotion – the northern hill.

St John’s Ambulance men,

Running, balancing black bags,

From sideline to hill.

Whispers spread about the fate of the fan.

Sadness shaded the spine-tingling game.

Ex-Tiger Mara kicks a field-goal.


A point.

Tigers out of 1968 finals contention.


* It was heard that the fan who was attended by the St Johns boys was a Balmain Tigers fan, that he had had a heart attack.

Penrith vs Balmain at Penrith Park 11th August 1968.

Penrith 18 – Tries: Bob Mara, Mick Leary; Goals: Bob Landers (5); Field Goal: Bob Mara

Balmain 17 – Tries: John Spencer, Terry Parker, Len Killeen; Goals: Len Killeen (3); Field Goal: John McCarthy.







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Long day ahead.

A day of:

– Distances, walking,

– Bickering, smacks,

– Lollies, sideshows,

– Bearded ladies, amazement.

– Getting lost, … and found,

– Odour, ardour.

– Brahman bulls, Merinos,

Brahmans, Merinos ... Odour & Ardour.

– Giant pumpkins.

– Pearl-divers.

– Human Cannonball, Rocket Man,

Rocket Man ... what a thrill. Or was it Bond, James Bond

Train home,

Tired, testy, weighed down

With bags of samples* and selfishness …

“That’s mine!! Leave it! Muuuum.”

Amazing Mum!!


* Now they are “Show Bags” – but then they were “Sample Bags” and contained samples of products from manufacturers.

Below is a map of the RAS Showground at Moore Park. It was a labyrinth, a wonderful place to explore nooks and crannies that held delightful surprises, confronting sights of country life, the bright colours & lively sounds of the dark “carneys” or simple dead-ends.

RAS Showground at Moore Park ... before it became Fox Studios, well before! This map is from 1935 but it gives the general picture of how it was right up until the Show moved to Homebush.

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There’s no fuss about him

No arrogance or drama,

He speaks with authority, directs with control.

There’s no ranting, raving, or berating.

Calm, supportive.

He’s likeable, encourages harmony, teamwork.

My first football coach.

Merv Keane, my favourite coach.

… Damn! Don’t know if that spelling is right!

But can spell – winner!

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It is nearing full-time.

Grand Final.

After leading,

After being the best all season.

We’re 1 point behind.

The 1966 G-grade team. See below* for the names that I can recall and a story from the PRLFC Journal.



My hands go up, props support.

Second-rowers link.

Scrum packs.

I whimper.

Opposition hooker:

“Yeah cry ya big sook, we’re the champions. SUCKED IN!!”

H-grade: Penrith vs Riverstone, Windsor Oval.

Toughen up!!!


* Here’s the names of those in the photograph that I think I can remember (would be grateful if anyone can help me):

Standing (l to r): Mick Harpley; ??; Max Cowan; Paul Bardon; Jon Trevena; Graham Leggett; John Loughnan(?)
Kneeling (l to r): Ian McDonald; Steve Cameron; Kenny Marshall; Greg Mobbs (?); ??; ??.

* The last paragraph in the story below is about the what I have remembered above. I have said H grade above  – though we may well have played G-grade for a couple of years running, I think many of us did. Other interesting points in the story are: Bruce Cameron scoring 4 tries for C-grade (Bruce is from the Cameron’s Bakery family); and a player in the E-grade scoring 2 “spectacular” tries – Des Hasler was his name. And, of course the 2 gentleman pictured … Teddy Cullen & Jim McGoogan are legends in the history of te club.

Page from May 1966 Journal of the Penrith Rugby League Football Club

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My first team – J-grade**,

Our jerseys: blue – royal blue,

3 horizontal white stripes – thin, thick, thin.

Club*** badge sewn to left chest:

Naive black panther leaping through red P
Encased by a football – blue & white,
All bounded by a blue circle,
“Penrith Panthers” in red,  circular.

Remains my favourite sporting symbol.


* Naive – because of its simplicity. It is almost childlike.

** I think it was J-grade but may have been H-grade when I made my footy debut – I can’t recall playing in an I-grade.

*** We were the Penrith Panthers until 1967 when, we changed to Penrith Waratahs. At least that is my memory – fallible as it is. One thing for sure, I played under this symbol.

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