Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: March 2019

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 4 records of 4

SHORT STORY: BRUNO & ALICE -- Alice wants a kennel for the puppy Bruno bought!

BRUNO SAID HE ALWAYS USES THE WORD ‘YOUNG’ WHEN SOMEBODY ASKS HIM HOW OLD HE IS.

ALICE REMEMBERS HE IS ALWAYS THE CORNERSTONE OF HER EXISTENCE.

FRANK MORRIS

Bruno was in deep throught.

Here I am, dead-set seventy years young. I never ‘age’. I remember when my old dad once broke into a conversation with me and a buddy.

He grumbled and replied: “Don’t use ‘age’ use ‘young’ when you’re telling someone your age?” Poor old dad. He’s been gone a fair while now.

I’ve the woman I really love since my first wife died about 20 years ago. I’ve got everything.

Since I got in toe with Alice, I know what your thinking. That I  was on top of the situation. There’s an old saying: I was ‘running to get behind’. Well, now to think about that I really was. Running. Anyway, that’s what it felt like!
It’s a habit of …

“Bruno, teas on and the pot is boiling …”

“I’m under the oak tree …”

… just the way you like it,” called Alice.

Minutes later, out bustles Alice, with not only the boiling tea, but several layers of the rainbow cake. Alice was talking to the Dalmatian puppy running beside her. It was farther than you think. “Nearly there, nearly there,” laughed Alice. “How big will the puppy grow?.”

No answer.

SHE HADN’T CHANGED

Bruno fell into his thoughts again. I’ve got a woman I fell in love with as soon as I met her. I was on my way to the local art gallery to see the etching expo and sat reading my newspaper in peace. Suddenly, I looked up and there was a woman sitting on the same bench. Reading. And do you know what …

“Here we are,” announced Alice. “You have to build a fence to keep puppy in, Bruno. He almost tripped me up.

Incidentally, when are you going to name the poor thing? He’s sitting around expecting some cake.”

Bruno never said a word. But he watched her. She hadn’t changed, you know. She was five years older. Alice had turned sixty-five years a few months ago. She’s young for that age. I pay homage to her. I truly do.

Meantime, Bruno was drinking that tea as fast as he could. Everything was ok.

Bruno said: “This is a good damn cuppa. And it is always piping hot, too. I’m thinking that puppy needs a castle. I’m going to build a castle …”

Alice chipped in. “What sort of castle. Not a large one I hope. Nothing too extravagant …” She was also the money handler.

Bruno held his both his fists high. “I going to design it and I’ll get Bob the carpener to build it. He built their home. All that will cost 200 to 300 buckaroos. Eh, not bad wouldn’t you say!

THE PUPPY

“As I was saying, nothing too extravagant,” Alice demanded. “I could buy a kennel for half of that amount. Not a castle like you have in mind. Just a simple kennel where you can lock him in day or night.”

Bruno looked defeated. “Ok. Ok. I’ll buy the kennel. Remember this Alice, he will be rounded up like a pack of greyhounds,” he’d said jokingly.

Alice began to become cross.

“Alright, alright. I do it.”

Alice was halfway to the French doors, pleading with the puppy “to get off my dress”. Bruno laughed out loud.
Bruno could understand why few cross words ever passed between them over time. She gave the impression that she was always glad to hear my voice.

I make sure that the well-flowered garden looked spotless every-day. Right through the month I never missed a day. Nor did she.

At the end of the month, I was thinking a whole lot more about Alice. I figured that I would ask her out … for a date.
Bruno awoke from his thoughts.

I could have married Alice after I spotted her, he finally told himself.

Alice was packing the dishwasher. Puppy was in the house chasing a toy mouse round the table. And me? I went up to Bob’s place to quiz him about building a castle for the puppy.

And those four bottles of beer didn’t go astray, either.

“Bruno. Bruno. What a flash name that is!” But what about Alice? Alice. Alice. “I tell her the Bob’s come up with the name. We name him Bronco,” said Bruno who was happy with the name.”

I wonder whether Alice will like it or hate it?

Below: Bruno and Bob go for a walk in the bush to disscuss the castle for ‘puppy’ Below: ‘Puppy’.

COMING: Meanwhile, more interesting things were about to happen!


FLINDERS: Final. What I now and must ever feel, says Ann

THE GRAVE OF MATTHEW FLINDERS WAS UNEARTHED NEAR A LONDON RAILWAY STATION.

MATTHEW FLINDERS AND HIS BODY WAS BURIED AT A GRAVE SITE AT ST JAMES CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD ROAD, LONDON. THE GRAVE-SITE AND ITS CONTENTS DISAPPEARED IN 1852, THE WHEREABOUTS OF HIS BODY FOREVERMORE UNKNOWN. BUT THE BODY WAS FOUND IN 2018. A TEAM OF ARCHEOLOGISTS, WHICH HAD BEEN ASSIGNED THE TASK, MADE THE DISCOVERY. 

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The leather-bound copy of the completed book arrived from the publishers …as Matthew was dying. Ann laid the volumes in his bony grasp. He did not regain consciousness, but she believed he knew his life’s work to be complete.

Perhaps the words she was to write in her memoir of him dwelt somewhere in her mind:

“Indeed, so strong was his inclination for this dangerous service that amongst his friends, he has been frequently heard to declare his belief that if the plan of a Discovery Expedition were to be read over his grave, he would rise up awarked from the dead.”

On the morning of 19 July, Isabella was woken by the sound of Ann crying:

ROOM OF DEATH

“She was going to the sick room,” said Isabella.I begged her to let me go first. The sun shone brightly on me as I went down stairs, all seemed still. I entered the drawing room, his bedroom room opened  into it, the door was open, I went in.

“There laid the corpse, the spirit flown, his countenance placid … Dear Matthew! I stood at the foot  of the bed contemplating the scene for a few moments, then rushed up stairs to my sister. She was soon in the room of death & pressed his cold lips to hers It was a heartbreaking effort …

“Her dear babe … the poor child felt that something very dreadful had happened, but did not know what, & putting her little fingers to wipe the tears from her Mother’s eyes, she said, “Don’t cry Mamma’.”

Matthew Flinders died, aged forty years and four months and three days. He was buried in the graveyard of St James Chapel, in Hampstead Road.

TOMBSTONES MISSING

His daughter, on visiting the grave many years later, found the site greatly altered, the tombstones removed, as had been the graves and their contents. His whereabouts was forevermore unknown.

After Matthew’s death, Ann wrote to his closest friend, Thomas Pitot, who had befriend him on Ile de France or Mauritius, as it’s known today.

He was someone with whom she continued to correspond; and who continued to act as an adviser to her in matters of business for many years.

Frank Morris comment: Flinders left the family over 3498 pounds; his publishing venture with A Voyage to Terra Australis has been widely acclaimed. He wife, Ann, died at 79 years, according to family records. Her grandson, William Matthew Flinders Petrie, noted “her early life was happy, her married life very sad … she suffered much”. She was buried at St Thomas Rectory in London. Her death inscribed in a tablet in the south wall of the churchyard, shows her passing nine months earlier than family records indicate.

Below: Flinders’ Terra Australis. Below: Ann looked down on her gallant husband and there were tears in her eyes.


MIND SET: Are you worried about your memory?

TRYING AT 50 AND 60 TO OBVIATE MEMORY LOSS.

Have you became concerned about increasing lapses in memory? Changes in memory can cause stress, depression, medication and pain. Sometimes, it could be a sign of early dementia. Consult your doctor. Either your doctor or a specialist can property diagnose whether it is yes or no regarding dementia.

FRANK MORRIS

“Every week,” Australian Alzheimers said in a radio commercial, “1500 Australians are diagnosed with dementia.”
Think about your neighbours, your relatives, your friends or your own family who might be in the grip of dementia. I lost a neighbour through dementia, I heard him complain several times about his car keys. “Why can’t I drive,” he would ask.

There has been no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. There’s a new drug being trialled to treat the disease and give hope to  people living with dementia.

One of these trials involves Anavex 2-73. “The theory behind this drug is that it targets a receptor that, when activated, leads to the removal of the abnormal proteins from  brain cells,” said Associate Professor Macfarlane, Head of Clinical Services at the Dememtia Centre, Malvern.

Malvern centre is “leading this important global study of 450 patients from across Australia and the United States.”

STAGES, PROGRESS

Anyone who is concerned about the disease in their family should find out about early diagnosis, the risk factors and the different stages as well as the progression of the disease.

Facing, dealing and treating – these are the factors in coping with the malady.

“Learning as much about Dememtia or Alzhemer’s as possible could mean the difference between fearing the future and facing it if and when it strikes in the family,” says a leading gerontologist.

When a member of the family starts to become ‘very’ forgetful, or turns on the gas and forgets it, then these are possibly the early warning signs of dementia.

Below: Memory loss and it’s effect on the brain.


The Queen: Getting together with the twelve Presidents

First president the Queen met soon after she was crowned Queen Elizabeth 11, was President Harry S. Truman, 1945 to 1953.

SOURCES: Short Story -- Bruno and Alice; Frank Morris … Flinders – Letters to Ann: The love story of Matthew Flinders and Ann Chappelle, published by Angus & Roberston … Are you worried about your memory; Frank Morris … The Queen of England with President Harry Truman, Google.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 22 March 19

PEARL S. BUCK, AUTHOR: China as I see it … conscious memories

PEARL LIVED HER ENTIRE CHILDHOOD IN CHINA. HERE, WITH CHARACTERISTIC AFFECTION, SHE HOLDS HER SISTER GRACE. Below: PEARL IN 1938, AT THE SAME TIME SHE WON THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE.

HER NAME WAS PEARL SYDNEYSTRICKER. SHE WENT TO CHINA ONLY A FEW MONTHS AFTER HER BIRTH IN AMERICA IN 1895, WHERE HER FATHER AND MOTHER WERE OCCUPIED IN THEIR EXTRAORINARY MISSION WORK. PEARL’S LIFE IN CHINA WAS BIZARRE. SHE WAS TUTORED SIMULTANEOUSLY AS A CHINESE CHILD AND AS AN AMERICAN CHILD. SHE RETURNED TO AMERICA IN 1935. SHE SPENT FORTY YEARS IN CHINA AND 40 YEARS IN AMERICA. PEARL S. BUCK WAS BORN IN 1892 AND DIED IN 1973.

Adapted by Frank Morris

“China is more than a part of me. She is in my heart and soul and mind.

“My first conscious memories are of her people and her landscapes. They formed my childhood world, they shaped my adolescent years, and they brought me to my maturity.

“Chinese in education and feeling, I knew I was American on the day I very nearly lost my life at the hand of a Communist army. They invaded the city where I lived.

“I have never returned to China since, and it may be that I never shall.

WE MUST BE READY

“But through the years of exile from China I have continued to learn everything I could about the strange new life that is going on there. From time to time, I have written of China and her people, hoping to help my American people to understand the Chinese better; as somehow we must.

“These paper have been gathered together in a book. The book is timely. For soon we shall see changes in Chinese attitudes toward the outer world, or so I believe. And we must be ready.

“Even old tigers like Mao Tse-Tung and Chiang Kai-shek cannot live forever. There is always a tomorrow.


PEARL S. BUCK, AUTHOR:  America … the most important time in history!

THIS REGAL LADY, PEARL S. BUCK. AUTHOR OF MORE THAN EIGHTY BOOKS. “NOTHING HAS BLURRED THE EDGES.” Below: MISS BUCK ENJOYS MUSING OVER ANTIQUES.

I CRISS-CROSS AMERICA EIGHT TIMES. THE VARIETY IS BEWILDERING.

“Though I came as a stranger to my country, having lived in China since my birth; nevertheless, I was actually born in the United States. I like the combination.

“To be born in a country provides a natural anchor there. I am permanently American. To return as a stranger, however, also has its advantages.

“I see my country with the sharply observing eye of a stranger. Everything is new to me. There are no memories to blur the edges. I see my country (as a) whole.

“Eight times I have crossed the United States from East to West. Uncounted times, I have travelled from North to South. I have visited each State with the exception of Alaska at least once; and some I have visited many times.

WE HAVE EVERYTHING

“I came back from these journeys to our many states, awed and overwhelmed by the natural beauty of our country. The variety is bewildering.

“The highest mountains, the deepest canyons, the wildest rivers, the greatest lakes, the widest deserts, the richest farmlands, the beautiful seacoasts, the vast resources in mining, forests and industry.

“We have everything.”

<< These are notes from the books China As I See It and Pearl S. Buck’s America.  The Saturday Evening Post, 1972.

COMING IN AUGUST: More notes from Pearl S. Buck, winner of the Noble Prize for Literature.


FRANK MORRIS COMING ATTRACTION …
TODAY: Dogs and the things that has made them like they are. Dog horoscopes. You’ll read about all the antics your Piscean gets up too -- and you didn’t know about it … COMING: WHAT DOES A FORMER FEDERAL MP AND AUTHOR DO WITH THEMSELVE. He writes a spectacular book about the glory days of steam, an epic new railway book. The author’s name is Tim Fischer and the book, Steam Australia – Locomotives that galvanised the Nation. NEXT WEEK: Worried about your memory?


FLINDERS: part 2. The beginning of the end for a person who defined Australia

“WHAT I NOW AND MUST EVER FEEL”, SAID MRS FLINDERS. DETAILS FROM A PAINTING SHOWING ANN IN HER LATER YEARS. Below: A BROZE STATUE OF FLINDERS AND HIS FAITHFUL CAT, TRIM, WITH TERRA AUSTRALIS – AUSTRALIA – BEHIND HIM.

MATTHEW FLINDERS WAS NEARING THE END OF HIS LIFE. HIS FLESH AND STRENGTH WERE WASTING AWAY.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

In February 1814 the Flinders again moved house, this time to 14 London Street, close to the Transport Office. The day before their move, however, Mr Hayes the surgeon was called to Matthew to attend to his “gravelly complaint.”
It was said to be either a stone or gravel in the bladder … which had been troubling him for months, becoming increasingly painful.

The doctor now called every two days to attend to Matthew. It was the beginning of the end.

Matthew was in considerable pain and could attend to his proof sheets for only a short period. The surgeon passed a bougie, a slender, flexible instrument into the bladder, but found nothing much of consequence.

Samuel, his brother, ran errands to the bank and to the engraver, while Matthew became increasingly afraid to move about. When he did walk, he was forced to move in what was described as a ‘snail-like’ manner.

He was prescribed calcined magnesia for some time until the crystals which he passed were analysed and were thought to have been exacerbated by the magnesia. He was then given distilled water. Matthew took the citric juice and tea which relieved him more than the medicines.

Then he was prescribed muriatic (hydrochloric) acid, gum arabic and barley water; and, finally, castor oil and seltzer water.

THE AWFUL ORDEAL

He became daily worst. His need to ‘make water’ increased from eleven to twenty, to thirty-six, fifty-two times in twenty-four hours. This, alone, kept him exhausted from lack of sleep, his flesh and his strength were wasting away.

Sitting down was painful for him; and a hollowed cushion was fashioned to allow him to sit for half an hour at a time; after which, he was obliged to lie down on the sofa.

In his diary of 26 March, Matthew described his ordeal in all its awful detail:
… Had more pain today, and the urine more red than lately.

On 1 April, the outlook was no more positive: … it is certain the irritation at … my bladder has increased lately, and that generally I am worse.

On Sunday, 10 July 1814, Matthew wrote: “Did not rise before two, being I think weaker than before …”

They were the last words recorded in his diary.

NEXT WEEK:  Ann was crying. “I begged my daughter to let me go in first,” said her mother. “The sun was shone brightly. I went in and there he lay … the spirit flown, his countenance....Dear Mathew!"

<< The Letters to Ann; the love story of Matthew Flinders and Ann Chappelle. Angus & Robertson, Australia.


FOR DOGS: Pisceans will show you how to react!

IT’S TIME FOR MY BATH!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

They will unpredictable from one minute to the next. Their lives will be an ebb and flow of moodiness, changeability and contrariness.

Take a Piscean out for walk and they will inevitably want to set off in the opposite direction … but by the time you have decided to go along the dog will have will had a touch of contrariness and go your way after all. The dog will get hungry, and by the time you offer food you will find the animal okay.

The Pisceans will be all over you one minute and you will be in the dog-house the next. They will be equally contrary with your friends, treating one person like a long lost brother on one visit; and a dog-thief the next time they call.

Pisces is ruled by Neptune and all Pisceans will have a close affinity to water and all that is wet – whether it be sea, river or bath. Ideally, this dog would like to be on a houseboat were the animal could enjoy the quiet and lapping water.

SHALLOWEST PUDDLE

Abandoned on dry land, and made to live in an ordinary house, the Piscean will do as much as he can to remedy the situation by making the most of any wet that happens to be to paw.

With his theme-song water, water everywhere, the Piscean would be able to find an oasis in the desert; the dog will revel in the shallowest puddle. The Piscean will roll and splash in pure ecstasy at the feel of water on their skin.

A walk in country will be essential. Knowing that you like water as much as towser does -- leaping out to shake themselves spraying you with unselfish abandon.

A MOOD CHANGER

Rain, of course, will cause this dog as much excitement as lollies to a small child. The dog will be driven to ecstasies of enjoyment … and frolic in the garden trying to catch each drop in its mouth.

But the one aspect all of this that can be a blessing in a dog: you will never have any trouble when time comes to its bath.

Pisceans have been known to sit or stand in an empty bath – waiting.

The primitive Piscean will be the eternal coming and going, running and jumping dog. The dog will drift through life with no other purpose than to change its mind and mood more times than any one dog has done before.

Any form of emotional outlet will be leapt at and played to the full. The dog will have no sense of ownership for other people’s belonging, being a firm believer that finders is keepers.

<< Dog Horoscopes by Liz Tresillan in the Saturday Evening Post, Spring 1972.


MATE: There’s a war going on here!

“So ‘ere’s to the cove ‘oo is nursin’ ‘is ‘urts.

The first and only edition of The Moods of Ginger Mick by C.J. Dennis, published in 1916. C.J. Dennis could not directly criticise the idea of Australians fighting on foreign soil – but there is an undercurrent of doubt.

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 15 March 19

FLINDERS: Part 1. The beginning of the end for a person who defined Australia

IMPRESSIVE: MATTHEW FLINDERS’ PERSONALITY … THE PRESSURES HE FACED IN ADVANCING HIS CAREER WHILE STRUGGLING TO MAINTAIN HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH ANN CHARPELLE.

THIS IS MATTHEW FLINDERS BY HIS WIFE ANN CHAPPELLE. IT REVEALS THE PERSONALITY OF FLINDERS AND THE PRESSURE HE FACES ADVANCING HIS CAREER WHILE STRUGGLING TO MAINTAIN HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH ANN. IT WAS A LOVE STORY. TO PUT YOU IN THE PICTURE, WE’VE PUBLISHED THIS SHORT PREFACE WHICH IMPARTS FACTS ABOUT FLINDERS YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS    

In 1814, a delicately pale Englishwoman of uncertain health but most certain convictions, sat at her desk and wrote a letter of protest to history about her husband Matthew Flinders.

She wrote, “The disaster of his life has followed him even into death.”

Her presence on his ship had once caused stern rebuke from his patron, Sir Joseph Banks. Flinders had survived shipwreck on two occasions before being imprisoned by the French, causing a separation of nine and a half years from his wife after just three months’ marriage.

Now, on his death, the Lords of the Admiralty had left his widow pensionless.

“He died if ever Man did, a martyr to his zeal for his country’s service,” Ann Flinders Chappelle wrote sadly of her husband.

His life and his disasters, his martyrdom were also her own. A woman in nineteen-century England had few ways to right an injustice. Ann did what little she could. She set down an account of Matthew Flinders’ exploits for future generations – for her child and future grandchild.

During Matthew’s lifetime Sir Joseph Banks, also an important figure in Australian history, saw in Flinders a man of determination and single-minded ambition; a man who would not disappoint his patron.

CONVERSE INTELLIGENTLY

The Lords of the Admiralty, however, saw in him only a brave and somewhat foolhardy adventurer. Flinders’ journals … show him to be a man who loved enduringly and passionately.

Yet Ann wrote of him, “no difficulty could stop his career, no danger dismay him: hunger, thirst, labour, rest. Sickness, shipwreck, imprisonment; Death itself, were equally to him matters of indifference if they interfered with his darling Discovery.”

Flinders was also a man before his time.

Ann was fortunate to have been born into the latter half of the eighteenth century. No longer was she to be a just a decorative accessory to her husband or an efficient housekeeper. Among gentlefolk, a woman was now expected to be able converse intelligently and become a true companion.

The education of young women was therefore look upon quite favourably.

<< Preface to Letters to Ann. The love story of Matthew Flinders and Ann Chapplelle. Shirley Sinclair and Catharine Retter. Angus & Robertson, 1999.

NEXT WEEK: Part 2 Matthew Flinders -- The beginning of the end.


Flinders first circumnavigation of Australia was in his ship Investigator in the years 1801 to 1803.”I call the whole island Australia or Terra Australis,” he wrote. But he was forced to reverse the title of the map for commercial reasons. This was the first time the continent and Tasmania has been named Australia.—FM.


FRANK MORRIS COMING ATTRACTION

NEXT WEEK, WRITER OF RENOWN, PEARL S. BUCK, TALKS ABOUT HER LIFE IN CHINA AND, LATER ON, AMERICA. ACCORDING TO HER, THE GOOD EARTH OF VERMONT MADE HER A WOMAN OF LETTERS, A REGAL LADY, AT 80 YEARS OF AGE, SHE WENT ON TO WIN THE NOBLE PRIZE FOR LITERATURE IN 1938. PEARL S. BUCK WAS ONE OF THE MOST TRANSLATED AUTHORS OF ALL TIME … COMING: FOR 15 YEARS, AUSTRALIA WAS A NEWSPAPERLESS SOCIETY. THE PRESS WITH BATTERED TYPE HAD LAIN DORMANT. CONVICT GEORGE HUGHES, THE FIRST PRINTER OF THE NEW COLONY, STEPS INTO THE BREACH.


SOCIAL JUSTICE: Back to work! This is what women want!

SPARE A THOUGHT: THINK OF THOSE WOMEN WITH LIMITED RETIREMENT SAVINGS? Below: GRAPH SHOWS OLDER WOMEN GOING TO WORK.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The graph above shows that women from aged 60 to 75 are trying to bridge the shortfall in their superannuation as they approach retirement. “Last year, the super balances for women aged 55 to 64 were on average 37 per cent lower than those for men,” a morning newspaper reported.

“The proportion of working women aged 65 to 74 has almost doubled in a decade,” the newspaper said.

RETIREMENT INCOME

Think of women with limited retirement savings? Nonetheless, they are at a perilous disadvantage. Many have spent long periods outside the labour force when raising and caring for family members. They are more likely to have employment that offers little chance for promotion; and is low-paid, casual or part-time.

These factors combine to have a serious impact on retirement income.

Before the introduction of compulsory superannuation, women’s retirement savings were very low. Even now, the typical balance for women is around half that for men.

Women can face real difficulty if they have experienced family poverty or marriage breakdown.


SOCIAL JUSTICE: Back to work – men workers shouldn’t stop looking

LISTEN WISELY: YOUNG PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALL EARS TO THEIR FATHER OR NEXT OF KIN. THEY WILL HEAR SOME AMAZING THINGS!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Unemployed older workers, who are part of a traditional industrial section, have been pummelled hard by global competition and restructuring. They continue to be the most vulnerable to radical changes, particularly when the economy and technological changes are in progress.

It is predicted that over the next 15 years, 40 per cent of Australian jobs are likely to be computerised or automated. Routine manual and service jobs are at high risk.

WITHOUT WORK

This is, cards on the table, where older people often experience long-term unemployment; in the job market 60-64-years-olds remain without work … for over two years.

Many draw down on retirement savings; or spend the years before retirement on the Newstart  Allowance or Disability Support Pension. Increased investment in training and employer incentives for people over 50 is particularly important.

<< Social Justice, 2016-2017.


Inside Newspapers: The Labor Daily, 1936 -- Footlights and Films’ great line-up of shows!

AS TIME GOES ON: MODERN TIMES, IN 1936, STARRING CHARLES CHAPLIN AND PAULETTE GODDARD. Below: SWORDMAN PERSONIFIED, CAPTAIN BLOOD.

EASTER IS ALMOST WITH US, WROTE FILM REVIEWER, IAN SMITH, IT USHERS IN A PERIOD OF ENTERTAINMENT OF SUCH OUTSTANDING VARIETY AND QUANTITY THAT IT’S PROBABLY UNRIVALLED.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

It is easy to recollect many previous occasions on which various theatres had claimed the presentation of their “most colossal, stupendous production ever.” I think this Easter’s attractions leave little to be desired – personally.
It is the most enticing line-up put forward by the cinemas for some time.

Magnificent Obsession, at the Regent, has been put on as a special Easter Treat, and it stars Irene Dunne, Robert Taylor, Charles Butterworth and Betty Furness. It is interesting to record that it’s handled by director Carl Laemmle Snr, under whose supervision have been made some of the outstanding motion pictures of all time.

Laemmle regards Magnificent Obsession as the pinnacle of all his achievements. Great praise indeed from the director who gave you Seed, Back Street and All Quiet on the Western Front, and many others. They were all equally outstanding successes!

CAPTAIN BLOOD

From the adventure-dipped pen of Rafael Sabatini comes Captain Blood now showing at the State. And what an offering it is too!

Errol Flynn, who will be remembered for his role in the Australian-made Charles Chauvel production of In the Wake of the Bounty. Flynn plays the central role. It is a distinct credit to this young actor that his performance has earned world-wide attention and praise.

There seems little need to stress the entertainment value of this story. The name Sabatini stands for the best there is in adventure and romance. And in Captain Blood, the producers have one of his best works.

With Flynn, the producers have assembled an unusually talented cast. There’s Olivia de Havilland, Guy Kibbee, Ross Alexander, Lionel Atwill and Basil Rathbone. Incidentally, the sword-fight scene will go down in screen history as one of the most stirring occasions … for the last 25 years.

MODERN TIMES

Perhaps the most momentous production at the Plaza this Easter is Modern Times, Charles Chaplin’s new picture. With him is Paulette Goddard, who engagement to the comedian was head-lines in the newspapers recently.

If the gigantic success attending this picture in London and New York is any criterion, then the Plaza should have the biggest attraction of all times.

<< The Labor Daily, 1936, and feature Footlights and Films.


Father & Daughter: How to fish?  A father and daughter give it a try out!

LOOK: A DAUGHTER ASKS HER FATHER EVERYTHING ABOUT FISHING!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

A father is teaching his daughter to fish. They are standing up to their shins in a big Estuary and the expanse of water in front of them is glassed out, taking up more than its fair share of the horizon.

Floating on the surface nearby is a polystyrene box filled with salt-water and live bait fish. The sky is the strange colour that distant bushfires and sometimes give to summer haze. But the most striking thing about the scene is how still the pair are.

The entire view seems to be holding its breath; a Mexican stand-off between the lake, the sky, the family and a handful of birds perched on a couple of semi-submerged posts.

The spell is broken from beneath when a mullet, as long your forearm, burst through the surface.

<< Adapted from the Sun-Herald, 199(?).

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 08 March 19

GEORGE HOWE: Two hundred and sixteen year ago, he made Australia go to press for the first time

THE FIRST COPY: GEORGE HOWE HANDS GOVERNOR PHILIP GIDLEY KING THE FIRST COPY OF THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, WITH PHILIPS’S WIFE AND SON LOOKING ON.

 

COMMORATIVE ISSUE: A COPY OF THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, WITH A FEW LIBERTIES TAKEN, GIVEN OUT TO PEOPLE WHO ATTENDED THE MUSUEM OF SYDNEY’S ‘BREAKFAST BRIEFING’ SESSION ON THE ACTUAL DAY IT WAS PUBLISHED IN 1803. Below: A FLAT-BED WOODEN PRESS SIMILAR TO ONE GEORGE HOWE USED. Below: THE GAZETTE IN THE MIDDLE 1820s, A CHANGE OF NAMEPLATE.

FRANK MORRIS

It was 16 years ago, March 5, 2003, that a special event at the site of the first Government House to mark the birth of Australia’s first “news sheet”, The Sydney Gazette and New Wales Advertiser, took place two hundred years ago to the day.

This historic celebration was only a few metres from where the convict, George Howe, printed the inaugural issue on Saturday, March 5, 1803.

More the 120 guests attended the informative Breakfast Briefing, which hosted me and the Museum of Sydney. A forum ‘briefing’ on the impact of the “www” revolution on the print media was one of the highlights of the morning.

For 40 odd years, there has been an ongoing debate over whether the internet will kill newspapers. It managed to kiss good bye to dozens of newspapers over the last four decades for various reasons, but mainly in was the internet.

But the newspaper as a whole is struggling to stay alive; some have been taken over.

In 1969, in March, the World Wide Web was “conceived as a user-friendly layer” to partner to the internet. We know how it works. We know the power it has. We know the challenges and the power and influence it has over newspapers.

REALISED IT

Meanwhile, George Howe’s publication continued to appear weekly despite adversity. The first seven years he faced “goading penury” – he felt like he’d run out of steam. Howe never realised that once you became a newspaperman you’re always a newspaperman. But he soon realised it.

The quality of the paper was poor and varied, the type was worn, the old wooden screw press was close to “decrepitude”, and he was sorely pressed to find sufficient paper for each edition.

But he battled on.  He had the courage of his undertaking.

As Government Printer he took it upon himself to suggest to Governor Philip Gidley King the production of a weekly news sheet.

King backed the idea.  His Excellency considered that it would be a desirable addition to the colony provided a Government Officer approved its contents.

“It was out of felt need that the Australian Press was born,” says media historian, Frank S. Greenop, “Looking at the yellowish files we cannot imagine the interest the Gazette aroused”.

In his opening editorial, Howe wrote: “Innumerable as the obstacles were, we are happy to affirm that they were not insurmountable.

FREE PRESS

“The utility of a paper in the colony, as it must open a source of solid information will, we hope, be universally felt and acknowledged.

“We open no channel to political discussion or person animadversion.  Information is our only purpose.”

The Gazette had a monopoly on Sydney journalism for 21 years.  Although the paper was heavily censored, it paved the way for a free press.

A few months earlier, Howe had also published the first book.  He would go on to become the patriarch of Australia’s first publishing dynasty.

Howe died in 1821 aged 52.  The cause was from a condition called edema, or “dropsy,” which is the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the cells, tissues or cavities of the body.

His estate was valued at four thousand pounds ($8000).


FOUND! Australia’s first printery where the book and newspaper saw the light of day!

FRANK MORRIS

In one of the outbuildings at the first Government House, on which site now stands the Museum of Sydney, is where George Howe made history.

It was there that Howe printed the first book, first newspaper, and a raft of other government documents that were important communication links in the new colony.

Howe operated from this location for about two years.

In the l980s, as the excavation of the site progressed, it was like opening Pandora’s Box.  Among the thousands of objects unearthed were pieces of lead type and other artefacts that were intrinsically connected to Howe’s printery.

MANY LAYERS

But the commercial development that was planned on the site threatened to eliminate every fragment of this unique culture.

“The first printery … once again depended on the government for survival,” writes historian, Sandra Blair. Premier Neville Wran later announced his government would preserve the First Government House site as a museum.
Designed by architect Denton Corker, the Museum of Sydney opened in May 1995.

“It’s a place of many layers” says a Museum spokesperson. “The archaeological remains of Governor Phillip’s house, the modern architecture and the permanent and temporary displays created by historians, curators, artists and others, would remain.”

GRAPHIC ART

It is true that one “layer” of the Museum of Sydney does reinforce its “historic association” with early printing – the “black art.”

The masthead, above, that forms part of the heading of the early issues of the Sydney Gazette, is a masterful example of colonial graphic art.

The seated figure, at left, represents New South Wales, “surveying a prospect of agricultural and industrial endeavour”, which is symbolised by a ploughman and crossed picks and shovels, with the buildings of the rising town prominent in the distance.


SHARK ATTACK: Nina Dobrev wants to save the known man-eaters!

“I USED TO BE SCARED. BUT THEN I LEARNED THE FACTS …” SAYS NINA DOBREV ACTRESS AND OCEAN ADVOCATE.

TWO OF KIND: WHEN I LEARNED THE FACTS ABOUT SHARKS I WASN’T SCARED!, SAY NINA DOBREV. Below: A SHARK CAME OUT A NOWHERE AND ATTACHED.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

“Sharks keep the oceans healthy and aren’t really interested in us,” said Oceana, campaigning to protect the World’s oceans.

“It’s actually our interest in their fins; that’s the scary part. Millions of sharks end up in the global fin trade every year.”

Let’s go back nearly three centuries. This is what the Sydney Gazette reported in 1804. Under the headline Shark Attack, it had this to say:

Some days ago, an angling party, consisting of three men, one of whom had a young daughter, in a boat which was moored off George’s Head, about 150 yards from the shore were surprised with a visit from a shark of such enormous size as to be mistaken for the head of a sunk rock, whose summit rose nearly to the surface of the water.

PONDEROUS JAWS                        

But terror and trepidation were aroused when the voracious monster appeared close alongside the little boat, and eagerly seizing the baited hooks, plunged and darted with strength and speed … they had no other expectation than to be hurled out to the mercy of the furious assailant.

The formidable creature at length seized the … rope within its ponderous jaws, and forced the bow down even with, if not below the water’s edge, but happily the line snapped, the boat recoiled, and for several seconds continued to vibrate, as if conscious of threatened danger.

The little girl clung to her father for protection … the poignant sensation that he endured must with difficulty come within the reach of conception.

One of the survivors gladly attributes his life to having the shark swallow an iron 561 pound weight … which the aquatic spoiler required time to digest.

<< Sydney Gazette, February 26, l804. Full version published in Australian Pathways, Spring 1998, vol 1, no. 1; visit oceana.org/savesharks to see more from Nina and learn how you can help protect these vital ocean animals.

COMING: Shark Attack – A small recreational launch called NBC was run over and sunk by a ship entering Moreton Bay in 1977 with two of her three crew being taken by sharks. Three parts. Starting soon.


LAUREL & HARDY: Laurel: “Look at what you’ve got us into now!”

STAN AND OLLIE’S NEW MOVIE HAS BEEN GETTING SOME RAVE REVIEWS – DAVID STRATTON SAID “I LAUGHED AND I CRIED” AND THE TIMES, “STUNNING PERFORMANCES, A DAZZLING DOUBLE ACT.” SANDRA HALL DESCRIBES THEM AS “DUO DYNAMICS.” COME AND ENJOY IT. YOU’LL SEE JOHN C. REILLY AS OLIVER HARDY AND STEVE COOGAN AS STAN LAUREL. NICOLA MORRIS, GRAND YEARS, SAID “THE PAIR OF THEM HAVE BEEN PREFECTLY CAST.” THIS IS A PURE 100 MINUTES OF RESURRECTION.

FRANK MORRIS

THE FIRST MISTAKE: MAE BUSCH, IN 1932, WITH STAN LAUREL AND OLIVER HARDY IN, WHAT A NEWSPAPER CALLED, “A HILARIOUS CAPER”.

STUNNING DUO: OLLIE AND STAN, JOHN C. REILLY AND STEVE COOGAN, TAKE TIME OUT.

Mae Busch made several movies with the famed comedy team, Laurel and Hardy. It was like she was listed in their telephone books.

Many people hadn’t seen her appear seven or eight times with the same leading men. Never.
Aussie first screen star Mae Busch, the lady with smouldering dark eyes and attraction honey-blonde look, could her hold own with the best of the Hollywood gang.

Mae was just five when she and her parents departed Melbourne and settled in America. She was, by nature, “rebellious and lacking in discipline.”

MAJOR SUCCESSES

When she was 15, Mae was signed up by the Keystone Studio in Hollywood. Her outstanding looks and mobile face were ideally suited to the silent movies. She appeared in some of the major box office successes of the 1920s.

The advent of sound found her now in 1930s. Although her timing at delivering snappy punch-lines was impeccable, Mae was invariably cast “as a cynical, acid-tongue bitch”. She was still in demand for supporting roles on stage and in films.

Mae Busch died in 1946.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 01 March 19

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