Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: April 2019

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SHADOW KING: He was the bridesmaid of the top event!

MELBOURNE CUP, 1930. FIRST PAST THE POST WAS THE MIGHTY PHAP LAP WITH SHADOW KING RUNNING THIRD. Bottom: Another angle of shot.

“THE FOLKLORE OF HORSE RACING CHIEFLY REVOLVED AROUND THE WINNER AND FAIRLY TALE SUCCESSES, SAID RACING WRITER, DARREN ELIAS IN THE PORFILE OF SHADOW KING. THE CHAMP WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

DARREN ELIAS        Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

“Some of the more interesting stories, however, go on to concern the perennial losers, the ‘could-have-beens’”.

Shadow King was a bay colt by Comedy King, a Melbourne Cup winning stallion, out of the mare Berylium.

There was one problem with his name, Shadow King. “He proved to be a ‘shadow’ by nature” said Elias.

In the time of great racing and great horses, Shadow King stands out as one of the “unluckiest horses ever” to race in the Cup.

His starts in the Melbourne Cup make Shadow King far from forgotten. He raced in the Cup six times for 2 seconds, 2 thirds, fourth and sixth.

It all started in 1929.

THE MIGHTY PHAR LAP

The flashy Kiwi, Nightmarch, came with a withering run in the final 400 metres to win the Melbourne Cup by three lengths. The mighty Phar Lap ran poorly throughout the race finishing third. Shadow King came in sixth.

In the 1930 Shadow King ran third, resoundingly beaten by the then legendary Phar Lap, unbeatable at the time. In 1931 he was unlucky not to beat White Nose. Hampered several times in the run Shadow King was charging to the finish line, but he was too late.

There was only one horse that was compared to Phar Lap – Peter Pan.

In 1932, Shadow King met the awesome Peter Pan, a rising star. A striking, loose-limbed colt “with plenty of pace to develop” Peter Pan put in an amazing performance in the two-miler that he nearly fell 800m from home.  The “Shadow”— that was his nom de plume – weaved his way through the field to miss at the finish.

A TORRID RUN

Probably his most hapless run came in the 1933. In this Shadow King was only beaten by inches by the great 3 year old, Hall Mark. After a torrid run, Shadow King had again struck interference at the top of straight and was forced to come wide. He was actually in front past the winning post.

The reason Shadow King did not run in 1934 was because of the bog track. The great Peter Pan, the delight of the near-record breaking crowd, won the race.

In was not until 1935 did an ageing Shadow King contest the Cup. He finished a creditable fourth to Marabou.

Shadow King had the honour of leading the field out that day in recognition of his efforts.

AS A POLICE HORSE

A funny thing did happen. Peter Pan, who was unplaced in the Cup, played second fiddle to the ‘old stager’. Shadow King retired with his name firmly etched in Cup lore. By today’s standards his Cup pacing’s would have him more than $2 million.

“Folklore remembers that as being the end in the Shadow King story,” said Darren Elias. “But there is another facet to his remarkable tale”. Elias continues: “Despite the fact that he never to race again, Shadow King attended several further Melbourne Cups as a police horse.

In 1943 the 17-year-old Shadow King was in a palsy state. The “Shadow” was put-down not far from where he was standing.

Below: Shadow King, in all its glory, just before running third to Phar Lap in the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
Source: From Grand Years 10 years ago; Historic Australia, Spring, 1997.


Elly Gross (ABOVE) was born in Hungary in 1929. Elly began encountering antisemitism at an early age. And she was brought into a time of terror by the Nazis as they tightened their grip on Europe.

This is the true story – the truth of Elly Cross in a series of miracles that take her from the daily horrors of world she is in – Hungary.

The miracles did come … coming in May.


Special Mention: Television brought to book after it fails due to lack of technology!

FIRST MAN OF AUSTRALIA TELEVISION. HE OPENED THE SERVICE IN 1957.

AFTER SUCCESSFULLY TRANSMITTING A 180-PICTURE, THE SERVER CLOSED BECAUSE OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

FRANK MORRIS

The first book on television could be bought in Australia in 1926. It was called Television: Seeing by Wire or Wireless, by A. Dinsale. It was publicised as the first publication to appear on the subject.

The first book published in Australia to coincide with the launch of regular television transmission in September, 1956, was How Television Works: A Simple Guide by adman Phil MacMahon.MacMahon described television as a delightful toy – a toy which is bringing us a “fascinating new way of living”.

From the early 1920s the daily press, through its overseas cable hook-up, was giving “some prominence” to “the subject of television” much to the chagrin of the fledgling broadcasting industry.

In 1927 the Australian magazine, Wireless Weekly, warned that the public, could be “prone to accept attractive statements … about having televisors or “looking-in” attachments wired to their receivers”.

TELEVISOIN TERROR

The magazine pointed out that there had been two years of speculation about the early advent of television “or radio vision”, but “we have not yet been shown any demonstration of it, nor has any practical application of it to the ordinary user been given in any part of the world.”

It was only a matter of time, in fact, two years, when the “television-terror” was demonstrated on home turf.

In January, 1929, Melbourne’s first commercial radio station, 3UZ, conducted the first public demonstration of TV in its studios, using the mechanical scanning system.

Although it was still experimental, the first regular television transmission, using the 30-line Baird system, began from a building in Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, in 1934. The project, which was successfully transmitting a 180-line picture, was closed down by the Federal Government on the outbreak of the Second World War in 1938.

Below: A group of kids around the television at the Royal Easter Show in 1957.
SOURCE: Television Brought to Book was previously published in Grand Years in 2012 and syndicated to various other media.


The Dog: Things the animal will do that you won’t know about

THE THREE DOGS STRAINED AT THEIR LEASHES.

FRANK MORRIS

Taurus seems to have an acute sense of smell. Generally, if this is the case with your dog, you can bet the animal has detected a group of dogs being taken for a walk a kilometre away.

But that’s not all. The dog was able to meet the animals – a Fox terrier and an Alsatian -- who wanted to get together with the Taurus. Your dog could smell them from a distance.

The three dogs strained at their leashes. And you could see why the owner was becoming a tad nervous. When I moved my dog to the side of the street, I noticed that they had gone back to her.

But Taurus is a funny hound to have around the place. Taurus, no matter what animal there is ahead, the dog frequently proves to be more than a match for any animal at bay.

CONSTANT COMPANION

If your dog is a well-trained veteran, the animal could be cleverer than they realised.

Your Taurus is a useful animal, ever faithful to its owner. The dog is a constant companion to its master. Taurus is quick at its commands, and always prompted to execute them.

The dog is a watchful guardian and will not suffer fools and strangers gladly; the Taurus will impede any intruder. The dog never fails to protect its charges.

When the dog take its stand, the Taurus threatens every known delinquent who wants to get involved.

APRIL 20 TO MAY 20

SOURCE: Frank Morris, after observing many dogs.


THE QUEEN: Meeting 11 presidents of the United States!

The Queen, in her diamond tiara and sash, laughs at one of President Ford’s impromptu stories. The event happened when President Nixon resigned.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 18 April 19

Isabella Bird, Author: She spotted early surf boarding in 1870s!

WHAT THE LADY DID SEE?

THE LADY WAS A BRITISH AUTHOR WHO WAS WRITING ABOUT THE INGENUITY OF NEW IDEAS IN HER COUNTRY.

FRANK MORRIS

Isabella Bird’s book, The Hawaiian Archipelago, written after her tour of the Sandwich Islands in the 1870s, contains what is probably the first account of surfboarding long before it became a national sport.

On this particular day, Ms Bird gathered with “a large party of friends” on the beach to watch “a grand display of surf-bathing…a really most exciting pastime, and in rough sea requires immense nerve”.

She gives a colourful description of the surfboard: “(It) is a tough plank shaped like a coffin, about two feet broad, and from six to nine feet long, well oiled and cared for. It is usually made of the erythrina, or the breadfruit tree”.

The surf this day was very heavy, but favourable. The men, she writes, pushed their boards before them, swam out to the first line of breakers…and reappeared in smooth water half a mile from shore.

DEXTEROUS MOVEMENT

“What they seek is a very high roller, on the top of which they leap from behind, lying face downwards on their boards”, she wrote:

“As the wave speeds on…(they) appeared poising themselves on it highest edge by dexterous movements of their hand and feet, keeping just at the top of the curl, but always apparently coming downhill with a slanting motion. “They rode majestically, always just ahead of the breaker…the more daring riders knelt and even stood on their surfboards, waving their arms and uttering exultant cries.“The great art seems to be to mount the roller precisely at the right time, and to keep exactly on its curl just before it breaks”.

Below: Isabella Bird saw ‘early’ board-riders steal the show.


When you adopt or return a dog you’re in BIG trouble – BIG, BIG trouble!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

See!


ONE IN 8 PERSONS HAS PARKINSON’S

NEXT: Remember Shadow King the racehorse? He was a champion at running places in the august Melbourne Cup from 1929-1935 … FLASHBACK -- The third newspaper in Australia, the Geelong Advertiser, is still going strong! … Wireless at sea marks an epoch of safety … THE CAUSE: Parkinson’s is still unknown. But, warned the Parkinson’s officials, your medication must be taken on time every time. 1t’s estimated that approximately four per 1000 – roughly 80,000 – in Australia have Parkinson’s. COMING: Did you know? A column that puts you in the know.


ROOFTOP GARDENS: Final! The ‘father’ of hydroponic gardening dates from a century and a half ago

BACK IN 1980, THE CASTLE HILL RSL LEAD THE PACK. IT DISCOVERED A NEW ‘MARKETING PLOY’ – A GARDEN DESIGNED WITH A HYDROPONIC ASSORTMENT OF PLANTS.

HYDROPONICS BEGAN TO APPEAR PROMINTENTLY FROM OVERSEAS IN THE 1950s. WHICH, OF COURSE, WAS NOT THE CASE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Sir -- I was an interested reader of your cover story, Hydroponics Hits the Club Scene, on growing plants.

I am quite sure that most people who read it would have gained the impression that your unnamed German horticulturist invented hydroponics in the late 1950s. Which, of course, was not the case. Nor would he have been the first to apply the technique to the growing of indoor plants.

Real water culture dates from 1860d when Knop, a German chemist, and Sachs, a botanist, first added chemicals to water and obtained a nutrient solution. In 1929, W.F. Gericke announced hydroponics, having developed the method along substantial lines in America.

A MERE AMATEUR

In fact, it would be safe to say that hydroponics, as we know it today (first called aquiculture, really had its beginning in that country and Gericke was the "father" of it.

W.F. Gericke wrote a book on the subject, The Complete Guide to Soiless Gardening, which was first published in 1940. As a mere amateur, I established two inground hydroponicums in my backyard in 1946. And, along with other enthusiasts ... experimented and had success with indoor plants.

So, in the light of the foregoing facts, you will forgive me for querying your assertion that a young German horticulturist "came up with the method" in the late 1950s. If he did, there is no way in the world that the gentleman could call it his own!

G.H. TUCKWELL

Secretary

Balgowlah Golf Club, Sydney.

Frank Morris comments: They did quote 1950s as when the young German horticultural wizard came up with a method of growing indoor plants without water, called in hydroponics. Said Club Management magazine: "It involved growing plants in water, impregnated with nutrients." The method was so successful in Europe that it spread to Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United States and, more recently, Australia. In the late 1970s, when I was editor of the same magazine, Club Management, I introduced an article on hydroponics by American writer David Devor. I angled the story towards clubs that wanted new marketing ideas for their establishment. Growing of hydroponic vegetables was the "in thing" then -- and still is.


THE QUEEN: Meeting 11 presidents of the United States!

THE QUEEN ON ENGLAND, INFORMALLY, MET THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, MR RICHARD NIXON, AND THE FIRST LADY. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, EDWARD HEATH HAD A CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT. THE YEAR WAS 1971.

SOURCE: “Isabella Bird” by Frank Morris … Adoption of a dog by Shaw Cross, 1960 … Rooftop Gardens by Frank Morris … The Queen from Google.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 12 April 19

DOGS: Aries -- will you know how to react! But you'd better be quick!

YOUR ARIES WILL RUSH AHEAD AND WILL DRIVE YOU MAD! 

THE IDEAL ACCOMMADATION FOR THE ARIAN WOULD BE A HOUSE THE SIZE OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

A dog born under this sign will be full of vitality, well able to run several packs of hounds right off their feet. But they will have only one aim in life, into which they will channel every drop of excess energy, to get to the front, and stay there.

As the Aries is born under the first sign they must be first dog.

The way the dog rushes ahead will drive you mad. The dog will push between your legs when you get up to put the cat out. The animal will be out of the house and sight, before you have taken the lead off its peg.

NOT IMPRESSED

And it will never enter the dog’s head to check which way you were going to go. When you get out of the car, your Aries will be sitting there waiting for you; they will not take kindly to travelling in the back either.

The ideal accommodation for the Aries would be a house the size of Buckingham Palace. If like the majority of us you do not own a palatial residence, a country seat would do in a pinch.

The Aries erratic and demanding manner will soon exhaust you. You must live somewhere where you can escape from the dog occasionally.


 

Grand Years editor is off on holidays. In the meantime, GRAND YEARS, will be packed with features as far as the eye can see. There will be: One of the first accounts of early surfboard riding in the Sandwich Islands in the 1870s written by a woman …  The Big Fight, featuring Albert Griffiths, or “Griffo”, and Torpedo Bill Murphy in a featherweight championship of the world. The fight was fought at the White Horse Hotel in Sydney. Plus, there are many others, of course!

 

Rooftop Gardens: The system that can provide for our nourishing plants!

WHEN YOU PLANT YOUR HYDROPONIC GARDEN, IT COULD LOOK LIKE THIS.

PERCHED ON THE ROOFTOP OF A SKYSCAPER IS ONE THE MOST UNLIKELY SETTINGS YOU’LL EVER SEE. ROOFTOP GARDENS ARE HERE TO STAY.

FRANK MORRIS

Rooftop or market gardens have been around for centuries in one form or another. But in the early 1970s they made a come-back, growing on the roofs of skyscrapers and buildings, home units and clubs.

In fact this system is not as silly as it sounds, I wrote in the 70s. Some of them are perched on the top of buildings – hotel complexes – up to 20 storeys high.

“In the 1970s, I discovered a one acre farm growing a new system called hydroponic vegetables,” said American David Devor, a writer who had studied this type thing of for 40 years.

“Many of the pilot schemes have yielded over l00,000 lbs of vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants and string beans in a six months period.  It was the most unusual setting you’ll ever see -- and it was in 1975.”

HARD TO SEE

The garden “many rows of lush green growth set in perfect symmetry”, Devor said, “was a sight to behold. The system was in parallel lines and is composed of sections of PVC pipe with an opening cut into the top from which the plants grow.”

Today, it has developed into a big business industry.

The other day, when I was at a club, I got the shock of my life. Rooftop gardens are hard to see. They’re near you but camouflaged so you can’t see them. However, this is not exactly on the roof but a fairly sizeable mound, and panelled off into section.

“A market roof-style garden creates enough produce for a restaurant or family,” said the executive chef. “Our market garden, while still in its infancy, will produce the freshest of herbs and heirloom vegetables.

“We really enhance the natural flavours of our dishes. We are very excited to be able to offer our guests the freshest ingredients directly from our market garden.”

Rooftop gardens are here to stay.

Below: A garden will grow in any place – even from the ceiling.

NEXT: Final! The ‘father’ of hydroponic gardens dates back as far as the 1860s and a German chemist.


Trio of disarming bandits: Overseas officials caught snoozing while guarding the coffers

LOOK AT THE THREE DIAGRAMS, ABOVE. YOU COULD HAVE WON THE CASH – NOT IN ONE CLUB OR CASINO, BUT IN ALL!

THE YEAR 1965 PROVIDED A MAJOR EVENT OF THE DAY – BEFUDDLED CLUB AND CASINO OPERATORS WERE BLATANTLY ROBBED ON THE SPOT. BUT HOW?

FRANK MORRIS

Remember the three Australians who in the mid 1960s took on the poker machines in Australia, Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and London and cleaned up? If you can’t recall their names it was Keith Jennings, George Clamped and C. J. Mackenzie.

Their amazing feat was going to be made into a movie 15 years after the event took place, but it never was made.

The system they used, which was all legal and above board, earned the trio almost 100,000 pounds in the first year. In 1965, Time wrote that the “Sydney System, as they call it, only sounds simple.”

ASK TO LEAVE

“It was like having duplicate keys to Fort Knox,” said one of the syndicate in a book written their profitable venture, How to Beat the Bandits. “For one thing it was legal; no risk of being jailed. The worst that could happen was that we would have been asked to leave.”

Like Fort Knox, the syndicate wrote, “there was seemingly no end to the money involved. And it was easier to get at.”

The syndicate’s exploits made headlines all over the world.

“All we had to do was to walk into club, work the bandits over, and walk out with the money. Left alone we could have eventually busted every club in Australia,” the syndicate member wrote.

In a remarkable series of demonstrations, the syndicate showed how a poker machine could be drained in minutes.

FRANK MORRIS COMMENT: The diagrams show three of the six essential moves in the syndicate’s “amazing but simple” system that “broke the bank” in casinos around the world

Below: A 1960s poker machine. These and others like them were in clubs and casinos around the world.


THE QUEEN: Meeting the 11 Presidents of the United States!

The Queen, accompanied by Prince Phillip, met up with President Kennedy and the First Lady, Jackie, at a special function at Buckingham Palace in 1961.                                         

SOURCES: Adapted from Dog Horoscopes by Liz Tresillan, SEP, Spring 1975; Rooftop Gardens by Frank Morris; Cracking the club/casino case by Frank Morris; The Queen, Google.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 05 April 19

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