Grand Years with Frank Morris

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JACK’S FAREWELL: Twelve months ago the surf at Cronulla was awash with red roses

FROM NEAR AND FAR, FORTY SURFERS WISH JACK HAS A SAFE JOURNEY.

“OF WINDS AND WATER THAT WILL CARRY HIM TOWARDS HIS DESTINY …”

FINE WORDS WERE SAID ABOUT THE WORLD-WIDE PHOTOGRAPHER/JOURNALIST JACK EDEN. THE FORTY ODD SURFERS FROM NEAR AND FAR, EACH HANDED A RED ROSE, TURNED UP TO WISH JACK BON VOYAGE ON HIS LAST TRIP IN A CALM SEA AT CRONULLA. JACK’S SON, JOHN, READ A POEM AT HIS FUNERAL SERVICE WHICH I THOUGHT SUMMED UP THIS SPLENDID OCCASSION. JACK EDEN DIED LAST YEAR ON SEPTEMBER 29. THEN, ON OCTOBER 6, HIS ASHES WERE SCATTERED AND THE SURFERS SAID GOODBYE TO JACK AT CRONULLA BEACH.  FRANK MORRIS.

THE SURFER

Waves churn.
The lone surfer stares,
searching for that one.
Perfection.
Of wind and water
that will carry him
as his board,
glides along
the watery plain
towards his destiny …


FLASHBACK: Jack Eden … His “Surfing Sixties” photo exhibition was a smash hit in Cornwall

SURFING LEGEND, BOBBY BROWN

A LESSON IN LENSMANSHIP.

TRISTAN’S PHOTO GALLERY IN WADEBRIDGE, CORNWALL, UK, IN THE LATE 1990s, TOOK ADVANTAGE OF EDEN’S STATUS AND INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION AS A PHOTOGRAPHER!

MATTEW ARNEY, ALEX WADE, OF UK

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

ITS SUNNY LOCATION AMID THE SURF BEACHES OF NORTH CORNWALL IS A PERFECT LOCATION FOR A COLLECTION OF RARE HAND-PRINTED BLACK AND WHITE IMAGES BY THE “FOUNDING FATHER” OF AUSTRALIAN SURF PHOTOGRAPHY, JACK EDEN.

DESCRIBED AS “THE PHOTOGRAPHIC BIOGRAPHER” OF AUSTRALIAN SURFING HISTORY, EDEN SHOT THE MAJORITY OF THE IMAGES BETWEEN THE LATE FIFTIES TO THE LATE SIXTIES, MAINLY AROUND THE TOP BEACHES OF AUSTRALIA AND HAWAII, FOR HIS MAGAZINE SURFABOUT.

IN THE MEANTIME, HE STUDIED THE ART OF DEVELOPING AND PRINTING TECHNIQUES BY HIS CORRESPODENCE WITH LEGENDARY AMERICAN ANSEL ADAMS.

THIS PEDIOD, “THE SURFING SIXITIES”, WAS A TIME OF GREAT TRANSITION. THERE WERE GROWTH AND EVOLUTION IN SURFING, AS BOTH NEW MATERIALS AND DESIGNS ALLOWED FOR GREAT PROGRESSION IN THE WATER.

AS A RESULT, MORE YOUNG PEOPLE PURSUED A RELAXED AND CAREFREE LIFESTYLE – AT THE BEACH.
EDEN CAPTURED THE ACTION TAKING PLACE ON THE WAVES; AND ALSO THE FASHION, THE CARS AND THE MUSICIANS, AND ATTITUDES OF THAT BLOSSOMING, OF THE AUSTRALIAN BEACH SCENE.

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ABOUT JACK EDEN …
FROM THE MID 1990s, THE JACK EDEN’S SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION WAS ONE OF THE MAJOR EXHIBITIONS TO RECOGNISE THE INPUT OF JACK’S WORK DURING THE SURFING SIXTIES.
JACK’S EXHIBITION STARTED IN PERTH AND WENDED ITS WAY ACROSS AUSTRALIA. OVERSEAS, IT WAS SHOWN AT THE TRITAN’S GALLERY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND. – FM.
........................................................................................................................................

NO WONDER THIS PART OF AUSTRALIA HAS BECOME A NATIONAL FRONTIER.

THE SIXTIES WERE SOMEWHAT PROPITIOUS FOR THE SURFING INDUSTRY. EDEN’S SURFABOUT MAGAZINE OPINED THAT “WE’VE COME OF AGE ON THE WAVES”.

IT WAS SURFING EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION ALL IN ONE.

EDEN HAS COMPRISED WELL COMPOSED AND ARTFULL AESTHIC ACTION SHOTS, TAKING PORTRAITURE AND PHOTOJOURNALISTIC LIFESTYLE AS SUBJECT MATTER.

HIS PHOTOGRAHY TRULY CAPTURED THE INNOCENCE AND ESSENCE OF SURFING IN THE SIXTIES.
AMONG THE PRINTS ARE CLASSIC IMAGES FROM THE FIRST SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP HELD AT MANLY, AUSTRALIA, IN 1964.

THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THAT ANY OF THESE WORKS HAVE BEEN DISPLAYED IN EUROPE; THEY HAVE EXTENSIVELY TOURED MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA.

<< This story was written in 1999 and published in Grand Years in 2008.

………………………………………………………………………………………
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
OF THE SURFING SIXTIES, JACK WAS QUITE LITERAL ABOUT THOSE TIMES. “IN THE ERA WE WERE REGARDED AS BUMS.
“BUT FOR SOME REASON A LOT OF THOSE BUMS WERE TOP SURFERS; MANY OF THEM WERE INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED. IN THEIR DAY, THEY WERE PRETTY IMPORTANT PEOPLE.
“THERE WERE JUDGES, BARRISTERS, LAWYERS, AND BIG BUILDERS. YOU NAME IT”. – FM.
 


After The Surf: Final.  When Australian’s first surfing magazine bit the dust, the “surfing sixties’ hit our shores!

LEE CROSS AND THE AUSTRALIAN SURFER. Below: LEE CROSS, ALWAYS SMILING.

THE 1960s PROVED TO BE A GROUND-BREAKING DECADE. IT HERALDED THE BEGINNING OF THE SURFING REVOLUTION!

FRANK MORRIS

BACK IN THE 1960s, LEE CROSS WAS AN ARDENT AND CRUSADING BOARDRIDER.

CROSS, JACK EDEN AND BOB EVANS WERE ALL RESPONSIBLE BOARDRIDERS WHO PRODUCED – AT VARYING TIMES -- A NEW GENRE OF PUBLISHING – THE SURFING MAGAZINE.

BUT CROSS WAS FIRST TO EXPLOIT THIS NEW FORM OF PUBLISHING BY PRODUCING THE FIRST TO HIT THE STREET, THE AUSTRALIAN SURFER.

HE PURLOINED, I AM TOLD, THE IDEA FROM AMERICA. THE LOS ANGELES-BASED PUBLISHER, ROBERT PETERSEN, PUBLISHED THE FIRST JOURNAL FOR THE BURGEONING US BOARDRIDING POPULATION CALLED SURFING MAGAZINE.

PETERSEN’S EFFORT WON KUDOS FROM SURFERS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

THE 1960s WAS TO PROVE A GROUND-BREAKING DECADE FOR AUSTRALIA. IT HERALDED THE START OF THE SURFING REVOLUTION.

IN AUGUST 1961, I STOOD ALONGSIDE THE PRINTING PRESS AT A SMALL SYDNEY PRINTERY THAT WAS SPEWING OUT SHEETS OF CROSS’S HISTORY-MAKING JOURNAL, THE AUSTRALIA SURFER.

I WASN’T ALONE. OWNER OF THE MAGAZINE, LEE CROSS, WAS STANDING ON OTHER SIDE. WE ONLY HAD A BRIEF CONVERSATION. THEN HE LEFT.

NOW, LONG FORGOTTEN, ARE A FEW DIEHARDS WHO STILL TREASURE THEIR COPIES OF SURFING MAGAZINES.

CROSS, ONLY 19, AND A KEEN BOARDRIDER, BELIEVED THAT SURFING SHOULD BE GIVEN MORE ENCOURAGEMENT AS A WORLD-WIDE SPORT.

“WHEN PETESTSEN’S PUBLICATION REACHED AUSTRALIA, I RECALLED SAYING ‘WELL IF THEY DO IT … WE CAN DO IT’”, CROSS WAS QUOTED AS SAYING.

………………………………………………………………………………………
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
MANLY CELEBRATES ITS 40 YEARS OF MALIBU SURFING IN 1996. THE MANLY ART GALLERY & MUSEUM HAD A SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE BEACH AND THE WAY IT TRANSFORMED PART OF OUR COMPLACENT LIFE.
SUFFICE TO SAY THAT THE MALIBU OR LONGBOARD BECAME AN INSTANT HIT ON THE AUSTRALIAN BEACHES. IN 1964, MIDGET FARRELY WON THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT MANLY.
ONE PERSON WHO SAW IT ALL, AND PHOTOGRAPHED THE PERSONALIES, THE CHAMPIONS AND THE CROWDS WAS JACK EDEN. CONTINUES BELOW.
….……………………………………………………………………………………

CROSS DECIDED TO PUBLISH A MAGAZINE WHICH WOULD PROFILE THE BEST SURFING SPOTS, SHOW HOW TO RIDE A SURFBOARD, AND SHOWCASE THE LOCAL CHAMPIONS WITH PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARTICLES.

THE PAGES WERE PEPPERED WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND JOKES BY ART STUDENT DAVID LETTS WHOSE WIT AND WISDOM BROUGHT ON LOADS OF SMILES.

“ALTHOUGH I FELT A HUGE ERROR IN REDUCING THE PRESSRUN FROM 3000 TO 2000 COPIES”, THE JOURNAL’S EDITOR SAID, “MY ESTIMATE WAS NOT THAT MANY SURFERS WERE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN THE SPORT AT THE TIME”.

AT SUCH A CRITICAL PERIOD, HE WAS CERTAINLY MISGUIDED.

“THERE WAS NO INTRODUCTION, EDITORIAL OR LETTERS PAGE AT THAT TIME”, SAID THE AUTHOR, PAUL SCOTT, OF A PAPER HE PRESENTED TO GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY IN 2005.

“WHILE AN ADVERTISEMENT THAT URGED READERS NOT TO MISS THE NEXT ISSUE, ISSUE NUMBER 3, WOULD NOT APPEAR”.

WRITER KERRY YATES, OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY, ENTERED THE FRAY WHEN THE MAGAZINE WAS UP AND RUNNING.

“CAN I REALLY RIDE A BOARD FROM INSTRUCTIONS IN A BOOK”? WAS ONE FIRED AT CROSS IN KERRY YATES DOUBLE-PAGE FEATURE FOR THE MAGAZINE.

“A SUNTANNED BLOND, THE 19-YEAR-OLD SYDNEY SURFER, CROSS HAD SHOWN ME A COPY OF THE AUSTRALIA SURFER JOURNAL WHICH HE HAD WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED HIMSELF”, SHE WRITES.   

“GRAB YOUR SWIMSUIT NEXT SUNDAY MORNING … AND WE’LL FIND OUT”, CROSS SAID. KERRY YATES SAYS “YES”.

CROSS “TOLD ME A LITTLE ABOUT HIMSELF AND WHY HE WROTE HIS BOOK ON SURFING”. SINCE HE LEFT HIGH SCHOOL … HE WORKED WITH AN WELL-KNOWN ADVERTISING COMPANY.

AMAZING WIT. ‘GOING FAR?” “NO – ONLY A MATTER OF A FEW FEET!” (DAVID LETTS, AUSTRALIAN SURFER, 1961).

HE BRANCHED OUT TO THE UNKNOWN FEAR OF PUBLISHING A MAGAZINE ON SURFING WITH “HELP OF HIS TEENAGE SURFING MATES” THAT WOULD GARNER THE DESERVED PUBLICITY.

“I TRIED AND TRIED TO STAND UP IN ONE ACTION, AS THE BOOK SAID … BUT I CAN’T EVEN DO THAT ON LAND”’ KERRY WROTE.

“AFTER ABOUT 30 MINUTES I LEARNT TO STAND IN A STRICTLY NON-FEMININE FASHION; I COULD STAND UP, I WAS SURE THAT I’D BE A SURFBOARD RIDER ONE DAY”.

IRONICALLY, BY THE TIME EDEN’S SURFABOUT APPEARED ON THE SCENE (THERE WAS ONLY A WHISKER IN IT) CROSS’S TRIAL-BLAZING AUSTRALIAN SURFER HAD FOLDED.

SURFABOUT’S PRINT-RUN WAS 10,000 COPIES ALL OF WHICH EVAPORATED IN A WEEK.

SURFING WAS HOT. THE HARDCORE WEEKEND WARRIOR AND BEGINNER LITERALLY DEVOURED THE INK OFF THE PAGES!

<< ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE, HOW WAVES WERE TAMED (UNPUBLISHED) BY FRANK MORRIS.

………………………………………………………………………………………
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
HIS IMAGES FROM SURFABOUT MAGAZINE REVISITED COLLECTION FORM AN IMPORTANT SECTION OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVE OF GREAT SPORTS.
THIS COMPREHENSIVE IMAGERY OF SURFING HISTORY, COMPILED OVER 1O YEARS, PROVIDES A UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO THE STYLES AND PERSONALITIES BEHIND AUSTRALIAN SURFING.
MIDGET FARRELLY AGREED. “THE LATE FIFTIES AND EARLY SIXITIES WERE ECLETIC TIMES FOR SURFING. GREAT TRANSITIONS WERE MADE IN A SPORT THAT HAD BEEN THE OBSCURE DOMAIN OF THE SURFLIFESAVING MOVEMENT”. – FM.
........................................................................................................................................

NEXT ISSUE OF GRAND YEARS WILL APPEAR ON OCTOBER 9.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 September 20

THE SURF NEWSPAPER: The only journal to concentrate on surf-riding activities!

ISABEL LETHAM, REGARDED AS THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN WOMAN TO RIDE A SURFBOARD. HER IMPACT UPON SURF CULTURE WAS UNDENIABLE.

DURING DUKE KAHANAMOKU’S VISIT TO AUSTRALIA IN 1915, THERE WAS A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN SURF “RIDERS” AND SURFBOARDS. HE WON A SWAG OF GOLD MEDALS FOR SWIMMING AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES. BY 1923, THE DUKE HAD BEEN BEATEN ONLY ONCE IN FOUR YEARS -- BY JOHNNY WEISSMULLER. Below: AUSTRALIA’S FIRST, THE SURF JOURNAL.

DUKE KAHANAMOKU CAME TO AUSTRALIA AND BOARD RIDING TOOK OFF, SUDDENLY.

FRANK MORRIS

DECEMBER 1, 1917! THERE WAS THE FIRST WORLD WAR, OR THE EUROPEAN WAR, WHICH HAD BEEN RAGING FOR OVER 2 YEARS. ANOTHER EVENT, ON A MUCH LOWER KEY THAN THE WAR EFFORT, WAS THE LAUNCH OF THE “WORLD’S FIRST SURFING NEWSPAPER” – THE SURF.

"THE JOURNAL PROVIDED SOME FASCINATING INSIGHTS TO THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BEACH CULTURE IN THE LAST YEARS OF THE GREAT WAR. PRODUCED IN 1917, THE SURF LASTED FOR 20 ISSUES AND FOLDED ON APRIL 13, 1918.

INITIALLY, IT WAS PRINTED ON PINK NEWSPRINT.

THE SURF WAS A UNIQUE AND DETAILED WEEKLY, AND WAS POSSIBLY ONE OF THE ONLY JOURNALS IN THE WORLD TO FOCUS PRIMARLY ON SURF-RIDING AND OTHER BEACH ACTIVITIES.

“IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THAT BEFORE THE 1960s THERE WAS VERY LITTLE IN THE WAY OF YOUTH MAGAZINES AND SURF MAGAZINES THAT WERE TO BECOME IMMENSELY POPULAR”, SAID JOHN OGDEN, SALT WATER PEOPLE”.

“FOLLOWING DUKE KAHANAMOKU’S SURFING DEMONSTRATIONS IN SYDNEY DURING 1914-15, IT WOULD BE EASY TO IMAGINE THE GROWTH OF AUSTRALIAN SURFRIDING WOULD BE SEVERELY LIMITED BY THE NATION’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE WAR”, NOTED ONE RESEARCHER.

“FOR THE ACTIVE AND HEDONISTIC, THE CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF SURF-SHOOTING AND SURFBOARD RIDING WAS STARTING TO MAKE THEIR PRESENCE FELT”.

........................................................................................................................................................................................
SURF’S UP …
“ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS THAT ALL YOU NEED IS A BOARD AND A WAVE TO GO SURFING”, A NEWSPAPER SAID RECENTLY, “THERE IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST BALANCING ON A FOAMY CREST”. TOO RIGHT. FIRST OF ALL, YOU NEED A BOARD THAT MAKES YOU, UM, HAPPY. YOU NEED A BOARD THAT HAS BEEN BUILT BY ONE OF THE LEADING CUSTOM BUILDERS IN THE AREA. IF THE MAKER IS PROUD OF THEIR BRAND, AND IT’S POSITION IN THE MARKETPLACE, SO SHOULD YOU BE. – FM.
.........................................................................................................................................................................................

HAILED THE SURF NEWSPAPER, “CONTRARY TO EXPECTATION, THE NUMBER OF SURF-RIDERS AND SURFBOARDS CONTINUED TO DRAMATICALLY INCREASE”.

THE NEWSPAPER WAS POSSIBLY WAS OF “THE FIRST IN WORLD” TO CONVERGE “ON SURFBOARD RIDING AND BEACH ACTIVIES” PARTICULARLY WITH THE NATIONAL EXPOSURE OF THE KAHANAMOKU TOUR.

THE SURF NEWSPAPER WAS EARMARKED A “JOURNAL OF SPORT AND PASTIME” AND WAS PUBLISHED BY CON DREW, A KNOCKABOUT JOURNALIST.

CONCENTRATING ON BONDI BEACH, THE LEAD ARTICLE WAS SURF SHOOTER AND SIREN LARGELY WORKED ON BY DREW. WITH THE ARTICLE, THE JOURNALIST NOTES THAT CONTRIBUTIONS WERE PENNED BY THE ‘LADY REPORTER’ AND THE ‘RELIGIOUS REPORTER”.

FROM THE SECOND ISSUE, BASED ON SANGUINE REPORTS OF THE READERSHIPS, THESE ADDITIONAL CORRESPONDENTS SUCH AS COOGEE (BY CORK-SCREW), MANLY AND CRONULLA (BY DARKIE) AND NEWCASTLE (SHOOTER) WERE ADDED.

A FEW HINTS BY FRANK FORAN’S SURFBOARD SHOOTING FOR THE BEGINNERS WAS SIMPLY THIS: “TO STAND ON THE BOARD, CATCH THE WAVE BEFORE IT HAS BROKEN”.

SEVERAL BOARDRIDERS WERE REPORTED BUILDING THEIR OWN BOARDS.

BY IMPLICATION, ARTHUR STONE, OF BONDI, SET A FIRST FOR THE ‘INDUSTRY’ (WAS HE THE START OF THE BOARDBUILDERS?) AND MANUFACTURED THEM FOR  OTHER RIDERS.

“SOME BOARDS WERE EXTREMELY BIGGER AND HEAVIER”, SAID A RESEARCHER. “BIGGERS BOARDS WERE PROBABLY BUILT FOR THE LARGER RIDER. THE EXTREME LENGTH WAS “GREATER THAN 10 FEET”.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................
SURF’S UP …
WHEN THE WAVE CURLS OVER CREATING A HOLLOW THAT’S CALLED A BARREL … A PERSON WHO RIDES A BOARD WITH THE RIGHT FOOT FORWARD AND LEFT FOOT BACK IS A GOOFY-FOOT … A LEASH, AKA AS A LEG ROPE, IS USED TO ATTACH THE BOARD TO A SURFER’S LEG … DOING A 360 IS SPINNING THE BOARD RIGHT AROUND IN THE AIR. –FM.
……………………………………………………………………….......................................................................................

 

“IT WAS EMPHASISED THAT HEAVY WEIGHT WAS KNOWN TO RETARD PERFORMANCE.

“THE ONLY REFERENCE TO DÉCOR IS THAT ONE BOARD AT BONDI WAS PAINTED WHITE TO CONTRAST IT WITH THE STANDARD SIMPLE TIMBER GRAIN. THIS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN STRICTLY DECORATIVE BUT THE USE OF PAINT MAY HAVE BEEN THE EFFORT TO IMPROVE THE SEALING OF THE TIMBER OR TO DISGUISE EXTENSIVE REPAIRS”.

THE PAPER WAS THE ENTERPRISE OF EDITOR AND JOURNALIST CON DREW. MOST ISSUES HAD ONE PAGE OF TURF, SAILING, SWIMMING AND CRICKET, THEATRE REVIEWS AND A CONTINUING “HIGHLY DRAMATIC” SERIAL DREW PENNED EVERY WEEK.

THE FIRST EDITION OF THE SURF APPEARED ON PINK NEWSPRINT AND SOLD FOR 1d – ONE PENNY – AND IT WAS REPORTED TO HAVE SOLD OVER 5000 COPIES.

IT WAS ONE OF THE FEW NEWSPAPER PRINTED ON PINK NEWSPRINT IN AUSTRALIA. IN DREW’S CASE, IT WAS BECAUSE IT MADE HIS PAPER LOOK APPEALING.

ACCORDING TO A RESEARCHER, THE PUBLISHER FAILED TO SECURE ENOUGH PINK NEWSPRINT AND THEREFORE THE PRICE WENT UP TO 2d PER COPY. THE COST FOR NEWSPRINT THE WAS GIVEN AS THE REASON.

WHEN THE PAPER FOLDED THE CIRCULATION WAS IN “EXCESS OF 6000 COPIES”.

DREW, OR SOMEBODY ELSE, LATER REINVENTED THE SURF NEWSPAPER AS THE SURF AND SUBURBAN NEWS.

<< Surfresearch.com.au; Frank Morris’s How the waves were tamed!

NEXT: Nothing happened until 40 years later when the ‘Surfing Sixties’ hit our shores!

THE SURF. A SEEMINGLY OVER EMBELLISHED MASTHEAD, IT WAS A BEST-SELLER.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................
SURF’S UP …
IN THE LATE 1800’s, US AUTHOR MARK TWAIN (SAMUEL CLEMENTS) BECAME THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL LITERARY LUMINARY TO VISIT AND PUBLICISE NEW ZEALAND.
DEEP DOWN, TWAIN WAS A LITERARY NOMAD. ABOUT THE SAME TIME, HE BECAME ONE OF THE EARLIEST AMERICAN’S TO TRY TO SURF. TWAIN DABBLED IN SURFING WHILE VISTING HAWAII IN 1866.
HE WROTE ABOUT THE ADVENTURE IN HIS BOOK, ROUGHING IT. – FM.

 


SILENT SCREEN: Some old favourite Aussie female stars of the silent era!

NELLIE STEWART AS SWEET NELL IN COUSENS SPENCER’S 1911 PRODUCTION OF SWEET NELL OF OLD DRURY.

FRANK MORRIS

IT WAS MEMORABLE DAY, DECEMBER 2, 1911. THE PRODUCER SAID ONE HIS GREATEST SUCCESSES WAS SWEET NELL OF OLD DRURY STARRING NELLIE STEWART.

IN THE FIRST WEEK, OVER 12,000 PEOPLE HAPPILY PAID FOR ADMITTANCE TICKETS; WHILE NELLIE RECEIVED A RECORD FEE OF 1000 POUNDS PLUS A SHARE OF THE PROFITS.

AS A RESULT, NELLIE PLAYED ROLE OF SWEET NELL FOR ALMOST 12 YEARS ON THE AUSTRALIAN STAGE. NELLIE STEWART WAS FAMOUS AS THE ORANGE GIRL.

EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH SWEET NELL WAS CONNECTED WITH THE THEATRE, A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT HE KNEW QUITE WELL. NELLIE STEWART, AS IF THE SCREEN WERE A STAGE, WAS AWAYS THERE.

THIS FILM DID NOT IMMORTALISE THE NAME OF DIRECTOR RAYMOND LONGFORD.

IT TOOK THE SENTIMENAL BLOKE TO PROVIDE THE LEGENDARY FAME. DOUBTLESS, LONGFORD FOUND
THIS FILM TO BE ONE OF HIS MOST REWARDING AS A DIRECTOR.

<< Eric Reade: The Australian Screen, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne; 1975, has given me further assistance.


The “Agony Aunts”: Part 1. They speak to the women about their problems!

DOROTHY DIX IN 1896, THE TIME SHE WROTE HER FIRST COLUMN. Below: MARJORIE PROOPS, THE “AGONY AUNT” WHO SERVES A LEGENDARY PERIOD WITH THE DAILY MIRROR (UK).

HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU HEARD THE EXPRESSION, “LET’S CALL DOROTHY DIX”. IT’S BEEN PREVALENT IN GENERAL CONVERSATION AND THE MOVIES SINCE ‘DD’ BECAME A POPULAR FIGURE.

DOROTHY DIX        Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

What would you do if you had a husband who came to you and told you he was tired of you and the baby, and bored to death with domesticity and he wanted you to let him go?

Would you hang on to his coat tails … or would you open the door and shoo him out?

This is the question asked by one of my readers and she pleaded with me to help her decide. She said her husband is a good man, who had always been a kind husband and father, and that she loves him very dearly.

But somehow or other matrimony has palled upon his palate and no longer interests him and he yearns irresistibly for his old bachelor joys.

And, he says, that if she will only give back his freedom he will provide amply for her and the child. And the poor bewildered wife, to whom this strange proposition has been made, doesn’t know what to do.

If it were I, I should speed the parting guest and facilitate his departure. I should say to such a husband, “Take your clothes and go”. And I would do this for several good reasons.

First, because there is no other position in the world as humiliating as for a wife to know that she is holding her husband by a legal bond and not but the tie of affection.

He feels that his home is a prison that he leaves with joy … comes back with loathing of an evening. And that the marriage tie to him is nothing but a fetter that chafes him every minute of his life.

I can conceive of nothing else so terrible for a wife to have to endure as to feel that her companionship is an affliction to her husband. To observe that he looks at her with half-concealed hatred and to know this his one idea of happiness is to get away from her.

Bitter must be the bread she eats and wet with tears her pillow.

Women sometimes have enough courageous hypocrisy to keep up the pretence of loving husbands of whom they have tired, and of whom they would gladly be rid. But no man takes the trouble to try to deceive his wife about his real feelings toward her.

If he is tired of her he yawns in her face. If he has ceased to love her … he tells her of it in a thousand ways that are like many daggers thrust through her heart.

Therefore the woman whose husband wants to go, it is wise to let him go. Love is the champion jail-breaker of the universe. There is this strange thing about love … love is what we want and to hold on to it.

The more slippery it becomes the more eager to hold it when it gets away from us.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................
DEAR DEL …
DEAR DEL’S QUESTIONS WERE FULL OF TODAY’S FRUSTRATIONS. THERE WERE SOME THAT WERE SPIKEYAND HONEST. BUT, ON THE WHOLE, LARGELY TRUE TO LIFE. THERE WERE OTHERS THAT MADE HEADLINE NEWS. HER REAL NAME WAS DEL CARTWRIGHT. DEL WAS WITH THE DAILY MIRROR FOR ABOUT SIX YEARS. SHE ASSISTED ME SEVERAL TIMES IN JUDGING OUTSIDE ASSIGMENTS. SHE WAS THE AGONY AUNT I REALLY GOT TO KNOW. -- FM.
.........................................................................................................................................................................................

FRANK MORRIS COMMENT

DOROTHY DIX STARTED WRITING FOR WOMEN IN THE 1896. A PROMINENT JOURNALIST AT THE TIME, HER REAL NAME WAS ELIZABETH GILMER.

SHE THEN STARTED TO WRITE UNDER NAME OF ‘DOROTHY DIX’, AND MILLIONS READ HER SYDICATED COLUMNS IN NEWSPAPERS GLOBALLY. THE FIRST PAPER SHE WROTE FOR WAS THE NEW ORLEANS PICAYUNE.

IN 50 YEARS, SHE HAD AMASSED SOME 60 MILLION READERS. THIS COLUMN IS FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 1912. DIX WAS BORN IN 1861 AND DIED IN 1951.

<< A problem for wives by Dorothy Dix, San Francisco Examiner, 1912.

.........................................................................................................................................................................................
DOROTHY DIX …
STRANGE THINGS HAPPENED AFTER THE GROWING SUCCESS OF DOROTHY DIX.34
THE WORLD OF NEWSPAPERS STARTED A SIMILAR COLUMN – OR STOLE THE IDEA --- WITH COLUMNS IN THEIR WOMEN’S PAGES FILLED WITH SUITABLE WOMEN PICKED TO OCCUPY THE ROLE OF “AGONY AUNTS”.
ALL OF THE “AGONY AUNTS” – ESPECIALLY DEAR DEL – ON PAPERS AND MAGAZINES I WORKED FOR WERE OUTSTANDING. – FM.

 


WHO'S QUEEN OF THE CASTLE...

I AM.

GRAND YEARS WILL BE PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 21.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 September 20

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