OZ SPOT: PART 1. The lady of Pittwater … in the pale yellow house

ON THE SHORES: TARRANGAUA, QUIET AND SECLUDED. “DOROTHEA MACKELLER WAS A VERY PRIVATE PERSON,” SAID A WRITER.

Tarrangaua -- Aboriginal word, meaning high, rough hill. The author, Susan Duncan said that “I cannot find the word in any Aboriginal dictionary.”

FRANK MORRIS

One of Australia’s most famous poets, Dorothea Mackeller, who died in 1968 at the age of 83, is credited with writing the two most quoted lines of Australian literature – “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains …” which come from her poem, My Country.

Tarrangaua, the home of Miss Mackellar, built on the shores of Lovett Bay, is dated from 1925. Dorothea was, said Susan Duncan in her biography, “wealthy, single, forty years old and already involved in a love affair with the brandy bottle.”

Duncan said: “I cannot ask how the name came about. Perhaps she sat around the dinner table with a group of guests and … they played a game to invent the best title. The name is certainly grand, and so was she.”

Only by boat can you make contact with Lovett Bay … “or walk along … the escarpment the … down into the valleys of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park … and take about an hour and half … with steep rocky tracks where you can easily lose your footing … In contrast, the boat trip trip is five minutes …”

LONELY CHILD

Explained Susan Duncan, “Tarrangaua, the pale yellow house with the corridor of columns and the long veranda,” was perched “on the high, rough hill.”

Australian author Di Morrissey, “who grew up in a house just beyond Frog Hollow”, was invited to open an art exhibition in a boatshed built by a friend. That day, Di talked the about time she crossed paths with Dorothea Mackellar. Di was nine years old and a “lonely child”.

It was an evocative speech. Here is a part it.

“Dorothea, or Miss Mackellar – she was only ever known as Miss Mackellar – asked me what I was doing,” Di explained, standing in the long, beamed sitting room in a misty pink suit, her bright blonde hair piled high on her head. “I told her I was looking for fairies.”

I WANT TO WRITE

Dorothea asked Di: “Have you found any? May I help you?”

”And so we set off looking for fairies together,” Di continues. Dorothea asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. ‘”I want to be a writer,” I told her, wide-eyed and innocent of her fame. “” Do you?” she replied. “Well, I write a little, too. Would you like me to recite a poem I’ve written?”

“Oh yes, please,” I said.

Dorothea, spoke with a Scottish burr, recited every verse of her iconic poem, My Country.

“After her speech to open the art exhibition ended, I asked Di what Dorothea Mackellar wore that day she met her.”

“A long, dark dress and a hat, I think. Yes, that was it. A rather dull coloured dress, navy and black, in a heavy fabric. The hat was quite big. Straw, I think.”

“I wish Barbara, who was writing in life about Dorothea Mackeller, had been able to hear Di’s words.” Barbara occupied Tarrangaua before I did.

<< The House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan; Penguin Books; 2012.

May: Towards the end of Barbara’s document on the life of Dorothea Mackellar, she touched on the history of Tarrangaua.

Dorothea or Miss Mackellar? Dorothea, circa 1926, photograph at home, Tarrangaua. Di. “What you want to be?” Said Di, “I want to be a writer!”


NEXT WEEK:  Ace Reporter Mason Knight figures in a detective yarn that left the police for dead!


SUPER WORLD BREAKER: BACK IN 1971, RAY TOMLINSON, THE INVENTOR OF THE EMAIL. HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHOOSING @ AS THE LOCATOR SYMBOL.

COMPUTER MILESTONES: PART 4. FROM DATE PROCESSING TO DIGITAL

The first email message was sent by computer.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The 1960s -- they were shaping up into comprehensive years.

In 1965, the first commercial minicomputer to sell for less than $10,000, the DEC PDP-8, was released by Digital Equipment Corporation.

The University of NSW, 1966, installed an IBM 360/50, a general purpose computer with 24-bit addressing capability of processing data items of 32 bits, 64 bits or 15 decimal digits; and it seemed possible that graphics displays might be provided. The availability of the first generation of medium scale integrated circuits from Texas Instruments allowed a team, including Gordon Rose, Murray Allen and Trevor Pearcey, to develop the programmable, multi-user INTERGRAPHIC.

Douglas Engelbart demonstrated his system of keyboard, keypad, mouse and windows at the Joint Computer Conference, San Francisco, in 1968. Conclusively, he showed the use of a word processor, hypertext system and remote collaborative work with colleagues.

@ IS THE LOCATION

In 1969, UNIX was developed at Bell Laboratories by Thompson and Ritchie.

The first email message was sent by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson across the ARPANET network, the precursor to the Internet, in 1971.  As the inventor of email, the application that launched the digital information revolution, Tomlinson was also responsible for choosing @ as the locator symbol in electronic addresses.

Xerox Alto, 1973, produced the first bitmapped graphics, the first mouse and the Ethernet network protocol which has dominated networking for the past three decades. Work began on the protocol later to be called TCP/IP, which was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA. This new protocol was to allow diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other.

>> ACS Milestones; The Australian, November 6, 2001. Change in editorial, Frank Morris.

First email. The first email message sent in 1971. The Machine. The first email computer.


 

THE WILD FRONTIER! ANNIE OAKLEY – SHE COULD NOT MISS

Oakley’s philosophy in life: “Aim at a high mark, and you’ll hit it!”

Adapted by Frank Morris

Known as “little sure shot”, Annie Oakley was the greatest woman rifle shot in the world.

She was born on August 13, 1860, in a log cabin in Darke County, Ohio. By the time she was six she was using a rifle to help hunt food for the family. Her aim was spectacular. She became one of the most highly regarded hunters in the country.

While still in her teens, Annie won a shooting match in Cincinnati against the crack marksman, Frank Butler. Annie then became internationally celebrated; and later, she and Butler were married.

As Frank and Annie, they toured the States in circuses and music hall acts until 1885; they joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

SERIOSLY INJURED

With a rifle, Annie could not miss.

From 30 yards she could hit the end of a cigarette held in Butler’s lips. Once when she was touring in Berlin, she shot a gasper – or cigarette – from Kaiser Wilhelm lips. In 1910, Annie was seriously injured in a train crash.

She recovered. With Butler, Annie continued to tour, giving shooting lessons as well as demonstrations. She passed away on November 3, 1926.

<< The Real McCoy: People behind the names you thought were fiction; Eileen Hellicar. Drawings by Shirley Curzon; Cranbrook Press, Brisbane.

ON GRUARD. Annie Oakley always got the measure of a target!


WHO’S THE THIEF? STRANGER IN THE NIGHT. IS IT HIM … OR HER?

CLASSIC REPEATS: HUMOUR! ONE MINUTE MYSTERY – A STRANGE HOLD-UP!

Professor Fordney: Did you call for help? Mrs Ellison Clark: “No – I was too frightened”.

Adapted by Frank Morris

“It was terrifying experience,” said Mrs Ellison Clark to Professor Fordney. “The most horrible I’ve ever had. I’ve been completely unnerved ever since.”

Fordney interjected: “Naturally, you have been greatly upset. It’s not to be wondered at. A hold-up is an alarming matter, especially for a woman. I’ll ask as few questions as possible. Will you bear with me?”

While he smiled at her nod of assent he did not fail to notice the broken nail of the first finger of otherwise beautifully manicured hands. She drew a handkerchief from her elaborate negligee and covered them.

“Well?” she inquired.

“I understand you were standing outside your dressmaker’s at 3pm, waiting for your chauffeur, when a man slipped up to you, inquired the time, and demanded your money and the jewellery you were wearing. Correct?”
“Yes. That’s what happened.”

“Did you call for help?”

“No. I was too frightened.”

“Did you hand over the valuables or did the robber take them?”

“Why, I gave them to him, I was …”

Fordney interjected: “… Is this list correct?” He pulled from his pocket a piece of paper. “Two diamond bracelets, one emerald pendant, a diamond tiara, two emerald earring, $45 cash, and three diamond rings?”

“That is correct.”

"Did they take them?"

“Were you wearing a wrap?”

“No. It was extremely warm.”

“And your wrist watch?” the Professor asked, looking closely at the woman.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Clark, to take action in the case. But, of course, I know the alleged robbery was a frame-up.”
How did he know?

That the “robbery” was a frame-up was obvious to Professor Fordney. No woman wears that type of jewellery at three o’ clock in the afternoon. After confessing that the hold-up was a fake, Mrs Clark, and the man who conspired with her to obtain money from the insurance company for the alleged theft of her jewels, served a prison sentence.
[Adapted from the Australian Printer, 1904]


CHATTER! FINAL! OUTBACK INTERLUDE BY LES DIXON JNR

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 28 April 17

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