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Number of blogs returned: 61 to 70 records of 284

SHORT STORY: For adults. Adventures of Black Rabbit -- strung up by a vengeful pirate!

“HERE I COME – NEARER AND NEARER,” SAID THE MYSTERY VOICE.

FRANK MORRIS

THE GRAVELY VOICE WAS MORE DAUNTING THAN EVER:  “I’M COMING TO GET YOU! I’M COMING TO GET YOU!” THE INHUMAN VOICE SAID. Below: BLACKIE WAS SCARED. “I WISH, I WISH …”

The voice came from Never-Never Land far, far away. And this time it was louder and more croaky than ever. 

It sounded crankier and crankier. The steel door began to shake and rattle.  The door opened with an loud bang.

“I’m coming to get you, I’m coming to get you!” said the mysterious voice. “And when I do I will torture you like the poor downtrodden creature that you are.”

This scared Blackie. He didn’t know what to do.

He was all tied up – literally. His two paws were shackled. He couldn’t move. He was starting to get nervous … damned, DAMNED nervous. He wanted to cry.

“This was ex-tra-ordinaaaary … DAMNED WELL EX-TRA-ORDINAAAARY!”

A BIT CLOSER

Blackie quickly tumbled from side to side. Then he looked up. He heard a rustle in the trees. It was a bird-like shape that was long as a pelican whose beak was almost touching the ground. And the soldier’s helmet, at an angle on its pointed head, appeared to fall off. But it didn’t move.

“This is ex-tra-ordinaaaary,” said Blackie, who seem to be grappling for words.

Blackie was goggle-eyed as he watched The Bird with the beady eyes, come swooping from the branch and edge up alongside him.

“Hear I come. Nearer, nearer.”

The bird edged a bit closer. The Bird said. “I know, it’s that Voice – it’s from Never-Never Land. It was around when I was last there. Ah, that would have been 1780. Come on, I’ll help you off with these chains then we’ll find that mystery critter.”

“HOLEY MOLEY,” CRIED BLACKIE

“We’re almost the same age! This is ex-tra-ordinaaaary!”

“Ex-tra-ordinaaaary!” bellowed The bird. The he dislodged his soldier’s military bag with his capacious beak and proceeded to look for his screwdriver and the mystery looking manipulator that could wreak havoc on anyone’s poor body.

The Bird moved towards Blackie, who tried to back away. He remembered he could not move – hook, line and sinker. Suddenly, The Bird grabbed one paw, there was a whirring sound; then he grabbed the other paw, more whirring sound; then he was free!

”Holey moley,” cried Blackie, “this is ridiculous. Is it ovvvvvvver yet?”

“There you are,” said The Bird, smiling. “I had you done in five seconds. There’s not a mark on you. Now, let’s tackle that mystery voice.

The Bird packed up his gear and was about to fly off to far-away Never-Never Land when suddenly he looked around. He saw Blackie’s ears sticking up behind the tree. And the mystery voice was nearly on top of him.

“I’ve got you, I’ve got you,” garbled the voice, “I’ve going to deal with you like the downtrodden creature you are!”
“Help, help,” cried Blackie. “Help me, or I’m a gonna.”

“Out you come Blackie,” begged The Bird. “It’s only the mechanical voice by the man I told you about. lt gets louder when it gets nearer – supposedly. Come on, I’ll show you the mechanism and the bloke behind it.”

CONTINUED NEXT WEEK.


FILM FESTIVAL: Silence is golden and people sat spellbound!

FRANK MORRIS

TRIBUTE: YOU’LL SEE THE CHARLIE CHAPLIN ANNIVERSARY FILM.  Below: RIN TIN TIN KEEPING GUARD ON A POPULAR SILENT FILM STAR.

For the “Silver Screen” they had a bevy of super people who made over a thousand silent movies. The silent movies started with the making of Soldier of the Cross in 1900.

Then it began to gather moment after The Story of the Kelly gang was shown. And, in 1913, the Australia industry has flourished.00

From 1920, Raymond Longford’s famous Sentimental was released 1919. Here a few them: Mutiny of the Bounty, The Far Paradise, The Romantic story of Margaret Catchpole, Peter Vernon’s Silence, The Kid Stakes, For the Term of His Natural Life, The Christian, The Fatal Wedding, Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Sweet Nell of Old Drury, Dawn, the story of Edith Cavell … and a thousand more.

Then the ‘talkies’ came.

ADVERSITY

Chaplin, a Charlie Chaplin anniversary tribute, made in 1992, captures all of Chaplin’s impoverished London upbringing with extraordinary success.

At the start of his career, Chaplin unveiled the persona of the Littler Tramp in 1914. “In reaction to the chase comedies,’’ said a newspaper, “made popular by Mack Sennet’s Keystone Studios.” Most of them starred the Little Tramp alongside his struggles and pathos and adversity.

<< Australia’s Silent Film Festival, at the State Library of NSW, will host at various nights between January and March a film festival which will show the following line-up: A restored silent Sherlock Holmes, the first features made, Australians on the Silent Screen, a tribute to Charlie Chaplin, Rin-Tin-Tin, Peter Pan and more.
Ozsilentfilmfeatival.com.au


FRANK MORRIS COMING ATTACTIONS

ARTBEAT – A NUMBER OF ARTISTS HAD THE TALENT TO EARN GREAT MONEY AND A CERTAIN FAME FROM THEIR EFFORTS. OUR FIRST CONTENDER IS ADOLF HITLER, WHO WAS A MILDLY REASONABLE ARTIST IN GERMANY. AFTER HE DIED, A PILE OF CARTOONS WITH “A.H” SIGNATURE ON THEM, WAS DISCOVERED. A HUGE INVESTIGATION WAS PURSUED. COMING IN FEBRUARY.


THE CHAMPS: The legend who could not be beaten at billiards

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE EXPERT: LINDRUM A GIFTED PLAYER. Below: THE BOOK DR JANNE LINDRUM WROTE ABOUT HER FATHER’S LIFE.

Legendary Horace Lindrum has been dubbed the ‘greatest” billiard player in the world. With this view in mind the author Dr Janne Lindrum has written an account of her father’s life. The book, The Uncrowned King, tells widely of her father and his career.

“If there’s one thing you do in your life, you must write your father’s story,” a creative writing Professor said to Dr Lindrum.

Lindrum was an incredibly “gifted” player, who during his career scored a number of world record breaks and is the only player in history to have notched up and recorded 1000 snooker centuries in public performance.

Lindrum also held the Australian professional snooker and billiards titles for 33 years. The Second World War interrupted Lindrum’s career. “But when he returned to Britain after the war, he was at height of his powers,” Dr Lindrum.

WON TITLE, BUT BLIND

He went on to beat then world professional billiard champion Clark McConachy to win the world championship in 1952. In 1949, he was declared technically blind.

This wasn’t bad for a player who debuted in the Professional Billiards League in 1928. Lindrum remained undefeated until his retirement from competitive tournaments in 1957.

He was born in Kalgoorlie, WA, in 1898, and educated briefly at St Francis Boys’ School, Darlinghurst, NSW. He was a talented billiard player and he used to practice in his father’s billiard halls as a boy.

He was hailed as the “Bradman of billiards” – Lindrum coached Bradman in the 1930s -- and was buried at Surfers Paradise, Queensland, in 1960. He was later buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery “beneath a marble billiard table.”

<< Background for this story was garnered from Senior News; Frank Morris; The Uncrowned King by Dr Janne Lindrum.


MURRUMBEENA MYSTERY: What do the people think about their new station?

FRANK MORRIS

It’s been a mystery since the day it started. After it began to take shape, it was still a mystery. A few weeks ago, the wrappers were taken off the mystery monster. The full site was revealed. It’s Murrumbeena’s round-shaped railway station. There it is, it’s sitting there, rounded and glittering in the afternoon sunshine. I was under the impression that the final result was to mark the coming of a project from another century. Hmmm!

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

REMEMBER WHEN: Aged Care -- Using nostalgia for good means a lot

NOSTALGIA, JUST LIKE SONGS OF LONG AGO, ARE HELPING TO REJIG THE PAST AND GIVE IT A SENSE OF MEANING.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

MEANS TO AN END: NOSTALGIA HAS BEEN FOUND TO CONNECT WITH THE PAST. Below: GET INVOLVED WITH A TASK THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. YOU WILL LOOK BACK ON IT WITH RICH MEMORIES LATER.

The word is ‘nostalgia’. People know what it is. They know what a disturbance it can cause the mind. Nearly everybody’s got a touch of it.

To explain ‘anticipatory nostalgia’ means later you will be able to look on it with rich memories.

The writer of this interesting article has many fine things to say about this flashback. He points out that nostalgia therapy has done a lot of “good” for aged care.

According to the writer, “nostalgia has been found to connect us to our past. It helps give each of our lives a sense of meaning.”

HANG OUT

Here what the writer says about …
On academics:

“There are things which academics have discovered when studying the concept of nostalgia and its effect on our emotional responses to different forms of memory-triggering stimuli. The feelings that nostalgia creates will also be familiar to you.

“They can be as unique to us personally as people we used to know and places we would hang out; or as universal as the songs and other popular culture … that we lived through.”

On songs:

“In fact, music is one of the powerful memory triggers that we know of. Musical nostalgia is also the reason some radio stations exist.”

“Deliberately thinking of a happy memory, or listening to some songs from your past, is something you can consciously do to give yourself an occasional pick-me-up.

COME TO TERM

On the symptoms.

“Nostalgia has also been found to have a different level of effect on different people. Also, for some – especially through middle age – it can make them more acutely aware of their real age if they haven’t already come to terms with that thought.

“You also need to avoid wallowing in nostalgia … is has a measurable effect on the reward centre of your brain. There is a reward in cutting back when overused.”

On politicians.

That politicians can trigger certain memories to provoke social and cultural anxieties, and thereby use it a tool of persuasion to get your vote. Therefore, be smart enough to realise they are rarely appealing to the intelligence of the public.

They are instead appealing only to your emotional responses. And you shouldn’t let them con you that way.

<< Background for the article can be found in Fairfax Community Newspapers.


MUSICAL: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – It’s inside Roald Dahl’s magical world!

CHARLIE BUCKET IS NOW IN HIS ELEMENT. WHEN HE STEPS INTO THIS CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY THE SONGS AND THE MAGIC ARE STILL THE SAME. THOSE WHO SEE CHARLIE IN ACTION, WILL DELIGHT. LET’S TAKE A PEEK.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Like children everywhere, Charlie Bucket adores chocolate but, sadly, his family is so poor that they can only afford to buy him one bar a year; on his birthday. What make poor Charlie’s longing even worse? He has to walk near the best chocolate factory in the world -- the secretive Willy Wonka’s, every day.

When Charlie’s father loses his job, things go from bad and worse.

One day, Willy Wonka announces that he has hidden golden tickets in five Wonka Bars, with the prize of a tour of the factory for the five lucky winners. The sales of Wonka Bars rockets, Wonka-mania encircles the globe.

WILDEST DREAMS

And one by one the tickets are found: But there is still one golden ticket to find. Charlie’s desperation to be able to buy Wonka Bar and hopefully find the final golden ticket is a feeling that all children (and their parents) know.

The interior of the chocolate factory is magical. It’s themed rooms, amazing chocolates and sweets, the Oompa-Loompas and, of course, Willy Works himself. Oompa-Loompas are like some surreal Greek chorus as they regularly break into verse to comment on the children’s misbehaviour.

Roald Dahl shows a deep understanding of how children feel and think. The moral message is strong; it is beyond any child’s wildest dreams.

<< Adapted from 501 Must-read Books; 2006; Octopus Publication Limited, London.

Frank Morris comments: Don’t miss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and step inside Roald Dahl’s magical world. Hear songs from the original film, including: Pure Imagination, The Candy Man and I’ve got a Golden Ticket. See Willy Wonka as you never experienced him before! Get ready for the Oompa-Loompas and incredible inventions. From January 8, Capitol Theatre, Campbell Street, Haymarket. Contact: ticketmaster.com.au


FRANK MORRIS’S COMING ATTRACTION

FEBRUARY: It’s our start of the year. There are many features in store for you! The brand new Blackie’s Adventures. Blackie falls into of a lair of 16th century pirates, headed by Captain Flapdoddle of the good ship The Flying Trap. The ‘good ship’ is a bit of a mystery. Next to Flapdoddle, the scariest pirate in the Kingdom, comes a lot new friends we encounter along the way.


FILM GREATS: Jedda was classified as one of the greatest Australian movies ever made!

JUDITH ADAMSON    Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

ONLY THE FEET TELL THE STORY: THE CRINKLING OF SAND AND GRAVEL UNDER HIS FEET TOLD THE OUTCOME OF THIS  LEGENDARY MYTH. THE GIRL REMAINED CALM. Below: GOOD JOB, SAYS ELSA CHAUVEL.

Jedda was Charles Chauval’s last film. After Jedda, Chauvel made thirteen episodes of an outback series called Australian Walkabout for the BBC. He died in Sydney in 1959. He was 88. There are other film-makers which operate in his territory but none can take his place.

When it was released, Jedda was the first feature to be made in colour; and it was a highly interesting film indeed.

Jedda, an Aboriginal girl, is played by Ngarla Kunoth. She is brought up as the daughter of a highly-strung, strictly conventional wife of a Northern Territory station owner. Jedda leaves her cosy place of safe existence and heads for the comfortable arms of her stockman boyfriend.

Unfortunately, Jedda never arrives. She is kidnapped by an older stranger passing through the station, Robert Tudawali. The story on one level is a simple adventure where the main characters are Aborigines.

On another level, from the moment the screen explodes in fire and shouting and galloping horses, that the girl is hurried away. It becomes ominous that the patternb is shifting.

SENSATIONAL

The circumscribed “respectable” life she was leading was indeed being presented critically; that all the magnificent settings and colour and action, and Tudawali’s stunning personality, are adding up to a film about living fully and taking the consequences.

Probably, there is none of his other films that shows quite clearly Chauvel’s sheer film-making ability; the quality which informed the bare outlines of a plot with a meaning that the audience instinctively responds to.

Jedda was released in 1955.

<< Adapted from Judith Adamson’s Australian Film Poster 1906-1960.

Frank Morris comments: Film historian, Judy Adamson, passed away on August 2. 2013. Ms Adamson was 80 years old. Ms Adamson won several distinctive awards, including the Ken G. Hall Preservation Awards in 2002. Ms Adamson was a unique, uncompromising woman whose dry humour and passionate commitment made people instantly warm to her.


Street photography: Walking or standing still you’ll probably come to a street snapper!

A FLASHBACK TO 1930-1950 – PHOTO SNAPPERS WERE ON EVERY STREET CORNER. THEY CREATED A VAST ARCHIVE OF BLACK-AND-WHITE CANDID, POSTCARD-SIZE IMAGES. THE MUSEUM OF SYDNEY PRESENTS “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY” AS AN EXHIBITION EXPLORING THE HEYDAY OF THIS ONCE POPULAR GENRE OF PHOTOGRAPHY.

FRANK MORRIS

STREET SNAPPERS: THE POPULARITY OF STREET PHOTOGRAPERS AT THEIR HEIGHT PRODUCED OVER 10,000  PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT THEIR SNAPS. 

This day, as I remember, I am perched up in bed reading a Biggles book. The door suddenly burst open and Aunty Leah rolled in. I jump to attention by surprise, not by fear.

“Right oh, Frankie! (Gee, I can’t stand that name!) Out of bed and into the shower. Nana, you and I are tripping off to city and we’ll have lunch at David Jones.”

“Can I have my photo taken by one of the blokes,” I butted in. “Of course. We’ll all have a picture taken,” said Aunty Leah. At 10.30 that day, we found a bloke who had new camera around his neck. He said OK, “pick your position.”

GLIMPSE OF A CITY

“There are you, happy!” said Aunty Leah. “I’ll pick up the picture next week.” She did just that. The pictures were beautiful to look at.” I did, just looked.

That was the third time I had a ‘picture’ taken by ‘a street photographer’; the other occasion was when I saw a show at Mark Foys department store.

There were people from all walks of life -- the Depression, WW11 and the postwar years. More the 1500 images have been contributed.

“A total of 250 images from people’s family albums form the basis of the exhibition,” said the curator. “Armed with small portable cameras and positioned in key places around the city, the photographers caught pedestrians unaware.

“They were going mid-stride, talking or deep in thought as they went about their day. The public loved it.”

The street photographers gave a fleeting moment of what it was like to spend a day in the city.

<< Museum of Sydney, cnr Phillip and Bridge Street. Open daily 10am-5pm.


SHIP AHOY: HMS ENDEAVOUR TO TAKE PART IN AN A EPIC VOYGE OF THE PACIFIC.

BITS & PIECES … EPIC VOYAGE: HM Bark Endeavour, a replica of James Cook’s ship in which he found New Holland (Australia), will circumnavigate Australia to mark 250 years since that famous voyage of the Pacific will be under way in 2020. The Bark Endeavour was started in 1988 and launched in 1993. She has been 25 years at sea. MATESHIP: A US Embassy-type letterhead, one of the many it has, is called MATESHIP, has been sent by a friend. It constitutes friendship, loyalty, solidarity -- Mateship


TIMES PAST: Darcy Dugan in hospital “morose and silent”

 

This year is 1952. Darcy Dugan was brought from Grafton Gaol to Long Bay and lodged in that gaol hospital. Dugan has made more escapes from gaol and lock-ups than any NSW prisoner.

He has been on a hunger strike since last November. He is serving a life sentence for an armed hold-up. Should officials find that his life is endangered then a doctor would have him fed forcibly?

<< Background from the SMH.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL. KEEP SMILING. KEEP HOPING. YOU MAY BE SURPRISED!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 24 January 19

P.L. TRAVERS: She created the book called Mary Poppins and myriads of other bestsellers

APART FROM SELLING HER BOOKS IN THE MILLIONS, PUBLISHERS WERE ASKING FOR THEM TO BE TRANSLATED INTO DOZENS OF LANGUAGES.

FRANK MORRIS

TAKE 2: EMILY BLUNT, IN MARY POPPINS RETURNS. Below: P.L. TRAVERS AND WALT DISNEY HAD A ‘FALLING OUT’ OVER THE DATE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD PREMIERE. WHO WAS RIGHT? Below: P.L. TRAVERS RELAXES.

I wrote a short piece on “Biddy” Moriarty, the sister of P. L. Travers, called My Sister a Writer*. In it, “Biddy” said, she went to live in England in the thirties. She changed her name. And she had been very successful.

Not thinking on my feet, I was lured away from asking who it was. On reflection, she would have told me. Yet again, she probably wouldn’t have. I realise, I had missed the scoop of the ages.

When we first met it was 1963. I kept all my notes of the ‘Biddy’ interview. I will publish it again someday.

That was the only comment she made about her estranged sister, the internationally famous author Pamela Lyndon Travers, in my presence. The world knew her as P.L.Travers, author of the Mary Poppins adventure stories, but hardly anyone realised that she was an Australian.

In his history of Australian children’s literature, Maurice Saxby writes that her books “were so thoroughly English in tone” they cannot be considered Australian.

But it is the opinion of Queensland writer John Moran, who was researching the early life of P.L.Travers, that the author’s “memories and experiences in Australia contributed to the characters.”  Which is, really, a much more balanced perspective.

The fact that the ambitious and talented 24-year-old Travers decided to make her home in England, where she eventually was to gain fame and fortune, did not sit well with Barbara “Biddy” Moriarty (nee Goff).

EMBARRASSING EPISODES

I got the impression that “Biddy” felt her sister had turned her back on the family.  In a sense she had.

In 1964 Travers and Mary Poppins were in the news. The Walt Disney film, which was about to be premiered in Hollywood, had culminated in a falling out between the “irascible” Travers and Disney himself.

Disney did not want her rubbing shoulders with the movie kingdom glitterati. It was to prove an embarrassing episode for the author and her publishers, Harcourt Brace, but that is a story for another time.

In 1963 Travers spent two weeks in Australia.  It was her first visit home in forty years.  And her last.

In her biography of P.L.Travers, Valerie Lawson writes that Travers (was) to “find “Biddy” and (her sister) Moya living like a couple of maiden aunts…Pamela refused to give their names to a reporter…as “they wouldn’t care for publicity.”

“I DECLARE THE BRIDGE OPENED…”

In the early 1920s, “Biddy” had married Boyd Moriarty.  Intentionally or otherwise, “Biddy” let it drop in one of our conversations that Moriarty had been a member of the New Guard, a paramilitary organisation set up by Eric Campbell, and was present on that fateful day when Captain Francis de Groot ‘opened’ the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported at the time that “de Groot caused a sensation when he rode his horse up to the ribbon…and slashed it through with his sword, shouting “on behalf of decent and loyal citizens of New South Wales I declare this bridge open.”

Moriarty was killed in World War II.  “Biddy” then went to live with her other sister, Moya.  She died in 1979.  Writes Lawson: “Pamela left no record – in a poem, letter or note of any kind – of her feelings about the death.”

There is a particular family snapshot in Lawson’s book of “Biddy”, Moya and Lyndon (Pamela) taken at their home in Bowral in 1915.  What is most noticeable in the photography was Biddy’s plaited pigtail, which hung almost half-way down her back.

SHE WAS DEDICATED

When she died, aged 96, in April 1996, Pamela Lyndon Travers, born Helen Lyndon Goff, was recognised as one of the most successful writers of the twentieth century.  Apart from selling in the millions, her books were translated into dozens of languages.

When she arrived in England Travers wrote for a variety of magazines.  She began to write Mary Poppins a few years later when she was recovering from an illness.

At the time she was living in an old thatched manor house in Sussex and, as she recalled in Hugh Anderson’s The Singing Roads, “the countryside spread out all around, it was full of history and legend.”

But according to Travers, she always thought Mary Poppins “came solely to amuse me.” Later she was encouraged by a friend to put some of the adventures of the nursemaid extraordinaire and the Banks children “into a book.”

The first book, Mary Poppins, eventually appeared in 1934; hard on it heels was Mary Poppins Came Back in 1935.

For people searching for autobiographical facts, Travers explains that “Mary Poppins is the story of my life.”

In The Singing Roads, she writes: “I never for one moment believed that I had invented her.  Perhaps she invented me and that is why I find it so difficult to write autobiographic notes.

It is not the facts of anyone’s life that tell you about (that person).  It is the feelings, the inner events; and if you want to find the truth about any author you look for him in his books.  They alone are the (author’s) true autobiography.

Over the years I lost touch with Biddy.  While I valued the quality of her friendship I sensed somehow that it was not one to be imposed on.

<< Grand Years; Australian Book Collector.

Frank Morris comments:

“Mary Poppins is the story of my life,” P.L. Travers explains. This line was probably a shock for the ardent “autobiographical” fact hunters. The delightful fantasy, said the reviewer, takes the two English children, minded but a strict by wonderful nanny, on a magical and powerful series of adventures.

Julie Andrews, in her film debut, is splendid in the title role. It is packed with charm and energy. Dick Van Dyke, who starred with Andrews, does not falter in the movie. The film won the Academy Award for Andrews.
The reviewer said of this film, that the children from wealthy backgrounds also need love and attention to make them truly happy.

Mary Poppins Returns has got a lot to live up to. There is more I want to say about the film. I’ll watch it first.

*I’ll look through my dungeon of files and see if I can locate it.


INSIDE OUR PAPERS: The bombing of Pearl Harbour. It’s fading into history, said editorial

THE ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE LOOKS AT HISTORY, PEARL HARBOUR AND THE KIDS AT SCHOOL, AND DISCOVERED THAT IT’S FADING INTO THE DISTANT PAST. IT SOUNDS LIKE ANCIENT DISORDER.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

WHEN SMOKE DIDN’T GET IN YOUR EYES: MEN ARE CAPTIVATED WHEN THEIR AIRCRAFT AND OTHER SURROUNDINGS BILLOW IN SMOKE.  “WAR”, SAID, THE HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN. Below: “JAPAN DECLARED WAR; BATTLESHIP OKLAHOMA LEFT ABLAZE”, REPORTED THE DAILY MAIL, UK.

December 7, 1941. A date that was going to live in infamy is now fading into history. Those who can remember where they were when they heard the news on the family radio becomes fewer each year. The generation that survived the Great Depression, and won the Second World War, is fast receding into the past.

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbour must sound like ancient history to the kids in school nowadays. After all, the Japanese are our friends now. What’s all this talk about a war with Japan?

Well, kids, read your history books. There was time when the term “Japanese” struck fear in an American; so much so that “we the people” gathered up Americans with Japanese backgrounds and put them put them in camps – right here in Arkansas.

As if our fellow Americans were sworn enemies; and just because they had exotic last names and dark hair. Those were different times, but oddly familiar.

WORLD TROUBLES

By 1941, Europe and Asia has been embroiled in conflict for some time. But we were assured that the world’s troubles need not be ours. (Sound familiar?) After all, there were oceans to protect us from the bad guys. (Sound familiar?)

It all sounded assuring enough. But, what were we to do when the world’s problems came to America?

The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning December 7. In a few hours, more than 2300 Americans were lost and a good part of the American fleet wiped out at Pearl Harbour. We shouldn’t have been surprised. But, of course, we were!

What happens when the monster comes in search of us? As a wise man once commented, to every complex question there is always a simple answer – and the wrong one.

Remember Pearl Harbour. And learn from it.

<< Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December, 2018.


REMEMBER WHEN: A flight from Brisbane to Sydney cost seven pounds           

ERNEST HEMINGWAY ONCE SAID “WE ALL HAVE A NEW GIRL AND HER NAME IS NOSTALGIA.”

PAUL SCOTT

WEEKEND AT THE MOVIES: WATCHING THE 3D VERSION OF HOUSE OF WAX “WAS LIKE SPENDING AN HOUR ON THE RACK”, SAID ONE CRITIC. Below: THE FAMOUS MICKEY MOUSE WATCH. NOSTALGIA IS ALIVE AND TICKING

Many years ago, Newsweek magazine came to the realisation that nostalgia was here to stay.

“Nostalgia is more than seasonal,” declared the magazine. “The vogue for the old is a full-blown phenomenon that is sweeping the world.”

In the 1990s, I am happy to report, nostalgia is alive and ticking like a Micky Mouse watch. Best-selling Alvin Toffler(Future Shock, etc) believes “the tremendous wave of nostalgia mirrors a psychological lust for a simpler, less turbulent past.”

Maybe. In rosy retrospect, they were years of cockeyed optimism. Maybe, as Webster says, it is “an abnormal yearning” to want to return to those irrecoverable days of yesteryear.

Or is it?

In any case, it does no harm to remember when …

WRIGLEY’S chewing gum promised to “aid indigestion.”

A FLIGHT from Brisbane to Sydney cost seven pounds ($14) and took 5 hours.

HEARNE’S Bronchitis Cure was “the best for the chest.”

ON THE RACK

SHELL oil boasted that it was “as modern as the moment.”

WILL ROGERS and Janet Gaynor strutted their stuff in the film, State Fair.

A GENTLEMAN’S home” with tennis court and spacious rooms cost 850 pounds ($1700).

STATE EXPRESS cigarettes promised they could change a man’s personality. “Watch those lips relax when he draws the first puff,” an advertisement said.

HUMPHREY Bogart, as Rick in Casablanca (1943), said: “You played it for her. You can play it for me! If she can stand it, I can. Play it.” Usually, but wrongly, remembered as “Play it again, Sam!”

WE donned those funny cardboard-framed Polaroid glasses to watch Hollywood’s new 3-D movies, House of Wax and Bwana Devil. “Watching the House of Wax was rather like spending an hour and a half on the rack,” said one critic.”

<< The author used to write for Airlines Magazines and umpteenth newspapers and magazines. There’ll be some more Scott along the way.


VIEW FROM THE TOP: ONLY BIG WIGS GO THE ROYAL BOX OF MILAN’S LA SCALA.  UNDER: MARILYN MONROE EYEING THE PUBLIC DOING THEIR THING.

SCENES FROM ABOVE: Famous backdrops for those more notable than us!

FRANK MORRIS

A SCENE TO BE ADMIRED. If you’re looking for some of the bigwigs that come from the world of politics or foreign dignitaries then your port of call will be the royal box of Milan’s La Scala. Otherwise, your next step, according to Cornelia Kumfert of Reader’s Digest, will be “you either need to book a guided tour of the famous opera house. Or an invitation from the Italian president”. The opulent royal box “is reserved” for those type of guests.

FROM WHERE TO BE ADMIRED FROM. The balcony of this hotel in New York certainly leaped into a distinguished mode when a movie star made her presence known.  The place was the Ambassador Hotel. The star? Marilyn Monroe. The story is that the “future icon” wanted to shake the “dumb blonde” type of movies and the world like to see her as a serious actor.

<< Based on Balcony Scenes, Reader’s Digest.

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

FOODFROLICO: ‘Bootleg’ liquor makes a good drink for the New Year!

TWO MEN HAD A DREAM!

FRANK MORRIS

GIN MAKERS: WES HEDDLES (LEFT) AND ADAM CARPENTER DUG DEEP INTO THE AMERICAN PAST AND STRUCK THE ‘BOOTLEG’ PERIOD FROM THE 1920s. THE IMAGES OF THE PROHIBITION-ERA ROCKED THEM SO MUCH, THEY MADE PROHIBITION GIN. Below: PROHIBITION GIN AND BEHIND IT A BOOTLEGGER OF THE 1920s.

Having a dream can often bring wonderful thoughts.

A dream that harnesses the spirit of the Prohibition era is a case in point. Two Adelaide men had the world thrust upon them to enter onto the liquor stage. The call was: make a soft, smooth gin as soon as you can.

And the story goes, within three years, Adam Carpenter and Wes Heddles have won 26 international awards for a gin they started to make. Mind you, not unlike bootleggers of the past, in a suburban backyard.

Carpenter and Heddles began producing gin as a passion project. Their pride and joy, Prohibition Liquor, was born.

THE MYSTIQUE OF GIN

Both men loved the mystique of the Prohibition era in the United States. A constitutional ban, which saw bootleggers “do their thing”, prohibited the making and selling alcohol ran from 1920 to 1933.

When people went into speakeasies, barriers broke down. It didn’t matter whether you were black, white, male, female – everyone united by one cause: as simple as drinking. Adelaide Hills spirit maker, Brendan Carter, was briefed, in part, to “create the best martini gin going around”.

With shades of bootlegging past, the bottling and distribution operation began in March 2015, in Carpenter’s garage.

Bottles are shaped like an oversize glass hip flask, with a label that has shadowy images of the Prohibition era. It’s a combo that really works.

INVISIBLE GIN PUNCH

700 ml gin, 450 ml fresh pineapple juice. 240 ml lemon juice. 500-700 ml ginger beer. Pineapple and lemon slices to garnish.

METHOD

Add gin, pineapple and lemon juices to a punchbowl with large blocks of ice. Top up with ginger beer to taste. Garnish with pineapple and lemon slices. Serve in a rocks glass with ice.

<< Frank Morris use the background of the story published in SMH.


AUSSIE POEMS: Always let a birdie say, “See you at the wishing well”!

NEW YEAR GREETINGS

A birdie chirping at my ear,

Said, “I’ll let you see the wishing well,

Then to the well your wishes tell”

I’ve had three wishes, one for you,

So you’ll find joy and gladness too;

And Lady Hope with you shall stay

To bring you sunshine every day.

I hope my friend that you shall find

That elusive peace of mind;

And so I’ve done my best you see,

To bring a year of joys to you.

BERYL THOMPSON

<< A former buyer of Myers. Poetry writing has been with her since she was a small girl.  Picture: Always let a birdie sing.


Great Kiwi First: Mark Twain called New Zealand “Paradise found”!

FRANK MORRIS

PARADISE: NEW ZEALAND IS A LENSMEN’S TREASURE TROVE: WONDEROUS RIVERS, SNOWY GRANDEURS AND MIGHTY GLACIERS. Below: MARK TWAIN’S BOOK, FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR.

In the late 1800s, US author Mark Twain was perhaps the first international literary luminary to visit and publicise New Zealand. Twain found the “land of superb scenery” irresistible.

He wrote about the snowy grandeurs, the mighty glaciers and “beautiful lakes”.

The fiords were, he wrote, “wonderous rivals” to those found in Norway and Alaska. After his historic sojourn, Twain expostulated that “our stay has been too brief; still, we are not unthankful for the glimpse which we have had of it.”

First travel agent to cash in on New Zealand as an “exotic” travel destination was believed to be Thomas Cook and Son. The first government-backed tourism promotion organisation, the Tourist and Publicity Department, was established in 1901.

Through its NZ and international network, the department’s role was to promote New Zealand to the world. Now called Tourism New Zealand, it is reputed to be the oldest bureau of its kind in the world.

As in the case of Mark Twain, the editors of Time magazine were overwhelmed by the visually stunning beauty of New Zealand. In its first cover story on NZ in 1977, Time rhapsodised about the country being “a photographer’s paradise … one of the world’s most beautiful nations.”

VELEVET HILLS, VALLEYS

Expounds Time: “Until 1973, New Zealand seemed to be a sanctuary … unpolluted, almost undiscovered.” The magazine informed its global readership of the “extravagant” beauty of the country.

“The velvet green hills and valleys; white snow draped peaks; and streams with trout as big as a man’s arm.”

While Twain was scouting around New Zealand, he decided to make Australia his next stop. Twain, then aged 60, visited the Great Southland , in 1895. For three months, he summed up our history wryly.

“It’s almost always picturesque,” he wrote. “Indeed, it is so curious and strange, that it is itself the chiefest novelty the country has to offer; and so it pushes the other novelties into second and third place.

It does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies. And all of a fresh new sort, no mouldy old stale ones; it is full of surprises and adventures and incongruities, and incredibility’s; but they are all true, they all happened.”

This South Pacific paradise attracts tens of thousands of international visitors each years. Mark Twain happened to be on of first!             

FRANK MORRIS COMMENTS: TO COME ACROSS MARK TWAIN, IT’S HARD TO REALISE THAT HE WAS AT THE FOREFRONT OF FRONTIER WESTERN JOURNALISM -- THE CALIFORNIA TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE IN 1863. WHEN YOU PUT THAT UP AGAINST THE MARK TWAIN WHO’S ROUGHING IT IN THE THICK OF GOD’S COUNTRY, NEW ZEALAND, IT IS LIKE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A DIFFERENT FELLOW. BUT, NO, THEY’RE THE SAME: BUSHY AUBURN MOUSTACHE AND THE EYES OF A WOLF. HE WROTE ABOUT IT, WITH SAME INKLING THAT HE WAS A REPORTER COVERING MURDERER’S ROW AND ALL THE EXCITEMENT THAT WENT WITH IT. TWAIN WROTE OVER 25 BOOKS, AND THE ONE ON THE ENTERPRISE WAS ONE OF THEM.

  << Grand Years, 11 years ago.


CARRIGEWORKS: Nick Cave’s special art is immersive in spaces and experiences!

BAUBLES, BAUBLES!: A STUNNING SCENE OF CRYSTAL CLOUDSCAPE.

MUSEUM magazine said Nick Cave’s “gargantuan” solo show, “UNTIL” at the Carrigeworks, Sydney, took four years in the making, and its originates with a question: “is there racism in heaven?” A litany of works explore this and similar ideas. A show stealer of the exhibition will be Crystal Cloudscape. It is a “scintillating” five tonne sculpture suspended from the ceiling, said the magazine.

As far as WHERE NOW magazine is concerned, Cave’s exhibition addresses “race relations, gender politics and

America’s gun violence through a series of immersive spaces and experiences.”

<< From November 23, 2018 until March 3, 2019.


GET TOGETHER: MR TOAD AND THE REST OF HIS GANG. SEE THE KIDS, AS THE ANIMALS, DO THE SAME THING!

WIND IN THE WILLOWS: When Mole decides to go to the river bank one morning rather than do his spring cleaning, it is the beginning of a magical adventure. The Australian Shakespeare Company brings this immortal story to life. You meet Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, Portly and the famous Mr Toad. Music, songs and laughs for all the family. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Last day is January 27. Tel: 9011 7704.


TASSIES WINES: Try some fancy drinking for the New Year!

FRANK MORRIS

Josef Chromy OAM is instrumental in the Tasmanian food and wine industry. He’s was the owner /developer of some of Tasmania’s leading wineries.

In 1950, Joe fled his worn-torn Czech village as a penniless 19-year-boy after eleven years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. He escaped across borders, guarded by minefields dogs and soldiers, suffering five months of privation before immigrating to Australia.

Josef Chromy Wines is the culmination of Joe’s experience in the Tamar Valley. His 60Ha vineyard property and its unique location offers one of the memorable food and wine experiences in Tassie.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 11 January 19

JAMES EARL JONES: The Great White Hope makes Jones a “great actor”

YES, 1967 WAS A BIG YEAR FOR JAMES EARL JONES. HE STARRED AS JACK JEFFERSON, THE PRIZE-FIGHTER WHO IS PREPARING FOR A CRACK AT THE TITLE. IT WAS 1908. WHEN THE FIGHT CONCLUDES, JEFFERSON BECOMES THE FIRST NEGRO HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN BY MARTIN GOTTFRIED.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE FIRST: JAMES EARL JONES, AS JACK JEFFERSON, WHO BECAME THE “FIRST NEGRO” HEAVYWEIGHT OF THE WORLD. IT WAS A STAGE PART THAT WENT ON TO MAKE HIM THE GREAT MOVIE ACTOR HE TURNED  OUT TO BE. Below: A MATURE ACTOR, JAMES EARL JONES. Below: JEFFERSON WAS BASED ON JACK JOHNSON WHO WAS THE FIRST CHAMPION BACK IN 1908.

WASHINGTON, DC – Howard Sackler had written an extraordinary play. The tremendous production (is) both spectacular and sensitive.

The Great White Hope is probably the most important new American play ever to come out of any resident theatre; and is certainly the most impressive one that I have seen anywhere in a very long time.

It is based … on the career of Jack Johnson, who became the first Negro heavyweight champion of the world on 1908.

Mr Sackler begins the play with Jack Jefferson due to have a crack at the title. The boxing world, the press and the United States are outraged at the likelihood … the retired champion will re-enter the ring to prevent it.

Jefferson is easy-going about the prospective fight. “Been a whole lot of mean talk around here but I’m glad it came down to a plain old scuffle,” Jefferson said.

EPIC WORK

He resents the Negro community’s insistence that a victory will give the race self-respect. “If you ain’t there already, all the boxing in the world ain’t gonna do it for you.” he said.

The play’s episodic structure is as unfortunate as it is necessary. It causes unavoidable moments of blackness, during which momentum is lost. Yet, there are so many scenes – all necessary -- in a long three and a half hour epic work that a director could hardly avoid them.

As for Sackler’s writing, it is regularly magnificent. It ranges from perfect dialects of all kinds of heroism or romance, and is practically always poetry.

A GREAT ACTOR

The humour is high, sometimes giddy, sometimes mocking; and the use of vaudeville techniques … tied the whole thing together with a special sense of high-stepping tragedy.

Sherin handles the enormous cast … with astonishing control and gave James Earl Jones whatever assistance he needed to make Jefferson a figure both heroic and personal -- an awesome task.

In this performance, Jones passed over the line from being a very good actor to being a great one. Though there are no actual boxing scenes, his training ones were powerful.

Shaving his mannerisms as he did his head … he worked with every acting tool under inspired control – vocal technique, physical sense and intellectual understanding.

So the result was great theatre despite whatever weaknesses there are in it.

<< Based on the real-life bout between Jack Johnson and Canadian Tommy Burns that took place in Sydney in 1908. James Earl Jones’ opening night in The Great Hope, Washington DC, in December, 1967. It was soon to appear on Broadway, New York. Women’s Wear Daily, December, 1967.


TIMES PAST: Christmas luxuries: The Emperor Antonius speaks out

I ASK YOU?: WHY WAS HE READY TO SPREAD SUCH CULTURE OUT OF OUR KITCHENS?

This is 1908. The Emperor Antonius reckoned a cucumber is no good if it is bitter, a morning newspaper said. He also asserts to avoid that Christmas turkey if it’s too dear.

Many a frugal housewife would be wondering why some stoic philosopher “would spread this culture” to the kitchen? “For it seems the holiday commodities are to be even more expensive than usual, “opined the morning newspaper.

Poultry, we learn, has risen with too great alacrity to the occasion. The trouble is, we’re told, a shortness of supply. – Frank Morris, using subject matters from SMH.


THE PINBALL GAME: Earliest reference made was to Charles Dickens!

COLOUR-SPLASH PINBALLS, INTRODUCED IN 1931, HAVE BEEN A NATIONAL SENSATION.

HERBERT B. JONES          Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

FURORE: THE NEW PINBALL MACHINES CAUSED MODERN DAY PANIC IN SIDE ONE OF THE ARCADE. Below: TWO BEAUTIES TOGETHER. BUT -- YOU CAN PLAY BALLY’S WIZARD ON THE RIGHT.

The origin in of pinball is lost in antiquity. The earliest known reference to a similar amusement device is in Chapter 14 of Pickwick Papers, published by Charles Dickens in 1836. The narrator describes the Peacock Tavern, where members of the Pickwick Club stopped.

“(They) beguiled their time chiefly with such amusement as the Peacock afforded, which were limited to a bagatelle-board on the first floor.”

The game probably resembled the board, illustrated, which is generally regarded as the ancestor of pinball.
In early 1929, John J. Sloan, an advertising solicitor for Billboard – a magazine which caters for vendors, circuses, carnival and coin-operated machines – observed an adaptation of bagatelle in the basement of his apartment.
The device had been built by the janitor for the amusement of his friends.

The unknown, the unsung inventor of modern pinball utilised the traditional scoring objective of bagatelle – holes or cups in a plain surface with the score-value of each hole prominently displayed.

The basement bagatelle was not coin-operated.

Intent on developing a new source of advertising revenue he put his new discovery into a company to market several coin-operated bagatelle or pinball games.

INTO DEPRESSION

Probably it was because the games were too large for the average location, and too expensive, he was part of an economy already drifting into the depression.

His companies were not successful and soon vanished from the amusement scene. But not before other entrepreneurs shrewdly appraised the enormous potential of coin-operated bagatelle.

“On a gloomy day in October of depression-clouded 1931,” writes a veteran coin-machine historian, “a young businessman, Raymond T. Maloney, persuaded his senior partners to join him in a bold venture. This was, admittedly, after hours of stubborn argument.

A nickel’s worth of cheer

“As result of their decision, a simple but fascinating, colour-splashed pinball game was introduced in America in 193l. By the time 1932 had dawned, under clouds of creaking, dark depression, the rain-bow bright game Ballyhoo was a national sensation.

“Just on 50,000 Ballyhoo were sold in seven months.”

GAVES BRIGHTNESS

The historian continues: “In 1932, the lexicon of locations did not include taverns, but barber shops, restaurants, gasoline stations and other miscellaneous stores and – ‘wherever people congregate’, said the Ballyhoo advertisements – it gave brightness to the otherwise sombre scenes.

“It gave Americans a penny’s worth of escape from worry, a nickel’s worth of cheer in a grim world.”

The slot-machine operators constituted the first market for Ballyhoo. But they were joined by throngs of other citizens on the unemployed list who risked their small savings to invest in Ballyhoo. They decided to embark on a new career of self-employment.

Anyone who could scrape together US$16 or US$160 for a10-game Ballyhoo could be in the market.

Indeed, the slot-machine boom was a mild event compared to the pinball boom a quarter of a century later.

<< Coin-Operated Amusement by Herbert B. Jones. Published by Bally Manufacturing Corp Chicago, USA.


VALE: A period of adventures, devotion and a series that stood out from them all!

FINAL: PENNY COOK – FROM A COUNTRY PRACTICE TILL NOW.

BILL THE BASTARD, the horse that is widely considered one of the finest of Australia’s bred equines to be exported to World War 1. This year, he will be enshrined as an Anzac legend with a life-size bronze statue. We dips our lid.

PENNY COOK, who starred as “Vicky the vet” from the series A Country Practice, died at 61 of cancer. She became the sweetheart of the nation. A Country Practice was said to command a weekly audience close to 8 million people. Of the series she has done, ACP “stood out from the pack.”

THE ONLY ONE: REMEMBERING BILL THE BASTARD. COMMENTATORS HAVE TOLD US HE WAS AUSTRALIA’S ”GREATEST WAR” HORSE.


HAPPY NEW YEAR! COME ON EVERYBODY LET’S DANCE!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 03 January 19

THE OUTBACK AND ALL THAT: Why I loved the inland part of Queensland

FRANK MORRIS

REWARDING: “My association with the Bushies” has always given happiness.” Below: “Without the “Bushies” some of the situations could never have eventuated.”

“After 34 years, I called it a day,” said Sir Sydney Williams. As Chief Executive, of the Queensland-based airline, he’s had the chance to “seek out” some new and exciting destinations. The one that struck him the most was the outback region of the state.

“My association with the ‘Bushies’, the Bush Pilot Airways, has given me happiness of a very rewarding nature! I’ve seen the joys of Outback mums and dads being serviced by a single engine Ausler and Tiger Moth to service 15 cattle stations and Aboriginal Communities in one day.

Homemade airstrips were almost at the front gates, and there was Mrs Hayles of Musgrave Station waiting with tea and scones.

OUTBACK PRIVILEGE

In return, all Mrs Hayles wanted was some link with “the outside world” and “an urgent supply of mail” for the kids who were doing correspondence courses on the popular and easy-to-listen to School of the Air.

“To be associated so closely with people of the Outback is in itself a great privilege. And my love for those people of those vast and open spaces has guided my footsteps for most of my life.”

Sir Sydney William believes that “without the Bushies and its people some situations could never have eventuated.
“Things like these could not be done alone.”

<< Queenslander Magazine of Air Queensland, January 1987.


FILM GREAT: Fatty Finn, comic ‘king’, zooms into film world!

FRANK MORRIS

PIN-UP: POP ORDELL STARRING AS FATTY FINN IN THE KID STAKES. Below: ONE OF THE MANY THEATRES SHOWING THE KID STAKES. Below: FATTY BEING TOLD OFF BY A CRANKY STORE-KEEPER.

“2FC speaking … listen folk! The greatest race of the year is about to start.” It was a billycart derby. An excitable radio announcer was cheering on the goats and riders. This coveted race, critic Judith Adamson says,” earned the film’s racegoers title”.

The first Australian comic strip character to be elevated to film stardom was Fatty Finn. Chief kid-staker Fatty, and his gang of weedy lads, made their debut in Kid Stakes in 1927. “Kid Stakes brings back the Sydney of the 1920s,” said the defunct weekly-pictorial, Pix. “They were all on parade; the ragged urchins, the brawling and the free-fisted characters of the waterfront.” Aside from Fatty, there were Headlight Hogan, Bruiser Murphy, Algie Snoops, and many others, and Hector the goat.

Kid Stakes has been described as “a happy, irreverent piece of suburban Australiana with series of lunatic subplots”.
The film was shot entirely on location at Wooloomooloo, Potts Point and Rockhampton, Queensland, which was a region, at the time, teeming with goats.

Created by Sydney Wentworth Nicholls, Fatty first appeared in the Sunday News in 1923 as Fat and his friends.
Nicholls changed the title to Fatty Finn in 1924.

Kid Stakes, still hailed as “the film that everybody loves”, is today considered somewhat of a classic.
“The director, Tal Ordell, showed unusual skill in translating the new medium of comics into live action film, “writes comic buff and collector John Ryan in his book, Panel by Panel.

NEVER CHANGE STYLE

Nicholls never changed his style of drawing. For fifty years he went on drawing the strip in exactly the same 1920s style, till his untimely death in 1977.

Writes Ryan: “By the late 1920s Fatty Finn had become, perhaps, the most visually pleasing strip in (Australia).
“Nicholls” fine draftsmanship and experimentation with long sweeping panels and tall, column-like frames were complemented by vibrant colouring.”

In the late 1920s, Nicholls published the Fatty Finn Weekly. Containing eight pages and selling for a penny, it is today recognised as the first comic book published in Australia.

Fatty Finn was later published in the Sunday Guardian from 1934. When the Guardian folded the strip re-emerged in 1951 in the Sun-Herald. And there it stayed until May, 1977, when Nicholls died.

The comic was set in the 1930s when times were tough and kids wore hand-me-down clothes.

Monty Wedd, one of Australia’s leading black and white comic artists (Bold Ben Hall, The Making of Australia, Captain Justice), worked with Nicholls in the halcyon days of comic book publishing.

In an interview in 1980, Wedd told me that Nicholls “was a dinky di Australian”.

“He was a real Australian in every way. He just loved his country and everything about it.

“To my mind Nicholls was a legend. And Fatty Finn was the King comic of its day.”

(Fatty Finn was remade in the early 1980s starring Ben Oxenbould as Fatty, Bert Newton, Noni Hazlehurst, Gerard Kennedy and Lorraine Bayly.)

<< Grand Years.


BERNARD LESER: He was the creator of Vogue Australia

FRANK MORRIS

THREESOME: CONDE NAST, CENTRE, WITH DOROTHY PARKER AS HE DISCUSSES SOME OF THE FINER POINTS OF A MAGAZINE FEATURE. Below: THE PERSON WHOSE NAME IS ENGRAVED ON VOGUE AUSTRALIA, BERNARD LESER. Below: FIRST ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA PUBLISHED IN 1964.

The CBD column in the Sydney Morning Herald implied that one of the shareholders of a certain media company was the “founder of Vogue, Bernard Leser.”

Really. No -- He was the FOUNDER of Vogue Australia, the magazine that would eventually become the blue-horse of the fashion world.

In 1959, to put the record straight, Leser established Vogue Australia for the US-based Conde Nast organisation.
The title made its inaugural appearance as a supplement inside the British edition of Vogue.

But as a glitzy title of the 1960s, Leser, it is reported, had a battle with the magazine.

UPMARKET BOY

Leser said readers were primed for a high-quality fashion magazine, but advertisers, propagandised by the influential mass-circulation Women's Weekly and New Idea, didn't realise they were paying for people who weren't interested in up-market merchandise.

The Conde Nast organisation in 1971 threatened to close the magazine. Leser formed a consortium and bought the business from Conde Nast.

By 1989, Leser sold the company back to Nast. The consortium “did well,” Leser said.

Arthur Baldwin Turnure, a New York socialite, founded Vogue in December 1892, as a fashion weekly for “the cultivated and money class.” In other words, the social elite.

The magazine's first editor, Josephine Redding, is credited with choosing Vogue as the title, with the assistance of the Century Dictionary (“the word “vogue” fitted her fledging to a T.”)

CONDE NAST

The entrepreneurial whiz kid Cone Nast (who in 1907, was business manager of Collier's at a salary of $40,000!) became a publisher in 1909 when he bought Vogue, three years after Turnure's untimely death, and turned it into “a synonym for elegance and style.”

When Nast took control Vogue had been published consecutively for 14 years, had a circulation of 14,000 copies and advertising revenue of $100,000 a year.

According to magazine historian, Theodore Peterson, Nast saw in Vogue “a chance to test his theory…that money could be made from a medium which efficiently brought together the buyers and sellers of luxury goods.

When the high-flying New York newspaper publisher Samuel Nowhouse bought 66 percent of Conde Nast publications in 1959 (as a thirty-fifth wedding anniversary present for his wife Mitzi) Vogue's circulation had grown to about 500,000 and its advertising revenues were $8.4 million.

British Vogue started in 1916 when the submarine menace prevented the import of the US edition; and French Vogue started in 1922.

<< Grand Years.


VALE OF TIMES PAST: The King is dead, long live the Queen

SPLASH: KING GEORGE DIED.

The year is 1952. “The King died peacefully in his sleep early this morning.” Before he retired last night, he appeared to be in his usual health. Princes Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, now becomes Queen Elizabeth 11. The Queen is in Kenya and will leave by air for London and is expected to cancel her planned tour. Before the King died, she was expected to sail from Mombasa to Australia and New Zealand. Adapted by Frank Morris.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I HAD ANOTHER AMAZING TWELVE MONTHS. I HOPE YOU DO, TOO?

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 December 18

Aged Care: Woman will make our systems a “one-stop shop”

FRANK MORRIS

ALL-SEEING: JANET ANDERSON WILL MAKE SURE AGED CARE WILL BECOME A “ONE-STOP-SHOP”. Below: A ROLE THAT TAKES IN  ALL THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF THE SYSTEM.

An experienced health sector commissioner has been consigned to Australia’s aged care industry to oversee quality and safety. Ms Janet Anderson will manage the commission as it prepares to start the “intensified compliance monitoring” from January 1.

The report says, “The nation’s first commissioner will lead the new and independent aged care quality safety commission.”

OPERATE ON $300M A YEAR

Ms Anderson’s appointment will usher in a new era for aged care.

The report says, “She will oversee the approval, accreditation, assessment, complaints resolution, monitoring and compliance of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.” The aged care providers will report directly to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.

The commission will operate a budget of almost $300 million across four years, employing dozens of additional senior compliance offecers. The report says, “Unannounced re-accreditation audits, which have been law since July 1, are set to jump from 263 this year to almost 900 in 2019.”


VALE: Scott Dillon – His amazing ride made surf history!

FRANK MORRIS

THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME: DILLON PADDLED OUT GINGERLY TO MEET THE BOMBORA’S “HEAVY”, AS HE PREPARED TO TAKE OFF ON THE MISSION OF TRIUMPH. Below: THE NEWSPAPER WENT AND SPLASHED THE BOMBORA STORY OVER TWO PAGES. Below: SCOTT DILLON.  Below: AN EARLY ‘KILL’ FOR SCOTT DILLON WAS THIS ‘HEAVY’ FROM PANAMA.

He was a larger-than-life character. He was good at driving stock cars, boxer, traveller, adventurer and inventions.  But he would always be a your mate and best buddy. He was a down-to-earth family man.

Scott Dillon, the man who came across as somebody who cannot be destroyed, died peacefully at 9.15 on Tuesday night (December 11.)

He was one of the pioneers of the Australian surfboard industry in 1960.

One of his closest friends was well-known surf photographer Jack Eden. Eden, together with Scott Dillon and Norm Casey, became partners in the surfing magazine Surfabout.

Eden knew what sort of a big-wave rider he really was. At Bare Island, he captured Dillon on a breaking 18-foot wave in 1963. The wave grew in size at an alarming rate, but it was his moment of triumph.

Dillon was the first surfer to crack a huge “death wave” at the Bombora at Botany Bay.*

THE MECCA

But being an expert photo-leman’s, Eden had positioned himself just above Dillon and followed him all the way. That was one, as it turned out, of the “most amazing” rides in surf history.

In a matter of years, he had established a reputation as a top-ranking custom builder.

His factory was located at Brookvale in 1959, but his reputation spread all over Sydney. With legends like Barry Bennett, Gordon Woods and Bill Wallace, Dillon co-founded the Australia surfboard building fraternity during that time.

Brookvale soon became the mecca of the surfboard industry. Dillon could shape any type of board specified by the customers.

In 2004, Dillon was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame.

Dillon was born in 1928. He was 90 when he died.

As Dillon would say, “Surf’s up, have a go,”.

Frank Morris comments: The bombora episode happened when I was editor of Surfabaut magazine in 1963. Surfabout was the only magazine to have the story. It was my first sighting of Scott Dillon. He was definably a brilliant, self-controlled surfer. We did a spread called Bare Island Bares its Teeth, which turned out to be a runaway success. I can still recall what it said: “At last, the spell is broken, as Scott Dillon moves off on the first “heavy” ever ridden at Bare Island.” The Sun newspaper, Sydney, ran the story. I finished working at Surfabout late in 1964. The new publisher had me write the editorial and a brief history of the major surfboard manufacturers in Australia.


REV JOHN FLYNN: Mrs Flynn of the inland prepares for an outback holiday!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

HAVING LUNCH ‘OUTSIDE’: WHAT A DAY? MEMBERS OF THE FLYNN BRIGADE HAVE LUNCH BENEATH A TREE NEAR THE ABODE. AT RIGHT: LOUNGING IN COMFORT, ARE MRS FLYNN AND HER HUSBAND THE REV JOHN FLYNN.  Below: TRYING TO CRANK OUT SOME MESSAGES.

Mrs John Flynn, wife of the Rev John Flynn, said “the Inlanders are cheerful souls … they never complain.” Mrs Flynn prepared to join her husband and umpteen kids back from a city holiday. On her way, she shared the hazards of the natural outback.

“My husband brought a party of children from Trekelano, 40 miles out of Cloncurry, and 1300 miles to Brisbane for a holiday.

“While he was there he suggested to the Education Department that if they would send out a teacher and equipment the people at Trekelano would build a school. I helped him to take the children home. They travelled in the back of the truck.

“We took two weeks over the trip. Rain held us up for three days at Blackall, and two days at Longreach. When we got back the school was built. A surprise for the padre. The children outback are fine specimens, though they never have milk or butter in the summer; and vegetables can only be grown in the winter.

FENCES ARE FEW

“They take so kindly to corned meat that when every few weeks a bullock is killed and they have fresh meat for one day they don’t like it at all. I know the country where our only woman Flying Doctor, Jean White, was lost for some days last year.

“Everything is so flat that the country looks like a faint mist haze from the air. There are no land marks. The Inland is so vast and surprising. I hearda woman outback talk about a ”bit of a holding” that was for sale. I asked how big it was. She said, ‘Three hundred square miles.’

“Fences are few. The cattle are kept together by water bores, but the sheep country does have fences.
“One time up on Cape York Peninsula I saw a man digging post-holes. He said he was helping to fence a paddock. The paddock was 250 square miles.

<< Australian Women’s Weekly, October 21, 1939.

NEXT: After 34 years I’m calling it a day. Sir Sydney Williams talks about what it’s like to live in the outback.


CANBERRA: Australians – look at these facts! Even the national capital will blush!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

HOLY GHOST!: COULD THE NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE IN CANBERRA BE THE GHOSTLIEST PLACE IN AUSTRALIA? IT’S SPINE-TINGLING, DON’T YOU AGREE.

Haunted Halls: The National Film and Sound Archive, according to a local legend, Tim the Yowie Man, is one of the most haunted buildings in Australia. For spine-tingling explorations, walk the halls and look for the intriguing Picnic at Hanging Rock exhibition or be mesmerised by the case of missing Prime Minister Harold Holt, who vanished without a trace in 1967. Oh, Canada, you shouldn’t have: The famous 39-metre, 7 tonne flagpole … at Regatta Point was a gift from Canada to Australia in 1957. The Australian flag flies year-round, except on Canada Day, July 1, when the Maple Leaf is flown. Meeting Place: Canberra means ‘meeting place’. This is derived from ‘Kamberra’ in the language of the Ngunnawal people. Sister Act: One of Canberra’s sister cities is Nara, Japan, which is famous for its ancient shrines, and also for its brief tenure as that nation’s 8th century capital.

<< Time-Out publication.

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME! THERE’S A LOT DO … YOU’VE GOT PEOPLE TO HUG AND GREET, HANDS TO SHAKE AND TO WISH EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 December 18

GAMBLERS: Are you a risk taker? I can’t lose, trust me!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

WATCH OUT!: REMEMBER, IT TAKES ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD TO BECOME A TRUE GAMBLER. SO, HOW DO YOU RATE YOURSELF. Below: IF GAMBLING IS A PROBLEM, SEE YOUR GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS CONSULANT. Below: A BANK OF POKIES CAN BE A PERSON’S WORST ENEMY.

Why do you gamble? If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand. Nothing can compare with the thrill of the big score, or the excitement as you set your mind against your opponent’s.

Both of you trying to bluff, or double bluff; while searching for a clue to what other person is thinking. It’s better than any sport or game because you’re in control – maybe. That sense of chaotic control is really what makes you a gambler!

Just like the games you play, your interest revolves around two concepts: fun and profit. Depending on personal preference – one may dominate your particular style. But there is a daredevil in every gambler.

Gamblers, as a group, lack structure. In fact, most of you are skilful and individualistic. You win respect through skill and style. That means, if you lose it, lose with flash. Unfortunately, if a style is copied, it loses its flair, hence the streak of individuality.

PROBLEM GAMBLERS

Getting into gambling is incredibly easy. At least, that’s what most people would think. In reality, they’re nowhere close to being a true gambler. The second problem is, which few realise, is that you have to win to be a true gambler. This takes SKILL and LUCK.

If you prove that you are of a certain quality, this will allow you entrance into the special room. This is where the true gaming gets under way. It was when your standard bluff and strategies were inadequate that you knew you were finally dealing with opponents of fine calibre. That’s when you knew they had accepted you.

To leave gambling is not easy to do. Gamblers exist on a continuum and most us will fall somewhere on the pathway to: non-gamblers, social gamblers, heavy gamblers, problem gamblers and pathological gamblers.

So – how do you rate yourself?

If you’re a problem gambler, for instance, then this is usually when an individual’s gambling is out of control and it begins to cause personal, social and occupational reasons to become a problem. Deal with the problem and then comes the solution. This will, of course, take time.

ADDICTED TO GAMBLING

If the answer is “yes” to any of these question, you may have a serious problem:

Have you ever tried to cut back or even stop gambling? Have you ever borrowed (or stolen) money; or had a financial predicament as a result of your gambling? Do you feel high when gambling; depressed after losing; anxious or irritable when not able to gamble? Have you felt guilty about your gambling? Has anyone ever told you that you that are addicted to gambling?

The advice you should have been given is: go to your doctor; or go and see a Gamblers Anonymous consultant in your area.

<< Problem Gambling, Griffith University, NSW.


SPECIAL HOME-CARE: Christmas, not Xmas, should be the joyful celebration of the day!

FRANK MORRIS

STOP IT! LET US ABOLISH ‘XMAS’.

Xmas, as a would-be abbreviation for Christmas, does not conjure up in any way the period when Christ was born in Bethlehem. There’s nothing joyful at all about the word. It doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, reflect the spirit, the custom, the celebration, the tradition, or, sadly, the Gospels at Christmas.

Only an insipid (but creative) mind could have been responsible for dreaming up an implausible word. Everything in our power must be done to have it expunged from the English language.

STAMP IT OUT

Let us have a word that symbolises the ‘great light’ that people witness as they walked toward it in darkness on that special day.

And the word is … “Christmas”.

<< Abbreviated version from the A-Z Health Guide for adoutsenior.com.au


AUTHORS: 100 years ago -- The Magic Pudding book first went on sale

FRANK MORRIS

CHARACTERS ALL: THEY’RE CENTENARIANS GOING FOR A WALK IN THE PARK. ALBERT, THE MAGIC PUDDING, IS HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING UP. Below: THE FIRST MAGIC PUDDING BOOK – OLD BUT YOUNG. Below: THE MAGIC PUDDING – RELEASED WITH THE ANIMATED FILM IN 2000.

Norman Lindsay’s offbeat children’s story about the picaresque adventures of Albert the cantankerous Puddin’, and his friends, has been in print since it was first published by A & R in 1918.

The book took Lindsay nine months to write.

As the author moved towards its completion, he wrote to George Robertson in mid 1917: “I have finished the last slab of “Pudding” and thank God for it, for I’ve had a bellyful.

There is quite as much effort and invention needed to write nonsense as to create more pretentious works, and the stimulus is apt to flag.”

The Magic Pudding is highly valued and much sought after world wide by collectors’ et al.

In the 1990s, a first edition belonging to noted war historian C.E.W. Bean fetched $2100 at auction.

CANTANKEROUS PUDDIN'

Norman Lindsay is the most collected person in Australia, according to the late bibliophile, Walter Stone.  Stone once remarked that one “acquires” rather than “collects” Lindsayana.

A Commemorative Edition was issued in 1987; the Australian Children’s Classic edition in 1990; and a miniature edition, containing one section of the original text, in 1982. This 1924 edition varied slightly from the first edition.

In 2008, another version was published, more like The Magic Pudding of old.  This time the illustrations were rescanned and the page size was much like the original, in 1918.

An animated version of Norman Lindsay’s 1918 children’s classic The Magic Pudding, with an all-star cast, came to life on the big screen in December 2000, with the English actor John Cleese voicing the part of the cantankerous puddin’, Albert.

The film was produced by Energee Entertainment, a local film and television production house.  The animated characters were largely based on the Norman Lindsay drawings from the book.  The book of the film is signed by the actor who voiced ‘Bill Barnacle’, Hugo Weaving.

The story was described by the filmmakers as much “like the Magic Pudding – a resource that never runs out.”


CANBERRA: Visit one the youngest capital cities in the world

FRANK MORRIS

UP, UP AND AWAY: CANBERRA SUMMERS ARE FILLED WITH CRISP MORNINGS AND ARE JUST PERFECT FOR HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES. THE BALLOON SPECTACULAR FILLS THE CITY SKIES AS MORE THAN 30 HOT-AIR BALLOONS, FEATURING SOME STUNNING PATTERNS AND BIZZARE SHAPES, COME FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE CITY. Below: FOUR STIMULATED FOLKS REACH THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN. Below: THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF CANBERRA, THE NEW CAPITAL, IN 1913.

Lonely Planet has rated Canberra third on its Best in Travel 2018 list of cities.

“This is the highest ranking an Australian city has ever achieved on the Lonely Planet list since its inception,” the team said. “It reveals just how unfairly overlooked the city has been. Canberra now boasts exciting boutique precincts with gastronomic highlights and cultural most-does.

“As one of the world’s young capital cites you might think Canberra has some catching up to do. It now a repository for national treasures, and a place where nature intrudes elegantly into urban spaces,” the Lonely Planet said.

Much of the charm and appeal of Canberra lies in its natural beauty. There’s dozens of picnic spots set in verdant, open spaces; while trees litter parks and line streets. Canberra is no longer a place for imposing buildings full of politicians and bureaucrats. Far from it. The Canberra of today has a vibrancy all of its own.

When you came to Canberra, do yourself a favour: leave time to explore some of a city’s many attractions. Canberra is a place for seasons, and reasons.

Here are some things you didn’t know about Canberra. Others will be published next week.

Marion Mahony Griffin: While her husband Walter Burley Griffin takes all of the credit for creating the designs for Canberra, it was Marion Mahony Griffin, artist and architect, who drew and presented the winning plans to the panel of assessors.

Phar Lap’s BIG heart: Phar Lap’s unusually large heart is on display at the National Museum of Australia. It weighs a whopping 6.35kg – that’s 1.5 times the weight of an average thoroughbred racehorse heart.

Gone-broke: When the government invited the people of Australia to nominate suitable names for their new capital in 1913, the public responded in good humour. And names like Kangaremu, Sydmelperadbrisho, Swindleville, Gone-broke and Caucus City getting a run for their money.

Einstein angles: At Questacon, there’s an impressive 3D sculpture of Albert Einstein on view. But look at it from a different angle and you’ll discover a completely different image.

Run it up the flagpole: The Australian flag that flies over Parliament House 24 hours a day is a big one. It’s roughly the same size as a double-decker bus and it weighs 22kg. It takes three people to change over, and this happens once a month.

Next: Five more things you must know about Canberra.

<< The Lonely Plant; Time Out; Frank Morris.


NOW OPEN: It’s on at David Jones, for kids only!

DIFFERENT SHAPES: SOME OF THESE MARVEL-ITES ARE KIDS BEST FRIENDS!

Disney, Star Wars and the Marvel characters are right in the heart of Sydney. That’s right!  All kids have the awe-inspiring chance to explore, learn and create. It’s also a world of storytelling for the young and the young at heart. All you have to do is this: Go to a magical one-of-a-kind destination. You’ll be taken to Level 9 Elizabeth Street – David Jones. For kids only.

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 December 18

SHORTS: This is one of the most famous names in British aviation

THE GOLDEN AGE OF FLYING.

FRANCIS ROLLEY

MEN OF HISTORY: THIS HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN NEAR LEYSDOWN, ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPEY, IN 1909. IT WAS THE YEAR IN WHICH THE WRIGHT BROTHERS PLACED A CONTRACT WITH SHORTS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF SIX BIPLANES. DESCRIPTION OF THE PHOTO AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY. Below: SHORTS’ OWN DESIGN WINNER OF ONE THOUSAND POUNDS. Below: A SIMILAR DESIGN TO THE WINNER BUT RELEASED 12 MONTHS LATER.

This article was written in 1988 just after Shorts was being considered by a major Australian airline. Back in 1938, the high-powered Qantas-Sutherland flying boats were to undertake the nine and a half days day trip from Southampton to Sydney, landing at Rose Bay, the site of the Sydney’s first international airport. As a promotional brochure advertising the Sydney service said, “it was an era when travel was new, exciting and glamorous.” – Frank Morris.

The headquarters of the  Shorts organisation is now located at Belfast, in Northern Ireland, where the company operates a design and production complex which is one of the best equipped of its kind in Europe.

A broad-based  work program is concentrated in three main areas: aircraft, aerostructures,  and missile systems.
Aircraft activity covers the whole area of design, development and manufacture of  the company’s own aircraft projects.

These include the highly successful 360 36-seat and 330-seat wide-bodied regional airliners and the Skyvan STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) light transport, as well as the new C-23 Sherpa multi-role freighter and the Shorts Tucano  turbo-prop military trainer, all of which are in world-wide service.

In recent years Shorts has greatly extended its international commitments by undertaking the manufacture of major aircraft components for other producers in Europe and America.  They have specialised particularly in the business of jet engine nacelle production.

Major companies with which Shorts have collaborated include Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas, Pratt & Whitney and Rohr in the United States, while teaming up with British Aerospace, Fokker and Rolls-Royce in Europe.

GUIDED WEAPONS

In the missile field, Shorts has for many years been acknowledged for its expertise in close-up guided weaponry.  The company’s current range includes the Javelin and Blowpipe man-portable shoulder-launched systems and the Seacat ship-to-air/surface missiles.

The company also claims the distinction of having supplied guided weapon systems to more countries than any other British manufacturer.

The history of the Shorts oganisation dates from April 1901 when brothers Oswald and Eustace Short first set up business at Hove in Sussex as manufacturers of aerial balloons.

Within  two years they had moved to a larger workshop in London, and in 1906 they transferred to still larger premises at Battersea.

FIRST PILOTS LICENSES

In 1908 they were joined by the eldest Short brother, Horace, and the following year began construction of their first heavier-than-air machine.

In the same year the brothers were awarded the contract by Orville and Wilbur Wright for the manufacture of six biplanes under licence.  These were constructed in a new factory at Shellbeach on the isle of Sheppey, and in them members of the Aero Club gained the first pilot’s licences to be issued in the United Kingdom.

In October 1909 a biplane built to Shorts’ own design gained a prize of 1,000 pounds for the first British aircraft to fly a circular mile,

The brothers had now moved decisively into a new era of powered flight and within  five years their rapidly increasing workload had twice necessitated transfer to larger premises.

From these beginnings the company has risen to become one of the most famous in British aviation, pioneering designs and production techniques which have been adopted throughout the industry, producing a long line of famous aircraft and forging an unbroken link between the first ‘stick-and-string’ pioneers and the supersonic world of the 1980s.

PHOTOGRAPH: Group included Oswald, Horace and Eustace Short (second, third and fourth, back row); in the front row (from left) are J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon (later Lord Brabazon of Tara), Wilbur and Orville Wright and C.S. Rolls, co-founder of Rolls Royce.


FAITHFUL SERVICE: Shorts company served Australia for 70 years!

A SPARTAN LOOK: THIS BUILDING SERVES AS THE FIRST AIRPORT FOR FLYING BOATS IN 1938 FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS.

In Australia the company became well known in 1938 when Qantas, in conjunction with Imperial Airways, the predecessor of British Airways, opened up the Southampton-Sydney air route.

Flying the famous Shorts Empire flying boats, the journey took 9 ½  days.

The final stages from Singapore, for which Qantas had responsibility, were via Surabaya in Indonesia, Darwin, Karumba, Townsville, Brisbane and finally Sydney.

After the war, during which the Shorts Sunderland was operated by the RAAF, Shorts flying boats were again operated by Qantas and others, including Ansett.

<< Airlines Magazine, November 1988.


FOODFROLICO: From Boxing Day to New Years Day – let cool cocktails do the work!

FRANK MORRIS

CENTRE OF THE WORLD: SAN FRANCISO SERVES A MIGHTY COCKTAIL CALLED … SAN FRANCISO. Below: CHAMPAGNE PUNCH … IT HAS A HABIT OF LAYING A PUNCH. Below: SAY HELLO TO JACK … YOU’LL LIKE HIS COCKTAIL.

After the Christmas dinner meltdown, Wine Guide said, you’ll be needing some cool cocktails to tide you over the limbo. Said the Wine Guide, “the emphasis in on long drinks so any spirit base is eligible.

CHAMPAGNE PUNCH

250 ml brandy, 2 bottles of reasonable bubbly, 600 ml soda, 30 ml maraschino cherries, juice of 6 lemons, castor sugar.

Stir the lemon juice with ice, sweeten with sugar to taste, then add the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with cherries and serve in punch cups.

Mocktails – not all cocktails have to be lethal. Here are two suggestions for those who have to drive home afterward.

SAN FRANCISCO

50 ml orange juice, 50 ml pineapple juice, 1 egg white. Dash of grenadine, dash of orange bitters, soda water.                                                                                         
Shake all ingredients. To up with soda water and garnish with orange.

JACK THOMPSON

45 ml Clayton’s dry tonic, 40 ml ginger ale, 50 ml lemonade.

Combine in a long glass and garnish with a slice of lemon.

COCKTAILS: DID YOU KNOW?

Here are a few cocktail party conversation starters:

The archetypal  cocktail, the classic Martini, dates back to about the 1850s … Gin is used in at least 150 different cocktails … A US expert says a cocktail can be strong, seductive, shattering, sensual, swinging and even sentimental … When professional barmen pour ingredients, they “use the eye” so to speak … A State Tourism Minister’s favourite cocktail is a Pina Colada … “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker,” observed poet Ogden Nash, reflecting on how liquor, in some form or another, has been employed to breach maidenly defences … Madame de Pompadour said that, “Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it.” – Frank Morris.

<< Wine Guide; Frank Morris.


Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs have been together for 100 years!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

100 YEAR OF RAISING: NOT BAD FOR SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE. Below: MAY GIBBS … INNOCENCE WAS ALWAYS TRIUMPHANT.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, laconic Mr Lizard, the Big Bad Banksia men, Little Ragged Blossom, Mr John Dory, Miss Anne Chovey are names that roll out of memory and off the tongue like an invocation of Australian childhood.

Where every blossom holds a bush baby, newspapers are written in scribblybark, evil banksia men connive, wicked Mrs Snake lurks and innocence is always triumphant.

The wonderful world of May Gibbs.

FLANNEL FLOWER

Gibbs, artist and author, peopled the Australian bush with beings of her imagination instantly recognizable to all adults who as children were captivated by her books. Plump bare-bottomed gumnut babies in gumnut caps and gumleaf briefs with long blossom eyelashes, gnarled thick-lipped stubbly banksia men and wide-eyed flannel flower babies peering out of blossom cups.

Gibbs’ real world was Nutcote, the home she commissioned in 1923 from architect Bertrand Waterhouse in Sydney’s Neutral Bay.

She lived there until her death at 93 in 1969. She bequeathed the property to UNICEF, which sold it in 1970 for $80,000. (Today it is valued at millions of dollars.)

The May Gibbs’ Foundation opened Nutcote in 1994. Check website.

<< Adapted from Kate Halley’s longer version in Time, May 7, 1990.


TARONGA ZOO: When the modern animals meet up with the dinosaurs return

FRANK MORRIS

The rise of the Tarongasaurs. The dinosaurs will visit Taronga Zoo this summer. Make boredom extinct. Come face to face with the fearsome T-Rex. Kids, climb atop the Pachyrhinosaurus Dino. Keep cool with the spitting Dilophosaurus. Remember, kids, you’ll encounter 20 life-size, roaring and moving dinosaurs of all types and sizes.

Rise of the Tarongasaurs is FREE with Zoo entry. Check: taronga.org.au/dinosaurs

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME! DRINK MODERATELY, EAT SLOWLY – IT WILL MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS A VERY MERRY ONE INDEED.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 December 18

LOOKING BACK: ENOLA GAY’s papers auctioned in New York: more than they estimated

“ENOLA GAY LOG IS A UNIQUELY IMPORTANT DOCUMENT,” SAID A SPOKESPERSON.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

CONQUEROR: THE ENOLA GAY DROPPED THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB IN THE WORLD CALLED “LITTLE BOY” ON HIROSHIMA. Below: COLONEL PAUL TIBBETS AND ENOLA GAY JUST BEFORE TAKE OFF.

New York (Reuters): “My God, what have we done?”

The Enola Gay co-pilot’s log book, which recorded the horror of having just dropped the first atomic bomb in war, was the most chilling item on auction in the sale of US historical documents that fetched record prices. The auction was held on March 28, 2002.

Winning bid for Capt. Robert Lewis’s log chronicling the “Little Boy” mission that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 was $350,000 – more than the estimated range of $200,000 and $300,000.

“It is a uniquely important document,” said dealer Seth Kaller about the Enola Gay log. “It’s one of the greatest moments, but one of the most terrible, of the century. It’s a terribly sad record. I think that affects the desire to own it.”

Lewis’s minute-by-minute account of the mission, written in pen and pencil during the flight, was full of details of the bombing run aimed at bringing a fast end to the Second World War. It also was filled with awe after the 9000 pound bomb, dubbed “Little Boy,” was dropped over Hiroshima.

HOW MANY KILLED

It is believed that more the 140,000 people died by the end of the year as a result of the bomb. The total number of people who died due to the bomb has been estimated at 200,000.

“Fifteen seconds after the flash there were two very distinct slaps (air turbulence) that was all the physical effects we felt,” wrote Lewis. “There in front of our eyes was without a doubt the greatest explosion man has ever witnessed.

“The city was nine-tenths covered with smoke. A column of white cloud, which in less than three minutes, reached 30,000 feet and then went up to 50,000.

“I am certain the entire crew felt this experience was more that anyone human had ever thought possible. Just how many did we kill? We’re groping for words to explain. My God, what have we done.

“If I live a hundred years I’ll never quite get those few minutes out my mind …”

<< From Reuters; Larry Fine; 2002.


IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME. MERRY CHIRSTMAS, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!


HOME-CARE: Large-print novels are for people with impaired vision

“I COULDN’T READ ANY OF THE BOOKS I’D BORROWED BECAUSE OF POOR EYESIGHT.”

FRANK MORRIS

ONE- UPMANSHIP: LARGE-PRINT EDITIONS WERE AN IMMEDIATE SUCCESS. Below: BRITISH CRIME WRITER AGATHA CHRISTIE’S RECENTLY FINISHED NOVEL CONTRIBUTED TO THE WORLD-WIDE FAME OF PROJECT.

Large-print novels have been available from your local library for years.

The pioneer of large-print books, Frederick Thorpe, formerly a publisher of childrens’ classics, was the founder of Ulverscroft Books in 1964. His idea “met with resistance from publishers reluctant to have their popular authors associated with what they considered to be a gimmick.”

The catalyst for what was eventually to became worldwide the bestselling “Ulverscroft large-print series” was initiated by a group of women volunteers who delivered books to the elderly. Though grateful for the service, Thorpe was informed, many of the service’s clients “couldn’t read the books they borrowed because of poor eyesight.”

CHRISTIE WAS THE LIGHT

To get the project off the ground, Thorpe realised that he had to have the support of at least a few high profile authors.

He approached Agatha Christie, who was published by Collins. When she heard what Thorpe had in mind, Christie embraced the scheme wholeheartedly. The author’s A Pocketful of Rye was one of first titles published in the new quarto sized, hard-cased format.

Thorpe’s large-print editions were an immediate success with libraries throughout the English-speaking world. He opened the floodgates for other publishers. By the mid-1970s, the edition had become an international market.
Thorpe dies in England at 85 in 1999.

COMING: HOME-CARE RESUMES IN FEBRUARY.


FOODFROLICO: Christmas time – try Bacardi rum daiquiri with your favourite fruit

FRANK MORRIS

“It’s the easiest drink to concoct. It sounds complicated. But anyone can do it. It’s not an idle boast. Not at all.

“What you’re trying is a Bacardi rum daiquiri – its simplicity itself. But there is a trick to it! You must become a theatrical entrepreneur of showmanship, you must now demonstrate the flamboyance of the mixing performance.

“So pay close attention. My guests, take a step forward.

“To 45ml of light, dry Bacardi rum. Add a dash of lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar, ice … crushed usually … and strawberries. Into the blender. And then, I said, switching my voice into a loud vibratory sound.

“Mesdames and geeentlemen”, the guests broke out in cheesy smiles, “the 18 second Bacardi rum, and strawberry daiquiri!”

A sip of the foaming, pink, magical daiquiri makes you feel like you had dreamed and gone to La La Land.

The guests gathered around me. “I raised my glass. The guests cried ‘Encore!’” Try your favourite fruit – bananas, peaches, limes or strawberries.

<< Ogilvy MBA Advertising; 1988.


FAMOUS PIECART: Stopover for generations of Sydneysiders since it started

“FREE WHEELER”

TINO DEES, A MASTER BUTCHER, WHO HAS WON MORE 170 AWARDS FOR HIS SAUSAGES, HAMS AND BACON, IS THE NEW OWNER OF THE 73-YEAR-OLD INSTITUTION, HARRY’S CAFÉ DE WHEELS. ‘WE’RE CALLED HARRY’S CAFÉ DE WHEELS, BUT HAVE YOU TRIED OUR COFFEE? WE WANT TO OPEN MORE THAN 100 “HARRY’S” LOCATIONS AROUND AUSTRALIA. ACCORDING TO A NEWSPAPER REPORT, FANS OF HARRY’S FAMOUS TIGER – A MEAT PIE TOPPED WITH MUSHY PEAS, MASHED POTATO AND GRAVY – CAN TAKE COMFORT. IT WILL STAY ON THE MENU AND REMAIN UNCHANGED. I’VE NEVER ‘DINED’ AT HARRY’S. HERE IS A WRITER WHO HAS VISITED THERE MANY TIMES OVER THE YEARS. – Frank Morris.

Sydney is famous for its landmarks. But there’s none more colourful than Harry the Wheels piecart on Cowper Wharf Drive, Wooloomooloo, near Garden Island naval base.

To Sydneysiders and overseas vistors, Harry the Wheels has become an institution. Harry’s legendary piecart has been a stopover for generations of sailors and taxi drivers.

Although the original Harry has long since departed for that great Piecart in the Sky, his successor, Alex, has carried on the tradition for many years. Harry the Wheels and Alex have been popularised in several documentaries shown on American and European television networks.

DAMN SHAME!

As a result, Harry the Wheels has gained international fame. Over the years many well-known personalities have made a point of paying Harry’s a visit. The walls of the piecart are festooned with photographs of some of the notables.

Colonel Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, is shown munching one of Harry’s pies – and enjoying every mouthful.

But sadly, Alex and Harry’s are an endangered species. Even though Harry’s has been shifted to various locations in recent years, there is a move to bring the curtain down on Alex for good.

And that would be a dammed shame. [This article was written in July, 1984. The author was a correspondent of Cab Talk, a weekly newspaper. A lot has happened since then. Started in 1945, Harry’s is now operated under a franchise system and has branches all over Sydney and Newcastle.]


S.O.B: Save our brumby … that’s the call to Australia!

FRANK MORRIS

HE COULD BE TRAPPED: PALEFACE IS CAPTURED IN HIS ELEMENT BY PHOTOGRAPHER MICHELLE BROWN. Below: A BRUMBY IS OFF AND RUNNING IN FULL FLIGHT.

It’s been a hard year for the brumbies. Like every other year. This year, the brumby situation is way out of control.

“Originally, the plan called for the culling of most of the estimated 6000 wild horses in the park,” reported The Land newspaper, “with the intention to leave a remaining population of 600. One of the potential captures is a famous grey or silver brumby known as Paleface.”

Photographer Michelle Brown has spotted Paleface many times.

“About four years ago I saw Paleface … for the first time … and it’s an experience I’ll never forget,” she told the newspaper. “Paleface is a ten-year-old white stallion who roams the Mount Selwyn, Kiandra and Three Mile Dam Area.

“Each year, I have noticed that he graces us with one or two new foals and the closeness he has with his mares is a bond I have never witnessed before in my life around horses.”

“CULL THE BRUMBIES”

The Land newspaper reports the “current wild horse trapping near Kiandra was foreshadowed in the 2016 Wild Horse Management plan to ‘minimise impacts in the northern and southern regions by reducing the horse population in these areas.”

In 1991, wild horses caused trouble for a NSW Environment Minister when word got out of the plans to cull the brumbies in Kosciusko National Park. They were horses immortalised in Banjo Paterson’s The Man from Snowy River.

Premier Bob Carr stepped in and said “Not on.”

If you want an easy way to do it, said a guest on the ABC’s Back Roads, then get a community to pay the horseman to secure the horses. Once you’ve got them, they will be broken-in and sold to the public. It may take time but it will be worth it.

That’s one way, at least.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 30 November 18

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