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

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

ALICE REMEMBERS HE IS ALWAYS THE CORNERSTONE OF HER EXISTENCE.

FRANK MORRIS

Bruno was in deep throught.

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m under the oak tree …”

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

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

No answer.

SHE HADN’T CHANGED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PUPPY

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

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

Alice began to become cross.

“Alright, alright. I do it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wonder whether Alice will like it or hate it?

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

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


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

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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

ROOM OF DEATH

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

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

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

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

TOMBSTONES MISSING

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

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

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

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

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


MIND SET: Are you worried about your memory?

TRYING AT 50 AND 60 TO OBVIATE MEMORY LOSS.

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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

STAGES, PROGRESS

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

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

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

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

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


The Queen: Getting together with the twelve Presidents

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adapted by Frank Morris

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

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

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

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

WE MUST BE READY

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WE HAVE EVERYTHING

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

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

“We have everything.”

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

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


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


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

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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE AWFUL ORDEAL

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

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

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

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

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

They were the last words recorded in his diary.

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

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


FOR DOGS: Pisceans will show you how to react!

IT’S TIME FOR MY BATH!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

SHALLOWEST PUDDLE

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

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

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

A MOOD CHANGER

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

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

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

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

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

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


MATE: There’s a war going on here!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONVERSE INTELLIGENTLY

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

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

Flinders was also a man before his time.

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

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

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

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


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


FRANK MORRIS COMING ATTRACTION

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


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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

RETIREMENT INCOME

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

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

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

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


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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

WITHOUT WORK

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

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

<< Social Justice, 2016-2017.


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

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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

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

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

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

CAPTAIN BLOOD

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

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

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

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

MODERN TIMES

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

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

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


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

LOOK: A DAUGHTER ASKS HER FATHER EVERYTHING ABOUT FISHING!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

REALISED IT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FREE PRESS

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

Howe operated from this location for about two years.

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

MANY LAYERS

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

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

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

GRAPHIC ART

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

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

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


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

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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

PONDEROUS JAWS                        

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

MAJOR SUCCESSES

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

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

Mae Busch died in 1946.

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

Houses of Mystery: Part 1. They are still haunting and enjoying themselves!

THEATERGOERS: ACTOR WHO WAS LADY LAVENDER FROM THE PLAY THE MERRY WIDOW BUT SOMETHING REALLY AWFUL HAPPENED. Below: UNDERTAKER C.T. FINNEY – WHAT DID HE GET UP TOO. 

Nearly every place in Launceston is haunted, it seems. What is scary, and what many, many people believe is crazy after they found themselves gazing at a black wooden slat on the wall swaying back and forth. But, believe it or not, these people were indoors; and there was no breeze.  Now, that’s SCARY!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Literally, Tasmanian history wreaks of mind-bending horror tales!

When you came to think about it, it’s out of the ordinary. Take, for instance, the Cape Grim massacre in 1828. Four shepherds ambushed and murdered 30 Aboriginal people, hurling their corpses over a 60 metre cliff into the ocean.

Or the positively merry tale of the eight male convicts who escaped from Sarah Island’s prison in 1822. The convicts got lost in the woods – all of them – and turned on each other, with the strongest convicts slaughtering the rest for food.

The locals believe that their island is full of ghosts. Rather than shy away from the past, though, the ghoulish Tasmanians have developed a knack of making money out of it. Across Tasmania, there are many paranormal investigation societies. There are those that investigate whether a home or business is haunted; the competition for clients is fierce.

In Launceston, which is a City of Ghosts, a mainstream tourist attraction is all about ghosts. This event is even listed in the “must dos” page of the official guide.

FEELS THE TREMORS

Rosemary, a brassy woman dressed in white and adorned with hooped earrings, looks down upon us, “Are you believers?” she asks, looking us in the eye. Some people says yes. Other people shrug. “Sitting on the fence, eh?” Rosemary laughs.

As the sun goes down, Rosemary leads us into the basement of the Royal Oak Hotel. For effect, she has lit only a single camping lamp. People’s eyes customise to the darkness. Rosemary warns each person they may feel a creature’s presence: they might manifest by playing with your hair, blasting cold air on your neck or making your hands be suddenly freezing cold.

Rosemary tells the people that a girl on a tour was smashed in the back of the head with an empty wine bottle.
Meanwhile, doors have slammed open and shut. Another ghost-like figure is notorious for pinching people’s bottoms, but only men’s. It’s must have been a male spirit.

The dead can be so scandalous.


INSIDE NEWSPAPER: International Express, UK – See, I told you Gran will look at us!

It might seem a little quackers but when an amateur photographer captured a picture of geese and ducks at a lake, clouds in the background looked like …a goose. Margaret McEwan, of Sandhurst, Berkshire, was snapping birds at a local lake when she noticed the bird shape in the sunset sky. “I live close to the lake and was taking photos when they came over to feed.”


Houses of Mystery: Final! They are still haunting and enjoying themselves!

DARK AND SCARY: OUTSIDE THE PRINCESS THEATRE SOMETHING BIZARRE TOOK PLACE. Below: THE MERRY WIDOW WAS A PLAY FOR LAUGHS BUT THE LEADING ACTRESS SLIPPED AND FELL TO HER DEATH.

More favourites from Launceston’s litany of horror.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Launceston undertaker’s C.T. Finney’s, at a former site, had a prop coffin on display in the embalming room. Back in the 1800s, bodies would be pushed through the window like, say, a delivery of fresh meat. The bodies would be laid out on ice and hessian bags.(Our tour adventurer) Rosemary points out the grilles through which the corpses’ fluids would drain on the mainstreets of Launceston caking the road with blood … God knows, what else!

While we’re imagining the stench of the streets in summer … the coffin lid slams down loudly and everybody who was passing by would hear the screams. And none of tourist was standing anywhere near the coffin.

The groups venture outside.

A TRAGEDY

From there, a place called Peppers was next on the list. Rosemary looks mildly disappointed. Peppers is where I was staying, I told her. Peppers is a newer establishment but not famous for being haunted. Peppers, said Rosemary, is close to a site where parents and children would once gather to watch the weekly public executions … overseen by the local government.

Nearly every place in Launceston is haunted; or where a dead person appeared to the living, it seems.

There is a bizarre and odd turnout at the Princess Theatre that ends up in tragedy. The theatre is haunted by the Lavender Lady, an actress who starred in The Merry Widow. She slipped off the stage into the orchestra pit one evening, fatally breaking her neck.

HIS DAIRIES

Further on, the touring party was outside a grand-looking white building, the former residence of a doctor, who is said to have conducted a number of gruesome “experiments” on the homeless and mentally disabled people.

Rosemary said, “He never got caught – ever. No-one found out what he’d done until he died. Someone read his diaries. His diaries also said he used to put a little instruments up people’s noses and wiggle them around.”

What happens then is too graphic to print. “They died in an awful way”’ Rosemary said.

Afterwards back at my hotel, I stare at the ceiling for a while. It found it hard to sleep when my hands are so cold.

<< Background from this original story from Tasmania – Go behind the scenery.


ACTIVE DETECTIVE: Edward, Prince of Wales, goes to Hawaii in 1920!

IAN LORDING

ALWAYS SMILING: WHEN THE PRINCE RIDES ON HIS SURF BOARD HE INVARIABLY FALLS OFF – SMILING.

LUCKY LAST: PRINCE OF WALES AT THE END OF THE CANOE.

“Keeping things current, this video is to coincide with the royal tour,” says Ian Lording, who’s been foraging through the decaying films of Pathe.

“Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, where the Prince of Wales enjoys the exhilarating sport of surfing in a strange banana shaped canoe. There are six paddling and Edward, the Prince of Wales. He settles in at the end of the canoe.

“He, like all the other men, is dressed in a bathing suit while he laughs at the camera. Following the canoe … are several men on surf boards. A large wave comes up behind the canoe and the surfers, with the canoe, are coming into shore.”

British Pathe cuts “to the Prince lying on his stomach on a surf board as a Hawaii’s man pushes his board along. Various

<< Longboarder Magazine, Australia.

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

ARTBEAT: Adolf Hitler loved Walt Disney cartoon art … that’s why he copied them!

TWO OF A KIND: PINOCCHIO BY WALT DISNEY. PINOCCHIO BY THE ARTIST, ADOLF HITLER.

POINT OF VIEW: HITLER SAID THAT SNOW WHITE WAS ONE OF THE BEST FILMS EVER MADE. Below: BASHFUL … HE WAS ALWAYS SHY.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Doc, a Walt Disney character from the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was sketched by Adolf Hitler during part of World War Two.

William Hakvaag, director of a war museum in northern Norway, said there was no independent confirmation that the drawing was the work of the Nazi leader, who tried to make a living as an artist before going into politics.

Hakvaag is on record as saying that there had been a series of drawings hidden in a painting signed “A.Hitler” that he brought at German auction for about $300.

He found three coloured cartoons of dwarfs from the 1937 Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, signed A.H. There was an unsigned sketch of Pinocchio, another Disney character, he said.

BEST MOVIE

He said he had done tests on the paintings and suggested they date from 1940. Hakvaag told Reuters that he was “100 percent sure that these are drawings by Hitler. If one wanted to make a forgery, one would never hide it in the back of a picture where it might never be discovered”.

The initials on the sketches, and the signature on the painting, matched other copies of Hitler’s handwriting, he said.
“Hitler had a copy of Snow White,” Hakvaag said. “He thought this was one of the best movies ever made,” Hakvaag said about the animated classic, which was an adaptation of a German fairy tale.

Said to be by Hitler, nineteen watercolours and two sketches were sold in Britain a few years ago for a total of $59,000.

Yes, Hitler allegedly loved Disney animated movies. In particular, Snow White and the seven Dwarfs and often Nazis reportedly sourced Disney animated movies for the dictator to watch.

<< Put together by various Google lead-stories.

COMING: More on ARTBEAT. Ike Eisenhower – the paintings he loved the most.


FRANK MORRIS COMING ATTRACTION

Australia gets its first newspaper! In 1803, George Howe started The Gazette and New Wales Advertiser. It’s 16 years since l commented on this new arrival, now 216 years young. At the Museum of Sydney, it began with a Breakfast Briefing and a panel of well-known speakers who spoke many of things related to Howe, including the monopoly on Australian journalism … Pearl Turton: she was Queen of the waves … Dog horoscopes: Here is part of dog’s “star” that lets you know how to treat it … Pearl S. Buck, winner of a Noble Prize for literature, lived 40 years in China and 40 years in America. “I came as a stranger to my country, having lived in China. Coming in March.


FLYING PASSENGER: Drones are ready to take off!

THE STUFF OF SCIENCE FICTION IS CLOSE TO BECOMING REALITY. KARL WILSON REPORTS.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

TAKE OFF: THE EHANG 184, ELECTRICALLY POWERED PASSENGER DRONE, IN DUBAI. Below: THE ‘TAXI’ -- READY, SET, GO!

In February, the drone manufacturer Ehang, put out a video of the world’s first passenger drone, the Ehang 184. It showed the drone being put through its paces with and without a passenger. Many analysts watched the demonstration in amazement. The future was suddenly upon us.

The electric drone can carry one passenger, weighing up to 100kg, and travels at up to 100 km an hour. The Ehang 184, has been described as the “world’s first all-electric, consumer-facing autonomous passenger drone. In short, it is a “flying car”.

Two and half years ago, Ehang was virtually unknown in the technology world.

It strutted its stuff at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2016. And it made a bold claim: that it would build a completely autonomous, passenger-carrying quadcopter, a multirotor helicopter that is lifted by four rotors that it said would revolutionise mobility.

Now, no-one is laughing. Quadcopters, flying cars or taxis are a reality.

Ehang is not the only Chinese company involved in the research and development of flying cars.

THE SYSTEMS TAKE OVER

Flying cars are set to disrupt the personal mobility space of the future. There’re at least 10 early entrants expected to launch various versions by 2022.

With the newly developed Ehang 184, it seems that all passengers need to do is climb into the small cabin, fasten their seat belts, and the automated flight system does takes over. The drone has been tested more than 1000 times and is designed to withstand gales with wind speeds of up 50 km/h, the company said.

Analysts believe that flying cars and air taxis that ferry people … will be commonplace within in the next decades.

<< The China Post, 2018.

Frank Morris comments: The next frontier in technology is to take human workers out of dangerous subterranean situations, says The Australian’s The Art of The Deal magazine. Hovermap, is an Australian invention, developed inside Data61 … flying autonomous missions inside underground environments, such as mine shafts, collecting high-quality data for 3D mapping. Another being tested in the UK since 2016 is an autonomous drone delivery. Some envision a future where this kind of food delivery will make fridges obsolete.                                                                                      


Time magazine: How did plastic straws become so popular

CHEAPER: PLASTIC BECOMES MORE POPULAR.

The plastic straw version, says Time magazine, jumped in popularity during the post-World War 2 years, as plastics became cheaper. Today, while it’s difficult to count, some say the US alone uses 500 million of disposable straws daily.

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

MARILYN MONROE: Milton H. Greene’s superb portraits of an era!

THE ARRIVAL: TAKEN ON THE SET OF BUS STOP IN 1956 IS BASED ON WILLIAM INGE’S PLAY AND OFFERS A MIXTURE OF SENSITIVE DRAMA AND COMIC MOMENTS. IT WAS ONE OF MARILYN’S BEST FILMS.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PEASANT: MARILYN TAKEN IN THE FRENCH VILLAGE ON THE SET THAT WAS USED FOR WHAT PRICE IS GLORY? IN SEVERAL SCENES MAYILYN COMFIRMED HER DRAMATIC SIDE. Below: MARILYN SITTING PLACIDLY IN THE FILM, BUS STOP.

Milton H. Greene had become an award winning photographer for Life and Look magazines in the 1950s.

Greene had created a collection exceeding 250,000 images, including those of movie star favourites: Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Sammy Davis Jr and many more.

Milton Greene Archives was created by Milton’s son Joshua in 1993 to preserve, restore and present these timeless works of photography.

Milton died in 1985. Joshua believed much of his father’s work to have been lost in time. He spent the proceeding nine years digitally restoring the photographs to full glory.

INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM

A worldwide 61-image exhibition titled Portraits of an Era, which featured roughly 33 of Greene’s images of Marilyn Monroe and 28 images of other celebrities. The exhibition toured throughout Australia in 2002.

Milton was born 1922. His work is known throughout the world. Apart from Life and Look magazines, he photographed for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country and other high-fashion magazines, earning him international acclaim, along with Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn.

They brought fashion photography into the realm of fine art.

<< Design Graphics Number 89 2002.

 


SHORT STORY (For Adults): Final. Blackie Rabbit was strung up by a vengeful pirate!

‘HOW DID HE ESCAPE FROM MY CHAINS,” SAID CAPTAIN FLAPNODDLE.

EFFECTIVE: “WELL, WELL, MY LITTLE HEARRRTIES” SAID ONE OF THE DEADLIEST PIRATES FOR SEVERAL CENTURIES. Below: OOMPH! BLACKIE LANDED ON HIS BACK AND TUMBLED OVER. Below: I FOUGHT THIS LAGGARD TO THE DEATH. HE WAS A GONNA, MY HEARRRTIES, SAID FLAPDODDLE.

Blackie hopped on The Bird’s back and hung on for grim mercy. Suddenly, the hundreds of kilometres became a flash in pan, and there was it the gates of Never-Never Land spiring up to the open sky. 

The Bird touched down in the speck of green just inside. Bumph! Whack! Bummmp! Blackie tumbled over the side and landed on his back.

The Bird and Blackie gazed at the mammoth looking figure standing over them.

“This is ex-tra-ordinarrrrary,” sang out Blackie. The Bird was screeching loudly.

“Well, well, my little hearrrty,” said Captain Flapnoddle, one of the deadliest pirates of several centuries ago. “I’ve seen you before,” he said, pointing at The Bird. “But this little hearrrty,” pointing at Blackie. “How did you escape from my chains – all four of them.”

But before Blackie could reply, The Bird jumped in: “I did it. And all it took was five seconds. No fuss or bother, either.”

LOOKED SURPRISE

Captain Flapnoddle nearly fainted. “Only five seconds. It me took half a day and the little hearrrty was still asleep. If only you came by when I was stealing from the rich and pocketing all the dough.”

Both the Bird and Blackie looked, mesmerised.

Every sailor used to shake in his boots when they saw my ship – the Flying Flap. They used to call it the “flying hangover”. It be driven high in the sky or sail in the mighty sea. Take your pick.

He thought for a moment. The two looked surprised.

“I’m impressed with you two hearrrties, I’m going to give you the gift of a lifetime. And that is … THE TREASURE of all time is something I’ve been chasing for almost 300 odd years …”

HE WAS A GONNA

Blackie blinked three times and thought yes. The Bird was laughing -- yes, yes, yes!

“… THE TREASURE that my first mate stole from the ship with all those laggards who turned against me! I fought him to the last. When the slimy beast was on top of the ship’s steps, I legged him, so he fell to the bottom on the hard, crinkle boards. He was a gonna, my little hearrrties!

“When I built Never Never Land he was a skeleton by then. So I used him to become the ‘nasty pirate’. “Are you in my hearrrties?”

“This is ex-tra-ordinarrrrary!” shouted Blackie and The Bird.

They were in. The three shook hands. The three were partners. But two of them had worried looks on their faces.  And they had to fly -- in a ship. Or … whatever!

COMING: Adventurer Blackie is back with The Bird, Captain Flagnoddle and a stranger.

IIustration: The Captain. Flagnoddle’s the name and I’ve been around for about 400 years. Could you believe it? Blackie thought the news was all gobble talk.


VIETNAM WAR. Death of a young warrior who was the first victim killed in action

COMING: THE DILEMMA OF THE WAR WAS BEGINNING TO BITE.

FRANK MORRIS

TASTE OF WAR: VIETNAM .. THE WAR WAS BEGINNING TO BITE. Below: PRIVATE ERROL NOVACK --- FIRST VICTIM KILLED.

The war in Vietnam has claimed its first Australian victim in June 1965. And Private Bill Carroll was the first combat battalion soldier to die in battle.

Private Errol Noack, 21, of South Australia, was the first National Serviceman killed in action in 1966.

His uncle Mr J.G. Noack, said Errol was “a good Christian”.

Reporting his death, one newspaper said: “Besides the immediate pangs of loss, Errol Wayne Noack’s family also suffer the fear that people may make political capital out of his death”.

The dilemma of Vietnam was beginning to bite hard.

There was no subject “more pervasive” among US college students as they began packing up at the end of the academic year, reported Time magazine.

ENLARGED TASK FORCE

In April 1965, the Fiftieth Anniversary of Gallipoli, the Federal Government decided to send an Australian infantry battalion to Vietnam.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies told the House that the Government “has no desire to have Australian forces in Vietnam any longer than necessary”.

As the US escalated its involvement in Vietnam so did Australia’s commitment increase.

Australia decided to “treble its commitment to include military conscripts in the enlarged task force”.

Prophetically, the Sydney Morning Herald warned Prime Minister Harold Holt “to inform himself as closely as possible about the tangled political situation in South Vietnam which necessarily affects the whole Allied policy”.

When he became Labor’s first Prime Minister in 23 years, Gough Whitlam abolished the military draft, established diplomatic relations with China and North Vietnam and ordered the remaining Australian servicemen home from Vietnam. From 1965 to 1972, 40,200 Australians fought in Vietnam, with 424 being killed and 2369 wounded.

COMING: The Vietnam War – a short series on the war we did not want.


HISTORIC HOTEL: Go west, where there’s a king-size thirst!

FRANK MORRIS

IT’S HOT: THE CROWD ENJOYS A COLD, HARD BEER – OUTSIDE. Below: THE CLUB HOUSE HOTEL … THE BEAUTY OF AN HISTORIC PUB IN 1824.

Ironclad Hotel, in 1976, one of the hottest properties in Australia. And as the only hotel in the region, went on the market for $100,000. It is in Marble Bar, Western Australia, established 1893. 

Situated at Marble Bar, a town that boasts the highest temperatures in Australia, the hotel’s beer consumption is staggering.

More than 1350 litres and 140 dozen bottes were consumed every week.

HISTORY GETS A FACFLIFT

In 1976, while still retaining the charm and beauty of an historical building, the Club House Hotel in Singleton modernised to give added comfort to its guests.

Installation of the bar, with wood panelled walls and new carpeting, with a drive-in bottle department were completed at a cost $250,000.

The original owner of the hotel was Benjamin Singleton, after whom the town was named. The hotel remained in the family for many years. The town of Singleton was established in the 1820s. In the early years, it was called Patrick Plains.

Frank Morris comments: Marble Bar was given the royal treatment recently on Back Roads, ABC TV, featuring a leafier region than what it was like 100 years ago. All the trees and shrubs that shade some of the important parts of the town was the work of one fellow who started planting 36 years ago. He told Back Roads that he hasn’t finished yet. When the show comes up again as a repeat you’ll see all the characters who have decided to stay there.


Prawn raises war: The epic battle continues!

SIZE: PRAWN MAY BE BIGGER, BUT …

The final sentence regarding Ballina’s, NSW, Big Prawn is very unnecessary, write Bob Paskins, via email. He adds: “Although this prawn may be bigger that the Big Prawn in Exmouth, Western Australia, it’s certainly not as realistic. The Exmouth Prawn has my vote and is by the same artist who made the Big Whale Shark in Exmouth, Western Australia.

<< Open Road magazine, NSW.

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

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

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