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the harbingers of ruin – lennox head

the forerunner

The two elephantine nude women was a sign.

Ladies, the both of them, surely, idling in the lower dunes of upper Lennox, standing and stretching – and bending over, and picking things up. Massively naked and slow moving women, unshorn of limb and head, and fully bearded in places where the eye would water if caught wandering there.

Brown and lithe women though, for their size, both casually brooding over a motley tribe of fawn coloured babies who frolicked all about them in the warm sand.

Further up and behind a rusted Ute half hidden in the long grass squatted Lonnie.

A likeable chap locally known as Lonesome; just another scatter-eyed and patient evacuee from the Nimben smokehouses waiting for a more subtle apocalypse than the one that frightened him away from that transitory home.

Lonnie from Redfern. The Spider, the handbag man.

They punched him to the ground when he turned and faced them, the grandmother’s handbag at his feet, her twenty dollars in his hand, and they kicked him permanently senseless.

Massive homes lie behind the northern end of the beach, like the outreaches of some fabulous community that charitably condescends to have the wretched, like Lonnie, share without leasehold the paradise that their proprietary and unimaginable wealth allows them to gaze over.

When they come by here from time to time.

The Lennox hotel has a view from the window of the public bar that takes in a major sweep of what was once one of the wildest beaches on the far north coast.

The paperbark forest that squatted so peaceably in the rank seawater swamp just behind the small settlement for centuries is now swept up and burned away and the salty ground that fed it now lies humped under mortgaged homes whose gardens invade and infect and throttle the ruined wetlands with foreign life.

Cul-de- sacs, avenues. Suburbs.

Evening traffic from Ballina flows unceasing through the town in a gully of light, every night.

The little widow that ran the general store in Lennox was only too happy to make us a sandwich, and when she was out in the back kitchen we helped ourselves to this and that from her shelves – and now, after forty-five years, I know that we were the harbingers of the ruin of Lennox Head.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. “Massively naked and slow moving women, unshorn of limb and head, and fully bearded in places where the eye would water if caught wandering there.”

    LOL!!!! LMAO!!!

    November 29, 2010
  2. over in these parts my lad we use the euphemism ‘ the map of tasmania’ …

    November 29, 2010
  3. Steve Shearer #

    “The little widow that ran the general store in Lennox was only too happy to make us a sandwich, and when she was out in the back kitchen we helped ourselves to this and that from her shelves – and now, after forty-five years, I know that we were the harbingers of the ruin of Lennox Head”.

    Giving yourself a bit too much credit me thinks.

    The Old Lennox Boys (Mousey et al) have a slightly different story to the Bondi surf peasants.

    November 30, 2010
  4. There wasn’t a lot of old lennox boys about in 1964 stevo – everytime the point lit up it was full of queenslanders and bondi pissants – even brock didn’t show up until much later.

    November 30, 2010
  5. Steve Shearer #

    I hear ya Pete. But like I said the Old Lennox boys have a different story.

    Mousey still works in the local garage on the corner.
    Ask him.

    November 30, 2010
  6. Steve Shearer #

    anyhoo, enjoying very muchly working me way through the ouvre.

    There’s always some smart-arsed bastard who wants to argue.

    November 30, 2010
  7. mousey, corner garage .. check.

    Bloke up here named tony francis (kiwi) has an interesting story or two to tell about lennox as well

    December 1, 2010
  8. Steve Shearer #

    there was a bloke lived here mid-late sixties, a Californian who shaped boards and apparently was one of the loosest cannons God ever set breath into. Lived in the large Property on top of North Creek Rd. Went completely silent for a year.
    Ring any bells?

    December 1, 2010
  9. yeah I remember them well-

    There was a big wild dope infestation found down in Maitland and the couple of yanks living up here made their way down there and came back to the bay with sleeping bags full of weed – in those days this was a major event – a couple of months later one was badly found out and sent home after a stay in one of the federal governments hostels.

    I’ll go find out more …. watch this space

    December 1, 2010
  10. Steve Shearer #

    no doubt that is all part of the story leading up to the Woods Royal Comission.
    There was a bloke from Broken Had to flee.

    December 1, 2010
  11. Derek Beckner – that was the fellow – bald headed yank, nutcase – and thanks Algie Reid who remembers everything and everyone

    December 1, 2010
  12. Steve Shearer #

    Yeah, Derek was the fellow who fled.
    The track beside the new Broken Head resort(the old Taylors land) is named after him.
    I know that story well.

    But he ain’t the fellow I’m trying to find out about.

    December 1, 2010

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