bob barrett, robert g barrett, author..
.. couldn’t surf for shit.
All Barrett did was balance up on a board he’d borrowed, anyones, and wave his arms around for some attention. His big arms. Bob Barrett was a big unit so nobody ever told him he was underdone in the surf while he was breathing, but I don’t mind being the first to do it now.
Not that being good in waves was a necessary living condition for him, he just did it for a while – fell off a lot – and when the wreckers pulled down the old Boy’s Club building up the northern end of Bondi Mr. B. Barrett claimed a large portion of the lovely lawn the council planted in its place as his personal working area.
Him and Bill Bury. Handsome Bill attracted women like a chin dripping with watermelon juice does fruit flies and Big Unit Bob was attracted to Handsome Bill, because Handsome Bill attracted many, many lovely women.
– and they all used the northern end of Bondi to lounge about did these lovely ladies, all partly-clad, deliciously so; and it was goodbye from Bob from to the outlaw south end – and also goodbye to boardshorts and hello sluggos. The studmaster working apparel of the 60’s. Plus the sun oil, and a straw hat.
He came to Jack Mayes’s funeral did Bob; a small affair up at the Junction in 1997. Some of the younger lads much harder men seated in the pews now, and Bob was the first of them to sign the back cover of the Muffin Lady’s framed cover shot of Jack doing the Quasimodo at Angourie. BIG signature, everybody else had to crowd their stuff in around it. He was the only bloke in the room with his own pen. That’s how you can pick a writer in a crowd of no-hopers..
We had a reunion of the south bondi boardriders one year and as we passed each other on the stairs at the old Diggers, me going down early and him coming up late – all dressed in black – I said, ” never read your shit Bob, and never will ”
as if he cared ..
Robert G Barrett wrote about 27 books. He invented Les Norton.
Books that litter a thousand work-sites, that were read by pig hunters, small punters and cowboy roofers, soldiers in Afghanistan and invisible men in Iraq. Books that were passed around with the cigarettes and beer until the pages fell out.
.. hey Bob.
Bob Barrett died last week – with work still to be done.
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