jimmy’s red merc’
Jimmy Keevers – you have to picture him. A skinny goofy-foot with light in his eyes as we sit on the Brunswick south wall looking at Paradises’ lefts. He went, I stayed. Jimmy had five boards under his house, I had one on top of the car and Brunswick was eating them up that day.
They took me into Jimmy’s pig-pen the day they were hiring at Walkers, asked me to to sit and wait while they got things sorted in the office. Ten minutes later one of them poked his head around the door to see if Jimmy had scared me away with his slow motion pig killing technique. Now there was a bond made in Heaven, we got on so well I had lunch with him and his brother later on, up at the top of the shute, watching Les ping cows with his bolt gun. Johnny surfs Wategos every morning I’m told, and loves to have everybody share his waves, just like the old days.
Jimmy drove a battered, red Merc’ battleship through Byron town one day with ten boards stacked onto the roof and ten heads hanging out of all the windows all yelling at us how good it was going to be wherever they were going. That car rained red rust on tarmac.
Jimmy’s a little rusty now, he must be 70 plus, like me.
He has a brother in town, Sput, the spaceship baby boy, he runs a business down there and here we are today leaning over the counter and he asks. ‘when did you last see Jim?’ I answer.
Jim’s in Brisbane, under care after a big black stroke hit him when he was 33.
Surf’s been up, they say.
header pic: South Sea Island mothers enslaved on the Queensland sugarcane fields.
Here’s to ye old friend, I hope someone tells you I remember.