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roundarm, trepiditious and fungry

Eric ‘ Roundarm ‘ Pierce lives in a modest manor a block or two north of Ettalong town centre.

His tidy garden necklaces the four asbestos walls and tin roof that shield him from rain and heat, and by day and by night the deadly motes drift into his food, into his bed, and into his gaping mouth as he lies senseless and asleep.

Not alone though is Eric with his two dogs; Trepiditious the Jack Russell and Fungry the Mixed.

Eric is a big man with long broad arms and the shoulder breadth of a road worker and he wanders up and down the beach from time to time with Trep and Fungry and a couple of tennis balls and an old wooden racquet that washed up on Lobster beach in 1948.

His old dad found the racquet swimming in from Box head after he had had lost his cedar hollow board in the May ’48 cyclone swell.

There was an old photo on the wall of a Pearl beach restaurant that showed a succession of fifteen-foot swells stacking up past the northern point and traveling diagonally past a white watered Pearl Beach and down into the long sands of Ocean Beach a couple of days after the cyclone passed.

Right into the teeth of an out of season north westerly.

You can tell the conditions by the blownback mist from the top of the sets and the smiles on the faces of the three surfers in the foreground of the photo.

Eric’s dad, Jimmy Longduds from an aboriginal camp by Kourung Gourung and Ken from Avalon.

Boys then, black backed from exposure to the sun and wind, all squared up in the shoulders from paddling their big boards.


Eric wanders up and down the beach by the Palm Beach ferrystop some days with his couple of dogs his racquet and tennis balls.

Trep’s ball is hit gently here and there because the little Jack Russell is old now and near blinded by Bindii strike.

Fungry though is a different dog. Half Border Collie with a solid squirt of working Kelpie.

Eric will stand on the beach and nod the dog onto the jetty and then slug the ball to buggery out there into the wet roads and Fung will sprint flat out down the jetty boards and launch himself into the air and hit the water about twenty feet from the posts.


There would have been about thirty travelers on the top deck of the 9.30 today, all headed down to Palm Beach, for a million reasons.

There must have been 60 surfers out at Avalon today.

A bloke I’ve known for 30 years walked past me today and looked the other way.

Someone screams around here every night about 2am.

Cars roar by all night.

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