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getting out of bondi

Bondi had its generations and within the generations were tribes – for instance – the members born anywhere between 1942 and 1946 who experienced the ignominy of being left leaning against the fence opposite the Astra on a Saturday morning looking like a shag on a rock when Bondi was big and blown out and the Bower and Dee Why Point had beckoned Cochran, Bennett, Collyer, Mayes, Dillon, Ross, Magoo and Wheels away in fast moving automobiles that cruised on past us and up Campbell Parade; but what made it insufferably worse was to see Conneeley smiling out of a window.

But then he won Bells in ’65. So it was ok, thinking backwards.

Inexplicably, Magoo’s was the only ride Bob ever scored, but the inside information was that when Bazza finally speared that monster grouper off Mackenzie he had to go so deep he ruptured an eardrum. His left one. The one that couldn’t hear what Bonzer was saying.

Cars were gold.

And if your old man was a milko who had a sleep-six size van to spare on a weekend when the Haven was bending around the point you had six travelling companions for life.

Pilkington drove one. Pickles. Loved and unloved. Tall and gangling, red-haired. He had to have been a goofy-foot he moved so awkward but he had great taste in music.

Pickles was never much as a board rider but he had the elites for company when he went motoring north with Brennan, Cornish, Pickford (ever tried separating those two?), Evans and Sinclair aboard.

Gary Moffat left thirteen layers of rubber on Beaconsfield Street over the years as testament to his solidarity with the notion that drinking many beers after intimidating the Newport Reef locals on the best day in ten years was a just and rewarding exercise.

He too travelled with the elites. The Coady brothers, Morris, Spencer, Lindsay and Brennan again, and again. He was small enough to fit anywhere, trouble was he got big in the water. Come to think of it, the other blokes were a little big on fashion – Morris used to wear mohair sweaters and Spencer wore belts with big buckles.

Then Max Beaumont showed up in somebody’s used Cadillac. Beaumont could park anywhere at Palm Beach because the old boy now known as Bloater was once as popular as Crash Craddock with the ladies and he had to have enough room around his car to accommodate the jostling throngs.

Yatesy ! Wayne Yates, best mate in the day.

Yates bought a car, a white Goggomobile, only to find out that the only racks that would fit it were made by the same midgets who built the car, and they didn’t.

I looked up from the kitchen sink in the house Mick Trenerry and I were renting at Byron once to see Brennan’s little head poking around the door. Big smile. Howeraya? The Pass was on, had been for days.

Can I stay a while?

Didn’t happen. Didn’t with Nat either later on, and Witzig wouldn’t have got a bed if I was at home that weekend.

But Midget would have been ok.


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