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Showing posts from August, 2013

Churchyard anger: an early lesson about bullies

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It was early morning, mid-April 1971 and I was in the back seat of my parent's brand-new, shiny-white Holden Kingswood, trying to listen to Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" which was blasting valiantly from the tinny AM radio but losing to the road noise coming in through the open windows.

We were driving the 15 km or so down the dusty Riverina Highway from our "home town" of Finley to the "big smoke" of Berrigan.  My mother was an aspiring portrait and landscape artist, but living in the country gave her few opportunities to display her work.  The annual Berrigan Art Fair was one of these.

As I recall, back then the fair was held at a local church.  And, it being a Sunday in deeply conservative rural New South Wales, my atheist parents were naturally obliged to attend the service.
I remember quite clearly arriving at the imposing building, nestled in amongst tall trees, a paddock to one side.  As we walked in through the pipe-iron and wire gate,…