There was a blistering wind blowing in from the see. Monica and I after spending a hard day on our catamaran decided that we would go out for dinner and maybe go and see a movie. We had the catamaran near Sarina Beach in a small cove. People always assume that we are rich because we own a catamaran. When this happen, I think ‘if they could only see our catamaran’. It is only 23-foot-long and has seen better days. We bought it from a young man who had sailed it from Tasmania to North-Queensland for 600-pound Sterling. It was a lot of Money and we had to borrow some of it. Monica despite the cold weather had helped me to do some fiberglass work, where the deck was badly worn.
So, we started to get ready as we had to drive into Sarina where we had been living for the past two years. We were renting this two-bedroom house of Horrie McPherson, who with his brother owned a few houses in Sarina. They also owned the only second-hand shop for miles around. As the story goes, Horrie had sold a mattress to one of the locals. He in turn, upon getting the mattress home, found a tear in it and when he had a closer look at the tear, he put his hand in it. To his and everyone’s surprise he pulled-out a wad of banknotes. Apparently Horrie had put the Money in the Mattress so that his brother Arthur would not find it. When he finished counting the banknotes added up to a total of three thousand- and fifty-two-pound Stirling. Yes! He kept it because he had paid for the mattress and so it was his. Monica worked at the restaurant that we were going to. Myself I worked at the sugar mill where I worked as a chemist.
The money was good, but the hours were long as I like everyone else had to work twelve-hour shifts. Under normal circumstances she would have had our dinner ready by the time that I got home, but this was what we called our “Play-Day” which meant that we spent the day on our catamaran. I still drive my old ford customline, it is good enough for whatever driving we must do. Under the new government rule, the cost of luxuries like cars, boats, and other things that we deem necessary, have become awfully expensive. I am afraid this place is becoming like a 3rd world country. If anybody found out that I was saying things like that, I be soon in jail.
At this moment Monica ask me to help her with dress. I would call it a chiffon type cocktail dress. I am wearing my olive coloured slacks with a very pale mushroom colored shirt. I reflect on how stunning she looks and how lucky I am to have her as my partner. Mind you she looks just as lovely in cut-off jeans and a torn singlet. We have never talked about marriage and if we did, I would be only to happy to have her for my wife.
We arrived at “Monty’s” a little after 6pm, which gave as plenty of time to make it to the picture theatre in plenty of time. When I heard that the main feature was a documentary film called “World by Night” I was especially interested, as before settling in Australia I had traveled the world extensively as a sailor. Chris, the owner of “Monty’s” was there to greet us and show us to our table. When I ask him about the origin of the name “Monty” he laughed and told me that he had seen a movie, which had a character with the name Monty in it. Sometimes the name of an establishment is less exotic then we believe it to be.
Monica ordered a “Scotch Fillet” with all the trimmings and I had the same but started my meal with “Oysters Kilpatrick” which I would kill for. I selected a bottle of chardonnay, that I had tasted before. I looked at Monica and saw her eyes were sparkling. Our conversation steered towards the subject of sailing away from North Queensland and maybe visiting some of the islands north of us. Our heads were close together across the table as we were whispering about our dream of getting away from here. As I was saying earlier, if we were caught, or someone told the police about us leaving the state, we would be in big trouble.
When I went to pay for our meal, Chris told us not to worry about it as I had fixed his car, earlier in the week. The drive home was non eventual. At home, Monica got changed into her sexy nightdress, but put a dressing gown on over it. I poured us both a drink of whiskey & coca cola. What ever did we do before the invention of ‘Coca Cola’? We were sitting in our lounge chairs looking at catamarans for sale in a magazine.
Next morning early up and I was glad that I was on “Dayshift” for the next three days. Work was routine with nothing exciting happen.
After work I went to see to see Bill, the owner of the picture theatre. I asked him if I could record a small part of the film that we had watched the previous night. On my travels with the merchant navy, one of the ships that I worked on as a deckhand, went to Cuba. Whiles on shore leave I happen to be in a bar where a young Celia Cruz sang a song that was called “Gu, Gu, Ru Paloma”. I do not know whether I fell in love with the song or the singer. The song is of course sung in Spanish, the langue of Cuba and is about a dove. Anyway, in the film was an older Celia Cruz singing this same song and I love to record it as I do not think that I can get it in Queensland.
To my dismay Bill told me that a different film was showing for the rest of the week. Then seeing the look on my face, Bill told me that I could still record the song the next day as soon as my work finished. I was elated to say the least. I ask Bill if there was anything that I could do for him in return. Bill looked at me with a big grin on his face. Then told me that he would like to buy a tiny speaker that I owned. Bill belonged to the local theatre group and said that he would use the speaker in a telephone, so that the audience could hear what was being said by the actors. I told that he could have it and that I would not dream of charging him anything for it, as he was doing me a bigger favor that he could imagining. As soon as I got home, I told Monica my good news.
The next day as pre-arranged I went to the theater carrying my big reel to reel recorder, which I had brought of a tattooist in the state capital Brisbane. Bill was waiting for me at the door. We went upstairs to the projection booth, where Bill showed me where I could hook-up my recorder. He found what I was looking for on the second reel. When I was finished recording the song I ask Bill if he would like to come to the nearby Pub for a drink, but he declined saying that he had to get the theater ready for to-night’s performance of a new movie called “The Alamo” staring John Wayne and others that I didn’t know. At home I sat-up the recorder and played the song over and over until Monica walked over to the recorder and turned it off saying that that was enough for to-night. Ha!
The following Sunday as we were having a couple of Drinks and relaxing on the Verandah, we saw a very familiar car pulling up. It was my mate John or “Twistbee” as he was called by his Friends. After the car stopped, John got out and climbed up the stairs while I poored him a cold drink. To my surprise John called out “Don’t worry about that we got trouble!” I ask him what he meant, he replied with, the Slade-Point Slashers are in sown! Are you coming? I looked at Monica who nodded her head. John and I had known each other for a while, he also worked for the same sugar mill as I. When we first met, he was going with a girl by the name of Flora and I was going with Monica. John is now going with a young lady by the name of Elizabeth (Beth) and I will be going with Monica for as long as she will have me.
We took my car as John only has a small car which is not immensely powerful. The “Slade Point Slashers” are a mob of teenagers that live about 3 kilometers outside the city of Massey. They are ably named as they fight with razorblades and they will terrorize anyone that they know that they can beat-up or cut. Upon arriving at them main street, we saw that the “Sladies” as we called them were in the midst of terrorizing some young people.
Only John and I approached them, as in the meantime another two cars full of our friend’s hat arrived. When the “Sladies” saw John and I coming, they slowly, defiantly walked back to their vehicle, which was parked in front of the milk-bar. It was unusual for them to go anywhere with only one vehicle. As with all so called ‘Gangs’, deep down, without their mates they were cowards. By the time John and I parked next to their vehicle, all of them were in the front and on the back of their truck. The motor of their vehicle was noisily running, and I had hoped that by now that they were running too. Next thing I knew they were running to their vehicle and took off, but not the way they should have been going, namely towards their home, but instead they were driving towards the hills. After only a short while chasing them, they pulled over and waited for us to draw level with them.
After I stopped my car, john went over to them and with a very stern voice told them to go back to where they belonged and never to come back again. The “Sladies” were only too happy to leave as they thought that they were in for a big thrashing from us. If we did that, they would only retort the next time we were in their domain. When we got back home, John took me up on my offer for a drink. We had a few more drinks and John stayed for dinner. Poor John, what he didn’t know and we couldn’t tell him, was that in the early hours of the morning we were going to leave in the Caravan and hopefully never come back. To be continued………..