Monday, October 02, 2006

Me Ole' Mate Peter PART II

Me ole' mate Peter.

It's now 1976 and Peter and Julie have moved up to Toowoomba.
They have bought a house and it needs a lot of work to bring it
"up to scratch". The roof needs painting and I offered to do it,
as Peter doesn't like those sort of heights whereas one is balancing
on a roof so one weekend I drove up to Toowoomba. I climbed up
onto the roof and tied myself onto the TV aerial, and commenced
to spread the paint, and boy did I spread it. Apparently I didn't
paint it, I coated it.....thickly. Peter was amazed when after a short
amount of time I called "bring me up another tin of paint". To this
day I am still reminded abut the amount of paint I used. Peter
swears that I just poured the paint onto the roof and didn't use a
paint brush, but jees the roof sure looked good after I had finished.

The house in Toowoomba before the roof was painted.

The roof after it was painted a bright yellow.

Peter and Julie decided to go into new business other than a service station.
They bought a Rubber Stamp business and a School Bus Run. Julie who
had the head for office type work operated the stamp business while Peter
took on the job running the school bus.
Julie's office was situated in town while Peter's bus run operated in the
mornings and afternoons taking and bringing children to and from school.
Toowoomba was a country town and Peter's run took him to outlying
areas to collect the children.
During one of my visits Peter told me about a colony of koalas that he
passed while picking up the children on the bus run. I asked him if he'd
take me out to see them as I hadn't seen koalas in the wild. We drove out
of town down a dirt road out in the bush and there they were. They were
fairly high up in the trees and Peter decided to climb up to get a closer
photo of the nearest koala.

You can just see a koala up to the left of Peter's head.

On another occaision I was driving up to Toowoomba when I had just
gone through a small town called Gatton. I was now in the EJ Holden.
Ten miles outside of Gatton looking in the rear vision mirror I couldn't
see anything, only a huge plume of white thick smoke. I stopped and
hailed a passing motorist and they were able to get a message to the
motoring service centre where I was a member. Eventually a tow truck
with the service man arrived and after inspecting the car he decided
that the engine had "blown up". I instructed him to tow my car back to
Gatton and left the car at the local repair shop. I rang Peter and he drove
down to pick me up. Sunday, the next day I caught a bus back to Brisbane.
I received a phone call from Gatton on Monday and I agreed to have a
reconditioned engine put into my car. When it was ready I caught a bus
back to Gatton and collected my car.
During their three years in Toowoomba I visited them on quite a number
of occaisions where at times we would go away on weekends to Lamington
National Park (where we camped overnight), the Warwick Rodeo, the
Amberley Air Show and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. On another
visit one of Peter's sons Marcus (Marcus's blog is Holt Press and worth a
look-see) had arrived from Perth and he stayed with Peter and Julie for
a number of months.

Peter, Julie and Warren having a bite to eat during one of our bush walks.

After three years Peter and Julie decided to sell up in Toowoomba and go on a
driving holiday around Australia. This was about 1979. While they were
touring I had met a woman and eventually we decided to get married. As Peter
and Julie were on the road somewhere in Australia and no way to contact them
it was not until they finally finished their nine month "holiday" and they had
then decided to settle down in Maryborough in Victoria, that they found out
that I was now a "condemned" (nah only joking) man and was now engaged,
maybe even married as time has robbed me of some of my time memories.
Now they were living even further away in Victoria (the lowest state in
Australia...excluding Tasmania which is a island and situated below Victoria).
They bought a small sheep property and to supplement the income from the
farm they obtained a job with a photographic laboratory whereas they would
visit a large number of country schools and take school photos. The area they
covered was quite large and they did this for about eight years.

Peter and Julie at Peter's dads house in Amberley.

During the 14 years they lived in Maryborough, I must admit (to my slackness)
I never managed to visit them once, but at least once a year they would drive
up to Queensland to visit Peter's parents who had moved from Amberley to
Rosewood (where you may remember Peter and Julie had once operated a
service station). On a lot of these visits they would often drive into Brisbane
to visit me (and you thought they had moved further away to get away from
me...oh ye of little faith).
Then in 1994, Peter visited me (without Julie) and he told me that after 24
years of mostly good times, Julie decided that she no longer wanted to be a
married couple. Peter was fairly devastated and decided to drive across
Australia to tell his children of the break up. Finally he returned to Queensland
and after his visit with me he drove further north where he finally stopped at
Tin Can Bay. Here he moved into a caravan park and purchased one of the
on site vans. I would drive up to visit Peter maybe every three months.
Eventually Peter along with a couple who also lived in the park, Lyle and
Margaret (who now has a blog called Margarets Memoirs) decided to
purchase a small property just outside of Gympie. There was a house on
the property and a huge shed. Peter decided to have the caravan taken to
the property where the caravan was installed inside the shed.

The shed with the caravan inside on the farm in Gympie.

Here Peter lived until eventually due to Lyle's ill health, they had to sell the
farm and Peter bought a house in Gympie. Peter and I would take turns
visiting each other and in 2002 we went on holidays and drove around
Australia in 3 weeks. Well not really true as I only had three weeks holiday
from work, I flew back to Brisbane from Perth while Peter eventually drove
back to Gympie after visiting with his three sons in Perth. Then in 2003 we
drove up to Lake Tinaroo to go barramundi fishing and didn't catch a bloody
thing, although we had a great time and then drove up to Cairns.

This is what we were fishing for "the barra" a great sporting fish.

I found these photos on the net. Barramundi start life as males, reaching maturity at around 3 to 4 years of age and later change gender and become females, usually at around age 5. Small fish are almost exclusively male with the percentage of females increasing with overall length. They can grow up to 1.8 metres (6 feet) and weigh up to 60kg (130lbs).
We have been friends for over 30 years and have been through good
times and bad times and I wouldn't change it for one minute.
Thank you Peter for your friendship.

Peter and Warren at "The Palms" in Gympie.


Margaret said...

Great post Warren Me ole' mate peter. You know it takes a long time to grow an old friend, so my oldest friend Ede tells me. Liked the photo of the fish you never caught as well. Thanks for comments on my post I really appreciate them. Yes I remember the meals and laughs we shared at Gympie. I agree being alone does have both advantages and disavantages I guess.

Peter said...

A reasonably accurate assessment of the 30 odd years (odd being the operative word here) that we have been friends, there's nothing Warren wouldn't do for me and there's nothing I wouldn't do for him.... So we do nothing for each other and get along just fine.

Merle said...

Hi Warren ~ Very good post about my little brother. I think I may have taken the last photo of you two at The Palms New Year's Day 2001 ??
I bet Peter wouldn't try climbing a tree these days, and maybe you won't paint any more roofs ~~ Time marches on (or should that be gallops?)
Well done Warren. Take care, Regards, Merle.

Jim said...

Warren, that is a wonderful write-up about you and Peter. Not everyone has such a good friendship, you know. Not one that stays close and lasts so long.

Meow said...

What a wonderful couple of posts about a wonderful frienship. Good friends should be treasured, and it seems the two of you treasure each other (sorry, is that too mushy !!)
Have a great weekend.
Take care, Meow

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

What a great post about your friendship with Peter and WOW I've never seen fish that BIG either.