Brian Henderson Honoured: Sunday, 9th October, 1977

I awoke at ten to seven and arose at half past the hour to buy a copy of “The Sun-Herald”, at a cost of twenty cents, from the passing paperboy. Graham Marsh, has won the most prestigious tournament of his career, the Piccadilly Match Play. As its name would suggest it was held in England. In the final, the Australian defeated the American, Ray Floyd, five and three. Graham’s younger brother, Rodney, played Test cricket for Australia as both a wicketkeeper and a batsman. Earlier this year he signed to play for Kerry Packer’s troupe of renegades.

Between eight o’clock and twenty-five to nine, Tiki washed last night’s dishes while I dried them. We became somewhat sunburnt when, on this glorious day, we spent two and a half hours doing battle with the remaining chicken coops, wire netting and Wandering Jew.

Once inside we shared a ‘tinny’ of Reschs DA and another, which contained Tooheys Draught. Tiki had thrice thrown cold water over me as I showered yesterday, therefore, I wet her backside when I had hold of the hose, in the garden, this morning. Needless to say, I, again, had cold water thrown over me in the shower today.

“Francis Joins The Navy”, a picture from 1955, is on television from one o’clock. It is another in the series of films about the talking mule of that name. It, again, features the extremely talented Donald O’Connor and includes an appearance by a young Clint “Rawhide” Eastwood.

Tiki blow-dried my hair in the spare bedroom and at ten past two we departed to walk to her parents’. Due to the fact that her aching neck had caused her to have a restless night, “Mum” was in bed, asleep. I walked down to “Dad”, who was aboard his boat, the “Ocean Swell”. I assisted him to seal its windows with black ‘Bumastic’. The wash from a passing boat must have caused the aerial upon its roof to snap, for it fell to the side decking. He pulled the launch into its wooden cradle by hand and after I had operated the winch we locked the vessel in the large boatshed.

“Dad” drove me to the Fountain Inn, in “Mum’s” pale yellow, 3500cc ‘Rover’ V8 sedan. I paid fourteen dollars and ninety-five cents for a takeaway meal for the four of us. He hadn’t been keen to shout Tiki and I to our share of the meal but “Mum”, who had arisen by that stage, instructed him to because, she reasoned, they had dined at our place last night. I had selected fillet steak in black bean sauce, while Tiki had opted for duck.

Brian Henderson was this evening’s guest on “This Is Your Life” at half past seven. The show is compered by Channel Seven’s principal newsreader, the amiable Roger Climpson. Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, on the 15th of September, in 1931, Brian began reading news on Channel Nine in Sydney, in January of 1957. During the week, he remains that station’s reader of the evening news, in opposition to Roger Climpson. From 1958 until 1972 he presented the musical series, “Bandstand”, also on Channel Nine.

Tiki and I walked home briskly and as a consequence were in time to view the film, “Thunderball”, which casts the Scottish actor, Sean Connery, as the British spy, James Bond, who has a ‘licence to kill’. Bearing the copyright of 1965, it is the fourth film of the series and includes among its cast the French actress, Claudine Auger. Welsh singer, Tom Jones, sings its theme, in my opinion a highly underrated recording, that bears the same title as the film.


The Brush Off: Monday, 10th October, 1977

At Sydney Wide Discounts, in Miranda, I wrote out a cheque to the sum of twenty-two dollars and ninety-five cents as payment for a ‘Carmen’ hair dryer/styler.

A repetition of a programme from the series, “The Mod Squad”, screened on Channel Ten at noon. This was followed by the last half an hour of “The Mike Walsh Show” on Channel Nine; which, in turn, was followed by the last forty-five minutes of the movie, “Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”, on Channel Seven. Produced in 1964, the film features Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni.

The British series, “Billy Liar”, appeared on Channel Seven from half past two. Tiki arrived home from work and I presented her with the unexpected gift. The only problem being that the styling brush was missing from the box.

I left at twenty-five to seven to walk and jog through Gymea and Miranda. Upon my return, at a quarter past the hour, I noted that the diminutive English actor, comedian and singer, Norman Wisdom, was being interviewed by the Australian actress, Jacki Weaver, on “Willesee”.

At half past seven, James Garner appeared as Jim Rockford in “The Rockford Files”.

‘The Best Of Paul Hogan’: Tuesday, 11th October, 1977

I awoke momentarily at 5.30 a.m. and found it to be so light that I almost switched off the alarm, set for an hour hence. At Sydney Wide Discounts, I had no trouble in getting a styling brush to take the place of the one that was missing from Tiki’s new ‘Carmen’ styler/dryer.

“The Best Of Paul Hogan” was shown on Channel Nine from half past seven this evening. As I had seen much of it before, I washed the dishes and, as there was little to enthuse about on television, retreated to bed by twenty five past nine.

‘The Sand Pebbles’: Wednesday, 12th October, 1977

It was already nineteen degrees Celsius at 8.30 a.m. At ten o’clock, “Behind The News” is presented by Barry Eaton. It includes segments on Japan, stamps, and the Russian performing bears. “People Of Many Lands”, which is also on A.B.C.-TV, follows at twenty past the hour and focuses upon northern India.

“Major Till” won the Coongy Handicap this afternoon from “Happy Union” and “Petekin”. The winner is expected to run in the Melbourne Cup.

Today’s maximum of twenty-eight degrees Celsius seemed far warmer. It is still twenty-six degrees at seven o’clock.

At half past seven the film, “The Sand Pebbles”, screens on Channel Seven. Despite the fact that it was made eleven years ago, this evening’s airing marks its premiere on television in Sydney. Steve “Wanted: Dead Or Alive” McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Candice Bergen and Richard “Our Miss Brooks”/”The Real McCoys”/”Slattery’s People” Crenna are members of its cast. I retired at twenty past eleven, having washed the dishes and put out the garbage.


Thirty-Seven Tomorrow: Thursday, 13th October, 1977

At 7.45 a.m. John Burles played Cliff Richard’s hit of 1963, “It’s All In The Game”, which had previously been successful for the American singer, Tommy Edwards, in 1951 and 1958. It was played to honour the fact that tomorrow will mark Cliff’s thirty-seventh birthday. Born as Harry Roger Webb, in Lucknow, northern India, the singer, songwriter and actor adopted the name of ‘Cliff’ from rock — as in rock and roll — and ‘Richard’, in honour of the early rocker, Little Richard. Cliff thought ‘Richards’ would sound more appropriate, however, his promoter, in 1958, convinced him that ‘Richard’ was ideal because reporters and journalists would call him ‘Richards’ and he could receive the added publicity by stopping them and making the correction.

I held an American gridiron football for the first time today. It bore the brand name of ‘Wilson’ and was weightier than I had expected it to be. Another first was the necessity to water our front lawn!

“Country Road”, at six o’clock, was hosted by Johnny Chester and included footage of Charley Pride performing his hit of 1971, “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ “, and, once again, Don Williams singing his hit of two years ago, “You’re My Best Friend”.

Roger Climpson read Channel Seven’s News from half past six. Sydney recorded a maximum temperature of twenty-seven degrees Celsius. After we had viewed “Willesee”, we left on our walk. Miranda Fair was crowded with late-night shoppers. There was a contest in progress on the shopping centre’s stage to determine which of the five participants could eat spaghetti the fastest.


“Oh, For Some Air-conditioning!”: Friday, 14th October, 1977

The mercury had already risen to twenty-six degrees Celsius by eight o’clock. Our drive to work was uncomfortable, however, the return journey bordered upon being unbearable as our car does not possess air conditioning. The maximum of thirty-four has resulted in the declaration that this has been Sydney’s hottest day, in October, since 1969.

‘River of January’: Sunday, 16th October, 1977

Tiki’s mother rang at 8.20 a.m. to inform her that she, “Dad” and Wendy would be arriving at ten o’clock. Her father would then help me take some of the huge pile of rubbish to the tip, which is located at Menai.

“Dad” and I filled up his red utility and paid two dollars to dump the load. There were about thirty vehicles present and a suitably attired caterpillar tractor was busily pushing the rubbish around.

After lunch we, again, loaded the vehicle. “Mum” accompanied us this time. The number of the ticket indicated to us that one hundred and forty vehicles had entered since our first visit. During the return journey, I was driven around the settlement of Woronora so that I could be shown a house of reddish brick which, they say, is similar to the brick that they have chosen to replace the weatherboards on their own home.

Before the three departed, “Dad” fitted our new ‘Lockwood’ deadlock to the back door. Once Tiki had blow-dried my hair with her new ‘Carmen’ dryer/styler, we set out, on foot, to follow them.

We had jogged to the bottom of one hill in President Avenue, when Tiki dared me to run up the next. I was silly enough to do so, however, Tiki exhibited enough wisdom to stop a part of the way up.

At half past five I asked “Mum” if I might watch the last half an hour of A.B.C.-TV’s coverage of the qualifier, which was being played here in Sydney. Australia had not scored, whereas, Kuwait had netted twice. Although the home side did eventually manage to score, the loss means that Australia has virtually no hope of qualifying for a berth at next year’s World Cup of soccer.

“Sunday Magazine”, which was also on Channel Two, took the viewer to Rio de Janeiro whose name, in English, means ‘River of January’. We departed at half past eight, having watched “Steptoe and Son”. A brown dog followed us all of the way home from Taren Road.

We watched much of Channel Seven’s British movie, “Ooh… You Are Awful”, which emanates from 1973. It features Dick “The Dick Emery Show” Emery and Liza “Skippy” Goddard.

Tiki retired at half past ten, but I viewed the “Bing Crosby Tribute” on Channel Nine. The programme showed his last live television concert, which was held as recently as the seventeenth of August.

Retrograde Selection: Monday, 17th October, 1977

Four out of every ten suburban trains aren’t running today, due to a strike. On this gloriously sunny morning John Burles, an announcer on 2KY, played Bing Crosby singing “Muddy Water”. The song was recorded on the 3rd of July, in 1927 when he was a vocalist with the highly successful orchestra of the bandleader, Paul Whiteman. Crosby, whose death was announced on Saturday, achieved his first hit, as a soloist, in 1931 with “Just A Gigolo” on one side of the record and “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams” on the other.

Bob Simpson, at the age of forty-one, is named as Australia’s captain for the forthcoming Test series against India. Australian officials have deemed the retrograde selection to be necessary because of the ban placed upon all of those Australian cricketers who signed to play for Kerry Packer’s renegade troupe. The former Australian captain, last played for his country in 1968. He is also named as the new captain of New South Wales.

This evening we watched the first half of the film, “The Last Of Sheila”. Produced in 1973, it stars James Coburn, James Mason, Dyan Cannon, Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin and Joan Hackett.


Footnote: David Lee Roth, in 1985, included a more lively rendition of “Just A Gigolo” on his medley that combines it with another hit from the past, “I Ain’t Got Nobody”. Bing Crosby, on the other hand, is credited with being the most prolific recording artist of the twentieth century. Between 1931 and 1962 no less than three hundred and thirty-two of his recordings entered or re-entered the American charts as singles. This number does not include those he performed with other artists, the most notable of these being The Andrews Sisters.


Great Crisis!: Tuesday, 18th October, 1977

We were almost at the intersection of Rocky Point Road and the Prince’s Highway on a gloriously sunny morning when John Burles broadcast the news that the favourite for Saturday’s W.S. Cox Plate, “Luskin Star”, had been injured in an exhibition gallop at Moonee Valley this morning and that his future in racing might be in some doubt.

However, when I bought a copy of “The Sun” at lunchtime I learned that the injury to the horse was not as bad as was firstly believed although it is still uncertain if he will run on Saturday.

This evening, “Willesee”, was devoted to a debate over the strike by workers in the industry that generates and provides power, which has virtually crippled the state of Victoria. The Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, described its duration of nine weeks as this country’s “greatest crisis in industrial memory”. Union leader, John Halfpenny, and the Federal Minister for Labour, Tony Street, were also on the programme.

Heedful of the requirement for some levity, we watched “The Dave Allen Special” from half past seven. The Irish comedian really has perfected the art of telling a joke!

Strike Drags On: Wednesday, 19th October, 1977

“Mum” and Wendy travelled into town to attend a screening of “Smokey And The Bandit”. The film stars Burt Reynolds, Sally “Gidget”/”The Flying Nun”/”The Girl With Something Extra” Field, Jerry Reed and Jackie Gleason.

This evening “Willesee”, again, centres upon the strike by workers within the power industry that has virtually crippled Victoria. I am listening to the radio for a change. Towards the end of a day that delivered extreme heat and humidity and a maximum of twenty-nine degrees Celsius, it is raining and we are, therefore, not going for a walk. I am listening to “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue”, which is sung by Loretta Lynn’s sister, Crystal Gayle. It isn’t a hit out here, yet, although it is doing well in the United States.

At nine o’clock we watched the film, “A Cry In The Wilderness”. George Kennedy and Joanna Pettet occupy prominent roles in this production from 1973. Another motion picture, “Victory At Entebbe”, was being shown on Channel Ten.



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