Wilbert Harrison

One of thirteen children, Wilbert Harrison was born in January of 1929, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although he is known best as a singer of rhythm and blues, he was also an accomplished pianist and guitarist.

Wilbert’s career exploded, in 1959, when he took “Kansas City” to No.1 on both Billboard’s pop and rhythm and blues charts. The song had actually been written by the legendary duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, in 1952.

Regardless of the fact Wilbert continued to tour and record, it was to be another decade before he would re-enter the charts. This event came in the form of the self-penned single, “Let’s Work Together (Part 1)”, which reached No.32 on Billboard’s Hot 100, in 1969.

“Let’s Work Together” was covered by Canned Heat in 1970 and under the title of “Let’s Stick Together” was to be taken to No.4, in Britain, and No.2, in Australia, by the leader of Roxy Music, Englishman Bryan Ferry, in 1976.

Wilbert Harrison died from a stroke, in October of 1994, at the age of sixty-five.

Can We Afford Not To Act?

A report issued this week and conducted on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund by the University of Newcastle states that the average person globally could be ingesting five grams of microplastics weekly.

Five grams, the report suggests, is the equivalent to the consumption of one credit card.

Without really wanting to detract from the gravity of this situation, yet being unable to suppress the urge, I quipped to Tiki: “I wonder what the rate of interest is on fifty-two cards per year?!”

Flippancy aside, Tiki and I view this situation extremely seriously and while we believe that as there are already an estimated one hundred and fifty million tonnes of plastic and other rubbish in our oceans, and that the proverbial horse in regard to this has already bolted, each morning we, without fail, manage to fill a plastic bag with litter during our daily walk.

In the years that we have been doing this we have only witnessed one other couple bothering to do the same.

We used to exercise two of our dogs at a communally designated area where they could run freely with other people’s breeds. One day, to pass the time, I took a plastic scoop with me and busied myself by picking up the ubiquitous droppings of others’ animals.

Tiki was standing on a rise some distance from me when a gentleman came up to her and started a conversation. When he noticed me in the distance, he remarked in words similar to these: “Look at that bloke down there. He can’t have much in his life!”

“That’s my husband!”, she responded.

Without the utterance of another word, he walked away.

Thrilling News: Friday, 25th November, 1977

Tiki dried my hair and we left for work at a quarter to eight, just as it began to rain. Although the rain didn’t last for long, the sky remained overcast for the remainder of the day. During our return journey, Tiki told me that she will buy me a new golf bag, buggy and a brand-new set of clubs for my birthday next year. I’m thrilled!

I suggested that we go out for dinner and, therefore, Tiki looked through the yellow pages of the telephone directory and selected the restaurant, Cassidy’s Stagecoach, which is located upstairs and opposite Bob Pollard Discounts on the Kingsway, in Caringbah.

We sat in a corner beneath an old still that depicted the American Civil War and featured the actor, John Wayne. We were served by a woman dressed in tight blue jeans and a red top. The service was particularly slow, perhaps because we were drinking lemon squash, as opposed to wine.

Tiki ordered steak chasseur at a cost of four dollars and ninety-five cents and the woman recommended the Texan’s rib for me. It was twenty-five cents more than Tiki’s course and while it was tender, it was almost unbearably oily and all too obviously the source of too much cholesterol for me to enjoy.

A circular apple pie, that looked suspiciously as though it had been bought from a pie shop, was served with two scoops of ice-cream for dessert. A cup each of percolated coffee, accompanied by an after-dinner mint, resulted in a bill of fourteen dollars and seventy-five cents.

It was twenty past eight before we emerged. Tiki had set her mind on us walking to Cronulla from there and so she took a moment to change into what I term her “duck feet” flat-soled shoes. It was twenty minutes to ten when we returned to the car.

Tiki opted to retire to bed shortly after we arrived home, however, in order to write my diary, I remained up until five past eleven.

 

No Love Lost: Saturday, 26th November, 1977

I woke Tiki at 2.55 a.m. because I felt unwell. After I had consumed a glass of water, which contained an effervescent, we partially watched Channel Nine’s ‘Late Late Movie’: “In Search Of Gregory”. Made in 1970, it stars the English actress, Julie Christie. We returned to bed by four o’clock, but still suffered from a restless sleep in what were humid conditions.

At half past eight I departed for Rockdale. Turning to the right at the town hall, I parked the car on the hill near to where I had done so in September on the day that I collected Tiki’s birthday present. As then, I boarded a train to take me into the city only this time I alighted at St. James Station.

I entered Diamond Traders’ showroom on the lower floor where I looked for a locket or pendant, preferably in the shape of a heart and in possession of a small diamond. Not wanting to spend in excess of a hundred dollars, I failed to see what I had hoped and headed off down Pitt Street to Manzo Park Lane, thence still farther on, to Prouds. I had seen an eighteen carat pendant with a nine carat chain in Manzo’s, which was priced at one hundred and two dollars. Nevertheless, I decided to return to Diamond Traders and this time visit its showroom upstairs before making a final decision.

However, nothing that the middle-aged lady showed me really appealed. It was for this reason that she directed me to the cabinets that were placed along a wall. There, I saw two pendants which matched the description of what I had sought. The only problem being neither was priced to fit within the limit of my budget.

The one of eighteen-carat gold, which came with a chain made from that of nine, was priced at one hundred and fourteen dollars. While the combination that consisted entirely of gold of eighteen carats, bore a price tag of one hundred and eighty-five dollars. Wanting what I considered to be the better of what I really couldn’t afford for Tiki, I wrote out a cheque for the latter amount.

Upon my entrance in to George Street, I was eager to remain in advance of an anti-uranium demonstration, in which people displayed yellow balloons while others blew on recorders. I entered the sport store, Mick Simmons, to price a set of thirteen superseded Jack Nicklaus golf clubs only to learn that it would have cost me three hundred and ninety-six dollars for the clubs alone!

I didn’t have to wait to board a train at Central and shared a compartment with a middle-aged woman who was obviously prepared to ignore the perceived possibility of being fined ten dollars for smoking. I stopped at the T.A.B. in Miranda and outlaid one dollar in the hope of securing the trifecta on this afternoon’s meeting in Sydney; opting for “Gold Planet”, “Little Ben” and “Star Dragon” to finish in that order.

As I pulled into our drive, at a quarter to one, I could not help but notice that our new awning had been installed above the window to our bedroom. Tiki said that the man had called at half past eleven.

We watched Will Rogers Jr. play his father in the film, “The Will Rogers’ Story”. Produced in 1952, it also stars Jane Wyman. I turned to Channel Two, at two, to watch its live telecast from the Victoria Golf Club, in Melbourne, of the Colgate Champion of Champions tournament.

At the end of today’s third round Bob Shearer and Jack Newton are tied in the lead at seven under par, two strokes in advance of the Americans Ray Floyd and John Benda. The round was played in the hot conditions as the mercury reached thirty-five degrees Celsius in Melbourne.

Whilst Tiki was asleep on the floor in front of the television, I sneaked her present in from beneath the seat of the ‘Galant’ and placed it in a pocket of my sports coat, which I have owned since 1969.

I called Tiki inside at half past four and we watched two of our three runners, in the race on which the trifecta was held, finish second and third. The favourite, “Little Ben”, was unplaced and the winner, “Lucky Launching”, started at the odds of sixty-six to one. The trifecta paid two thousand eight hundred and seventeen dollars.

We left on foot for the shop near the railway station to return four lemonade bottles and receive the deposit of twenty cents that had been paid on each. We had asked the plump girl who was serving us for two full bottles and noted that she had to subtract eighty cents from one dollar and twenty cents on a piece of paper to determine how much we owed.

At half past six the programme in Bob Raymond’s series, “Australian National Parks”, concentrated upon those in Western Australia. These included the amazing Geikie Gorge, which I visited in 1972 and Tiki, a year later.

“Brutus” rang at half past seven, to say that he will be departing for Melbourne on Wednesday. He plans to visit Susan and Roger while he is there. The conversation just dragged on and on and he informed me that if we wanted to know what he was doing, we should ring the only one of his siblings to whom he will be writing during his absence.

By this time I was becoming pretty bored with the whole thing, so I lowered the receiver and farted into it. Tiki, who was seated next to me, couldn’t believe her eyes. Nor her ears, when I proceeded to hold her responsible!

At five past eight we left to walk and jog through Gymea and Miranda. We returned by nine o’clock and TikiĀ  talked me into watching the picture, “Any Second Now”, on Channel Two. The English actor, Stewart Granger, plays the part of a baddie who is intent upon murdering his rich, amnestic wife. Lois Nettleton, Dana Wynter, who was born in Germany, Marion “Happy Days” Ross and Joseph Campanella are its other principal protagonists. We didn’t get to bed until half past eleven by which time I felt exhausted.

Unreturnable Bottles: Sunday, 27th November, 1977

Although we awoke firstly at half past six, we returned to slumber until a quarter to eight. I tickled Tiki’s back until half past the hour. That was when I heard the paperboy’s whistle.

As I read our copy of “The Sun-Herald”, which cost twenty cents, I listened to Sydney’s 2GB. It plays a selection of music from the 1940s to the present, however, this range can’t be of appeal to the general public, as in the latest survey of ratings it is listed as the radio station with the least number of listeners.

We left at a quarter to eleven and Tiki drove to a shop on Willarong Road, in Caringbah, to return six empty bottles that had contained lemonade. As I had attempted to tell her earlier, three of the bottles weren’t acceptable because they were non-returnable.

Tiki purchased a copy of the “Woman’s Day” and drove out to Kurnell in what was then warm sunshine. At the fruit market on the corner near the entrance to Captain Cook’s Landing Place, we bought oranges, apples, cherries, celery, pumpkin, grapefruit etcetera to the sum of eight dollars and sixty-eight cents.

It was a quarter to twelve by the time we returned and five to one when I turned on Channel Two’s live coverage of the final round of the tournament, Colgate Champion of Champions, from the Victoria Club, in Melbourne. The prize money totalled one hundred and fifty thousand dollars of which the winner, Bob Shearer, received thirty thousand.

Bob’s total of seven under par, placed him a stroke in advance of the quartet comprised of Britain’s Maurice Bembridge, Jack Newton, and the Americans Curtis Strange and John Benda. John had chipped in from a bunker at the last to card an eagle. Jack Newton had enjoyed a lead of two strokes until the fourteenth, and at one stage on the inward nine Bob Shearer had been three strokes from the lead.

“Ask The Leyland Brothers”, at half past five, transports the viewer to the historic Richmond Bridge and the former penal colony at Port Arthur, both of which are located in southern Tasmania, as well as the lakes at Mount Gambier, in South Australia. An hour later, ‘Feather Farm’ on “The Wonderful World of Disney” is about the ostrich farming in the early 1900s, in Arizona, and stars a young, clean-cut Nick Nolte.

Still on Channel Nine, “Hawaii Five-O” is followed, at half past eight, by “The Mind Of Mr. Soames”. A product of 1969, the movie features Robert “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Vaughn who plays the part of a medical wizard. The English actor, Terence Stamp, is cast as the man of thirty who has been in a coma since birth.

 

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