Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Back Cover of Volume One; Goodbye, Gus.

INSIDE THE BACK COVERIt's rather silly stuff about STADF - the Save the African (or Australian) Doodle Foundation. If you can't bring yourself to read PETER GARRAN'S handwriting at the bottom, it says:And now - to all you Doodlers - I hope you've enjoyed yourself - but the book will be back - same time - next French lesson for Volume II - Don't miss this big event - BE THEIR!"Be their what?" I've written. Although Peter was one of the very good Spellers, along with me, this is not the first time he's writtentheirforthere . (There are a couple of instances wheir I've made the same mistake.)

This is the back cover of Volume One, and like most exercise books from those heady days of the early to mid seventies, it contains information about the metric system. Metrification (or metrication, if you prefer) began in Australia in 1970, much to my relief. I remember in second class, in 1969, trying to remember how many feet or yards there are in a mile (I would still have to look it up). The metric system makes a lot more sense to me. Anyway, in the top left is official logo for the metrification of Australia (which actually took 18 years to complete officially). I made it chicken Australia, but ANGUS MCDONALD added the egg-laying Doodle aspect of it. GUS also crossed out letters and added N to make Metric Manure. I wrote Senatus Populusque Romanus, S.P.Q.R., because I was a Latin student.The price of the book was Ray Price, with clarinet. I couldn't remember who Ray Price was, and not surprising, really, as he was a rugby player in those years. (I still carry no interest in rugby of any type.)LENGTH: PETER GARRAN wrote Free Ali Baba and the Phorty Theeves

CRISTMASSIAH: PrunitSymbolGrammaoldgKilogranma .kgStonnetiontI suspect it was HUGH NELSON who added the letters here. However, it was GUS who definitely added the appendages to the people, being so rude for the adult female that I censored it out: 63kg TOP HEAVY. (Presumably he had drawn huge breasts on the woman.) PETER GARRAN added Little Pete coming in at 40kg; he was one of the smaller boys in our year, but now he is a respectable height. (His brother Robert was tall, and he father was well over tall.) (STEFAN SCHAEFER told me that he was the smallest boy in our year for two years. He is now a respectable height, too.)

CAPACITY: PHUNIT - PUGH IS A GENIUSNITPrunitsymbolMilliltremlLitrexpoohKilolitrex ..The RunsA Coca Cola bottle: Take Litrex, the Wonder Laxative, Litrex.

AREA:Nothing to report, but the price sticker is there, censored, so who knows how much was paid to buy the exercise book originally. Now, of course, it is Priceless (apart from Ray Price being in the top right corner).Right at the bottom it's signed Peter Jackson in Gus McDonald's ink. That was (maybe still is, who cares) a brand of cigarettes. The Jackson in our year was Anthony Jackson.Along the side is the legend LET'S STICK TOGETHER because Volume One is taped together with Volume Two.

CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE : ANGUS MCDONALD (after finishing the above)While I was in Australia recently for my father's funeral, I found a newspaper article I had saved (and forgotten) about Angus McDonald after the publication of his book THE FIVE FOOT ROAD: IN SEARCH OF VANISHED CHINA in 1995 or1996 . He had retraced the 1894 journey of from Beijing to Yangon. Gus was a photographer and travel writer primarily concerned with Asia.I thought I was on the verge of actually contacting him, as I had Googled his name and "author" - and found his website.. A contact address! HOWEVER, on looking further down the search results page I was dismayed to see a link to The Sydney Morning Herald . (The Hamish McDonald whom I thought was his brother that writes for the SMH is an older Hamish McDonald.)He was a month older than me (born in Paris; his parents were diplomats) and died suddenly of a heart attack in Myanmar when was in respite from pancreatic cancer in March 2013 (not sure what date, but he was 51). Despite his sometimes rude-bordering-on-vulgar contributions to The Doodle Book, I really enjoy his larrikinish work. I posted his first Contributor Profile on 16 March 2013.(The Missing Doodle)Resquiescat in pacem, Gus.
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