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Re: A small primates view of the week that was.

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Dear Kathleen, Bill and Dennis,

It has to be addressed to someone.

What a week its been my second week on this list server.

My recollection of the Boy Scouts experiment is to take a group of people
and split them into two groups and give each group a common goal to achieve.
In this case they did teh experiemnts with a common group of Boy Scouts.

After a while the two groups assume an idenity that is distinct and the two
groups become competitive against each other.  It is then interesting to
recombine the groups etc...  The point is the common goal creates the team
not any other issue.  OR the fight such as in Northern Ireland.

Its a bit like this list give people a common goal and they will share.  I
am actually amazed at how much sharing there is in this group and the group
as a whole should be congratulated.  

Lurkers::Lurkers are a healthy sign of a group.  In Newcastle there are
about 4000 paid up CE's to use your phrase and 20 regularly attend meetings.
So you have about the right number for a healthy organization.  Remember
that most people do not like the gaze of teh limelight and one should not
force someone
I have sat in very many meetings listening about how to drag lurkers out of
the woodwork.  In the end different people get different things out of a
group.  If its not what yuo get out it is still no less valid.

Shiners  now I found out they are not a religious group other, than the
state of euphoria induced by an alcohol intake.  I will stick to Coke and
Black.  Same coke John Lennon joked about in the first Beatles Movie.  Comes
out of a bottle.

Dennis and Bill enlived my week thank you.

(-:  I was told this was a left handed Australian.  

:-} From a right handed bearded Australian can I say one quote ::  Such is life.
(Dennis do not attempt to look for this quote you will never find it.)

The get your head down was said by America's most famous Supreme Court Judge
to your President who started a speech Four.....  If I have to give any more
clues I  suggest that you ask a good History Student.  (It was during the
Civil War.)

I listened to an Army and Marine pair (College kids I think) argue which was
best Army or Marines.  Age old argument refer to my comment on Boy Scouts.
But an interesting one to listen to.

Of course for the marines to get their one needs a Navy and it helps if you
have an air craft carrier to project force and to hold the air and finally
it helps if someone can relieve the landing force so maybe the army is
finally needed.  I think thats how it went at Guadacal Canal {excuse
spelling} which was the point I made to the students.  From what I know it
took a direct suggestion from teh Presidnet and some very brave Service
personel to win that battle.  Including the Coast Watchers.

Ah why did John raise this here.  Well it seems to me there is a bit of this
in the discussion on who can design what.  It takes a team to build
something.  A whole team.

Finally I learned that code committees are the same the world over.  Thank
God for one constant in one's life and fro giving them to the profession to
have someone to talk about and complain about.  (A bit like the Belmont Boy
Scouts do not like the Swansea Sea Scouts.)  Sometimes you should try
walking in the other guys shoes.

It was the week I spent 2 hours teaching Mohr's Circle and the basics of
Statics for an hour.  

I am still trying to figure out who is Sharfat(I hope I spelt it correctly)

My email crashed and burned with one message from this list server.

I finished my 90 page Literature Review and the Masonry Interantional
Jouranl told me to rewrite my paper.  My American Editor ( I write short
stories) commented that they were correct.

So I innclude one of my short stories it is in draft from and the Editor
from Virginia says it is politically incorrect in two places.


THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GUNNER KENNEDY.

<One fine man.  I do know some.>

Kennedy was ordered onto the ship from Southhampton, England to Sydney
Australia in 1943.  He missed the ship.  It was torpedoed, sank with all
hands.  His luck was with him.  The next ship deposited him safely in
Sydney.  Wartime.  Shipped  out immediately.

I first heard this story many years afterwards from my father-in-law Joe.
Joe served as a tail gunner in the RAAF.  Italy etc.  Great bloke, soft spoken.
Gunner Kennedy backed a car over a garbage bin.  I mean it's no big deal.
Just an old galvanized bin.  But the bin belongeth to She who breathed fire.
A mean dragon.  Gunner being a resourceful chap slung the garbage bin dent
and all under the wheel of Joe's vehicle.

Joe and the Dragon clashed--well- Joe stood still and listened as the Dragon
described his lack of father and his driving ability.  Gunner watched from a
window.  Joe dutifully obtained a replacement bin for the Dragon.
Two decades later, Gunner finally admitted the story to Joe.  Paid him back
for the bin.  Years later Joe's third daughter--my wife-- gave Gunner a
small plastic bin as a memento.

About the time I was being born, Gunner had settled in Joe's hometown of
Muswellbrook, NSW, Australia about 3 hrs NW of Sydney.  Hot dry and sunny.
A small farming and mining community on the Main Inland Road from Sydney to
Tamworth to Brisbane.  River, trainstop, Oak, coalmine, three pubs and seven
churches.

Gunner wanted to buy Skellatar Estate. A big property on the southern side
of Muswellbrook. On a hill--great views-nice land.  The only problem facing
Gunner was the Owners insistance that the property not be sold to a
Catholic.  Gunner was out of luck.

The day of the Auction arrived--huge crowd--town hall.  The Auctioneer
described the  property and called for bids.  
Young Jimmy Hassett started the bidding.  He owned a big horse stud at
Scone.  Bid and counterbid{ Y'all know the routine}.  It was knocked down to
Young Jimmy Hassett.  The Auctioneer asked if it was for the credit of the
Hassett Stud.
'No' said Young Jimmy. 'It's for Gunner's credit'.  Joe said later,  'Could
have heard a pin drop.'

Well now Gunner had a problem.  He had to pay for the property, but he had a
month.  So he set about selling off the outlying pieces of the property.
Sold about half in the month. Had enough money to buy the property with some
change.  He got the bit he wanted.

Later.

Gunner had purchased a new white Holden Ute.  Front bench seat, four on the
floor and a radio. He was proudly showing it off a the Church on Sunday.
Well now Sister's Elizabeth and Mary asked him if he would take them to a
funeral on Tuesday.  He had no choice but to say yes.
'Yes' said Gunner.  Excusing himself he  hurried over to Joe.  'I've got a
problem'

'What's it now?' said Joe who was used to Gunner's problems.
'Well Sister's have to travel in groups of two.'
'I know,' said Joe who had two Sister's Sisters.
'But in the ute we have to travel in the front seat.'
'So'
'Well I have a floor shift and someone has to sit in the middle.'
'What're gunna do?' queried Joe.
'Dunno--pray for a miracle.  I could die I suppose.'

Tuesday morning dawned clear and bright {great cliche.}  A fine day for a
planting.  About 9 on the clock Joe is at the bakery, tired after a hard
day's night{another great cliche.}  He's tired give the poor boy a rest.

Phone rings.  Joe answers.
'Is Mr Torpey there asked an imperial voice'
'Yes me.'
'This is Matron Smithson at the Hospital.'
'Yes'
'Gunner Kennedy--a most vulgar name-- has asked me to give you a call'
'Yes', slowly.
'Gunner had a fall last night and sprained his ankle.  He asked if you take
the two Nun's to the funeral today.'
'Oh' said Joe, 'alright.'
Later that night Joe knocks on Gunner's door.  Gunner throws open the door
and hands him a Doch and Dorris.  Both sit on the comfortable large chairs.
'How's the ankle Gunner?'
'Fine--just fine now.'
'How was the trip to Newcastle Joe ?'
'Fine just fine'.
'Good'
"You'll need the car serviced tomorrow.'
'Why?'

'Wore out the clutch leaving it in third gear all the way there and back.'
'I wish I'd thought of that' laughed Gunner.

Many years later Gunner died.  A peaceful man in the Mater's Hospice.  I saw
him with Donna and the kid a few weeks before he died.  His last meal was
oysters and champagne.
Big meeting to discuss the funeral.  Church hall--he was a popular man--lots
of friends.
David Ramsay and I were shaking hands with a bottle of real Irish Whiskey in
the kitchen.
Wife comes out looking for pall-bearers.  I offered David's service.  'I'm
busy' he replied 'I'm on as pilot tomorrow on the Harbour.  'He'll be there'
I said 'It's Gunner's funeral.'
Further connect with the bottle.
'Do you know how Gunner got his nickname? Said David.
'No'
'Well he was always going on about who was he gunna get to do this and that.'
'Oh' I said, 'A fine man was our 
Monsignor R Kennedy Vicar General of the Maitland Diocese of the Roman
Catholic Church.'
'Yes he was.'


It is in essence a true story.


John Nichols