It’s been more than 20 years since I stood on the banks of the Warrego.
Last time, I was in Charleville filming a documentary for Channel 7′s World Around Us series.
This time, I was there for the inaugural St Mary’s Writer’s Festival, with the wonderful Michael Gerard Bauer, Cunnamulla legend, Uncle Herb Wharton, and local writers and illustrators Michelle Sheehan, Donna Reynolds and Majella Stapleton.
Not sure which I enjoyed most, the enthusiasm of the western kids and their teachers, or the after-school tour of the sights with big kid, Michael Bauer.
Not that I’m one to tell tales out of school ….actually, scratch that, I am.
Thank the high heavens that Charleville’s streets were built wide enough for the full turning circle of a twelve-bullock train and a fully loaded wool dray….because Mike and I spent a goodly portion of Monday afternoon in a borrowed car (thanks Dom!), doing ‘U-ees’ up and down the main street.
For me, it brought back fond memories of my teen years in Biloela doing ‘blockies’ round the clock. For Mike, it was a desperate attempt to find our way around a small, totally flat town (population 3,500) , which was laid out in convenient grid. And I was no help at all…
Eventually we found our way to the Vortex Guns, used to shoot explosives into the clouds in 1902 in an attempt to make it rain. “Will Charleville be the laughing stock or the envy of the world?’ asked a breathless editorial in the Charleville Bugle.
We toured the local courthouse courtesy of Magistrate Terry Gardiner, sat in the dock, and snuck into the judge’s chambers when he wasn’t there.
We met a man with an eclectus parrot, and were charmed by Uncle Ernie Adams’ stories and didgeridoo playing at Alfred Street’s historic home before we flew out.
Couldn’t ask for a better travelling companion than MGB… You can read his hilarious blog post on our trip by clicking on the following link: Blog 50: In which what happens in Charleville doesn’t stay in Charleville. | michael gerard bauer – author.