WRIT­ERS’ COR­NER

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Brenda Hodge

Hi Ron,

I have been burn­ing off out at the block, and the smell of burn­ing gum leaves brings back mem­o­ries of that time, years ago, when you and I and John Bal­combe boiled the billy out on your farm. You two were fenc­ing. I was bark­ing logs, which we used to make a catch­ing yard down the back pad­dock once they’d dried out.

They were big, thick logs that I rolled be­tween my short, thick legs as I stripped the bark off in full lengths with an axe. It came off quickly when the logs were green, still full of sap, but the work was hard on my back and I am pay­ing for it now.

You were built like a rangy roo dog in those days, and I am sorry to hear you now have em­phy­sema.

Lots of peo­ple our age have got it due to all the home build­ing and ren­o­va­tions we did with sheets of as­bestos.

We thought it was great stuff: fire re­tar­dant, didn’t rot in the rain, and was easy to work with. I re­mem­ber saw­ing pieces of it with a hand saw, no mask, and the dust of it fly­ing ev­ery­where. We didn’t know, then, what the fu­ture would hold.

Well, Ron, I am sorry I can’t say “get bet­ter soon”, but I am think­ing of you.

Your old mate, Bill

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