Merv Smith

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

count and if he keeps go­ing to garage sales he’s go­ing to end up with a whole lot more.

There’s a worm farm in an old bath tub.

Merv uses the wrig­glers to catch jew­fish in the Bur­dekin River.

I ask him what made him col­lect fish­ing rods and Merv gives me that age-old re­ply that men use to an­swer ques­tions that even in their most lu­cid mo­ments they can­not ex­plain: ‘‘ F**** d if I know’’.

There’s stir­rup irons, hob­ble chains, bri­dles, 120 hand-painted ker o s e ne l a nt e r ns , f i v e wood stoves, two den­tists’ chairs, to­bacco tins, pocket knives and eye glasses.

There’s one ques­tion I have to ask Merv as he ca­resses his trea­sures scat­tered about the yard.

Look­ing at all of the ap­pli­ances, tools and ma­chines, I ask him what is his most-loved and rarest trea­sure.

‘‘ Norma. And I’m try­ing to re­store her, too,’’ he says with­out miss­ing a beat.’’

I said he was cheeky.

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