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Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - with John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ news. com. au

Her so­cial anx­i­ety man­i­fests on her oc­ca­sional vis­its to town, which is mainly Char­ters Tow­ers. Walk­ing down the street is a chal­lenge. Stand­ing in a queue wait­ing to make a pur­chase is its own spe­cial night­mare.

BUSH char­ac­ter Ron Pearce reck­ons it’s get­ting harder and harder to get a gig as a bush poet th­ese days. Too many young blokes with the gift of the gab get­ting in the way, but he still keeps au­di­ences en­ter­tained with his of­fer­ings of the clas­sics from Banjo Pater­son. But, no, he won’t do The Man from Snowy River. He loves it, but th­ese days the au­di­ences don’t have the ca­pac­ity to lis­ten to such a long poem, es­pe­cially if they are “on the turps”. “When you’ve got drinkers, they’re more in­ter­ested in drink­ing than lis­ten­ing to you go on with a long poem,” said Ron, pic­tured hold­ing a black headed python that’s part of his act. He’s been a ringer, head stock­man, horse breaker, tourist park op­er­a­tor, but now at 79 he’s happy to re­cite a bit of Banjo’s verse to the tourists in Win­ton. Just don’t ex­pect to hear about “the colt from old Re­gret that got away”.

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