Boyhood on road with Dad
SOMETIMES the best yarns don’t come from the mouth of the man himself, but from those who know him best.
Such is the case of the story of Sam Inserra as told by his son, Dominic.
“You know, my dad had a 110. He had to get rid of it because his belly wouldn’t fit behind the wheel.”
That line expanded into a precis of Sam’s life.
“Dad got off the boat from Italy in 1949 at age 16 and ended up in Adelaide. As soon as he was able, he got his truck licence and drove for 40 years or more – 18 of which were on interstate.
“I was always going on runs with him. I learnt to do my shoelaces up in Brisbane, hanging over the edge of a trailer at age four or five. The trucks didn’t have sleepers – dad never had a sleeper. He used to push the passenger seat forward and I would sleep behind that.
“On one trip we wake up one morning and I’m covered in mosquito bites. He goes, “Geez, your mum is going to kill me.” I said, “It’ll be OK Dad.” “He goes, “Whatta we gunna do, whatta we gunna do?” He was a tough old bird, my old man, but he had a healthy respect for my mum.
“He always carried a bottle of Remy Martin brandy which would last him for the trip to Sydney, where he would buy another for the trip home. That’s how it was back then – a different world.
“He got the brandy and poured it all over me to stop the itching. It worked a treat and I didn’t itch, but when we got home my mum wanted to kill both of us. I was like a drunk, reeking of brandy at five years old.”