Chris Deutscher: Our People
Fire spotting, music and marriage have been long journeys in his life
bah they settled at Merrijig some 20 years ago.
Chris’s career as a fire spotter began with four years on the Paps before another 33 years on Mt Buller.
“The Paps tower was there to look after the pine trees at Delatite Arm,” he noted.
“When they closed it down, I headed to the summit of Mt Buller.
“You even got some forced fitness walking up the hill each morning.”
Chris feels it takes a certain type of person to man a fire tower.
“You spend eight hours a day, sometimes seven days a week in a 14 foot square room,” he said.
“It takes someone who likes their own company, prefers silence and likes to think about life.
“I used to spend time learning new songs to play - learn by day, play by night.”
Chris only spent two days up the tower this summer before illness got in the way and he retired.
Not that the fire tower was Chris’s only attachment to Mt Buller.
“I worked for the Resort Management Board for 33 years, running the gate at Mirimbah, both day and night,” he explained.
“I loved the pressure of the busy days with lines of cars.”
The other feather in Chris’s cap here in the High Country is his work with Radio Mansfield.
“I have been presenting on the radio for more than 20 years,” Chris recounted.
“As well as my show, I was the first president to go full term.
“I used to be on from 12 till 2pm on Saturday afternoon, but the footy got in the way.
“Now I am on from 5pm till 8pm.”
The show is called ‘High Country’ and according to Chris only plays good country.
“I play stuff I like for the audience to discover,” he said.
“As well as some old tracks there is some new country - a learning exercise for the audience.
“I guess I will keep on doing the show till I start making too many mistakes.”
Being a country music devotee, Chris is about to head back to Nashville in June.
“I was there at the Grand Ole Opry in 2012,” he said.
“I like country and bluegrass music.
“Music never dies and I will love music till I die.”
MUSIC TILL I DIE: With music around him, Chris Deutscher is far from being retired from life.