It has taken a long time to find you a picture of my old 1904 Clement Bayard and this is as close as I can go. Actually, the front end is perfect but my body was a roadster, with its seat perched high in the air, while the movie shows a taxi. This little car was what I called “My Little Limousine“, it took everywhere I wanted to go, and in those days, it was in style! These little cars were built mainly as taxis and asssembled in Marne, France, the country of Clement’s birth, right at the beginning of World War 1 in September, 1914.
Gotta build a boat
We lived in a beautiful part of Sydney, surrounded on three sides by the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. Water, water everywhere but not a boat in sight. If ever there was a challenge to a small boy, this must be it.
My first calculation in the field of navel fitouts found me, at least afloat, on a small timber deck supported by nine empty kerosene drums. If you are ever unfortunate enough to be paddling a craft of this type, you would discover that it goes faster and faster in ever decreasing circles but finishes up absolutely nowhere.
Australian Camera Personalities
Born in Sydney and educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School, Mr. Russell Roberts in 1932 ushered in a new type of commercial photography in Australia. Branching from selling to advertising, Mr. Roberts became interested in photography as a medium to illustrate merchandise. For a time he hired indivual photographers to carry out assignments until one day he went miles out of town with photographer and model only to find the photographer had forgotten the film. After that mishap he decided he’d be better off taking the shots himself. Knowing relatively little about it he taught himself with the aid of books, and magazines on photography and a process of trial and error.
I learn to use an Adze and design a launching pad.
AT-A-BOY 111 – “the boat that made my day” was also the boat that made my life. It was the boat that gave me confidence and courage to face the world. When I wanted my first job, I simply cruised down to Long Nose Point to Morrison & Sinclair, Shipbuilders of wooden ships, walked into the office and said that I would work in their yard and if they wanted to see what I could do, it was tied up at the wharf. An inspection was made of the boat and I was hired on the spot.
The first most breathtaking event occurred during a move from my birthplace in Woolwich to a home in Hunters Hill. I was perched high on a small seat squeezed between my sister and the driver of a sizeable pantechnicon drawn by two grey draught horses. As we lurched and swayed over the potholed road, I was beside myself with excitement. I couldn’t believe that the world could offer so much joy. But this was not to last.
Kindergarten was my first brush with humanity at the age of five. That there could be so many “little nasties” in the world like myself was unbelievable. They had arms and legs just like me too, but they used them for punching and kicking and worse still, when I retaliated they would pimp on me and get me into trouble. One day, I suppose to try and cheer me up or something, they gave me a picture book. Unfortunately, I already had one exactly the same. It was such a disappointment. I thought i would never stop crying.
As Alice put it:
“Let’s start at the beginning and finish when we come to the end.”
It seams, during the first fourteen years of my life, my mother was practically bedridden. It’s only a guess, but I fear that I was the cause. I am sure my arrival was not part of a family plan. So the younger of my two sisters took me in charge at the mature age of eight. The only other companion I can remember in those early days was a large pink and white parrot which gave me my first lessons in English. Unfortunately, his spelling was hopeless and even now I am forced to sit on a dictionary when writing the simplest things.
How many storage cells in the human brain? Billions? Trillions? Who knows? All that seems certain is that we use a mere fraction of its capacity.
Recently, I put myself to the test by concentrating on past events, all ninety years of them including fifty years running my own creative type of business. I was amazed at the extent of the material I recalled, the clarity, the detail and the ease with which it appeared on the screen of my mind. The message that became so clear was that the mind must record and store everything that happens throughout our lives. We may forget things, but I have no doubt it is all stored away in the computer of the unconsious mind which can auto matically withdraw information from its memory bank as required at any moment our lives.
Please understand that this series of short stories is in no way intended as an exercise in self glorification. It is more an amateurish attempt in trying to determine, to some small degree, the capacity and excellence of that priceless piece of equipment we possess so firmly located between our ears.
It may interest you to note that all the material covered in this booklet has been drawn from a period of over ninety to sixty years ago, and I can assure you that my ability to describe these events to you in writing falls a long way short of the clarity and detail with which they may have appeared in my mind.