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The last lingering kiss

I was told this little episode of life in the hushed tones of scandal by a nun I once knew many years ago … I thought it was one of the most tragic things in the everyday work-world that I had ever heard …

It went like this:

The Last Lingering Kiss

“I can’t stop now!” She gasped a passionate moan as her arms reached for him … “I’ve desired you for too many nights.”

He responded huskily, his taut, muscular arms embracing her and driving out all resistance. It was as if some strange, torrid tempest had suddenly descended down on to their bodies as they struggled to out-do one another in the removal of their clothing. He grasped her in his arms and lifted her clear of the carpet, his lips parted and he moaned as he buried his face in her soft, ample, velvet-like breasts.

“Ohh, Brendon !”, she cried, surrendering her body to his firm, impatient, maleness.”Hold me,” she quivered.

“You’re trembling,” he whispered.

Sergeant Tom Flannigan closed the book with a wince and a sad hiss of breath. Distracted by a sudden rising of the wind in the Mallee trees outside, he gazed in silent contemplation at raindrops streaking against the window.

“Right on time,” he mumbled to himself. He was referring to those first good rains of the season.” Tim’ll be glad he finished seedin’ this mornin’ “.

His gaze moved from the window back to the book on the desk in front of him. He picked it up wearily and slipped it into an opaque, plastic bag that contained five similar paperbacks. He then folded the top over and sealed it with three staples and labelled it:

Evidence … stolen property, Crown vs accused: Sr. Mary Margaret: Principal / Teacher; St Joseph’s School, West Waylong … Victoria … Age: 43 yrs.

Tom Flannigan read back over the label, he snorted when he came to Sr. Mary Margaret’s status in this small country town and spoke out loud:

“Principal, teacher. Also; lay missionary, August leader of the Sunday prayers, choir organizer / lead singer, dishwasher, cook, cleaner ,bottle washer, big mother to all the god fearing god hating lonely poor beaten, broken down and out bastards between Bourke and bloody Booleroo Centre … the “ear” to the community … God have pity on her.”

He rose and with an angry tug on a hanging string, extinguished the light. The police station at West Waylong was a residential, so the distance between work and home was the thickness of a door jamb.

Tom Flannigan was one of those few who would like to leave their work worries behind them at closing time, besides, Tom had his own worries, for several days now, he had put off writing a reply to his fiancé, not for nothing to write about, but rather, (as she had complained of a “cold, distant feel” in his correspondence),because of a forlorn search for a more passionate wording of his feelings toward her in his letters.

Although this was the second time around in the marriage game for Tom, it was no easier for him to overcome that word-block of emotional and verbal commitment demanded by women from their suitors! Tom scratched behind his ear as he jiggled the eggs and bacon in the pan; what to say, what to say:

“I do love you, Beth’ with all my heart!” He mumbled such clumsy sentences to himself as he completed cooking his evening meal and crossed to the table. He placed the plate on the table, and after a moments hesitation, decided that the eggs and bacon needed a bit of a “lift” … he took a small tin of baked beans from a cupboard and added it’s contents to the bacon and eggs, speaking theatrically as he did so …

“Your eyes are like the moon (a gesture with the hand), your lips are as cherries nah! … your lips are as … as that girl on the toothpaste ad’ nah!”

So you can see, Tom. Flannigan had his mind full of that awful doubt that trips and tangles the lovelorn. Added to this was the fact that his future bride had no intention of ever … ever living in such a distant, lonely town like West Waylong!

So he had no thought to ponder on why a respectable, well-educated person like Sr. Mary Margaret would steal tacky romances of pulp-fiction. There were laws in place to govern the prosecution of criminal actions and his was the task to follow those laws through.

Rule# 1: Never confuse the laws of state with the laws of sentiment. In the morning, Tom Flannigan would transpose the interview he had with Sr. Margaret from tape to document and pass it on to headquarters for its consideration. As far as he was concerned … the end of the story …

”Interview with Sr. Mary Margaret … 12th August 19 …

Accused of stealing six paperback novels from the “Criterion Book Shop” Main Street, West Waylong.

Present: Sgt Thomas Flannigan … Fr. Dennis McCarthy … Sr. Mary Margaret

Questioning: Sgt Tom Flannigan.”

I ask: “Were you in the Criterion Book Shop last Friday afternoon?”

Fr. McCarthy. “You answer the questions as best you feel, Sister.”

Sr. Margaret. “Thank you for that valuable advice Dennis … to your question, Sgt: Yes, I was there.”

I ask: “While you were there, did you pick up this book? (shown paperback) title: “The Last Lingering Kiss.”

Sr. M. “Yes, I did.”

I ask: “You were then seen to place this book in your bag and walk out of the shop … Did you deliberately intend to steal it?”

Fr. McC. “Now, Sister, keep in mind you have not yet been charged with any misdemeanor. so you don’t … Sgt, (he confided) I’ve had a call from Monsignor, He has suggested, not without a considerable amount of thought on the subject … keeping in mind the age of Sister and that troubling time of life for women of that age, maybe (he glances to Sr. M.) a touch of kleptomania brought on by the stress of menopause?”

I ask: “Do you wish to comment on that, Sr.?”

Sr. M. “I’d rather retain what little dignity I have left than to respond to … to Monsignor’s … er, suggestion” (she crosses hands on top of desk).

I ask: “Then I’ll ask again … did you intend to steal the book?”

Sr. M. (silence … turns eyes askance, blushes … then looks directly at me). ”Yes.”

Fr. McC. (groans).

I ask: “These other books were voluntarily given in by you … did you intend to steal these also?”

Sr. M. (breathes deeply) ”Yes, sergeant, I did.”

Fr. McC. “Why, Sister. Why?”

Sr. M. “Because, Dennis, of a reason I very much doubt you would understand! Neither you nor the Monsignor!”

Fr. McC. “It goes beyond all rational thought, Sister, that you, in particular, could have the slightest interest in these … these trashy productions!”

I ask: “Fr. McCarthy, I am at this time trying to establish the plea of the accused, I am not looking for whys and wherefores … Do you Sr. Margaret, admit to the theft of the aforementioned books?”

Sr. M. (takes a deep breath)”Yes, Sergeant, I do.”

Fr. McC. “You do realise, Sister, where this places us, the church, in the eyes of the community?”

Sr. M. (heatedly)  “Oh damn the community! … (Fr. McCarthy leaps to his feet) and damn you, Dennis and damn the Monsignor and double damn the damn Church!”

Fr. McC. “Are you gone mad ,Sister, are you mad?” (I grasp Fr. Mccarthy by the arm and sit him back down).

I ask: “I must ask you, Fr. to restrain yourself, you are here only as a supporting representative of the diocese so please restrict your comments to that role … and I remind you, Sister, that all you say can and will be considered as evidence … ”

Sr. M. ”Oh shut up, Tom! … (She stands with fists pressed on table )and you Dennis! … both of you … shut up! … Are you blind? Can’t you see we are all of us here in the same situation? (Fr. McC and I remain silent) … All obliged to serve an institution … an unforgiving, blind institution! … and … and a so called infernal “COMMUNITY!” that denies us any right to a life of our own … no!, don’t you interrupt me Tom Flannigan, I know all about your last marriage, you lost that because of the hours you spent on the job rather than with your family. The police force demanded it. The community demanded it and you ,Dennis, how many more years before the bottle claims your soul? … Ah! Don’t deny it, I know you only too well … it’s written all through your eyes … and those “Holidays” to dry out down by the coast … We’re all three of us damned to play a set-piece for the Community, the Law and the Church. (she sits wearily down) … Oh how I longed desperately to be able to go home at night sometimes to children of my own … a man! … of my own, be him hopeless, be him ugly , but be him human … just human … rather than the dried out wafflings of the writings of a “holy book”! … (she pauses, stares blankly ahead, speaks quietly, slowly) do you have any idea how empty a sound, is the parched, crisp, turning of the pages of a prayer book in the quiet of an evening always alone?

The three of us have committed social crimes here, only my crime is more visible … I haven’t neglected a family, nor tippled with the altar-wine … I am guilty of a crime of passion … I have tried to steal a modicum of illusion of fantasy … of lust with a man.”

(There is a moments silence as we gathered our thoughts).

Fr. McCarthy. “But why steal the books? Why didn’t you just buy them?”

I ask: ” Yes Sister, why did you steal them?”.

Sr. M. (sighs, leans back in the chair ) ”Looking back on it, I could say I don’t know … the first one was an accident … I slipped it into my bag absent mindedly as I picked up another thing I wanted to buy … but when I discovered the error later, I stayed silent .. why? … a kleptomaniac impulse … a thrill? No, not a thrill I think rather, it was a part of the desire, to steal a moment of lust, an integral component of the hunger … a hunger for the love I did not have … I believe as we grow from the child to the adult, each of us seeks that love … that particular love, most denied … perhaps we are all assigned a set amount of little crimes in this life … alongside our everyday duties, little grubby crimes, along with the humdrum of responsibility and rules … and when we step outside of that regular pattern into the more shady area of our deeds, we must accept a completely different set of rules … “Oh what wicked webs we weave … ” (a bitter laugh) … I fought with myself for years against the desires … like you, Dennis with the bottle … and you, Tom with the duties of the police officer in a little country town, but when can one stop Can one stave off forever the natural impulse to drop the facade of religion. of law and order? … some can … I couldn’t … anymore … I desired a passionate embrace from a man (she leans forward over the table and speaks slowly)Gentlemen … I too, wanted a moment of being desired! How I envied Magdalene her Christ! And these trashy books were as close as I was going to come to it in this God-forsaken place! … in this God-forsaken church in my own human forsaken life!”

(The three of us sit silently staring).

Interview terminated.

Nine days later …

Tom Flannigan glanced up from his desk in the office to meet the eyes of Sister Mary Margaret. He stood to receive her proffered hand. She was leaving the district.

“Just to say cheerio, Tom … and wish you luck.”

“Thanks, Sister … thank you and yourself.” He fumbled with the biro in his hand, then dropped it casually on the table. “What … what will happen to you?” he asked

The nun laughed softly,

“Oh … it’s a big institution; the church … I’ll be swallowed up in it somewhere after a little penance … I’ll become anonymous once again … slowly, I trust, the desire for the human touch will be “cleansed” from my soul … like Dennis’s liver … ( another chuckle) … and you ,Tom.?”

“Me? Oh, I’ll just … just carry on as usual I ‘spose … hmm … look, Sister, I know they are going to prosecute this case in the city, so I won’t be seeing you again … I want you to know that I erased that last part of the interview the three of us had, I didn’t see it as relevant to the case and I don’t suppose it would have interested the people at headquarters.”

“Yes, I expect you are right, Tom, there are some aspects of the lives of our community leaders that are best left in illusion (she chuckled again) … a bit like a trashy romance.”

“Well, Tom, goodbye.”

“Cheerio, Sister, cheerio.”


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  1. Joseph Carli

    “Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
    To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
    Would not we shatter it to bits — and then
    Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!”

    ― Omar Khayyam

  2. Shaun Newman

    This is a lived experience for me it happened 20 years and six months ago on the 4th of June 1998. The passion was palpable the tongue kiss rememberable we made love for 7 nights out of the following 8 and then it was lost. I had been in love with this lady for many decades and on those nights it all came together beautifully. Then reality intruded and my wife returned from the hospital and dream was shattered forever.

    I am still in constant contact with the love of my life but she has moved on and cemented a relationship with her husband who has taken good care of her over the years for which I am truly grateful it has taken me many decades to come to terms with our star-crossed lovers situation but I now know that she made the correct decision to remain with her husband, but I will always wonder what if?

  3. Noel Bourke

    Joe, I’ll give you the tip, Henry Lawson, you are not. A fluffy bit of fantasy writing, maybe, but far from believable.

  4. Joseph Carli

    ” Joe, I’ll give you the tip, Henry Lawson, you are not.”……Why, thank you Noel…I’ll pass that on the next time I meet Henry….”Henry”..I’ll say..”I’ve had the good oil from Cyril Connerly’s understudy that YOU are so much the superior writer than I…….like another drink, bro’?”

    Now **** off, Noel..

  5. Joseph Carli

    Down the Central Market, between Marino’s butchers and the Samtass fish market, there is a walk-through breezeway to Gouger Street. Years ago there was an arcade type stall there selling second-hand books..it was run by a bloke in his fifties, if I recall…I used to browse there when I was going past.

    At the end nearest the street, there was a tray holding hundreds and hundreds of these …”penny dreadfuls” I suppose you’d call them…not even with a cardboard cover, but just some lurid pic on paper with around 50 pages or so stapled in a folded booklet type thing. Many of them so old and dog-eared as to be almost a throwaway item..

    I asked the man behind the books there about them..

    “What are all these tags inside the front cover?” I asked.

    “That’s the personal initial or tag to identify that someone has read the story”. He replied…He then continued on…” I get orders from several old peoples homes for them, so I bundle up about a dozen or so at the time and deliver them there on my way home. “

    “ What do they sell for?” I asked out of curiosity.

    “Oh..there’s only sentiment value in them” he informed me “ I sell them to the people in the homes for 50 cents each…they read them over some months, mark them with that special tag and then I buy them back off them for 25cents each..and they go round and round…I know all their tags now, so I send them ones they haven’t read yet…they are slow readers and it keeps them content…”

    I skimmed through some of the copies…they were mostly blatant romance or westerns with a romantic theme…on the front would be a “gunslinger” type with his arm around a “gal” and that determined look on a “chiselled jaw”…that type of thing..

    “ I wonder what they see in them?” I pondered “ They all seem to be about the same”..and I thumbed a copy..

    “Yes..I wondered on that too once…” the seller said “And I asked this German woman who was a regular customer here at the stall..”

    “Do you buy them for the romantic story?” I asked her..

    “No, no…I am too old for the romance…though I do like that side of it..but I read them to get …” and she struggled for the right words..” to remember the feeling of the emotion of romance…like when you were young….one forgets the feelings…you can remember the doing of some things..but the feelings of those moments slip away..and I want to still feel the emotion of those times and sometimes…not often, but just sometimes I get that feeling back…”

    “I would never have thought of it that way” I remarked…but I was much younger then..Now, a much older man, I know exactly what she means…

  6. Kaye Lee


    If we put our writing up on a public post, we are inviting comment and criticism. If you can’t take it, then you don’t have to do it. But as Michael pointed out, we rely on donations and readers to keep going. We must be mindful of that. On your own blog, you can do as you please. Here, we try to get along. That doesn’t mean we all agree but we try to be civil.

    PS There is no known link between menopause and kleptomania (she says forcing hands away from keyboard in an attempt to practice what she is preaching)

    PPS If the romance is flagging, put on this song and do some slow dancing with your partner….


    or this one….


  7. Joseph Carli

    Passive agressive at its best.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Kaye is right, Joe.

    Carol and I pay money for someone to promote our articles. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t get the traffic that we do. And without the traffic … we don’t earn the money that goes towards the site’s costs.

    Telling a commenter to eff off undermines the work – and money – it takes to bring the commenters here.

  9. Trish Corry

    Excellent work Joe. A very enjoyable read. Ignore, ignore, ignore. They aren’t worth a skerrick of your energy. Also, while we are on Lawson; sometimes people who comment think their opinion is significant and desired like the Paroo River In verse one; and like verse two, their greatness you can’t find, because well, they are just a bit of wet grass. All they are is an insignificant track we cross that wouldn’t nourish anyone, except people who enjoy sucking up mud, just like in verse three!

    I can also explain using CJ Dennis, but I’m sure you get my drift.

    Happy New Year to you Joe. I enjoy your writing style.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Welcome back Trish.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Am I to be ignored, too?

  12. Joseph Carli

    I have been watching SBS on demand and that needs the HTML connection from my computer…

    Michael…that “Noel Bourke” did NOT give legitimate criticism…he was just trying to be a smart-arse…surely you have knocked about the sticks long enough to know that..and if HE is the type of reader and commentator you want on the site, then you are lowering both YOUR standards and the site’s standard.

    I might add that the petty critique he did offer was of such churlish miserableness, it wouldn’t qualify for a primary school reward star!…such a person with so mean a hand ought not be encouraged…surely?

    Personally, I wouldn’t value such low capabilities as a wanted commentator…he’d desert you and the site as soon as you confronted him…but that’s your call…you know how I feel about those sort of people.

  13. Joseph Carli

    Thank you for your support , Trish..yes…I do get your drift…Lawson himself was quite clear on such folk.

  14. Kaye Lee


    Perhaps you could think about your reaction? Why not ignore rather than being so aggressive. Not everyone likes what we write. That is ok. Plenty of people like your stories. Just relax. No need for confrontation.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Joe, I’ve had more shit thrown at me than you’ll ever know. I just ignore it.

  16. LOVO

    Migs, talking about ‘shit’ and the throwing there of…. I reckon I’ve thrown ‘shit’ at you on a certain subject about 119 times….just sayin. 😂
    …anyhoo cheerio. …and a happy new year to all…no really 😆

  17. Michael Taylor

    LOVO, and I’ve ignored you 119 times. 😜

  18. Michael Taylor

    Actually, I was only just thinking of you, LOVO. Was thinking about all that shit we had thrown at us in the early days of the cafe from the mob down at the gutter. We all copped it – you, me, Carol, Florence, Roswell, Mobius, Bacchus.

  19. LOVO

    Ah, some people are just to the gutter born….see what I did there 😅

  20. Michael Taylor

    Or in your case … cellar born. 😜

  21. Barry Thompson

    I agree with Trish, another entertaining story Joseph. Keep them coming and ignore critics who have not displayed the same talent.

  22. Joseph Carli

    Thanks for the support all, but I can tell you honestly, it is not so much the insults that seem to bother people as my replies to those insultees !…Rest assured..I can look after myself quite sufficiently…I use people like the above “Noel” as a snot-rag…and I also would never think of myself as a writer first rather than a carpenter that scribbles some tales..My world as a builder is one of weights and measures…it is just that I have met , heard and seen so many and varied people-stories over the years that some of them just needed to be got down in writing…Like the above little episode…so I am not insulted by Noel’s, attempted slight..as a matter of fact, the aligning of myself alongside Henry Lawson via Noel’s own subconscious comparison equal, I consider a compliment..after all, he could have said : “A Barbara Cartland you are not!”….so let us be thankful for small mercies!

    Which brings me onto the subject of delivering such tales and yarns to the table…As I said, I am a carpenter first and I write stories in my retirement…so I have come to this ephemeral world of “art” by an accidental route..I have had no schooled instruction on how to frame rythmn or syntax in a paragraph or page..and my grammar is shithouse (thank you spell-check!) but I have learned a thing or two about delivering a story-line from the oral tradition (like, say in the front bar raconteur) to the read word…

    There was a yarn spinner I met up in the Flinders Rangers many, many years ago while I worked in a Barytes mine up above Quorn…he was the cook there in the camp…he was a shithouse cook, but he made up for it with riotous story-telling….Kevin Cotton was his name and by Christ he was good..and he’d accompany his tales with foot-stamping and arm-waving at the appropriate moments so that the oral tale became alive with the telling.

    But the secret, of course, in delivering “art” to either a viewer, listener or reader…is that the art of the story, music, picture is NOT in the artist’s work so much as already living and breathing within the body and mind of the passive audience…if there is no dormant emotion within the person, then there is no art that can awaken the “music” in that person…”the art is in the heart”..if I can put it like that…and that is why those old folk would buy those penny-dreadfuls or those Mills and Boons…and why that nun stole those pulp-fiction romances…they had the feelings locked away inside themselves and the reading triggered the release of those emotions.

    And I learned in my dealings with so many clients and the language we use in negotiation or conversation that most language is spoken using familiar cliches and throw-away lines…and the art in the rhetoric is not in creating a new form, but in laying at the feet to be easily “picked up”, the familiar and comfortable phrases..

    The skill of the artist is to deliver that “package” so the audience feels like THEY each are seeing it in their own personal way for the first time.

  23. helvityni

    Barry Thompson.

    “Keep them coming and ignore critics who have not displayed the same talent.”

    Agree with your comment, and I’d add that some people have plenty of talent for put-downs and bullying…

  24. Joseph Carli

    Thank you too, helvityni…I keep to my ideal that if I can deliver a story-line that gives interest or feeling to only a small number of people, then that is enough for me…for what can one expect in this life but to hold close a small number of real friends, a short repertoir of good jokes and a vast reservoir of good memories.
    Best for the new year to those of my friends that I do hold dear.

  25. Michael Taylor

    Joe, I would like to say one thing which I should have said much earlier: you are a wonderful story-teller and a true wordsmith.

  26. wam

    joe a beaut read and merry new year.

    I had no trouble staying up last night, for the first time in years, because SBS, at 10 pm my time, put on a film that showed why duttonians want to privatise it and the ABC.
    HUMAN had subtitles but you could see the voices, the strength, the despair.
    I feel sad for anyone who missed it.

    My extended family had nuns(no priests) with the last, in her 90s. They and their fellow workers were great funloving lively people

    ps only agatha and waving weapon outperform barabara and in the 60s, before kids and the box, my darling and I chilled with mills and boon.

  27. helvityni

    wam, I watched it, wonderful, moving, true…

    I landed on it accidently, the way it started was also out of this world…

    I’m not sure, but I thought it was a French program…?.

  28. Kaye Lee

    I very much hesitate to comment here again but let’s get real….

    Someone should be able to make a comment without being told to “fuck off” or that the author “uses people like them as a snot rag”.

    Enjoy the many accolades you receive from those who enjoy your stories but can we please refrain from attacking the occasional critic? We all have different reading tastes.

  29. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee….my opinion of you and your opinions of me would take greater persuasion to change than the example even Jesus Christ used to convince Doubting Thomas…and I would like you to know that…to accept that…and leave it at that….IF you don’t mind.

  30. Kaye Lee

    I don’t have an opinion about you Joe. I don’t know you. Please don’t take my comments personally. They are not intended that way.

  31. Michael Taylor

    I guess I’ll have to lay down the law here.

    Any comment telling another commenter to “f#ck” off will be deleted.

    I was saying yesterday that this site’s survival is dependent on donations and Google ads.

    Google comb through this site daily. Anything considered aggressive sees us receive a Violation Report (that sees me running to my computer to fix up).

    After a certain amount of violations we lose the ads. It’s then goodbye to the site. So the six hours a day and the $4,000 a year I put into it has been a waste.

    I kid you not.

  32. Joseph Carli

    Fair enough, Michael…………..now….WHY am I suddenly seeing in my imagination, that almost imperceptable, inscutable smile of the Mona Lisa?

  33. Michael Taylor

    Joe, it is an insult to me to suggest that. It was an unnecessary comment.

  34. Kaye Lee


    I consider it a privilege to be able to contribute at the AIMN (and my family are eternally grateful that I have somewhere else to discuss politics), but any suggestion that I tell Michael or Carol what to do is just wrong and shows you don’t know them very well.

    It is disappointing to me that my attempt to suggest you turn the music down was met with such hostility. But it wasn’t me that called the cops.

  35. Michael Taylor

    You’d fit in well at our place, Kaye. You can guess what Carol and I talk about most of the day. Politics! 😀

  36. Kaye Lee


    One of my dearest friends rang to say HNY….her daughter grabbed the phone off her and we talked politics for an hour. She worked on Jackie Trad’s campaign. She is early twenties but really switched on. I told her I had been grooming her all her life to go into politics. She said she couldn’t stand working with wankers but was open to the idea of benevolent dictator lolol.

  37. Sheepdip

    What is your Mission Statement for the year Joseph ?

  38. New England Cocky

    Hmmmmm …… 10/37 comments attributed to the author (at 020119). Is this a novel method for gaining recognition on this site??? Or can we mere mortals, lacking the research skills of our doyen authors, simply ignore this unusual practice??

  39. George Theodoridis

    …”the art is in the heart”

    Hell, yes! Hell yes! Hell yes, Joe!
    And where there is no heart, there is no art – and vicky versa!
    And the art does not touch the heart it is not art.

    Great stuff Joe. Loved the rhythm (which you think you lack), the pace, the heart beat of this tiny story. And loved the rhythm and the rhyme and the soft images, the specially greased lens and the time tunnel you’ve created, the time tunnel or the key hole through which you’ve guided our eye to bring it deep into the heart of an individual, lost in a massive world of oppression, ready to be swallowed up again by it. A life sentence for the common man and woman.

    Were I still teaching, I’d be reading it to my (yr 10-12) English classes with some half a dozen or so questions relating (as per usual) to the relationship between the atom and the body, the individual and society, etc, etc.

    Thanks enormously.

    What a great page this!

  40. Joseph Carli

    Thank you George for such enthusiasm..As I wrote in an accompanying post above, I have always considered myself a carpenter first and it was those many people I met and were told about that brought me to the written page…Yourself, as you name shows must have heard so many interesting cultural stories and tales…many of the Greeks i worked for came to Australia dirt poor and worked their hearts out for family and friends..there are so many tales and brave people “out there”..the little stories of their lives lost now to time..

    When I ahd wrote my first small lot of recollections down, I prefaced…in longhand…along with the tales this little testament to those people..:

    ” The Forgotten.

    All the stories contained within are based on true events. I have even used the actual words spoken at dramatic moments. All these stories I have seen evolve personally or have had related to me by acquaintances or friends who have lived them.

    I have tried to portray, through men’s and women’s eyes, the courage and overcoming against particular conflicts and problems big and small.These people, I hold to be the true grit of society, be they right or wrong, at least they try, and sometimes succeed ! May they never be discounted nor defeated even though they be forgotten.

    “And I ponder why it is always encouraged:

    That we pluck the prettiest flowers

    And leave the weeds to flourish!”…….”

    And would you mind, George, if I give you a link to a story of one such Greek family that migrated here in the fifties and whom I worked for in the eighties..I apologise in advance if I have the Greek words mistranslated or miss-used..


  41. George Theodoridis

    Good blog and good story, Joe.
    I agree with the aunt. You have a good ear for conversation, perhaps even one that works like a recorder.
    Well done.

  42. Joseph Carli

    Again, I thank you , George…the one thing that distinguishes a tradesman from many other professions, is that he has to listen to the wants and instructions of his customers..and..as he gains experience in the trade, he learns to listen closely to detail..for as every tradie will tell you when it comes to customer satisfaction, the “devil is in the detail”….

    This age, alas, has seen so many do so much hearing, but so little listening…and I might add that never before in the history of western humanity, has education been so deeply entrenched yet so imperfectly applied…You wouldn’t think so many people could take so much of value and turn it to little more than waste..It goes against the grain of this builder..

  43. Sheepdip

    What are you on about NEcock??

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