Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Australian life - the rodeo

1953. Alan Wood on the great bucking mare, Curio

At the moment, I'm part way through Alwyn Torebeek with David Gilchrist, Life in the Saddle: Adventures of the Legendary horseman the Kokotunga Kid, Michael Joseph, Melbourne 2011). It was given to me by youngest as a Father's Day present. I chose it as my current train reading and have been thoroughly enjoying it. The  photo shows Alan Wood on the great bucking mare, Curio, in 1953.

I didn't go to a lot of rodeos as a kid. Rodeos tend to be strongest in cattle country; I lived in sheep country and was, in case, a townie if with country connections.

Alwyn Torebeek's main geographic focus to this point in the book was Queensland, although he did travel widely. I enjoyed the descriptions not just of the rodeo, but of droving and country lie.

Queensland is different. Yes, you say, you knew that! But its a very big state in which the metro influence is less.

Oh, and always happens, I found a New England connection. Formed at Maitland on 28 March 1946, the Northern (N.S.W.) Bushmen's Carnival Association formed the core of one of the two national rodeo bodies, the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft & Rodeo Association (ABCRA).

Now this is quite helpful. It means I have the core of another History Revisited column for the Armidale Express. Its actually quite hard writing a weekly local history column and still keep it varied and interesting. It also helps fill in another small thread in my ever expanding history of New England to go with all the other leisure threads that I have written about.         


Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful picture Jim - thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Somewhat related, I was reading an essay by Jonathan Franzen earlier this morning ( and it lead me to write down for later contemplation a simple thought:

the internet lacks 'quality control'

I'm thinking here that I have unconsciously over the past five or ten years substituted for this lack by reducing my sources of information to a relatively small group of writers who I trust but not necessarily always agree with.

I guess the offset to this is a danger that I become 'captured' by certain points of view? I remain very aware of this, but what else can one do when faced with such an unrestricted, uncensored, un-critiqued overload of words so wrongly described as 'information'?

The internet needs a bloody good book editor; in the meantime I will just be very grateful for yourself, and a few others, that I have happened upon.


Jim Belshaw said...

Thank you for the donation to the keep Belshaw writing fund, kvd. At the moment, i use them for my special treats!

I have to go through that link in more detail. I had no idea what to make of it!

On the internet, a fact checker perhaps?

Anonymous said...

You're welcome Jim - enjoy your treat!

On my OT topic, I think it a worthwhile essay - and worthy of more than a 'speed-read'. (And there's some to disagree with as well) As always with 'good stuff' I make a point of wading through the comments attached, and I think the following is worthy of recording:

"the internet is a window to the world, not a door" - trite but true.

On your "fact checker" - that's not the point I'm stumbling to make. Facts are necessary data points - yes - but unless put in honest context, and interpreted, are fairly useless.

The good editor might perhaps provide a sifting of those attempts to interpret - perhaps removing the too blatant bias which employs (sometimes selective) facts to prove a predetermined position? Not to suggest such cannot be a good read - but there's just so much of it.

So, with all the angst about 'an internet filter' I find myself urgently wishing for just such - but directed to quality of content, not subject.