Melbourne, Australia

I love the words that fall between the cracks. / I write with black coffee, and bare feet. / Both seem to help.

Knuckles and the boys in '66

“Sweetheart, is that my ring you’re wearing?”

“Um….yep Dad, it is. I sort of….took it…when I moved out of home.”

“Can I have a look at it? God, that takes me back….It reminds me of Pretty Pine in ’66 with Knuckles and the boys.”

“Excuse me?! Who the hell were Knuckles and the boys?”

“I haven’t told you this story? Let me think….I would have been eighteen years old, and took a trip up past Deniliquin with Knuckles, Dodge, Dirty Dez and the birds.”

“Did ‘the birds’ have names, Dad?”

“Sadly, I can’t quite recall…..but I remember one of them had a poodle with two broken legs.”

“OK, that’s it – I’m going to get my pen.”

“We all piled into the back of Dez’s ’57 Ford – jesus, could that thing hammer! Dez tried to pee out the window at one point and it sailed back in, hehe, right onto the birds….I mean, girls….I mean women, ok?”

“Thanks for the political correctness, Dad….I’m sure the birds would appreciate it! What else happened?”

“Well, we stopped on the way for a counter lunch and Knuckles saw some women fighting over a drink. He stepped in – god, this was bizarre to watch – and they beat the hell out of him! Hahaha, we didn’t let him live it down.”

“Country folk, hey? They breed them tough!”

“The jukebox was faulty so we didn’t have to pay – we just knocked it with an elbow and it jumped onto the next song.”

“What songs would they have been in 1966?”

“Let me think….ah, “Friday On My Mind” by The Easybeats! Damn, I love that song….Anyway, we had a lock-in with the owner of the pub and staggered out around dawn. We piled into cars – don’t you EVER do that! – and drove behind the place to do figure eights in the dirt. We were smashed, such a stupid thing to do, but back then we thought we were invincible. I remember fanging it in circles, watching the dust rise until we couldn’t see a thing, just waited for the sound of a crash…..we were foolish kids, really."

“What else happened?”

“Well, Dodge had saved his money to buy an LP of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by The Platters, but the wacker left it on the back ledge of the Ford and it melted, hehe. He was so pissed off."

“Is this when you used to wear that leather jacket, with the winklepicker shoes and quiff?”

“What the hell is a quiff?!”

“A rocker hairstyle, with the sideburns to match.”

“Yeah, that was it – bloody stupid name for it though, quiff….. I was probably also wearing that studded belt you love.”

“This one I’m wearing now?”

“That’s it! It gives me a lot of joy that you wear that so much…shame I didn’t keep the leather jacket.”

“Tell me about it!”

“The reason I remember that trip so clearly is because I almost died. That’s right, Cozzie was there too…..we all jumped into the river, so drunk we couldn’t see straight, and I went under. Cozzie pulled me out, saved my life. I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for him.”

“So what happened to Cozzie? Why haven’t I ever met him?”

“Ah love, his bird didn’t approve of him hanging out with roughnecks like us, and we drifted apart. He was best man at our wedding though….I don’t think I’ve spoken to him since. Sad, really…we thought we’d always be by each other’s side.”

“I can show you how to google people, if you like. Maybe he’d like to recount his stories too.”

“Actually, I’d like that. But how the hell was this story connected to the ring you’re wearing? Let me think…..”

Journal Comments

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