Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Above the ear splitting roar of the V8 racing cars in Townsville, a man who  had just arrived   on  the Spirit of Queensland  train from Cairns  stood out at the taxi rank . He wore  an  eye catching shirt  with  a  pattern  of  guitars , a  sensible  straw  hat , shorts.  Nearby , his  luggage included  what looked like a  large hatbox . On closer examination,  the painted  side  revealed  the  Confederate   flag   and  a  metal strip  which  read  Valiant . Engaged  in  conversation  above  the  roaring  cars,  he  said  he was  a  muso , the metal piece on  the hatbox  off  a  Valiant car  he once owned , his latest auto a  1954 Holden . And  inside  the hatbox was  his  squeezebox . 

In Cairns recently , this scribe discovered  the  place frequently  jumps to ukulele  music , about 40 players  seen   strumming  away  outside  an  hotel  in the  CBD  one  night , a real hoot . Ukulele playing has a  large following in North Queensland  and  groups feature in street  parades  and festivals .

At the ferry terminal in Townsville  a  man  with a  guitar , intent  on getting to  Broome , Western Australia ,  was  waiting  for   a   lift  in a car  going  to Darwin   in the Northern Territory .