Then word got around that the cubby was there, and the publican demolished it promptly, which I thought was a great pity, as it was nicely built, was quite private and had lots of old blankets. As I said, a great place for the lads to hang out, but obviously others thought it was a place of evil of a type I was blissfully unaware.
Oh…. I see. Well, I’ll try not to this time. At least my wife, my daughters and sisters can breathe a sigh of relief that the family name is not going to be blackened entirely. A Whiter Shade of Pale, perhaps, by the end - a bit grey, but not entirely trashed.
Everybody in Calliope drank beer, as wine of any description hadn’t been invented yet as far as we were concerned. In fact, round 1960, anyone who might have been so weird as to ask for wine at the Diggers Arms would have been regarded with great suspicion by the locals. It was claimed, though, that a rough red had once been served at the Top End pub near Milne's store, but a fight had almost erupted over the publican's insistence that the 10 oz. beer glass it was served in should also have a generous number of iceblocks in it. On the way to Biloela, the stranger, reportedly swarthy of appearance and merely wanting a drink for his wife in the lounge, won the war of words, but thereafter wine was not on displayed openly in the Top pub either. Words like 'Dago' were also alleged to have been used at the time, but I can't verify any of this.
I was not really qualified in any of those departments, so let’s just stick with the belt. We were doing that second Pivot, and going great guns, when the bracket of songs came to its scheduled end. All that remained was for me to escort her back to her seat near her mother, and to thank her formally for the dance. That was the way it was always done. We hadn’t entirely discarded the lessons of courtly boogeying of late 18th Century Europe, though how such etiquette made it down to us in 1960s Calliope remains a bit of a mystery I don’t even want to think about.
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