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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Yellow Brick Road – work complete

The time has come when I can no longer walk safely down the steps of our house, even though there are only three of them. In fact, it is not longer safe for me to walk anywhere but a few well chosen steps inside our house. 

   Recently I took a fancy swallow dive with shoulder-twist and jack-knife down the Playhouse steps, in spite of there being three people around me and hanging on the Tracey's arm. I managed to rip a chunk out of my right arm and spectacular bruising of the left, but although it still damned-well feels like it as I type this, no bones were broken. 

   That was it. Some of the crew of the Armidale Drama and Musical Society [of which the Playhouse is a part] – stepped in. They knew the danger was even greater at our home. A ramp would be made from scratch and built within three hours of measuring up on Sunday 3 March, just before they were due to work on the latest ADMS production [about which I intend to write shortly].

I'll name names here because these Three Musketeers well deserve more than a passing mention.

Methuen Morgan – my big little bro, I call him. He comes from a large family of brothers. I never had one until my sisters all married excellent men and I got three. But "Jak" [another story I'll not relate here] is my friend-bro, and never was there a better man. He's a stage actor/singer, Psych First Class Hons man doing his Ph D, handyman, cattle rustler breeder and bloke you'd want on your side in a bar-room brawl – which, needless to say, he and I go looking for to the pub nightly. I can't count the times he's stepped in for Tracey and me when we really needed a friend.

Alan Wilkinson – stage actor/singer of the Paul Robeson variety [though little physical resemblance, it must be said], restorer of antique furniture, highly skilled builder and cabinet-maker-craftsman, former teacher, master of the English language and all its intricacies and nuances, and the best and most reliable friend anyone could have. In my recent illness it's Alan who has saved us one way or the other in difficulties he's so good at dealing with. [I say this while acknowledging the wonderful help of others too.]

And taa-daaahhh!! Colin Barry – Stage Manager without peer, though has been known to sneak on stage all too rarely as an actor [I have film footage]. I've left him to last because he is the best of men, working quietly and methodically in the background with steely resolution and honesty in every way and always, always gets the job done. He's an Infrastructure Manager with FMS at the university, and with his wife and family a notable caregiver for children in distress. Why doesn't this man have an OA rather than a company exec whose greatest fame is in the squillions s/he may have made? 

Now, to the job at hand – the ramp. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Alan, Methuen [in cap], and Colin [doing the maths]

I know.... this is a bit out of sync – but it seems right!
The Soxy seal of approval.
The Yellow Brick Road [must ask set artists to paint the bricks on!]
Back in Kansas – heels were clicked and magic happened.


  1. IF you graduate to a wheelchair
    AND they don't reinforce that gate
    THEN I'm gonna stop reading.


  2. I think the gate opens inwards, kvd:) I'm worried about the ramp being slippery -but I do think these guys know what they are doing.

    Julie M

  3. You guys are so sensible. Although it's hard (I know), in the end it has to be about safety. Good work, ATeam!

  4. You've had a busy weekend. It looks fabulous. What a great idea St George.

  5. Thanks, friends. You wrote your comments based on the version available then. This is an updated one.

    Yes, if I convert the walker to a go-kart, best that the gate acts as a crash barrier [maybe!]

  6. I'm so impressed. Amazing what those magic red slippers can do :)

    Sorry to hear about your fall, although the location of it caught my attention. I was just looking at a photo of myself and other cast members in a 1974 children's production at The Armidale Playhouse, published in The Armidale Express, and was wondering how the Playhouse was going.

  7. Great work guys. A wonderful project; great pictures; good friends.

  8. Groovy! But I'm worried there's no edge - can they do that?

    For all the other spots try - I am about to get five of these so all the shops in Newstead can become accessible.

    1. Good question. Yes, all discussed on the day but ran out of time pre-rehearsal to do finishing off. We'll take all safety measures necessary as neither of us - nor the Musketeers - have any desire to see a slip end up with me [or Tracey] over the side.

      Thanks, Dave. You and Ros know more about these things than just about anyone else in the country.

    2. PS I wasn't joking about that, if you look at this trailrider tales site. For others who don't know him, David is a very active participant, as well as being one who gets round town a lot, unlike me. Wheelchair access and safety are very big deals in a case like this.

      I might have said, we are probably going to use this ramp to get me up and down once every three weeks, so the issue isn't that important – but of course it is. An accident could just as easily happen on that one journey as in a case where the ramp is used daily. In fact, it might be argued that it is more than otherwise likely to happen because it is used rarely.

  9. We have a portable, foldable ramp (something like Dave's link above) we carry in the car at all times in case we get to a tricky place when we're out and about. Even a couple of steps can be a problem. xx

  10. A great ramp. Alan is a very fine person and friend. All the best DW. Helen S


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