Ron Shulman and I went to Australia in 2005. Ron’s mom, had died and his dad was in acute dementia. Our job was to clean up and Ready the house in Sydney. Part of the resources to deal with was a chunk of land in the north. Town of Bundy.
Karl heard we were going to Australia and volunteered to give us an itinerary of useful trips. We had to drive north from Sydney and we jumped at the chance to see a part of the country not normally available.
We did what we could for a short while cleaning up the house then hopped in the car and went north. If you didn’t know, Aussies drive on the wrong side of the road, and with Ron driving we had a few close calls. But the drive was beautiful and very entertaining. We got to see a lot of small towns where we were an oddity. Our accent was a mystery to the folks we met. Most people figured we were a type of American. Australia is a beautiful country with many exotic animals. The weirdest were the million of toads that tried to get across the roads. Apparently, the toads had been imported for an exotic food and, of course, some got loose and since they had no natural predators their population expanded into the millions.
We were in the country for about 3 to 4 weeks and it was time to close up shop. Took a plane back to Sydney and got to finishing up the disposal of the house. Karl’s daughter and family were in Sydney and we gave them a call to find out if they wanted any of the stuff we were throwing away. (We didn’t have the time to go through normal channels and dispose of the stuff. We had to literarily throw it away) The family came by and we managed to unload a whole bunch of great stuff. (I think the highlight was a very good and expensive vacuum cleaner.)
Nice young couple. We were happy to help them out.
That was it! We packed up and left the country. Stopping in Fiji on the way home. Met Lorraine and Kathi there. Great holiday!
Ron’s Mom, Ron Shulman, Jim Blair/1963
Caught the plane. Had just enough money to get to Montreal where we had planned on hiring a car and driving home. Found a dealer who shipped cars to Vancouver. The deal was the only thing we paid for was the gasoline. (and any repairs that were needed along the way)
The car was a Chevy Supersport (Very powerful which was its only redeeming feature).
We thought we had enough money to get to Vancouver. The car thought something else. The first time we stopped for lunch it wouldn’t start. We managed to get a jump from another patron. Took the car into a repair garage and were told that the generator needed replacing and would cost much dollars. Nope!
We decided to drive all the way to the west coast without turning the engine off. One of us would sleep in the back seat while the other drove. Seemed to work except the gas this monster used. We had to keep the engine running while gassing up. Had to explain the problem every time. [Gas jockeys don’t like running cars next to their pumps.] Ran out of money somewhere near Winnipeg. Jo phoned her ex boyfriend and asked for money. What a good guy-sent the money right away.
I remember driving the prairies at night, Jo asleep in the back. I was beginning to hallucinate. [Sleeping in a moving car was impossible for me} The road was straight and narrow. uncomplicated except I began to imagine trees leaning over me like I was driving through the woods. It wasn’t so and it didn’t slow me down. Could this car ever go! Somewhere along the way another car decided to follow me so closely I realized that he was ‘drafting’ me. Staying so close that my car would pull him along. We used to do this with big transport trucks-very dangerous.
I didn’t mind. It was company! His headlights bothered me so I turned the rear view mirror so he could see what I could see. He turned his lights off! After a hundred miles or so he pulled of into a small town. Honked his horn, goodbye.
The first and only speeding ticket I got entering a small town in BC (Can’t remember the town). I was still speeding and had to tell the cop who stopped me that I couldn’t turn off the car motor. He grimaced, then wrote out the ticket.
Clear sailing all the way to the city. Two and a half days from Montreal to Vancouver! Beat that!
Hit Vancouver Sept. 1965
The inevitable happened in Vancouver. Everybody wanted to celebrate our marriage!
Jo’s sister Anne, Ike Shulman, Heidi (Ron’s first wife), don’t know who the kid was.
Chinese lamp-lasted for quite a while then fell apart.
That was it. Time to get normal…
If you want to see this story ‘Europe’ from the beginning or my previous story ‘Japan’ go to potpourri above and click on the subject.
Ike Shulman. I used to drag him out of his comfortable house and make him walk with me and the dog (Cain).