by Jeff Hill
Twenty-eight Cattlemen tell their stories.
If there is a life hereafter I imagine it to be something like this. There will be a big new saleyard in a lush green valley. Mick Moloney will have supplied the steel and supervised the construction. Luke Hopkins will be on the catwalk selling the cattle and Alan Bodman will be taking the bids. Wally Atkinson has drafted the cattle George Birch, Trevor Murray and myself will be leaning on the rails buying. Birchy will be buying for Cec Watts, I will be buying for Live Exports. Sid Parker and Tony Edwards will walk up behind me and tell me I am paying too bloody much for them. Bruce Paine will be on the job looking for cattle with diseases. Ian Knight will be off siding for him. Lyn Hayes and Ken Hammar will have worried looks on their faces because Jack Travers, Ian Michael and Peter McCracken the stock inspectors are checking brands and permits. Under a couple of shady trees not far away will be two droving plants. Bruce Simpson, Abe Teece and Bomber Stacey will be in one camp; George Fry, Bernie Jansen and Tiger Flohr will be in the other. Roger Steele will be horse tailing for both camps. Allan Simpson and Hank Sproules are knocking a few young horses into shape, out in the open.
As the sun goes down John Gunn arrives in his road train looking for work. The drovers make a comment that road trains should never have been invented. Everyone calls it a day and heads for John and Wendy Ohlsen’s canteen to have a feed of rib-bones, have a few rums and reminisce about days gone by.