Sunday, June 5, 2016

All the girls around her say she's got it coming (The Beatles)

Get Back (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 1, part 5)

Graham Purdy at MAGS - top left (I think I inherited his legs!)

After leaving Mount Albert Grammar, Graham trained as a pharmacist. Clever guy! Chemistry and science was his thing at school and his interest culminated in making it his career choice from school.

He passed his pharmacy professional examinations in March 1952 and then got himself a good job at Eccles' Pharmacy in Queen Street, Auckland.

Graham was nuts on swing - Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, the Dorsey brothers, Lionel Hampton, and Nat King Cole amongst others. With his buddies from school, Bruce Purser and Mervyn Hynes sometimes in tow he would come into Lewis Eady's music store, among other places, to try and find some of the latest jazz releases.

Funnily enough I would replicate this scenario twenty years later when I'd also make the journey into Queen Street with my best buddy from Mount Albert Grammar, Greg Knowles, to find my own records.

It was the late forties and the Labour governments trade restrictions after World War Two were still in place. It made records, in his words, 'scarce as hen's teeth'.

Graham's favourite haunts were Bond and Bond and Lewis Eady's. Especially Lewis Eady's.

Graham's 21st party (with his mum and dad and pre Dulcie date, Dawn from Cambridge)
At this time, Dulcie was in transit from Bond and Bond's Custom Street store to their K. Road store as manager. When she left that job she joined 'Miss Mac' in Lewis Eady's record department, which just happened to be opposite Eccles' pharmacy.

Teenage Dulcie
Graham would frequently get the tram at lunch time, spending the two pence fare to try his luck for a 78 rpm record that cost 4/6 (about 45 cents). In his carefully presented chemist smock and his 'thin and haughty air' (according to mum's flippant memory) he'd chance his luck with the cheeky, bubbly, shop assistant.

Graham kept up his charm offensive by swapping one dram bottles of Richard Hudnut Evening in Paris, which was rationed and highly sought after by young women, for his prized swing records.

Dulcie was not impressed. She thought this brash, lanky, persistent, young, chemist guy was a pest. He was, after all, out of her league, or so she thought.

She wasn't well educated by comparison but what she lacked in formal education she made up for in chutzpah and common sense. She sensed that she and the chemist guy were poles apart and yet...the bond grew.

The crazy gang Part 1- ripping it up at the Pursers (Graham far right with date Dulcie Adsett)

She entered his social sphere, playing card games  with Graham and his friends, the Pursers and Merv Hynes. 

The crazy gang part 2 with my godfather Meryn Hynes (4th from left), Bruce Purser (centre)
Dulcie Adsett (4th from left) with thin and haughty Graham Purdy (2nd from right)
They joined the Auckland Swing Club together (I wear the badge on my suit) and as Graham's persistence began to pay off...

...chemistry happened (pun intentional).

Love and peace - WNP

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