Saturday, July 16, 2016

I'm far, far away but the sound of home is loud, still as loud (Slade)

You angel, you (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 2, pt 5)

Reimers Ave, Mt Eden

At first glance, Harry Purdy (Deedoo) was an unlikely angel. But he was.

Our bond was immediate and reciprocal. His first grandson became a work buddy. And a buddy bond that would last the rest of his life.

I don't remember any playtime episodes with Deedoo but we worked well together. 

It started, age 2, helping with the concreting ('more croncrete Deedoo') at Korma Road and continued, in teenager-hood, mixing up the mortar for him at Ramelton Road.

For such a man of buttoned up emotion and straight talking, he could create such beauty with cement and mortar. He picked me up in his ocean blue Holden Premier (super low mileage) and we went to work at the Ramelton Road site, full of rough sawn timber and mud. A magic time, just him and me.

Me and Deedoo, Grandma with Ross
A cascade of memories come to mind when I think about Deedoo: visits to Reimers Avenue (a.k.a. Roch-dene); Eden Park (where he helped out in the canteen and gave me free entry plus a pie and coke for rugby or cricket matches); visits to the boxing gym where he helped out; his Mako shark trophy; the sheds at the back of Reimers Ave.; his old truck; the boxing gloves he gave us; his time, at the end, at the Masonic Village behind Korma Rd.

Again - it sounds idyllic and it was. Our relationship was different to the one I had with Ma. Maybe I sensed that he had had a hard life without ever coming to terms with it. He was a diabetic, always scared of what could happen, never outwardly emotional. Maybe I realised that I had to compensate for that. Maybe it was that his funeral seemed to follow on so soon after my mother's.

Whatever the reason, I totally fell apart at his death and my grief was overwhelming - I cried uncontrollably throughout the service. After a long illness, compounded by his diabetes, he died at the Masonic Village in 1983.

Love and peace - Warren

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