Works in the Herald 1935
EPISTLES TO AB - A HISTORY REPEATED

Fourway Farm,
January 11, 1935.

Dear Ab,

We have received your wail of wo. And all I got to say is that I wisht you would keep them sort of intimit detales to yourself, or if you must get them off your chest, try and let me know by some privit root so that your ma don't git a chance to see your letter.

I've had he job of me life perventing your ma from shoving on her best hat and going off post haste to hold your lilly white hand and pore words of maternil comfort into your little pink ear.

Now look here Ab, you and me is men and we gotter realise that women takes this here love stuff dead serious, and it is up to us to perteck them as much as w can from the brutil realities of a hard and heartless world. They don't know no better like us men do.

So if you must howl over your busted romance please don't howl so loud and publec so s your man can here you. You aint not be a long chawk you aint the first feller I the world to be chucked over by the only girl in the world and probally lived to be darn glad about it in the long run. Not on yer life you aint.

I own I am pretty sorry now if I seemed to treat your little love tragedy in a sort of hartless and offhand fashion. Fathers is apt to be like that.

But I am getting old, Ab, and a bit forgetful, and I see now that I had ought of to remembered Tilly Tittleborough.

Now this here is very privit and personal and for your own privit ear only. And if I hear of it going any farther that there ear is going to have a pretty big flea in it. So mind your step.

But before I had the fool's luck to meet your ma, and the mug's luck to pop the question just at the sycological minnit I happened to meet this Tilly Tittleborough up Gippsland way.

She was pretty good to look at Ab, even though they dident get there complexion out of bottles in them days. Tilly she had red hair, a wicked eye, and more noledge of man's weakness than any girl of her age had a right to.

But I found that out later. At the time she looked to me like she had come right out of a pink cloud, full of sweet and innercint prattle to be a solis and a joy to a rising young farmer whose reel need was a wife what could manage hens and turn a sepyrater without getting histerical.

Well, to make a silly story breef, she strung me on for three months or so, charming if expensive, and then went off and married a flash pertater digger with a big black mustash and a snake-skin belt with a reel silver buckel.

Well, Ab, you just take stock of your own feelings at present and you will get some idear of how your old man felt over thirty year ago.

But my story has a sekill.

Twenty year later I seen Tilly once more still with her pertater digger. And there was a terrible lot of Tilly. But wot there was of the pertater digger was a discuridged look and a mustash that drooped sort of hopeless.

Since then I aint had the neck to go questioning the wise and misterious ways of providence.

If this tale has a morril for you, son, you are welcom to it, and I hope it does you good though I dout it.

Apart from what I told you your ma is middling well. Your brother Joe is also bearing up fair considering grasshoppers, caterpillars, pertater blight, and a bad coff.

Love from all at home,

Your aff. father, JAS. JAMES

"Den"
Herald, 12 January 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005-06