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Fabulous tales from a much travelled individual.

  1. Family Secrets

    We’ve been sitting at the kitchen table looking over old family photos. My mother was never one to talk about or delve into the past. A conversation with an old friend , [ they’d met in a refugee camp and came out to Australia on the same ship after The War ], the subject of their youth came up.

    My mother became visibly emotional, “ What youth, I was robbed of my youth. There was the War and then there were those years after the War. I didn’t get to enjoy my youth ”

    I recently asked her about a battered old silver knife, part of a set I remember from my childhood-the odd fork and knife are still being used.

    “You’ve had these for years mum.”

    “ I got them in Germany.” She replied

    Updated 12th June 2016 at 01:03 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Toorak Times - Socially Aware , Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
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  2. When Ross Hannaford Went Out West

    When Ross Hannaford Went Out West

    met Ross Hannaford in 1996-97. He was a middle age Australian Rock Legend and I was an improbable young entrepreneur. At face value we had very little in common. Apart from both living in Kew and we both wanted to get the fuck OUT ! Around this time Ross moved into a former workshop in Yarraville- he was a pioneer of 'warehouse' living in the West.

    He was getting the odd gig at The Commercial Hotel in Yarraville- the only music venue in Melbourne’s inner West at the time. My partners and I thought that they and the area needed some competition. So we opened an alternative venue in Footscray
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  3. Fear and Woeful Driving in Morocco

    Fear and Woeful Driving in Morocco

    I’d heard some horror tales about bad trips to Morocco. Midnight Express like tales where small time dope deals turn out horribly bad- undercover police stings. Resulting in imprisonment and extortionate demands from crooked cops to drop charges . And a bloke I knew was over powered and sodomized by a carpet dealer in a Medina.
    I picked up a Moroccan travel guide while living in Germany and the opening paragraph read, “Morocco, einmal und genug, oder immer wieder.”

    ‘Morocco, one time and never again or you’ll just keep on returning.’

    My friend Nadine sold me on going, her enthusiasm for the country was infectious [ she’d been before ]. And Ryan ...

    Updated 28th March 2015 at 07:48 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani , Travel
  4. ‘Old Olympian’s’ Lust For Life

    ‘Old Olympian’s’ Lust For Life
    Film Maker’s Passion for Sport

    Ivan Gaal was selected to represent Australia at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
    This was an era when athletes in non high profile sports, such as canoeing were expected to pay their own way.
    Having escaped his native Hungary after the Soviet invasion in 1956, economic circumstances saw him unable to fund his fare back to Europe.
    Heartbreakingly he had to pass up the opportunity to participate.
    Ivan harboured niggardly ‘I could have been a contender’ thoughts for decades.
    However he got on with his new life in Australia and found solace and compensation by directing his energy into artistic endeavours, moreover photography and film making. ...

    Updated 11th January 2015 at 04:05 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  5. Lost Bloke's Home

    Lost Bloke’s Home
    Still a Place For Ageing White Men

    Melbourne’s Inner City is the domain of IT Professionals, upwardly mobile sorts of all persuasions, and that ubiquitous Lifestyle Loitering Lot.
    Laurie Davis isn't one of them.
    He was born and grew up in a Carlton light years from its present Lifestyle Hotspot. His formative years were a time long before Sushi Bars replaced Milk Bars.
    Holdens ruled the roads and John Nicholls was biffing blokes behind play at Carlton home games.
    Four n twenty pies and Saturday afternoon crowds flocking to Princes Park are distant memories. Today it’s SUV drivers and Eco Warrior cyclists jostling for right of way in search of rare parking spaces in front of ...
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  6. One Man's Love of Music

    One Man’s Love of Music
    An Old Punk who didn’t Burnt Out or Fade Away

    “You’re not really into music, are you ? ”

    A question posed to me by my daughter.

    She was comparing me to her boyfriend ‘who is really passionate about his music’.

    This got me thinking about my old mate Peter Miller.
    He was at the vanguard of the Punk Push in Brisbane in the late 1970s.

    Organizing gigs, playing in his band Just Urbain,producing records and generally flying the flag of the then nascent Punk movement. Doing all this in a city notorious for its stifling conservatism and intolerance to ‘progressive’ influences.

    To have been a Punk in Brisbane during that period would have ...

    Updated 21st August 2014 at 10:19 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  7. The Best Grass in Town

    The Best Grass in Town
    Nimbin Bowlo- Rebels with a Cause

    There’s something out in left field about Nimbin Bowls Club.
    For starters visitors are welcomed an artist commissioned 3D mural prominently plastered across the front of the club rooms.

    Then there’s the 3 flags flying from the mast, The Eureka Flag, a Skull & Dagger pirate’s flag and one sporting a Pink Elephant.

    There’s a palpable feeling of - ‘We do it differently in Nimbin’.

    And the back of the club’s business card cheekily reads,
    ‘Bowl on the Best Grass in Town’.

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    During my time in town I regularly played the Sunday morning Rock and Roll Bowls social game. ...

    Updated 24th July 2014 at 03:14 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Tags: hemp, hippy, nimbin
    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  8. Inner City Wankers

    Inner City Wankers and their detachment from Fair Dinkum Australia.

    And how I discovered that Bowling Clubs and Caravan Parks were the places where I was least likely to come across them.

    Our Inner Cities are awash in a sea of coffee culture and the cafes are stacked with drones who look like they are perpetually auditioning for reality television shows. And this phoney and contrived culture is passing off as our Zeitgeist !

    Nick Carter’s book The Lucky Culture had one reviewer liken it to ‘a conservative forensic attack on that fraction of Australian society- the latte sipping inner urban wankers’.

    Oh Nick, you’re not alone on this one mate. I’ve had a problem with this lot for years now. ...
  9. Why Piss Heads Shouldn't Be Office- Bearers

    Rejuvenating Bowls Clubs.
    And Why Pissheads Shouldn’t be Office- Bearers.
    Our club lost some prominent members last season because we’d become ‘too progressive’ in their reckoning. There are those who still doggedly cling onto a quasi Edna Everage Ethos of a 1960s Suburban Bowls Club as the ideal.
    Princess Park is a small club on the ascent, having won 4 pennants in the last three seasons [ RVBA & Bowls World combined]. Not bad for a club with only 55 bowlers on the books. We’ve taken some proactive measures to increase revenue streams which have proven to be a windfall for the club’s coffers.
    But we ruffled some feathers with The Turnaround.
    “This isn’t a proper bowls club.”

    You can’t be all ...

    Updated 28th May 2014 at 03:35 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Fabrizio Marsani
  10. Unbridled Sex Tourism Cambodia’s Sodom and Gomorrah.

    I’d been warned that Sihanoukville was a dodgy town full of Prostitutes, Thieves and Scammers. I thought I’d check it out. I’d received similar warnings about Naples and subsequently avoided going there for many years. It belatedly became my favourite Italian city. I wasn’t going to be influenced by other people’s prejudices.
    Day One- walking along the main road two young guys casually drove past on a motorbike and snatched a carry bag out of my hand. The contents amounted to a near empty bottle of water, a tattered plastic anorak and a bunch of soiled tissues, my innate frugality sees me reusing them. Hardly prized booty.
    And to round off the day a dog pissed into my upturned umbrella a couple of hours later.
    Welcome to Sihanoukville ...

    Updated 26th April 2014 at 07:10 PM by Mick Pacholli

    Tags: sex tourism
    Fabrizio Marsani
  11. Unwanted Sexual Advances in Sport.

    Unwanted Sexual Advances on the Green and
    A Triangle of Resting Touchers
    The Carlton Classic invariably attracts a motley crew of characters from a wide range of clubs. This year was no different. We saw the usual pre game posturing and grand standing from the usual suspects as they mingled with friends and foes in Bowls World.
    Exchanging stories and regurgitating past glories on the green.
    I liken some of these blokes exchanging ‘kitty trailing’ tales to teenage boys gathering around to boast about or fabricate tales of the girls they’ve supposedly had sex with.

    Posturing aside there were some damn good bowlers with impressive credentials who’d rocked up. We saw some splendid bowling throughout ...

    Updated 17th June 2014 at 12:25 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  12. Bad Boys in Bowls- Pains in the Ass on the Green

    I liken Paul Soldatich to Kimchi- Korean pickled cabbage.

    Lap it up, or put it down as an offensive distraction to the main meal-game.

    They’re both very much an acquired taste.

    I remember a Scottish bloke from Footscray Yarraville saying, “How do you put up with this clown every week, he’d do my head in.” [delivered in a broad Glaswegian accent].

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    A burly fireman from Broadmeadows coined him John Revolta after having to listen to an afternoon’s worth of Soldatich antics like.

    “ I’d get more out of a barefoot bowler than what you’ve given me today Dad.”

    “I’m sick ...

    Updated 17th June 2014 at 12:28 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  13. Aggro Middle Aged Blokes in Bowls

    AMABs on The Green

    I wanted to buy a new set of bowls but the bloke serving me appeared far more interested in turning my enquiry into an opportunity to tell me (brag about) how many club championships and significant tournaments he'd won, how many times he'd represented the State and the crucial role he'd played in bowls design and manufacturing over the years.

    When I tried to steer the conversation back to the business at hand- me wanting to buy a new set of bowls he took umbrage and put me in my place by posing a loaded question.

    “ You obviously don't know anything about bowls.” he told me.

    Well, what I do know about bowls is that I've met some wonderful people over the years. People

    Updated 17th June 2014 at 12:30 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  14. I'll Be Gone

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    As a follow up to the Bill Putt tributes. I thought I’d share a story.
    I’d booked Rudd and Putt to play a Saturday night gig at the House of Fools in the late 1990s.
    On the following day after the gig my business partner tore into me,
    “What the fuck were you thinking when you booked those guys ?”
    At the time my business partner and I were at constant loggerheads over the direction of our Entertainment Policy. I was a staunch supporter-promoter of original music whereas he favoured a Covers Band- DJ format. It was a constant battle those initial years reaching a compromise.
    One of our regular punters, a Chilean woman had organized her birthday party [ at short notice] on ...

    Updated 17th June 2014 at 12:34 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
  15. Rudd on Speed

    Rudd on Speed

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    He’s off and running and he looks the goods, this inveterate and consummate performer. He’s like an old vaudeville song and dance man who instinctively knows what songs and jokes go down well with the punters.
    And like a seasoned conjurer he’s deft at the surprise factor- pulling metaphorical rabbits out of hats.

    You’ve got to hand it to him as he’s resurrected and rejuvenated the ALP’s previously dismal standing with the electorate. And isn’t Kev revelling in the spotlight. I liken him to someone binge drinking, experimenting with speed and popping the odd Viagra to see what sort of new highs he can reach.

    A heady cocktail to stomach, especially ...

    Updated 17th June 2014 at 12:35 AM by Mick Pacholli

    Authors and Contributors , Fabrizio Marsani
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