No outlaws at Mangowine

Clyde Adams – Perth Western Australia 2001

My two best friends in my childhood years were Harry and Arthur (known as Charlie) Williams. They still are my friends. I rarely see Charlie these days, but Harry and I stay in touch.

But in the early 1940s my greatest joy was to spend an occasional Saturday night at the Williams home. We had fun such as swimming nude in the dam, or in their big cement “horse trough”. On cold nights we shared hot water in a very big bath tub, before going to bed on the verandah.

Harry and Charlie had to milk the cows early each morning and, barefoot, I would accompany them even on the most freezing winter mornings. Squirting milk from the teat onto my “blue with cold” feet was Harry’s way of warming them a little.

Best of all, though, we made and carried “gings” (shanghais if you like) plus bows and arrows, ostensibly to deal with outlaws in the bush around Mangowine that we called Sherwood Forest. In turn each of us would be Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Little John, Will Scarlett, etc, With unerring aim we destroyed thousands of outlaws. They fled and to this day that region is free of outlaws.

Not having seen Harry for a long long time, I was sad to learn several years ago that his wife had died after a long illness. Then a couple of years later came the good news. Unexpectedly another great lady had come into his life and Harry was married again.

For me it was time to make contact again. I rang him at his country home. His wife answered and I asked for Harry, “Who shall I say is calling” she asked and, just for fun, I said “Robin Hood”. A moment later, after all those long years, he was demanding “Clyde, what can I do for you?”

Yes, the memories of Mangowine are truly great.