Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Now, the bad news. An external storage device with the Classie Corner archives has blown up. Until I can extract the files from the special disk, I must input all the old Classie Corner classics. This has taken a bit of the sting out of the column’s 25th anniversary celebration on this website. Nevertheless, here’s one from the "best of …" collection. This column dates from April 1996.
HALLELUJAH, brothers and sisters. We are here today to give praise to the Classifieds.
The Classifieds can make the blind see and let the crippled walk. The stories of the true believers will touch your heart.
Edgar Barnard, of the southern village of Caboolture, can walk today, thanks to the Power of the Classifieds.
Edgar, suffering after a lifetime of toil, struggles through his twilight years with the need of a walking stick. When Edgar lost the cherished stick, which a friend made for him, he put his faith in the Classifieds.
Bear testimony, my friends, to his witness.
"I was down at the Kmart when I lost it. I left it in a trolley for just a few minutes and when I went back it was gone. I rang up with an ad in the Lost and Found. No one brought back my stick but a woman from Burpengary called and asked how things were going and later she dropped a walking stick in. Then a man from Bribie did the same thing. Now I have two sticks and my friend, a carpenter, has cut a new handle for one of them out of a good piece of hardwood."
Edgar, 82, says he needs a stick because of the hard work he had to do throughout his life. He has curvature of the spine and "a crook hip and leg".
"I am getting around in a ‘c’ shape," he says. For about five years he has needed a stick for balance.
Edgar recalls lumping wheat sacks at West Wyalong in New South Wales during the Great Depression and cutting timber in the forests around Casino. "In those days you could buy a good suit for three pounds."
In later years he drove trucks and specialised in carting caravans to Melbourne.
Edgar worked on past retirement age, but only until he was 67.
He decided at one stage to upgrade from a walking stick to an invalid scooter but found it was too dangerous, even for a man who made a living from braving the highways.
The railway crossing gave him the biggest worry. "You get a bit fearful when you get old.
Edgar now plans to sell the scooter, which he says is in as-new condition.
Remember, the Classie Corner email address is fourjays@bigpond.com.au. I am in the subtropical climate of the southern Moreton Bay islands, Queensland, Australia, but Classie Corner has appeared in 12 newspapers in two Australian States over the years. Its current home is the Redland Times which services our council area on Brisbane’s bayside.

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