Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mary Poppins meets Bob Dylan on windy day

IT is more than 40 years, my friends, since musical poet Bob Dylan found his answer blowin’ in the wind.
But the gusts at Birkdale on a recent spring day actually posed a question for a local woman, 81, during her daily walk.
Who owns the umbrella that she found caught on a post?
The brolly could not have fallen into better hands as it blew around the Mary Pleasant Drive area.
The finder placed a free notice in our classifieds, saying simply, "Found, blowing in the wind, 1 lovely umbrella …"
Knowing the value of a good umbrella, not only for protection against the rain and sun but also for support, she is disappointed no one called.
She says the brolly is more like a parasol than a traditional umbrella but, like her own umbrella, it has a sturdy construction and wooden handle so it can serve as a walking stick.
"They call me ‘Mary Poppins’ around here because I always carry an umbrella," she says. "I walk 3km a day and I think my muscles, rather than my bones, are holding me together.
"I must have looked pretty eccentric that day carrying two umbrellas."
The Rockhampton-born octogenarian, who has lived on the bayside for about three decades, has Meniere’s disease, which affects her balance, and she recently learned she has "the bones of a 90-year-old" because of osteoporosis.
A widow since her marine engineer husband died in 1980, she appreciates her privacy but likes to talk about the shipboard romance that blossomed on the Shaw Savill cruise liner Largs Bay in 1950 and the 1951 marriage that produced six children.
"I am a bit disappointed that they have given me only six grandchildren," she says.
"I have a younger friend who is a great-great-grandmother but I haven’t even reached the ‘great’ stage yet."
But back to the umbrella or parasol: I will be happy to take messages from anyone wanting to contact this lovely lady. Call 3409 1275 or email
THIS week is the first anniversary of Classie Corner in the Redlands after a history in regional papers in two states.
The "season" started in the Bayside Bulletin but we soon swapped to the Times, believing stories from the community of classified advertising would better suit the Redland Times magazine format.
On this birthday, I thank the Rural Press decision makers who trusted that the column would help emphasise the reader value of classified advertising, the dozens of Redlanders who have trusted me to document aspects of their lives and the readers who join us each week in "a marvellous community".
See you next week. More stories on
(This column appeared yesterday in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia)

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