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After breakfast at Some Café

Updated: Apr 16

We took a drive on Saturday morning to Some Café in Collector, forty minutes from home, just north of Lake George. Sometimes (as now) there's a lake at Lake George. More frequently there are sheep and cattle grazing where once the water was.


Go figure. It's Australia.


It was a birthday brunch for an old man. With Spike.

Every time I drive between Canberra and Sydney, I think ... 'I must visit that café one day' ... as we speed passed the homemade signs on the side of the road, north and south. But I've never stopped. It's barely 40 minutes from home, so it feels too soon to pull over on the three hour trip to Sydney simply for a mug of chemicals we grace with the name, chai latte. And on the drive back south I think ... 'fuck it, we're nearly home. I'll call in another time.'


I never have.


Until yesterday.


Spike suggested we make Collector and the café our destination (rather than my road not taken). A country breakfast for a birthday boy. And so we did.


Good day. Happy man.

Well fed and watered (an appropriate term, I suppose, for a town that was an 1860s coach stop with an Inn) we wandered through this quiet place. It's been off the beaten track since the Federal Highway put in a bypass that took away the trade in 1988.

Just outside Some Café (the 19th Century general store of a town that's never had more than four hundred residents) we stopped at the War Memorial, erected at the town's crossroads and unveiled in January 1920 by someone named Mrs. Mclnerney, the oldest resident of the district.


We paused. As you do.

And today I wrote this. Don't ask me why. I do not know.


After breakfast at Some Café


Adjacent to what used to be

the general store of Collector,

New South Wales,


there stands an obelisk;

blue-grey granite, quarried locally

on the farm of James Grainger

(who did not serve).


The local stone stands ten feet tall

upon a platform eight feet square.


Late-season lavender still blooms

where hopeful bees -- not more than one

or two -- flit from stem to stem, oblivious.


And on the monument,

chiseled deep in unforgiving stone,

are gilded letters of remembrance,


the lamentation of a country town

far removed from world events

(and now by-passed by history).


"Erected by Residents

of

Collector

and

District

In Memory of

Soldiers who Fell

in Their

Country's Service

and

In Honor of

Those who Enlisted.


Great European War

1914 - 1919"


And on another side:


"FALLEN IN THEIR

COUNTRY'S SERVICE"


Adams, F., Brett, C., Brogan, J.,

Grainger, E.,

Noble, A., & Noble, J.,


Old, A. D.,

Poidevin, P., Rowlands, C., Ruse, S. B.

and, last, these three

(yes, three)


the Sheridans,

Bill, Harry and Stan.


The roll call of a generation sacrificed

by careless men

in thrall to the hubris of an age.


__________________________________________________


There is a link here to the Sheridans and other young men who were killed (Virtual War Memorial Australia)

__________________________________________________


What do I think? Make peace not war.

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