The Shady Tree
by Bill Harney and Douglas Lockwood
Rigby Limited, 1966, black and white photographic plates, black and white photographic end-papers, hardcover, Mylar sleeve dust-jacket
Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing to edges and corners, previous owners inscription on front end-paper; dust-jacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing, bumping, chipping and small tears to edges, removable Mylar sleeve (see photographs)
"Bill Harney was loved from Broome to Mount Isa, from Darwin to Alice Springs. His mates in Central Australia could be counted in hundreds, and men and women in every capital were proud to be his friends. This was inevitable. He was an authority on men of the Inland, black and white; he was a self-taught writer of distinction who could spin yarns with a warm literary style; and he had an exuberant liking for people, and enjoyed being with them.
In January 1962 he decided the time had come to cease his wanderings and rest beneath a shady tree like his aboriginal friends who had become "flour bag-alonga head." He chose his shady tree at Mooloolaba on the Queensland coast, north of Brisbane. Here, twelve moths later, he died of a heart-attack.
He left his manuscripts to his friend, Douglas Lockwood. Among these was the unfinished draft of the story of the last eighteen months of his life - the warm, human story of his decision to retire, and the way he set about doing so. In the book we travel with him from Darwin to Mooloolaba. Almost every tree, every pub, every stone, brings back memories of his past, with which he entertained the passengers on the bus and which he then set down in manuscript.
Doug Lockwood prepared the notes for publication. this was not easy, for much of the manuscript had been written in a vibrating bus, some on a suitcase by a river, and all of it in Harney hieroglyphics. But from this labour of love has come a book that will bring memory of Bill Harney as many new friends as he made during his lifetime.
Here is the final work of a Australian who lived and loved life to the full - and, alas, is gone."