The Shady Tree
by W. E. (Bill) Harney and Douglas Lockwood
Rigby, 1963, [First Edition], black and white photographic plates, photographic endpapers, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, no inscriptions, price-clipped dustjacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing, bumping, chipping, and small tears, creasing and closed tears, sticker residue on front (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 friend who had become “flour bag-alonga head.” He chose his shady tree at Mooloolaba on the Queensland coast, north of Brisbane. Here, twelve months 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.”