Edit Blog Post
Published: March 1st 2015
FACES OF TASMANIA...Brushes with Fame and a Kentish or two.
When I was 12 I played in the New South Wales Public Schools Tennis Challenge at White City.
In the front foyer I see a dark skinned man in white tennis gear sitting on a leather lounge. I ask him if he is Arthur Ashe. He says "yes" so I score his autograph.
I turn to the man sitting with him. "Excuse me sir. What is your name?"
I think I grunted thanks and moved away as I had not heard of this USA tennis star.
I head upstairs to change for my match.
Two men walking from the showers with towels around them. Stopping me in my tracks...my young jaw dropping.
It's Rod Laver and Lew Hoad.
Smiling at me...I have my chance.
But I was too embarrassed to ask for their autographs.
'Cause they were chatting away...in their underpants!
Brushes with fame can be like that.
I remember the stir caused by the Beatles' visit to Sydney...record crowds in the streets...young girls screaming hysterically "John, Paul, George & Ringo".
Yet when Shintaro the Samurai visited Sydney all crowd records were smashed...the first Japanese TV show to hit Aussie screens...my favourite show...and zillions of others as it turned out.
Celebrity had its early days in such scenes...now there are cable TV channels converting celebrity no-names into idolatry crap.
I should know...our daughter watches it!
All good fun you might say.
Yet when we remember how hounding of Princess Di by paparazzi led to her death...the fun disappears.
So you can imagine my surprise when driving through Tasmania the same name often comes up...in signs...place names.
And why was I surprised?
The signs were saying Kentish...arrows pointing this way or that.
We just happened to be on our way to visit and stay with...the one and only...Dave Kentish!!!
He'd tried his luck as an actor in England...mellifluous voice so they made him a radio jock...manager of various businesses...jack of many trades...now in the cattle breeding industry in Northern Tasmania.
I knew him from school...always a big bloke...always a nice guy...knew him but not well.
to our year's school reunion in Sydney a year or so ago.
Our year is very lucky as Stephen Lamond...known to all as Sam...a country town solicitor...has been organizing these reunions since we left school...5 years, 10, 15, 20 and more...every 5 years and in recent years annually.
Its funny but we all get on better now than when we were at school.
At school you might have cliques or childhood prejudices...not now...time overcomes.
Everyone smiling..."great to see you"...name tags as some say "who is that?...cannot remember him...you haven't changed...what are you doing now?"
One came last year who admitted he was the one who started the fire in the Music Room that I was called up to the Headmaster's Office for...and I always thought it was the other Hooper!
Old boys coming from far and wide...from Sydney, rural and urban New South Wales, interstate and even overseas.
Last year three came from Tasmania...previous year it was one...Dave Kentish.
Even Peter Jensen who walked into our encampment in the Sahara Desert at Timbuktu and attended Our Tuareg Wedding in 2011 attends. He flies up from Adelaide.
See my blog Our Tuareg Wedding...Festival Au Desert...Timbuktu, Mali
Chatting to Dave Kentish with my mate Carey McMahon (an Australian motor racing champion)...mentioning to Dave that Denise was pressing we spend our annual Christmas holidays in Tasmania.
"You've gotta come. You can stay at my place. We have a spare house on our property you can stay in. Here's my number."
The kinda offer that is too good to refuse...he pretty insistent...kinda a clincher for our Tassie tour.
We flew from Sydney to Launceston then turned North then East and travelled around Tassie in a sorta clockwise direction in a VW Sandpiper mobile home.
Everywhere we went we were treated with welcomes and more welcomes.
We made it a discovery of some of Tassie's National Parks...my blogs hopefully enlightening the travel world to some of the delights and diversity of this island...this Aussie best kept secret. WILD TASMANIA...Narawntapu N.P. WILD TASMANIA...Mt William N.P. WILD TASMANIA...The Bay of Fires WILD TASMANIA...Freycinet in the footprints of Jo Trouble WILD TASMANIA...Port Arthur Penal Colony WILD TASMANIA: Mt Field N.P. WILD TASMANIA...Lake St Clair N.P...and The Wall WILD TASMANIA...Wild Rivers N.P...Up the Gordon without a paddle. WILD TASMANIA...The Tarkine...Tasmanian Tiger Country WILD TASMANIA...Cradle Mountain N.P...just bloody minded some may say WILD TASMANIA...Mole Creek Karst N.P...in search of King Solomon's Mine
Everywhere we went we were struck with the friendliness of the people...have never received so many invitations to visit homes...to stay at their places...to even relocate there.
Peri & Denise
after staying at the Kentish's it is definitely on our radar.
We left Mole Creek Karst N.P. to the sweet tunes of a blues harmonica and headed North ...seduced by honeys of every flower imaginable at The Honey Farm at Chudleigh 15kms West of Deloraine...Leatherwood, Banksia, Blackbutt, Blackberry, Bimble Box, Blue Gum, Buckwheat, Clover, Grey Box, Ironbark, Lucerne, Macadamia, Mallee, Manna Gum, Orange Blossom, Prickly Box, Red Gum, Salvation Jane, Spotted Gum, Stringy Bark, Tea Tree, Wild Flower, Yapunyah & Yellow Box...the Faces of Tassie Honey.
Then North to Devonport, West along the coast of Bass Strait through Ulverstone, Penguin (more Kentish signs) , Burnie, to the Kentish fiefdom...Wynyard.
The Kentish home is an Angus cattle farm on a hill with 270 degree views overlooking Bass Strait.
A serious issue is the attempts by mega companies to pollute the isle with genetically modified crops. Tasmania battling to remain free...providing the world with best grade foods...the mega companies trying to change all that. Hang in there Tassie...this is an issue that the world needs you to stand against.
Dave and his lovely wife Peri greeting us with crackers, berries &
Yet other than feeding cattle, some horse training and general hum, they dropped tools and spent all their time entertaining their mainland guests.
And to reciprocate we played them our music...Dave and Peri grooving to the beats.
Did I mention the view...unreal.
Stayed for four nights in the spare cottage on the property...sitting at the windows sipping coffee each morning soaking in the ocean sparkling at us.
Lunches and dinners in the main house or out and about.
There is something about Tasmanian hospitality that makes you feel you are in the best place in the globe...and Kentish hospitality is like no other.
They took us to meet their friends, to Arthur River and the Edge of the World, to the surf beach that sports some of the World's biggest waves, to the Nut, to the fishing port of Stanley where they refused to sell us fish as it is all kept for export, to those special places that only locals can take you.
And every day we met people saying "Why don't you move down here?"
And every day we considered more and more...dreaming of our own patch with
ocean views...of our own little piece of Tasmania...with friends aplenty...and a Kentish or two.
Relax & Enjoy,
Tot: 1.004s; Tpl: 0.114s; cc: 17; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0654s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 4;
; mem: 1.4mb