Thursday, April 20, 2006

Unsolicited mail and a strange phone call

I started working at Unisys Australia on Tuesday January 3rd 1989. A bit of a culture shock moving from Hewlett Packard via a short stretch of unemployment to Unisys but nowhere near as much of a culture shock as that from Australia to the USA!

A couple of weeks after I joined Unisys I got a strange phone call. A strangely familiar voice I couldn't place asked if this was 'Rob Manderson' of such and such an address. I confirmed that it was indeed I and the caller hung up!

Yikes and consternation and all kinds of sharp musical chords!

But a few days passed without incident and I forgot about it.

A couple of weeks later a video tape turned up in the mail. Naturally it was VHS and I had Beta. Stop laughing. I was one of the early adopters of VCR's in Australia and at the time Beta was the dominant format. A few years down the track and quite a few hundred favourite movies in Beta format and what's a man to do?

So I took the tape to work and played it on the 5th floor conference room video player. A prospectus purportedly from the Australian Gold Coast (Australians just call it the Gold Coast) advertising a Pasman and Samuels prospectus. It looked very professional but I smelled a rat!

Nothing wrong with my nose. Well, maybe you'd argue that proposition if you saw the size of it but can I help it if air is free?

The tape and the call both came from Heino. You know he's my best mate but in 1989 I hadn't seen him for maybe 9 years; hence the strange familiarity of the voice though I couldn't place it.

The call was to establish the correctness of the address; and the tape was part of the softening up process for a Turtle Video reunion.

Robin received a copy of the same tape. It seems that he fell for it and thought it was a solicitation of his money; he threw it out in the rubbish!

And so it was that on Saturday March 18th 1989 I rolled up at Heinos house for a reunion. I hadn't seen him since 1980 or thereabouts but it was as if the years hadn't passed when I saw that familiar face. I don't deny that I called him 'Porky' due to some weight gain long since lost.

That was one of those great evenings we all remember. Made more enjoyable because of the lapse of years between meetings. I've said before that Heino, Garry, Robin, Dave and others were a big part of my life in the second half of the 1970's and it's true. Being brought together again after a lapse of nearly ten years was wonderful!

There was one embarassing incident related by Dave to my then girlfriend Peta, involving something I did in 1975 whilst walking along Champion Road Williamstown with the boys but I'm damned if I can think of a way of writing it that wouldn't involve my giving up blogging forever for the embarassment! Some things are too embarassing even for such a personal blog as this!

We've stayed in contact ever since and I certainly will never let it lapse. I count it as a privilege extended to few that when I visit Australia Heino takes me along with him on visits to his parents and both of them shake me warmly by the hand. You'd have to work hard to not like his folks! I count it as a higher privilege that Heino lets me stay at his house when I visit Australia.

We don't phone each other on a regular schedule; with the way I shuttle back and forth between the Philippines and Dallas how could we? I'm looking forward to the time when Heino comes to Phoenix and we can be mates again in my now home.

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