We love a good piece of bush poetry, especially when it’s about the Birdsville Roadhouse’s Sam Barnes! He’s more or less Birdsville born and bred and, although he’s a boilermaker by trade, he can often be found around our workshop putting his impressive mechanic skills to use.
He’s also a terrific driver so is often sent on vehicle recovery missions, rescuing stranded travellers who are grateful for his quick response and bushman know-how to get them out of a fix. Clearly, we think Sam is awesome (although ‘we’ are his parents and girlfriend…). But, when he received these wonderfully written poems in the mail, we realised that our customers love him too!
They were trav’lin’ through the outback,
Down Diamantina way,
When they happ’ed upon a small town
And there they spent a day.
The people were quite friendly
When at the Birdsville Pub they called,
So they settled in for two nights –
Soon the locals were appalled.
They headed for the ‘crossing’
In spite of recent rain,
“Pajeros can go anywhere,
We’ll prove that right again.”
So down the bumpy, sandy tracks
These ‘city slickers’ wander,
Until they hit a soggy patch
And then were they a goner!
They revved the engine, spun the wheels,
In four-wheel-drive they sat
And soon they found, for Sam they soon
Became another stat.
A quick phone call and quick response,
Soon found them Sam at hand.
Behind his smile amusement lurked –
MORE tourists in wet sand.
He brought a rope but needed two –
Another soon to hand –
He checked the hitch then gave a tug,
Pajero on dry land.
Then Sam he headed back to work,
The tourists back to town.
They called into the Roadhouse,
Then took off to look around.
They liked young Sam, the tow-truck man –
He did a cheerful job.
Whate’er he’s paid, they’d tell his boss,
“He’s worth each flamin’ bob.”
And… the next instalment…
‘Big Red’ – now here’s another tale;
It happened just this way –
They bought a pass so they might go
That self-same fateful day.
Petrol to get them there and back,
They’d water – they weren’t fools!
Sunhats and glasses and such things,
They knew the outback rules.
They travelled down the gravel road
Until a detour’s seen –
There’s water where, one hundred years,
No water has been there.
So 13ks around the pool,
‘Long sandy tracks they wander,
Until at Big Red’s base they be –
The top is way up yonder.
In four-wheel-drive, with engine revved,
They whizz right to the top,
A glance around, turn engine off,
And out of it they pop.
The scenery is engaging,
They look in great delight.
Photos taken, back into car,
But something ain’t quite right.
They can’t reverse, forward must go,
So down the other side.
They turn around and face Big Red,
Now for the upward ride.
The engine revs and up they head –
Just halfway up the slope.
Back down they go to gather speed –
Two-thirds, but still no hope.
They needed to reach Birdsville,
Neil said that he’d go back.
And so through water three-foot deep
And up the gravel track.
Neil had about a 5k trek
Until he hailed a truckie,
Who wired through to Birdsville
(which did prove rather lucky).
While Neil was gone, King tried again,
Going way, way back –
He got three-quarters up this time,
Which was a worthwhile crack.
Then back came Sam, the tow-truck man,
Collecting Neil enroute.
King saw the dust come down the track
And cheered “Whako! You Beaut!”
Relief at seeing Neil climb out
One tow-truck cabin door,
While Sam climbed out the other side,
Was huge – that is for sure.
Sam released air from the tyres,
Reversed back down the hill,
Then up he came without a care,
Car bending to his will.
With smile upon his happy face
At showing up these oldies,
To Birdsville once again he drove –
Suspect to have some coldies.
Again the oldies hit the road
With ne’er a further worry,
Back to the Birdsville Roadhouse,
Where no one’s in a hurry.
While driving on a sandy beach,
These oldies know the drill –
You let air out of tyres,
WHY NOT ON SANDY HILL?!?!
Yes, they liked young Sam the tow-truck man;
He was a cheerful kid.
But, behind his pleasant, smiling face,
Amusement surely hid.