The thing is….Harry was a really nice guy. He was trusted by everyone. He was humorous. He was always interested in what you had to say, and always looked on the bright side. He was a nice guy.

He didn’t drink much. He smoked …which was to be the death of him in the end. He didn’t play cards for money, or gamble on racehorses or anything. He would try to save money by doing lots of things himself rather than paying to get stuff done.

Oh,…um…he played the poker machines. A lot. He was totally addicted to them. I have been with him in a club and literally tried to drag him out of the place while he still had some money left…and I was unsuccessful.

And also unfortunately, Harry was devoid of common sense and …well common…erm… sense? He wouldn’t be dislodged by argument or logic when he came upon one of his brilliant ideas. Because he was too trusting of the world. He thought the world was full of nice people like him. So he would accept what was told to him and not do the right amount of research. And Glady trusted his judgement and she trusted other people too. It was a fatal combination.

So he had some awkward moments…but the washing machines were not one.

Harry and Glady had bought the house at North Narrabeen with a War Service Homes Grant.Harry20jpg I was there when it came about. I remember the excitement of it all. The house an asbestos-cement house high on the hill in North Narrabeen…it was wonderful!Harry20 It had views all round. It had a three-quarter billiard table…it had space underneath for Harry’s Carter Brown novels with the blonde babes on the coverHarry21 …which I would go down and look at and stuff.

It was wonderful. Harry would show me through the binoculars that the foliage down below at the point would have all sorts of activityHarry22…young babes and blokes ducking into the bushes for God Knows what activity…and all.

But unfortunately, Harry came upon a brilliant idea.

He saw an ad in the paper for 12 washing machines.Harry23

He spent a long time on calculations…but he was good with figures…and he reasoned that they could sell North Narrabeen and buy a place in Gladesville…and still have the 10 grand for the washing machines.

So they did.

Glady hated it. To have to leave the refinement of the North Shore where all the trendies lived and move to the mud flats of GladesvilleHarry24 was almost more than she could bear. It was only Harry’s enthusiasm for their potential income that saved the day.

The washing machines were 2 bob in the slot ones…and they were distributed all through the apartment houses in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

They were brilliant!  They kept taking money without anyone being present!. They were brilliant!

What, you ask, was wrong with that?

Alright…here’s the deal…the damned washing machines took 2 bob bits! Do you get it?

Harry would rock up to the block of flats…go to the laundry…open up his washing machine…and fill his cloth bag with 2 bob bits.  Then he’d go to the other eleven washing machines and do the same.Harry29

Then he’d drive home to Gladesville …past the North Ryde RSL club.Harry30 Harry31  No! he wouldn’t drive past. He would stop and go in with his cloth bag full of 2-bob bits. OH! I hear you groan! You’re right! He would leave later with an empty cloth bag and drive home.

Glady thought the washing machines were not very good.

Harry told me years later that he could have taken Glady around the world three times from the washing machines.Harry28 Harry27

But by then, he had come upon a new briiliant idea.

(To be continued)

Advertisements