Saturday, 28 December 2013

Past History

When I was young, I was one of the few kids who would talk to a boy called Stephen Bristow. Son of "Timmy" Bristow. A walking mountain. Or, as one Judge described him in court, a "Walking Nightmare".

Oddly enough, he had a personal code of conduct that amounted to "Do unto others as they've done unto others, with interest.". The honest had nothing to fear. Others....

My mother disturbed an intruder in our house when coming home from shopping once. He fled, taking some items of considerable sentimental, though not monetary, value.

Tim Bristow got word of it.... We received them back in our postbox in a few days, with a misspelt crudely hand-written letter of apology that can only be described as "grovelling".

I saw Tim greet State Premiers (equivalent of Governors), Chief Stipendiary Magistrates (equivalent of Chief Justices) and other crooks. Only some of whom ended up in jail. He was on a first-name basis with them, as I can personally attest to.

He told us where not to go fishing - a spot off Bungan Beach he called the "See you later club". Miles to the south of where it was reputed to be, possibly a little misdirection on his part to avoid legal, er, complications. Not far from where a Japanese WWII minisub that had been missing since 1942 was found recently.

Our family, very straight-laced, humdrum, ordinary, and ridiculously law-abiding, lived in a very different world from his. Yet somehow there was contact, even friendship. Tim Bristow phoned to give his condolences on my father's death in 1993, the last time I spoke to him.

There have been ex-cops turned "debt collector" since. None of them resemble Tim Bristow though.


Sarah Wilson said...

"...I found that the higher I went in society the lower the morals became."
-Tim Bristow

Who would have thought. :-)

Billie said...

What Tim Britow said is not so surprising.

Hope you have a great and safe New Year!

Justine Valinotti said...

Sarah Wilson--That comment reminds me of why I prefer writing independently and teaching low-income students to working for a boutique PR firm. I did the latter in my youth and don't miss it in the least.

Happy New Year to all! A.E. Brain, thanks for another great year of a great blog!

Unknown said...

I knew Tim Bristow pretty well as I was engaged to his son Stephen Bristow. Stephen was a very sweet person. I met Stephen on the gold coast many years ago. We lived in Cairns fora while the gold coast and Sydney at his dads house. I have been living in the Unites States for sometime.

Anonymous said...

Tim lived with my mother and I in Sydney for some time when he temporarily separated from his wife. Stephen was like an older brother to me during this time. I adored him. I tracked him down years later on the Gold Coast but then lost touch again. Do you know how to get in touch with him? I live in Europe now but am writing something I think Stephen could shed some light on for me. Tim, his father, taught me how to colour in. I have never forgotten that. The seventies were crazy. I witnessed many things I should not have. Incredible that Stephen turned out to be such a beautiful human being considering all he went through as a young man.