Way back when, Wednesdays

yatala-bombing

Get out of gaol free!

A plan to detonate gelignite bombs inside Yatala Labour Prison, was front page news in the Leader Messenger on 7 December 1983.  The article highlighted chronic staff shortages at Yatala.  Prison officers were overworked and forced to do excessive overtime in order to maintain minimal staffing levels.  Inmates had become more violent, endangering the lives of prison officers.  There was hearsay that prisoners planned to set several fires before Christmas.

Follow up articles on page 9 largely focused on how an increase in staff numbers could solve these issues. More dramatically, the Messenger related how an inside source had revealed that chemicals had also gone missing, which prisoners could use to manufacture homemade bombs. There were allegations of a coverup, as the Prison administration and State government were aware of the potential danger.

crisis-at-yatala

Note that the Yatala Labour Prison is still standing. So the prisoners’ evil plans to bomb the building must have been thwarted. Hopefully the Crisis at Yatala articles led to the State Government employing additional staff to ease the pressure on existing prison officers and to try and curb further violent episodes.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Diana lookalike

Have you ever tried to be like your favourite celebrity?

Never underestimate the popularity of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The Leader Messenger reported on the engagement of Juanita Steele and Jeffrey Smith, on page 11 of the edition dated 23 November, 1983. I was struck by the resemblance between Juanita and the late Princess Diana. Below you can view photographs of the happy couple and also of Princess Diana taken in 1983.

diana-lookalike

So why did women want to look like Diana and style their hair in the same fashion? If you don’t remember Diana, she was attractive and well dressed. However, she was more than just a fashion icon. The world media presented Diana as the young, innocent girl who had married her Prince Charming. Although born into the English aristocracy, she became known as ‘The People’s Princess’, a modern woman who was more accessible than the rest of the Royal Family. Diana wore party dresses and swimwear, she went out dancing and regularly visted a gym outside the Palace in her exercise clothing.

diana-in-pearls

It has been said that Diana could manipulate the media for her own purposes. Depending on your point of view, this can be viewed as clever or calculating. There are some that doubt Diana’s sincerity but her gentle nature appealed to ordinary people, who perceived her to be genuine and caring.

Diana never behaved snobbishly. She was always happy to stop and speak with people and children in the crowd. As part of her royal duties, Diana became interested in charitable causes and in a break with protocol she let young children touch and hug her. She supported children’s charities but she also took on topical issues, campaigning against landmines and promoting awareness of AIDS, a disease which was surrounded by fear, misinformation and controversy. Diana was compassionate and accepting of others. For example, she visited gay AIDS sufferers in hospices, holding their hands to dispel the myth that you could catch HIV through touch.

Diana was also loved for a role as a mum. Breaking with tradition, Diana refused to leave baby Prince William at home, bringing him along on the trip she made with Prince Charles to Australia in 1983. There are many photographs and camera footage of Diana enjoying time with her two sons, at home and on holidays, behaving naturally and showing them affection, which is in contrast to the restrained mood of the older promotional films, featuring the Queen and her children.

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Summer Reading Club 2017

Wow – we are thrilled to report that a record 40 young readers participated in our Summer Reading Club program over 2016-17.

Altogether, the 40 children read a grand total of 1222 books and completed 117 reading logs and 52 book reviews.

This year’s Summer Reading Club theme was Heroes and Villains. Children were required to read ten books over summer and then record the titles on a reading log. If they wanted to extend themselves, they could write a book review on the books.

Each child has now gone into the draw to win state and national prizes, including an iPad Mini.

On Wednesday 25 January 11am the Library  hosted a Blast off Musical’ finale party to celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Club, and reward participating children. A total of 99 adults and children joined us for dancing and a pizza party afterwards.

Keep up the reading, everyone.

Library Goober makes TV show!

Former Tea Tree Gully Library staff member, Ben Crisp, has had a series he wrote turned into a webseries on ABC iview.

The series, called Goober, is a short form comedy documenting the life of Harry, an Uber driver on the autism spectrum. “Harry loves his life, he loves his job, and he loves his gooberpassengers: so much, that he wants every one of them to be his next best friend. Goober is a light-hearted comedy series about a man who sees the best in every situation, despite what everyone else sees. It demonstrates that first impressions don’t always tell the whole story: Harry seems unusual due to the way his autism shapes his interactions, but, more often than not, his candor and naivety expose the hypocrisy of the “everyday” people around him.”

We caught up with Ben to ask him about Goober and to keep in contact in case he turns into a full-fledged success who might be worth mooching off of in the future.

TTG Library:   Congratulations on Goober. The Library is incredibly proud to have one of our own produce such a great show.

Ben:    Thank you so much!

TTG Library: Firstly is it pronounced Goober or Gūber?

Ben: Actually it’s spelt Goober but it’s pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove. No, Harry the Uber-driver is definitely a “goober”: a loveable goofball who means well, but tends to get it wrong more than right.

TTG Library: Why isn’t it spelled Gūber then?

Ben: We considered it briefly, but thought that people might see the name and think it was a foreign-language show. Or misread it and think it was about the Gruber brothers, Hans and Simon Peter—you know, the bad guys from Die Hard 1 and 3. Actually that would be a pretty cool show too now that I think about it.

[we all think it would be a great show too, you could call it Now I Have a Gruber! – start writing]

TTG Library: In a lot of ways Gūber would have been funnier, do you now regret not spelling it that way?

Ben: We choose to listen to our fans, not our diacritics.

TTG Library: You are one of the Library’s favourite sons, how has the transition from library to screen writer been?

Ben: Libraries are hallowed ground for all writers, cathedrals built for stories, so working in a library was a special privilege. Particularly one with so many wonderful people on the team! And now I’m still just as lucky to be working with another amazing team of enthusiastic and dedicated people. Screenwriting is very different work, but hopefully serves the same essential purpose as library work: to deliver stories into people’s lives.

TTG Library: The series is both very funny and has a lot of heart and is often very poignant, where have you drawn inspiration from?

Ben: Lots of places! The initial spark came from the idea that it has become more and more common for people to have short, sometimes awkward, sometimes poignant interactions with strangers that only last the length of a trip in an Uber or a taxi. So we dreamt up a character who is a bit socially awkward, but works as a driver because he loves talking to people and trying to help them—even though he’s not always that good at it.

TTG Library: You manage to tell amazingly complete narratives in very short periods of time, was that difficult?

Ben: Part of the challenge with digital formats like ABC iview is engaging the audience in a short space of time. Some of it comes from the format: Harry gets life-coaching from his Dad over the phone, picks up his passengers and gets himself into mischief, then fumbles his way through a talk with Wendy, his crush who works at the drive-thru. I’m lucky to have a very talented and diligent team of collaborators in directors Brendon Skinner and Simon Williams, and producer Kirsty Stark—between us we whittle the story down to just what it needs to be. But we’ve only scratched the surface: there is plenty more to Harry’s story that we are just dying to share with everyone—enough to fill a whole television series!

TTG Library: Is it too late to change the spelling to Gūber?

Ben: Sure, why not? Remember how they renamed The Mighty Ducks as Champions? That wasn’t confusing at all.

TTG Library: Obviously the mentoring you received at the TTG Library, primarily from David and Holly, was instrumental to your success, how vital was it?: a) Incredibly vital b) More vital than can be expressed in English c) 100% vital d) All of the above.

Ben: Definitely D.

[Right answer]

TTG Library: What was the experience of seeing your written words turned into images on the screen like?

Ben: Amazing! We were so lucky to have such a fantastic cast. Our lead actor, Brendan Williams, is really what brings Harry and the show to life. He captures the loveable, dorky charm of the character with this textbook comic expressiveness that cracks me up. Ashton Malcolm as Wendy, the equally-gooberish drive-thru attendant, is just perfect. The whole cast is terrific: every episode has beautiful performances by the supporting cast who play the passengers, from a fretting bridal party to a grumpy grandmother, a nervous schoolboy, to a pair of loudmouth rappers. It’s awesome.

TTG Library: Shane “Kenny” Jacobson plays the voice of Harry’s Dad, did he suggest changing the spelling to Gūber?

Ben: If he did, we certainly would have listened to him! Shane is a legend, in comedy and drama, and he really knows his stuff. He understood the character straight away and had some great suggestions when he recorded the lines in the studio with Brendan. It’s a tough ask for an actor to deliver that emotion when he’s just a voice on a phone, but Shane knocked it out of the park. He captures it perfectly: Harry’s Dad is a regular bloke who loves and supports his son more than anything in the world. TTG Library: Thanks.

Ben: Thank you! Congratulations again Ben!

Catch Goober on ABC iview or through http://au.gooberseries.com/ We want to see more so if you love it too let ABC know.

 

Way back when, Wednesdays

Holiday fun with ‘Cubing’

Before the current system of having four terms during the school year was implemented, the long summer holiday break used to extend into February.   On Wednesday 3 February, 1982, the Leader Messenger pictured 9 year old Jarrod Young attempting to solve the Rubik cube puzzle, when he attended a school holiday program held at Tea Tree Plaza. This would have been a very popular event.

jarrod-cube

Anybody born into Generation X will remember the Rubik’s Cube! You just had to have one.  The objective of the Rubik’s Cube puzzle is to rotate the 26 brightly coloured smaller cubes that make up the larger structure, so that each face of the cube features a different uniform solid colour. Amazingly, there are more than three billion possible combinations to the puzzle.

Architect Ernő Rubik invented his Magic Cube in 1974 in communist Hungary. It was designed as an innovative way to teach his students at the Budapest Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts about 3D objects. Their positive reaction to his creation inspired Rubik to take out a patent.  In conjunction with a state-run company, Rubik began marketing the cube as a puzzle in Europe in 1977. When American company Ideal Toys negotiated with Rubik to produce and market the puzzle, it sold over 4 million cubes in 1980. Cheaper unlicenced copies such as the Wonderful Puzzler also appeared on the market. The Rubik’s Cube became a worldwide obsession and global cultural icon and made Professor Rubik a millionaire at age 36.  He also created spinoff puzzles from his original design such as Rubik’s Race and Rubik’s Revenge. The first international world championship was held in Budapest in 1982.

cube-in-box

The New York Times reported that by June, 1981, the Ideal Toy Company had sold 30 million cubes, accounting for about 25 percent of their sales, which earned $216.8 million for the company. However, by 30 October 1982, sales of the Rubik’s Cube were in decline. New electronic video games were top sellers, as well as the Smurfs and merchandise associated with the movie E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial.   (Rubik’s Cube: A craze ends http://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/30/business/rubik-s-cube-a-craze-ends.html).

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Naked not certifiable

During the recent heatwave you might have been tempted to shed most of your clothing and walk around in next to nothing at home. Especially when you had to clean up and cook. On page 8 of the 1 April 1965 edition, the Leader Messenger featured a letter from a man calling himself BEWILDERED, who complained that his wife always did the housework in the nude. ‘Fifty Fifty’ was a column in the Messenger newspaper in which “men and women from all over Adelaide speak their minds freely on their hopes, their problems, their fears and what they really think of each other.”

It is astounding how little the writer seems to care for his wife. This man is just looking for an excuse to get rid of his spouse. We might consider that his wife’s behaviour is an eccentricity, while BEWILDERED wants to have her declared insane and put into a psychiatric hospital.

The following week on 8 April, on page 8, the Messenger printed replies to BEWILDERED from two of its readers. The female respondent tells him off for his backward prudish attitude, suggesting BEWILDERED should be the one to be committed and that he should try following his wife’s example. The male respondent quite likes the idea of watching a naked lady working around the house and suggests that he could move in instead!

letter-entry-naked-housewife

bewildered-told-off

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