The two people with whom I had most contact were old timers; independent old men living alone. The type referred to as ‘Death Adders’. DES NELSON OAM continues his memoir of life as a jackeroo in the 1950s.
Frank used a length of 12mm diameter wooden dowel as a stethoscope. Placing one end of the stick against his ear, he would probe a running engine with the other end. With this procedure he could determine the health of various mechanical innards – valves, tappets, gudgeons, bearings and so on. DES NELSON OAM recalls his life as a jackeroo in the mid-1950s.
DES NELSON OAM arrived on Elkedra Station, some 500 kms north-east of Alice Springs, as an 18 year old in 1953. He continues his series of recollections, starting with a droving trip in the autumn of 1954, and detailing his many interesting and at times hilarious experiences with the local Alyawarra stockmen.
When at age 18 DES NELSON OAM(pictured) left his Cowra birthplace his boss warned, “I’ll give you six months, and you’ll be back”. To date, sixty years have passed, spent in the Territory. He's only ever been back to Cowra for brief holidays. Here herecalls his earliest experiences of the place to which he has devoted his life and his first real experiences with Aboriginal people, the local Alyawarra, living on Elkedra Station where he had a job as a something of a jack-of-all-trades.