What can we say? Such a terrible event exactly twelve months ago. I am starting to write this post in early January. I just know the media will be full of stories on the 7th of February, and the next day it all will be gone.
It Ain't Always So contacted me a good while ago asking if I knew the two gay guys who owned Fruit Salad Farm. I did not. I suppose they were of a similar age to myself and maybe our paths had crossed some time in the past. Who knows? I do know two gay guys who have a similar business in a similar area, so it is not implausible that I may have known the owners of Fruit Salad Farm.
If I wasn't such a lazy and non ambitious type, it could well have been myself and R who owned Fruit Salad Farm. I would not have been as brave as those two guys were. I would have lived and made sure R did too. Well, maybe.
I am focusing on the these two guys because they were gay and so am I. It is a tenuous connection, I know, but call it therapy on my part.
I am not long into research for this post and already I am feeling teary. What goes on the internet, stays on the internet.
The old Marysville property Hazelwood became fruit salad farm and the business was set up before WWII. It was a thriving business, selling fruit salad and cream, soft drinks, juice and cakes.
Fuck it. I can't do this.
Geoff Grady and Patrick Jennings
Much later edit. That was rather upsetting. I was reading online tributes in the newspapers to the two guys. I know if I start researching again, the same will happen. Needless to say, the two lads died in the fires after being very brave and warning other residents. I will just leave it all here and publish it on the day. Apologies for it being incomplete.
It Ain't Always So knew the two lads and you can read her immediate aftermath reference to them here in her personal and moving account of her experiences in Marysville.
Much much later edit: I was talking to a friend last night (Sat Jan 30) and we were talking about next Sunday and that it would be the anniversary of the fires and I mentioned about the two guys and she burst into tears. She had been to Fruit Salad Farm in the nineties and had a great old time with the guys. She did not know they had been killed in the fires.