Monday, May 11, 2015
Another of Terry's high school friends, Pam Anderson, invited us to her home and it involved a long drive through Victoria to the town of Ararat. The home was surrounded by a gorgeous garden situated on many acres. From the back yard we could see young colts following their thoroughbred moms. The couple were both teachers and their sons had just left home to forge their own lives. One son was a civil engineer and he was making good money out west for a mining company. The mine is in the middle of nowhere so the pay tried to compensate for the isolation. Their other son had moved to New York City. Apparently this trip to America is quite common for Australian youths.
Once a week a group of friends gathers at Barney's Bar Bistro (Ararat - Halls Gap Rd,, Pomonal, Halls Gap, Victoria) for a bite, some drinks and plenty of conversation. The building is a converted woolshed barn and is has an open layout with exposed wooden beams. We sat out back waiting for a table to open up. In the field behind the bar, kangaroos by the dozens gathered to forage as the sun set. Terry and I were ecstatic at the sight but this was a common sight for everyone else.
Having been behind the wheel of the car all day, I was itching to do a sketch and I started to sketch the second we were seated. Terry apologized for my behavior but no one seemed to mind. By the time our food arrived the sketch was done. Most of the people in the group were teachers, so I got to learn a bit about the inner politics inside the High School. The boys had their mom for one class and their dad for another, so it was almost like being home schooled. A college education is paid for by the government, so youths are highly educated and they don't start their adult lives deep in debt. American politicians could learn a thing or two from Australia's example.