One of the favourite items in my Fitzroy football memorabilia is the 1974 Laurie Richards caricature sticker collected from a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box. These stickers sell today for $100 plus if they are still in their cellophane packet. Being in the right place at the right time is extremely important in the recording of history and equally the knowledge and the bipartisanship of the people writing of those heady days. Commentators of our National Football code Australian Rules (not AFL – that’s a corporate body) when recalling the games great aerialists often include the likes of Jesaulenko (you beauty), Capper, Baker, Smith, Modra, Jurrah, Robertson and Howe (did he do that). A high flyer rarely mentioned is Richards. As a young teenager and junior member I would see the number eight, Fitzroy’s vice captain regularly stand on someone’s shoulder to pluck the Sherrin with one grab out of the air. Sadly, as Fitzroy was struggling at the wrong end of the ladder, vision (either print or television) didn’t record his almighty leaps. One I do have is a photograph of Laurie taking a ‘speccie’ when playing with West Perth. I wasn’t much of a jumping high mark myself as I have a problem with heights. I do recall one day when I launched into the stratosphere (more by chance than design) that I started to become more concerned for my landing approach than taking the mark and subsequently I spilled the pill (football).

A new addition to Shep’s mouth organ odds and ends is this shop window decal from 1925. It only cost ten buckaroonies. I believe (for every drop of rain that falls) that if this was a Boomerang decal the price would have been more inflated. The Crackajack decal was manufactured by Meyercord. Meyercord Company was established in 1896 by George Meyercord in Chicago, Illinois. They started manufacturing decals using a single hand press and eventually made a name for themselves as an advertising sign maker. The company proudly promoted that, Meyercord Decalcomania, as used for a window or door display, is a beautiful art sign – advertising any kind of goods – familiarly seen at leading stores. The Decals were also used prominently on musical instruments in particular pianos, zithers, mandolins and guitars. They would imitate inlaid marquetry and lay it around the sound hole on stringed instruments.

Remember those days of applying your car registration sticker to the inside window and using a cigarette box (I didn’t smoke) to smooth out the wrinkles and then tearing it! Here’s a cleaned up version of the Crackajack decal I constructed through the wonders of apps. The decal measures close to 15cm x 15cm.

Service stations were a popular destination back in the day. Our local petrol station would often stock VFL giveaways and collectables – car stickers were prominent, enamel key rings, footy cards and one time in 1968 flexi discs – phonograph records made of a thin flexible vinyl sheet where you could hear your favourite player interviewed. Fitzroy’s was Alex Ruscuklic – he was a good high mark, but he was not one of my favourites. Not sure why. I think his kicking for goal let him down. We even knew the owner of the service station (they actually served you hence the title) by his first name. Bruce would fill the tank, clean the windows, check the oil and tyres, ask how the ‘Roy’s’ were going and provide us kids with a freebie (and not a clip behind the ear). Times were different then. I believe Bruce owned the station with St.Kilda champion Verdun Howell. Thanks Bruce for the fond memories of your kindness and friendliness .

Glenn Cardier a name from my 1973 Sunbury album has just released another fine tune with a positive affirmation in ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’. I’d also like to promote (belatedly) Glenn’s album from last year Wild At Heart, but I won’t. Only gagging! Check out ‘Are You Beatles, Are You Stones’ from the album – it features some tasty harp from Christian Marsh.

Seasick Steve has his new album, Love & Peace pressed and ready for release on the 24th of July. The album was recorded on two inch analogue tape and mixed down to a half inch where the vinyl was cut direct to lathe. The latest single ‘Church Of Me’ (a little hedonistic) has an Aussie connection. Well, to be perfectly correct the accompanying video does as part of the vision was captured from the Gold Coast. Late in the tune rockin’ mouth harp fulminates from Michael Arison (The Boss Hoss). Recently Steve has shown an inclination for sharing harp responsibilities on his projects and Michael follows on from Mickey Raphael and Cory Younts who appeared on ‘Can U Cook’. If your lookin’ for another tune to download or stream (if your not purchasing the album) try ‘Toes In The Mud’ – it’s my highlight.

A couple of additions to previous posts. I’ve obtained access to three photos of Gene Jimae (thanks to Museum Victoria) and I’ve included them in the second article on Gene, Gene Genius Returns. The other is an illustration of the short lived Crackajack Tivoli to Three Inches Big. As we’re back in lockdown for the second time I have had a chance to try a Hohner country tuned (major 7th for want of a better term) Special 20 harp and delve more into the the world of Charlie McCoy. Hear’s my rendition of the melody to ‘For Jim’ in dedication to the memory of Jim Sheppard (Dad).

Late Bulletin!!! Mark Hand has discovered another Aussie harp circa 1927 – The Mulga Harp. More to come.

Ch EssDawg

2 thoughts on “Decalcomania

  1. I used to photograph the football in the SANFL and I prided myself in getting the mark of the day. Richards played for Woodville at one stage and I took tow shots of him taking big marks. I have also collected photos of high marks all my life and I have a big collection of him at Fitzroy, west perth including that one you used and at Woodville. I have a beauty of him flying high behind Jezza but getting outmarked but a number of others that can be found online including his most famous mark that the Age took.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for taking photos of Laurie as there’s evidence of his legendary status as a high flyer. I’ve rung SEN sports radio in the past when they talk of great marks of the game, but sadly they have no idea who I’m raving on about. Fitzroy were seldom on the replay. Is it possible to see more of your photos of Laurie? I’ve never seen The Age picture before now – thanks for the heads up. Cheers Shep


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