More stories of the “Lawson Legend”

Whilst researching a “Profile”, we often find the subject of that Profile quite reticent about issues we’ve heard of from family and friends, issues which might be a little (or a lot!) embarrassing. We try to cultivate informants but these too are often not very forthcoming, probably for fear of retribution.

On of our spies, however, has come up with a couple of interesting little tales though the Profile is long gone, but as the star is none other than Charles Walter “Norton” Lawson, we’ll pass them on.

Charlie, as a young man, spent a fair bit of time in Albany. Local legend said if you wanted to catch a shark, it was easy, as they were plentiful down the ramp by the Whaling station. All you’d need was a length of chain, a big hook, bait and an inner tube, all to be anchored to terra firma by a vehicle with a towbar.

Charlie’s cohort in this venture had access to his father’s new Ford F100, a very treasured piece of gear, so that was the vehicle source. The rest, including a quarter of a very dead cattle beast from a farm, was easy, so off went our heroes to catch the world’s biggest shark. Bait the enormous hook, attach the chain and float it out with the tube. All went to plan, including the large and increasingly angry creature caught. Only one problem, the creature – unidentified to this day – was so big and unhappy it started to drag the prized F100 down the ramp. Some frantic spanner work on the ‘D’ shackles released the whole issue, the F100 stayed dry and the inner tube etc was last seen heading out to sea.

Charlie and a mate were collecting firewood and loading it into a large van. Charlie discovered a tiger snake in some wood he was picking up, and promptly despatched said snake to reptile heaven with a few blows. Being a man of humour, and with his mate out of sight, he thought of a harmless little joke, and arranged the snake in the van on top of the wood already collected. Then, probably giggling already, he selected a vantage point from where he could observe his mate’s reaction. The mate, though, was very cool, and dumped a couple of arm loads of wood into the van without incident, so Charlie reckoned he’d better rearrange the snake in a more fearsome pose. But , back at the van, where was that bloody snake!? Very tricky. One alive and seriously unhappy snake in a van full of firewood, makes a needle in a haystack look easy!

And from that point on our informant is not sure what happened! Sorry, folks, but surely Charlie will complete the story. Watch this space

Adrian White





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