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Braided Channels of History Recording & Transcript - 58 (Raw)

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Gladys Trish
IN 00:00:00 OUT 00:17:58
Trish FitzSimons
Gladys Geiger
Griffith Film School
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22 June 2000
So this is now Tape 57, is that correct? Refers to tape 58_BVC_SP Topics in Bold
Braided Channels of History Recording & Transcript - 58
Drovers Retirement
Water damage evident.
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Gladys Cross
Interview with Gladys Cross. Part 3 of 3. Shots/Photo of her grandchild near end.
part of:
Braided Channels of History Recording & Transcript - 58
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58_BC_SP_CROSS-raw.txt — 12 KB

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                     INTERVIEW WITH GLADYS CROSS
                              22 June 2000
                            Refers to tape 58_BVC_SP
                                  Topics in Bold
                             TF = Trish GC = Gladys
So this is now Tape 57, is that correct?
JH     58.
TF     58. So this is camera tape 58. It’s still DAT Tape 20. This is the third
       camera tape interviewing Gladys Cross and um and this is still the first
       DAT. 58_BC_SP
TF     So Gladys have you always been, been interested in children?
GC     Yes I have been.
TF     Give me some examples of, of that. Like how have children formed part of
       your life?
GC     10:01:11:22    Yeah when I was um came in with my kids and that, and even
       out at Carranya, we’d always have a lot of kids going out there to stay or
       bringing ‘em in and coming down here to eat and that, and ah little Johnny
       Plager over here used to come here and sit up and – but if they’re going past
       the front door there and I was cooking a curry or something, kids’d smell it
       and in they’d come and go to the cupboard and get a plate and line up for a
       meal. But I didn’t mind ‘cause I was always – I enjoyed cooking and giving
       them something to eat.
TF     So do you see yourself as having done part of traditional women’s roles and
       men’s roles and how would you say you’d, you’d handled that? You know,
       like what were the toughest bits?
GC     10:02:01:00    Ohhh, I suppose there was times you know, it was er trying to
       do both. But I enjoyed it. I seemed to have plenty of energy when I was
       young and could cope with it, which people thought you know they couldn’t
       see how I could do both but I didn’t mind at all.
TF     Oh just leave Granny’s. No. Don’t touch that one please.
GC     Just go and play love. Go.
TF     So are there any regrets you have in your life?
GC     10:02:36:08    No, not really. I think I had a pretty good life really. And I
       was able to go but I just wished I had a bit more energy now to cope a bit
TF    So what do you see as the future for you, you know? Like where do you
      expect to be say twenty years from now?
GC    Women/Land/Retirement
      10:02:53:16    I’m not too sure. I don’t think I’ll leave here because my kids
      are here and my grandkids. Unless they moved away, I don’t think I’d leave
      Windorah, because you know I think they’d miss me. I’d miss them too.
TF    In lots, in lots of country families, the point at which the older generation stops
      kind of making the decisions about the place and the younger ones start to, can
      be conflictful and difficult. Do you envisage that or you think you, well how
      do you imagine that transition happening from you running the place to, to one
      of your kids doing it.
GC    Oh, well I think if it came to that, I’d have to let them –
Child Grandma, hello Grannie.
GC    Shhhh. Drink. Get her a drink.
TF    I was thinking Ryan could do that. Couldn’t you Ryan?
JH    Oh.
GC    Yeah. He’ll do it. You get your sister a drink.
TF    Good on you. Well done.
GC    Get your sister a drink. And ah –
Child Come on …..
GC    Go with Ryan to get a drink.
TF    Good girl. So go on. We were talking about how the transition will happen
      between you making the decisions and somebody else making the decisions.
      Have you started to talk about that in the family?
GC    Inheritance
      10:04:16:14    Yeah. We have done but I think that I would have to ah let the
      boys sort of when I drop out, I’d have to let them buy me out and let them
      have their own say. For the reason I think young people think there’s a lot of
      money there, you know, and they can spend a lot more than what you’ve, and
      you’ve sort of gone without over the years. But I think they’re all starting to
      realise now and it’s making a difference.
TF    Have your daughter-in-laws been involved in the property?
GC   10:04:48:22    Yeah. Yeah. No, they’ve all been good. Yeah, they’re all very
     good you know, and all very supportive towards their husbands and
TF   So is there anything I haven’t asked you about Gladys, that you think it’s
     important for me to understand um about the life of Channel Country women?
GC   Ohhh, not really I don’t think.
TF   Tell me actually a little bit about your Mother’s life, because your Mother was
     Sylvia Geiger wasn’t it?
GC   Women/Work/Pioneers
     10:05:25:22    Yeah. She married Geiger. She was a Lizman ? Well Mum’s
     life was pretty – well um Mum worked hard, but Mum enjoyed what she was
     doing. I think that’s where I get it from. Like she had a lot of goats and she
     was involved with a lot of kids. Like all the kids went up and milked goats
     and got their little billy of milk and come home and went to their different
     homes with it and no, but they were always there to help her with ‘em and she
     had sheep and they all enjoyed it with her. And she always had a car load of
     kids going everywhere and pigs and things like that full of people but they all,
     she sorta looked after ‘em and then everybody got some, but the kids all
     helped too, everybody’s kids. And um         10:06:13:20
TF   (coughing) Sorry.
GC   That was always um (phone ringing) then you know I think the same with me,
     you know, you just sort of do it too.
TF   So when you look at your Mother’s life, your life and your daughters’ lives,
     like Narelle and Marilyn, what strikes you as the differences between them?
     Or is it more the similarities?
GC   Country Girls
     10:06:40:10    Oh I think out here you know, I think my daughters are very
     much like me. They’re all involved with animals and that. You can get some
     that just don’t want anything to do with anything like that. So I think they’re
     all much country girls. We’re all very country-minded.
TF   And in the relationship between the husbands and wives, do you think there’s
     been obvious differences across the generations?
GC   Ah no. They’re all pretty well. I think out here you know, you’re more or less
     pick someone that will, that you enjoy doing things with.
TF   How common is divorce out here Gladys?
GC   10:07:26:08    Oh – hasn’t been anything like it but there has been a few bust-
     ups lately. In marriages and that. Sometimes you know it’s, I don’t know,
     whether it’s young, too young or – some people think you know, when you get
     married, like I thought when I got married well I’d be able to do all them
     things that I couldn’t do when I was working five days a week but I found out
     I was working seven days a week and nearly 24 hours around the clock. And
     you didn’t get – and I think a lot of young people go into it to the same and
     when it’s not what they want, they don’t even try to make it work. That’s a lot
     of it.
TF   So how does this community handle marriage breakdown? You know, what
     happens say when people are on the land and they split up?
GC   Well, it’s not real good. Ah I dunno of anyone – oh there has been a couple
     here but not involved with a properties you know. Only just been working on
     it. But it’s hard and it’s something you don’t like to see in these parts anyway.
TF   So do you expect that there’ll be Cross’s and Geigers here? You know, do
     you, would you like to see your grandchildren growing up around here?
GC   Women/Land
     10:08:49:06    Well I would like to. I think that you know, that could happen
     to because my lot are pretty well, well they like it here. Especially my sons
     and that so I think they’ll be around here somewhere. And if the grandkids are
     like us, well they’ll still have it born in ‘em in to stay around but there’s not a
     lot of jobs here and there’s work, that’s the only place is you’ve gotta go you
     know to find something.       Like the Post Office was opened and on the
     exchange. I worked on the exchange at the Post Office for a few years and
     that. Well that was about three people could work up there and that’s all gone
     so it cuts back all the work doesn’t it? Apart from the stations there’s not
     much around.
TF   So you think overall, there’s fewer people around now than when you were a
GC   Ahhh, yeah. There is in the town. But there’s a lot more passing through. It’s
     becoming a lot busier. Like ours were only at different times, drovers and
     things like that. But the ah ah there was more, a few more jobs ….. around.
TF   Was this pub one where drovers and stockmen would come and stay out the
     back for a few weeks in between jobs? That sort of thing?
GC   Pubs/Alcohol/Drovers
     10:10:10:16    Yeah, well this is um the old pub was home away for everyone
     and we’d cook there and really, they had a dining room and they had the
     kitchen and we had our drunks little room beside it. But more people ate in
     that kitchen than they did up in there because I think you know, we’d laugh
     and joke and they were off the road and looking for company and we’d all talk
     and cook ‘em a meal down there and May McGrath owned the pub and well
     she was leasing it, but she ah let it go on. She didn’t care you know, whether
     they ate up in the dining room or down there.
TF   So tell me about the drunks room. How did it work here?
GC   10:10:50:12    Well they used to get their beer in a wheelbarrow and take it in
     and when it was empty, they’d go and get another lot. And it was – they’d just
     get in there and um just drink until the drovers come along and they’d pick up
     the lot that had had a skinful and they’d move on and the rest would stay there
     until they, and the next drover came.
TF   And so they’d all sleep in the one room? Like where would they sleep?
GC   10:11:16:20    They only had those old stretchers with a mattress on and, you
     know, if they didn’t sort of worry and roll their swags out on it and camp in
     the room.
TF   So did you find that disgusting as a young girl?
GC   Drovers/Alcohol
     Not really ‘cause like the rats used to be bad at – we had a few rat plagues and
     you’d hear the tins and that and they’d just open tins of meat and things like
     that. But they were cleaned, you know? They didn’t, weren’t left there dirty
     or anything. The rooms were cleaned out and they’d just um sleep and drink
     in there.
TF   So –
GC   And didn’t annoy anybody else.
TF   So when did that tradition die out?
GC   Well the old pub got burnt down and that stopped a lot of it.
TF   So what do you remember about the pub burning down? Were you around at
     the time?
GC     Alcohol
       10:12:07:18    No, I wasn’t really, but it wasn’t good because it was a, oh well
       the pub there now is a lot better. But the old pub was a home away from
       home. They loved the old pub. When all the drovers are all there, you know?
       The rooms they were just old. Ohh it wasn’t nice lino, you know, it was just
       that old rubberoid stuff and then they’d just leave their swags and saddles
       there until the next drover came and um May sort of didn’t worry as long as
       they got a meal, their money was in the bar. All we had to see they were fed
       and if anyone went into the horrors, well she'd make ‘em egg flips and we had
       to see they were looked after and that’s – you know, it was more of a home for
       ‘em.           10:12:52:10
TF     So you just took it for granted having –
GC     Yeah.
TF     OK, I think that’s all my questions. Thank you very much Gladys. It’s been
GC     Yeah.

(End of interview)

More Interview, no transcript.
Shots of grandchildren 10:13:03:10 – 10:13:32:00

Gladys talking about alcohol, drinking, women drinking, swearing in bar, May not
       drinking, grog parties, good times but wouldn’t go back, TV ruined
       communication(?) social life, telephone. TO: 10:17:49:20

Still of Gladys and boy – boy and dog to 10:18:45:00