Fred Howlett was a lovely bloke who wouldn’t hurt a fly!
He was also one of the most nervous blokes I’ve ever known. He was on long term medication for a severe nervous disorder and was also a heavy smoker.
At least every 10 minutes of his day, he would stop in mid track to loudly check that he had spare smokes and spare tablets. One day he did not bring his spare tablets in and Frank Johnson sent him home to get them.
Freddy was always annoyed that he couldn’t hear the bell on the goods lift ring at the other end and therefore had no proof that it was ringing.
There was only one bell press, so I assume it rang constantly on both the Jobbing and Comp. floors when it was meant only for the Bindery.
Geoff Clarke and I were a bit partial to a drop (or five) of Kaiser Stuhl, Family Port. Every so often, I’d load up the ex missus in the green Austin and take a Sunday afternoon to go up to the Barossa to load up on cheaper volumes of wine.
That was in the days when ‘cellar door’ sales really were a lot cheaper. I always got an order from Geoff on the Friday afternoon before heading off.
That day me and the ex had a nice picnic lunch in a park and a few wines to wash it all down.
We were coming back down through Nuriootpa and I was hanging out for a soft drink so stopped at Linke’s Bakery for a drink. Linke’s also made a very respectable metwurst and it was on sale in the bakery.
I pulled up behind an old (and familiar) original VW Beetle and spied Freddy on the footpath in front of the shop, about ¾ of the way through a full garlic metwurst.
I could smell it as soon as I got out of the car. I’m still not a big fan of garlic, so with a short ‘hiowyergoin’, left him to his task.
Monday morning, I asked him how he got on with the metwurst. “Mate, I was as sick as a dog on the way home and even during the night”. Fred didn’t smell too flash that day and I think Frank Johnson might have given him an early minute to go home and recover.