Jack Brabham: ABC1, “Australian Story,” 8:00-8:30 p.m., 17 August 2009.
The following prose-poem places Jack Brabham's story into a personal context.-Ron Price, Australia
I was never that interested in car racing, racing teams, Formula One world championship driving and drivers. I have always had a low mechanical interest and aptitude. I never did well in basic woodwork and metalwork, what we used to call “shop” in high school and I had little interest in cars and mechanics, in motorcycles and, indeed, anything, any gadget or appliance with a lot of parts. If any of these things needed fixing it was off to the repair man.
Tonight, though, I watched with interest a brief life-story of Jack Brabham.(1) Brabham enlisted in the RAAF the year I was born, 1944. He was then 18. In 1959, the year I joined the Bahá'í Faith, Brabham won the World Championship in car racing, after winning the Monaco Grand Prix. Fifty years ago, then, this racing legend cemented his name in motorsport history by becoming the first Australian to be crowned Formula One world champion.
In 1962, the first year of my own travelling-pioneering away from my home town in Ontario, Brabham drove for his own team, the Brabham Racing Organization. The 1966 Jack earned a further place in motorsport history by becoming the first, and so far the only, driver to secure the F1 championship in a car of his own creation. It was a feat unlikely to be repeated. I graduated from McMaster university that year in May in sociology and for ten weeks that summer I sold ice-cream for the Good Humour Company. On average new employees with this famous ice-cream company lasted only two to three weeks because of the long hours. I worked an average of 85 hours per week. Good Humor became unprofitable beginning in 1968 and by then I was teaching primary school among the Inuit on Baffin Island. -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1, “Australian Story,” 8:00-8:30 p.m., 17 August 2009.
You were only a name on
the very periphery of my
life back then in the '60s,
Jack, along with Stirling
Moss and the many Grand
Prix around the world.....I
had my hands full with just
getting through my days...
my studies, my psycho---
emotional life, the embryo
of my career, my religion—
I was simply too busy, Jack,
to include you in my small
constellation of interests.
You’ve become an Aussie hero,
Jack, gudonyer, Jack, gudonyer.
17 August 2009
married for 47 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55 (in 2014)
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