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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Vintage Caterpillar Crawler Tractor

Updated: Feb 29

No.51.   in my series of short stories.

Vintage Caterpillar Crawler Tractor.

My grandparents had a sheep and wheat farm in Jennacubine Western Australia where as children my self, older sister and brother would go on the school holidays.

This photograph shows us playing, fixing the Vintage Caterpillar Crawler Tractor. That is me in the front who knows what we are up to.

Always playing outside in the fresh air, we were sent outside at sparrow fart and back in on dusk.

Catching tadpoles down the creek and keeping them until they turned into frogs then they would be so ungrateful that they would hop away. I was told I would get warts from the frogs but I never did.

We always dressed up to go into town with our two bob to spend. This was about once a fortnight, we hadn't left the farm so we were playing in the sheep and cattle yards with sticks when my brother stuck his stick into a cowpat which was hard on top from the sun but soft and gooey in the centre, he picked it up with his stick and flung it at me, yes you guessed it cow shit all over my Sunday best. Don't think Nan would have been to pleased.

Nan had a wash day when she would boil up the copper which was out side the kitchen near the food safe and in the boot room, she used a large wooden pole to stir the clothes and wooden tongs to get them out of the copper into a tub. Nan would ring them out by hand and from there she would go outside to hang out the washing. The wash line consisted of a long (2.5-metre), smooth tree branch, about 10cm in diameter, with a vee at the top and it was used to prop up a sagging clothesline of wet and hence very heavy clothes: Get the clothes prop under the line quick-smart, before the sheets dangle in the dirt! Then came the ironing, Nan had lots of different sizes of cast irons, irons which were rowed up at the back of the wood stove to do the weekly ironing, wash one day iron the next as it was a back breaking job and too much to do all in one day. Each iron was sized to do different jobs and used for either, sleeves, shirt cuffs, or collars, the irons were all sized accordingly all having their own purpose and put on and off the wood stove to heat up when they cooled down. Now those irons are used as weights for me to stretch my watercolour paper.

Stretching water colour paper for my larger paintings is also a bit of a chore. My biggest watercolour paintings are 1.6mtrs long x 40cm high. I purchase rolls of 10m x 1.4m wide and around 300grms thick or sometimes even heavier. The paper comes in all different types Hot or cold pressed rough smooth medium for all different applications. Another story will be about paper stretching which I did for 30years or more. Must nearly be an expert now.

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Jan 15
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

One of Australia's most iconic artists and a wonderful life story to help us know more about you, look forward to more excellent stories !🙂


Dec 19, 2023

Just love the story

Beverley Skurulis
Beverley Skurulis
Dec 21, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Mr Guest

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