Chapter 10
From Not Everyone Can Claim An Uncle Tom by Grace & Peter Ireland (2002)

Uncle Tom in company

Tom left a trail of papers wherever he went in the house.

My mother and grandmother must have been very tolerant women!!

Tom would sit on the window seat in the kitchen with his papers on the table.

He would sit facing the stove with his feet drawn up towards his chest with the paper on his knees.

When you went into the kitchen you had to look twice to see if he was reading or asleep. He often fell asleep while reading.

Sometimes when Tom read the papers his vivid imagination got the better of him.

You'd hear a giggle, and the next day there'd be an addition to his "art gallery."

His art gallery took up quite a space on the wall of the verandah room.

Tom would look at photographs in the paper and see a likeness to someone he knew. He'd cut out the photo, write his own caption and then sticky tape the photo to the wall.

Sometimes the likeness was incredible. We had

"Pearl shopping in Dalby, " (Pearl Howden)
"Grace at the races, "
"Christine on her horse at the gymkhana, — " just to name a few.

The advent of TV made little difference to Tom's life. He was interested in watching only documentaries, current affairs, the ABC news and the weather.

His favorite program was "Four Corners" which came on every Monday night. He made sure he was in early on Mondays. "Four Squares" he'd call the program.

When the music for "Four Squares" was playing, he would sit on the floor in front of the TV, turn up the volume as high as it would go, and then more often than not he'd go to sleep.

When the music was playing at the end of the program he'd wake up with a

"Dam and blast it. I wanted to watch that. Why does a man always have to feel so tired".

Dozing in front of the TV was a daily occurrence and he'd wake up in the middle of a program disgusted with himself that he'd fallen asleep.

Tom would give a giggle if we were ever watching "Steptoe and Son". Little did he realize the similarity between himself and Steptoe — although Mum had told him many times.

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