Monday, July 28, 2008

Remembering Frank

Tonight we've got a big event at Taka Library - Never Enough - Remembering Frank Sargeson. The timing's less than immaculate - Council have just posted storm warnings for another weather bomb to all staff- so that may well cut down the numbers, but if everyone who rsvp'd does actually turn up it it should be a good crowd. Sargeson mentored many Auckland writers, and some of them ended up living on the Shore becasue he was here. Back then the Shore was a looser, far less suburban place where you could find a bit of peace without entirely forsaking city ammenities, most of which were just a ferry (or later on a bus) ride away.
Frank's house is very visible from Esmonde Rd, but back in the day this was a dead-end road leading down to mangroves and estuary, and his house had a large and dense hedge, so it was pretty quiet - ideal for a writer. The privacy went when the harbour bridge went up and the motorway went through in 1959, and the hedge came down when Esmonde Rd was widened in 2007, but it has been replanted and in time some of the original sense of retreat should return.

The Friends of Sargeson House have organised tonight's knees-up and have bought down some of the more portable bits and pieces from his house to go on display, including a truly vile substance called Lemora, which used to be brewed in Henderson, was lemon-flavoured and 29% alchohol. We will be recording the event - Graeme Lay, Kevin Ireland and Christine Cole Catley will be speaking - and all going well I'll post some photos.
The image above is of the bust of Sargeson by Anthony Stones.

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