Last Friday night us McTavish guys held a Bob McTavish night at the amazing Deus ex Machina shop located in inner-city Camperdown, Sydney. It was a sit-down three-course dinner for 130 punters in the great restaurant, with great beer from Stone and Wood here in Byron.
Getting me there from Telos Islands was a two-day epic involving open-ocean bash and dash, a long drive around Nias Island, then three flights all delayed by tropical storms. Everyone involved in organising was biting fingernails. Would I make it in time? I cleared customs at 7:10. Arrived at Deus at 7:33. Starting time!!
After Dare Jennings (the brain behind Mambo thirty years ago, and now Deus chief) did a brief opening, he introduced the spectacular surprise guest: none other then the amazing H G Nelson! H G did an amazing fantasy surfing piece in which Rampaging Roy Slaven and I compete in a do-or-die surf out at the Kiama Blowhole. He had the place in stitches, and my nerves started to blow out. How the hell do I follow and act like that?
All I could do was what we'd prepared. I got up on a wooden chest so the back of the room could see. I called it the barber's plank, like I needed as a kid in the barbers' chair.
I told two brief stories of the two motor bikes I owned in the sixties, to tie in the Deus ex Machina theme, then launched into the first of four design eras, the 1964 Involvement school at Noosa. (We had a board from each era on display). Next to the Plastic Machine at Keyo (1967) Then we used Alby Falzon's shots from 1969 to illustrate the Tracker, the true pointed-nose mid-six-foot short board. Finally to some unique footage of me at Lennox shot by Springhead on a classic Bluebird gun.
I quit for dinner, as the mains circulated for twenty minutes, then back up for the Q&A section. Steve ‘Monty’ Montell from Noosa/Bali handled the floor, and boomed out questions from the crowd. It was an awesome exchange, and lots of laughs clattered around the big room. All-in-all it was great fun and we wrapped it up at about 11. Many fine and fun people continued to chat for another hour, then the boys dropped me at the Mercure overlooking Town Hall and Central Station to crash for ten and a half hours! Dead.
Next days swap meet was hampered by wet weather, still many had a lot of fun talking and trading. I jumped the 3pm to Ballina, and back to Lynn and daughter Sophie's crew. Beat! Eleven days of Surfing Australia, Travel to Telos, back to Oz, and Deus. Suffolk Park looked peaceful, but drenched!
All photos courtesy Deus ex Machina