Alf Morley's Incredible Story as told to Peter A Blood

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A few of Alfie’s character-building playmates who feature in his stories...

Stephen Bradley Kidnapper

Neddy Smith Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill
Jail Playwright

Ernie Goode
Wine Bar Owner

John Andrew Stuart

John Andrew Stuart

Darcy Dugan

Darcy Dugan

Joe Meissner

Joe Meissner

Excerpt from Characters & Capers:

“Joe was a very quietly spoken man, and not a fellow to talk much about himself. He was a tall and very wiry chap. Certainly not heavily built, but very athletic. He, in company with two others, had robbed the armoury at an army base on the outskirts of Sydney. They’d got away with some machine guns that the police were a little concerned about. Unfortunately for the three of them, the police managed to work out who had done it.”

“Rumours abound in jail. They keep the place alive and interesting. There was always a new rumour about someone. This bloke did that, or another bloke was capable of the other. Every second guy there, somebody would tell you that he had a black belt in karate, or jujitsu, or was an amateur boxing champion, or crocodile wrestler, or something. Most of these tales were just rumours and nothing more, planted with someone by the person who was being talked about, mostly, I suspect, as a smokescreen to get others to leave them alone. Joe Meissner was no exception to the  rule of rumour. I was told by several people that Meissner held a black belt in karate. I’d heard so many similar rumours about so many other people, that I simply said “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” with a wanking motion of my hand, then dismissed the idea out of hand.”

“Now, as it happened, “paddle tennis” was a very popular pastime in the yards at the remand section of Long Bay. It was played with a racquet something like a table tennis paddle, except it was much larger, thicker and heavier. It was a big, cumbersome bat that probably weighed about a kilogram. The playing area was marked out on the ground and a “net” was marked on a wall at about waist height. We used a normal tennis ball. You had to be fairly fast and nimble of foot to play the game well. On this particular day, I was taking a rest from my own games when Meissner started playing. There was no doubt about it, he was very nimble-footed and very athletic. He would skid around with the ball at his feet, whack it with incredible accuracy, then appear at the other side of the court almost in the same instant, time and again. This irritated me greatly. Not only was he a damned liar with his rumours about his fighting prowess, but he was a show pony as well! Although I certainly didn’t dislike him, I wanted the whole world around me to know that this black belt stuff was just bullshit! I thought, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll challenge him to a game of tennis and then just aggravate him on the court until he arcs up. Then I’ll beat the shit out of him!”

“It just didn’t matter what I did, I couldn’t aggravate this man.”

“About six or seven years later my wife and I were in Perth. We were still in bed late one Sunday morning, sharing the Sunday paper. I read through the news from page to page, looked at the racing results, then turned to the back page. The sporting headline grabbed me immediately.

My wife looked over at me. “What’s the hell’s the matter Alf?” she said. “You’re as white as a ghost!”

The reason I was as white as a ghost was that I was reading how Joe Meissner had, the night before in Japan, wiped the floor with the current World Karate Champion.”

Links to additional information about Joe Meissner:

Character: “Gentle” Joe Meissner
Machine Gun Appropriator and Football Psychologist

Joe Meissner- World Karate Champion, Photographer and bloody good Paddle Tennis player...

Chow Hayes

“Chow” Hayes

Lancelot McGregor Saidler

Lancelot McGregor Saidler

Ernie Good

Neddy Smith Murderer, etc...

CHARACTERS & CAPERS - The Life and Times of Alf Morley - The Book

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