This picture of Freckles at Spooky was on the cover of Tracks in July 1973, and it was shot in May of that year. Unusually, I wrote the date on the proof sheet. It would’ve been really helpful if I’d done that more often.
In November the previous year, I’d started building a little house just down the road from the point at Angourie. I was living in a tent on the land. As tents go, it was pretty luxurious. It was set amongst beautiful paperbarks and casuarinas. It had a floor (courtesy of an old house I pulled down for building materials); I had electricity put on for building, so there were lights and a fridge. There was even a spare bed for the times I could convince someone to have a “surfing holiday” while they helped me build. Nigel Coates was my best compatriot in that. We did quite a bit of surfing.
Baddy was around and I remember us having Christmas in the tent. That must’ve been 1972.
Mostly I’m not sure exactly when I took pictures, so I don’t know what sort of a year 1973 was for surf. The Freckles proof sheet shows some pretty good Spooky. Freckles’ real name was Brian Holdsworth and he was a teenager from the South Coast who was staying with my friends Dennis and Chris McPherson. They would build just up the road from me, but at that stage were living on Palmers Island, a few kilometers inland from Yamba. Dennis was/is the most useful person I know, and whenever I really needed help with the house, I’d call him.
By August 1973, the frame for the major part of the house was mostly in the air, so the front bit was “finished” and occupied. I did a three-part story for Tracks called, surprisingly, “Building a house.” It is a great thing to do at least once in your life, so I tried to be encouraging and point out some of mistakes I hadn’t avoided and others might.