One bloke who's had a hell of a life
THE Mullumbimby Bloke has finally, and some would say unexpectedly, written his autobiography, Ray Essery - One Hell of a Ride.
Renowned throughout the region as a bush poet, the 75-year-old Brunswick Heads retiree worked with former Tamworth journalist and grey nomad Anna Rose to document his life.
"Fortunately, Ray has been somewhat of a bowerbird, keeping photos and mementos of his early years on this earth," Ms Rose said.
In one particular incident a capacity crowd at the Lismore Showground in 1985 saw Ray flung from his trotting gig in a near-fatal accident. The indomitable Essery returned 12 months later to win the same race, the Inter Dominion.
His first public performance was at the Byron Community Centre in 1989 where, he said, he was shaking with nerves.
"I hope the book helps to let young people of today know that you can succeed in life even if you're born into a low income family with little education," he said.
"It just means you have to work harder, have more determination and above all common sense."
Ray will launch his book at 7.30pm at Brunswick Heads Bowling Club next Saturday.