I’ve never heard a station so comprehensive on weather as ABC Riverina. Weather of course means more in the country when it decides your livelihood and the ABC wisely realize this. They provide exact amounts of rain predicted for town after town. I’m not sure if I heard Barellan mentioned in the broadcast but the 55km drive to there from Narrandera provided a slow part of the road that was still sandbanked from floods earlier in the year, herds of sheep covering the road both ways, and on arrival, a rain that could soak you right through in seconds. I go out there mainly to see Barellan’s Big Tennis Racquet. Barellan was the hometown of 1971 and 1980 Wimbledon champ, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. I still remember how thrilled Australia was when she won her second Wimbledon. Already a mother, it was an incredible acheivement. Even Molly on Countdown played the final point! Barellan with a population of only 250 has seen more active days. Don, who kindly opened the well-maintained museum for me, takes me through photos of war heroes, school classes and railway celebrations. Evonne’s in there too of course and the big racquet was unveiled at Barellan’s centenary in 2009. From the museum, I go and look at the tennis courts and imagine Evonne playing there as a child. For an Aboriginal girl of the 50s and 60s to be plucked from a town such as this by Sydney coach Vic Edwards and moulded into a seven time Grand Slam winner…well if this was an American story, you’d expect Hollywood would have already made it! Not so here – yet. Heading back to Narrandera, the library provides valuable anecdotal reading from the Jack McInnes book Riverina Ramblings. There’s lots of valuable and enterprising local histories such as these done with plenty of heart, soul and devotion. Jack’s book is interspersed with his and others bush verse. The stories I’m trying to write continue to build today thanks to him.