|You sound like a winner to me AJ|
The Finishing Post: Goondiwindi Grey?
When I got home and I found the newspaper amongst all of my other souvenirs from my three weeks away on the road, I read about the young boy pictured the front of the newspaper who was named AJ in the story (Ace? Jack?) and how he had beaten the odds life had thrown at him.
Turned out AJ was born 14 weeks early with heart problems and doctors thought he wouldn't live past being three months old.
He's still not out of the woods yet though, by the sounds of the newspaper article, as he still requires surgery sometime down the track.
On June 22 each year AJ picks out people in Goondiwindi and gives them a carnation.
AJ's heart operation was on the 22 June one year, which is why he chooses to hand out carnations on that date and carnations are the flowers that his parents chose for the funeral of his twin brothers who passed away two years before AJ was born.
AJ calls carnations happy flowers, as he believes his brothers are watching over him and he sees the flower as a symbol of life.
That story of AJ's alone was worth buying the newspaper and since I came out to Goondiwindi to see the town's (and my Nan's) favourite racehorse immortalized in stone, while playing my father's old Kenny Rogers album (which I had converted to MP3 for my car's system), the gambling theme was on my mind, especially since there is only two songs on that album that I really like, 'The Gambler' and 'Just Dropped In'.
I have a habit of skipping the rest of the songs on the album when they come on when I'm driving and just repeating the two that I do like.
I like the song 'Just Dropped In', because it is featured in one of my favourite movies, 'The Big Lebowski'.
When I was writing this post and realized that AJ could be a winning Blackjack hand of an Ace and a Jack and that the newspaper article mentioned AJ being all heart.
I dug out my pack of playing cards and fished out the Ace and Jack of Hearts to take a photo of for this post.
|A Tasmanian letterbox?|
|Wrest Point Casino|
But the thing that I treasured most about picking up this newspaper in Goondiwindi on my second road-trip last year in hindsight was all the things that would resonate on a synchronistic level when I read the paper again after coming home from my third road-trip last year.
|The Big Prawn in Ballina|
A plate of shrimp?!
Synchronicities can be intensely personal and mean nothing to anybody else reading that paper, but me.
After my third road-trip and reading the paper again I found many weird little personal winks that would foretell events a little further down the road in my life that year.
|Hmm...what's on my Jack of hearts card again?-)|
Shark Week in the Year of the Monkey
I watched my team beat Parramatta on my motel room TV on the Saturday night I was in Goondiwindi.
I wrote in the other post about Goondiwindi how the name BREW meant a lot to me personally, plus the number 67 is an important number to us Sharks supporters, also.
The Finishing Post: Goondiwindi Grey?
There certainly would be "Champagne Rugby" for me and the Sharks at the end of the 2016 season.
Even an add on the front page of the paper had the word "Cellarbrations", the number 67, the year the Sharks entered the NRL (and hadn't won a final since entering), the number 11, worn by Luke Lewis (who would get "Man of the Match" on the night of the final and I would get to shake hands with on the night) and number 7 (007) my lifepath number.
|Me about to shake hands with number 11 Luke Lewis on Grand Final night|
My Nan had bought me a peddle car when I was young which had a number-plate CY - 888 on the front of it, plus I had written a post about chasing windmills in Tasmania earlier last year -
The Windmills of My Mind
I was glad that I tagged the trip to Goondiwindi on to my Tasmanian trip and relived a few memories of my days at the racetrack with Nan and dad, not that I ever got to see Gunsynd go round the track in my lifetime, but it still brought back memories of going to the races with them and hoping for a win.
The funny thing about the ad in the Goondiwindi paper above was the words "last cowboy standing", as my second and third road-trips would involve the Sharks playing and beating The North Queensland Cowboys with the last time knocking them out of this years comp before we took their NRL crown by beating the Melbourne Storm in the grand final the week after.
And I fond this Rydges motel add in the newspaper quite synchy, as I had stayed at Rydges motel in Cronulla on my second road-trip and would stay there the day after the Sharks had become 2016 NRL champions for the first time ever.
Happy days indeed.
Though Dad would pass away before I would go on my third and last road-trip in 2016, but his old records that I recorded on to MP3s coming through the speakers of my car stereo would be a sentimental comfort on some lonely roads and who could ever get sick of hearing 'The Gambler' 's good advice just before he broke even?
That's an ace that I can keep.
Maybe I see windmills where there really are none, but the chase had been a rewarding one for me last year and I plan on continuing the chase this year.
Cheers and hit me dealer.