|A Piece of Grandpa’s Belt|
|Written by George Wright|
|Tuesday, 01 December 2009 06:36|
Most of the Guild members know about the story of someone making a wine from a pudding. That was Harry Gilham who found a Christmas pudding when he was de-icing his freezer. It tasted just like yuletide. A similar story is about someone making wine from a boot.
Now I know that somebody associated with the Frankston Winemakers Guild once made wine from an old boot he found in the garage but I didn’t have the dubious pleasure of tasting that one.
However, these examples spurred me to make a liqueur from a leather belt. The background to the belt is explained on the label on the bottle of the liqueur. It also demonstrates why that belt was so important to me and clarifies why anybody would take the trouble to liquefy a belt. This is what the label says:
A Piece of Grandpa’s Belt
William Wright was born In Lanark, Scotland around 1880. He subsequently married Elizabeth and in 1925 the couple, accompanied by their kids Beth, Joan and George emigrated to Australia.
Wul, as Lizzie called him laboured on the construction of the original Tom Ugly’s Bridge in Sans Souci, Sydney prior to joining the gang of Kogarah Council, eventually rising to foreman status.
On Wul’s death in 1950, George inherited the belt from the trousers of his father. When his son, George Junior left home to work as a forester in 1960, aged 18 his dad gave him Grandpa’s well-worn belt. He wore it regularly on his work pants for the rest of that century and into the next.
Grandpa was a stern disciplinarian and when he warned his four grandchildren to behave themselves he would grab at the buckle of the belt and threaten to give the scallywags ‘a piece of me belt’. Nobody ever got the strap.
On 4 Oct. 2007 the belt broke for no apparent reason. George cut it into 1mm strips and extracted a century of work in alcohol. The essence is the sweat, the tears, blood and laughter.
This extract celebrates the challenges of life, not the achievements: the living is important, not the accolades.
The resultant liqueur is for descendants of Wul and Lizzie to also take a belt, a toast for family members to also taste ‘a piece of grandpa’s belt’.
After the belt broke and I made a liqueur I salvaged the buckle and purchased a good quality leather belt from an op shop, fashioned a new belt on Grandpa's buckle and donated it to my son with the following fatherly advice:
Future Wearers of the Wright Buckle
Take heed, all inheritors of grandpa’s belt, whatever their sex or sexual orientation: this belt represents a tradition of honest toil and pride in self. People who buckle up their private parts with the Wright belt never feel exposed.
For over a century the buckled belt has been impregnable, an unfailing contraceptive. But the clan prospers only when restrictions fall away, liberating the spontaneity inherent in the Wright genes.
Beware. If you lower your pants you may be vulnerable. Grandpa’s dictum applies today as yesterday: there’s muckle a knuckle if you unbuckle.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 03 December 2009 04:12|