There’s so much to support when you’re a ‘local’, but it’s our job to support it, I’m arguing.
Personally, it’s been a pretty big month in the lovely ol’ town of Orange. My drivers’ licence says I’m older than Steve Waugh’s batting average, but nowhere near Steve Smith’s … a place where I’m staving off ‘middle age’ by trying to keep fit by running and (stupidly?) playing football in a competition where just about everyone has more skill, but maybe not as much enthusiasm as I do.
Last month saw the Orange Running Festival cater for a bazillion people in a pile of different events. What a cracker of a weekend. Finishing my race in a good time was a thrill, but an even bigger thrill was seeing the number of locals supporting an important day on the calendar. Then, last weekend was a ‘double-trouble’ event for our City. Firstly, the Newcrest Cycle Challenge saw riders from all over the place converge on Orange to test themselves over 70km, 100km and the massive 170km rides across the Central West. Whilst my bicycle legs are limited to rides of a shorter variety, I’m told the cooler weather didn’t deter the lycra worshippers even one bit, and that the entire weekend was a massive success. Kudos to the hardworking organisers, keeping our city firmly on the map. The second big event on the weekend was the Great Volcanic Challenge. Much more my kind-of event (no lycra). 11km’s from the bottom of the biggest mountain between Katoomba and Perth, right to the very summit … all on foot power. There were hundreds and hundreds of patrons pounding the fire trails, all on a private mission to overcome demons and get to the top. Special mention to the two young men in the 75+ age category, I am totally in awe of your efforts and achievement.
Three Saturday’s ago saw me and my lovely wife hit the Civic Theatre to sing along to my all-time fave – James Reyne. It’s the fourth time he’s been to Orange since I’ve lived here, and the second time in just over 12 months. I was a bit more reserved than last time (you may recall last year I wrote about getting in trouble for singing too loudly), keeping my familiarity with every word to every song mostly to myself, content that James was in my town again, singing his heart out in front of those who appreciate his skills. Way to go James, keep coming ‘Way Out West’ (see what I did there? J).
Last weekend, we cashed in the Christmas present my mum gave me – 2 tickets to the Eric Clapton tribute show at the Civic. Oh my goodness, dare I say it, it was as good as James. The band was super-tight, and the music and stories told would have made the Slowhand man very proud. The problem was that there were only about a hundred of us there to appreciate the brilliance. Shame. Disappointing. The old saying of ‘If you build it, they will come’ went out the window. I don’t think these guys will be coming back. Again, shame. If we, the locals, don’t support the big smoke when it comes to us – well, it just might not come.
We’ve already lost our Myer store. Now, the rumour has it that we might be losing our Big W store. What a shame. Sure, we can all sit on our couch, watch Netflix, do our shopping online and see Eric Clapton on YouTube. But if that’s the case, we might as well live in the City. Not for me. I think for us the adage has to be ‘If they build it, you better support it, or it’ll never come again’.