It's very bad news that both the Hawker and Blinman pubs closed their doors in January. Shut. Dry.
Both these Flinders Ranges watering holes have been central to the vast region's culture since the earliest days of bush tourism. Not only did they precede tourism, but they were reasons for its occurrence.
They were very important tourist attractions in themselves.
Since I first whinged about these invaluable thirst emporia closing, there came a wave of comments about there being plenty of resorts surviving in the north, but to me these missed the point: the outback cannot be gentrified.
Both these historic public houses were essential resting places for those on a budget, which of course includes all the permanent residents of those wild and beautiful Ranges.
Not to mention hungry, thirsty, stone-broke writers. And artists.
... and here's an example of George's Flinders work: The Flinders Granges, a big landscape that hung for a year in The Exeter until a wise British Grange collector fell in love with it and bought it for another Grange-loving mate ... I for one can vouch that George's meagre artist's income has never stretched to afford him a bottle of Grange on the Range ... was he subconsciously channeling the notion that you can't gentrify the outback?