Surf Beach resident John Longhurst sent us this fun piece of creative writing this week, a fun explanation for one of the Eurobodalla Shire's most recognisable landmarks.
With eyes like saucepans and mouths agape the two grandkids swivelled.
'Now just hang on for a bit. I'll get to that in a moment.'
Grandad kicked the dirt and looked skywards for what seemed ages to the young fellows.
'Now listen up you young blokes. It's another bit of history you won't find in the textbooks or on the internet so don't go fact checking. It's probably the biggest secret in the district.'
The two grandchildren moved in closer as he cleared his throat and his hand went in search of missing hair.
'I've told you a bit about young Johnny Bodalla. Well truth be known, he was not a touch on his Great Grandfather. He was a bit of a ratbag in his day but a brilliant pilot. As you know, the ice cream from the Bodalla Dairy is pretty special. So special in fact before World War II people on the south coast, all the way to the Victorian Border, would eat nothing else. Of course delivery was a huge problem as refrigeration was nothing like it is today and this is where Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandad became a local legend. He converted an old crop duster aeroplane for deliveries and painted it pink. He loaded up the plane with ice cream and would fly so low that he could throw out the ice cream to the waiting customers in each town. They reckon he could land a cone of Bodalla Dairy Chocolate chip ice cream into the hands of one lucky twelve year old at the Moruya school gate at 3.15pm each day. So that explains the colour of the plane.'
Grandad took in a deep breath.
Both boys were now licking their lips but the elder jumped straight to the obvious question.
'Well it all gets a bit interesting now. You see, during World War II the Japanese bombed Darwin as well as launching submarine attacks in Sydney Harbour. No doubt you will learn all about this history in school and I'll take you to the Australian War Memorial when you are a bit older. But the bit you won't hear about is the Battle of Bodalla.'
'You see by the time the war had broken out in 1939 the ice cream from Bodalla Dairy had become famous. The rumour was it had mythical powers and explained the incredible piloting skills of Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandfather. The Japanese thought if they could capture Bodalla, they would have the secret ingredient to win the war.'
The saucepans returned to both kids' eyes.
'Well Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandfather was a step ahead of the Japanese. He loaded up the pink plane with all the ice cream and took off. The Japanese soon had a whole squadron of Nakajima Ki-84's after him. So imagine the best of the Japanese Air Force chasing Johnny Bodalla's pink plane over the skies of Bodalla. It was pretty similar to the New Years Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbour but all aimed at the pink plane. Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandad dodged and weaved, flew much lower than the Japanese would even dare and then skywards in a loop to throw a well aimed ice cream that splattered on the windscreen of these Japanese fighter jets. He managed to bring down three of these top planes as they did not have windscreen wipers.'
'Now running low on fuel, Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandfather could of taken the easy option of landing at Moruya Airport but he knew the Japanese would easily capture him and the much sought after ice cream. He did an enormous double loop and then descended at a right angle to the ground and the plane has not moved since. Of course by the time the Japanese could land and get to the plane all the ice cream had melted. They headed home defeated.'
'What about Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandfather?,' the children asked.
'He was able to parachute from the plane just in time and ended up with a grazed knee,' grandad replied.
Both boys were now trembling.
'So without the ice cream, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was nowhere near as successful as it could of been and they sure could have done with some of that ice cream in the Battle of Midway. In fact, the course of the war was changed as a consequence of Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandfather.'
'Crikey, how come it has all been hushed up?' one of the children asked.
'Well,' grandad replied, 'the Japanese would never want to admit that their Nakajima Ki-84's were bested by Johnny Bodalla's Great Grandfather throwing ice cream and we would never admit that the course of the war was changed by a pink plane.'