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GIVE IT A GO - The Biography of a Cowboy Psychologist 

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A fascinating account of a sickly child with endemic asthma, who struggled through school and his teens to become a musician, a trick rider, a sculptor and a professional psychologist. His wide experience in many fields, such as youth disability, marriage guidance and career counselling, provides a wealth of anecdotes and insights into human nature. 

His life ranged from managing a guest house, escorting Junior Farmers to Timor, to setting up the Family Court Counselling service in Brisbane before retiring to the Gold Coast. There he became President of the Gold Coast Sculpture Society as well as teaching clay sculpture.   Derek has edited and published his father’s war diary When You Haven’t Got a Gun and undertaken programs mentoring trainee psychologists  

This book provides an engrossing time capsule of life after WWII to modern times, in both city and country.   


In Store Price: $27.95 
Online Price:   $26.95



Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 225
Non Fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Derek Rintel
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2017
Language: English


     Read a sample:


Chapter 1





Brisbane, 14 April 1982


Dear Derek

I know this will come as a surprise after such a long time but I feel I must write to you and ask for your assistance.

You will recall that after you left to go to Queensland, I had a son, Paul. He was raised as the legitimate son of my parents and has no knowledge of your existence or our history. Well, he is grown up now and wants to get married. He needs to know your medical history before he has children.

I am married with a family and do not wish to disturb my relationship, or upset anyone. Will you write to him directly at the address below and let him know your medical background and how this situation came about.


Yours truly
Jane Lyons


* * *


My God!

How on earth do I respond?

I reeled back in shock and sat down heavily in my armchair. It seemed my youthful exuberance was finally catching up with me. I was aware of this boy’s existence – actually, he was now quite clearly a man – but my earlier efforts to find out more about him, and perhaps to make contact, had all come to noth­ing. He certainly had the right to know about my extensive medical problems, because these could affect his family prospects; although, by the time I received this letter, I had overcome most of them and lived with what I couldn’t change.

I suppose the content of Jane’s letter was not a complete surprise. A few years previously I had obtained a copy of Paul’s birth certificate, hoping it would give me more information, so I knew our son was registered as the natural offspring of Jane’s mother and father. Jane was the oldest of six children, so it probably didn’t seem out of place. I had also found out his name – Paul – something I hadn’t known until then. At that stage, I gave up trying to discover more. Too many years had gone by and Jane and I had gone our separate ways. I was now happily married with a family of my own.

Even as recently as 1982, social mores were very different to what they are now. What did L P Hartley say? ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ I was most definitely middle-class, completely respectable, and a counsellor in the Family Court of Queensland. I really would have trouble justifying this to my friends and colleagues!

There was my other child to consider as well, my young son. How would I explain the situation to Sean? Oh, hell! What about my wife? How would Libby take this news? Fortunately, Libby is a calm, easygoing person, not given to tor­rid flare-ups, but still …

By now my mind was racing. Fortunately, I had told Libby about this indiscretion before we got married, but I had no idea that this episode from my past would loom large on my personal horizon anymore. Mentally, I had swept it out of my consciousness long ago. Honestly, I was less concerned about her reaction than about my ability to cope with writing such an awkward letter. Who knows what repercussions it might have?

And, of course, there was Paul – the innocent party in all this. What was his situation now? How would his soon-to-be wife feel? Should I answer the letter at all?

I looked around my comfortably furnished living room, recalling the years of effort it had taken to get to this stage in our lives. We lived in Ninth Avenue, St Lucia, just a hop, skip and a jump from The University of Queensland, in a four-bed, post-war timber home – the reward for my struggle to establish myself in a legitimate professional career. It didn’t seem that long ago when I could only dream of such a home, with its polished wooden floors, beauti­fully furnished, and with cream drapes around the windows. We were, indeed, fortunate.

Yes, I did feel satisfied with my achievements. As a family we had always given things a go, seizing, and making our own opportunities. We led a very busy but fulfilling life; I was in a secure government job with a slightly above-average wage; and Libby’s schoolteacher salary allowed us to send Sean to a private school and indulge in occasional travel. In our backyard sat a trailer sailer for weekend outings. Our four-year-old son was settling into kindergarten, and my parents had come over from Perth and were now living close by in a house we had helped them purchase in Chelmer. Everything was ordered, calm, settled. How would I explain this development to them?

I called out to Libby who was in the kitchen making morning tea.

‘Libby! Take a look at this!’

Our white toy poodle, sensing my mood, bounded over and leapt onto my lap.

Libby walked into the living room, dusting some flour off her skirt, and with a quizzical expression on her face. I handed her the letter, worrying how she would react. She studied the page, showing no surprise at its contents.

‘Hmm … Well, you’ll have to reply to it. She’s aware you had some serious illnesses when you were young, and he deserves to know. It could affect his life and possibly his children’s lives, if they’re going to have any.’

I heaved a sigh of relief; unflappable Libby – she always gave sound, practi­cal advice.

I had spent many years regretting the past and wishing I could undo my actions. In my heart was guilt: guilt because I hadn’t married Jane when she told me she was pregnant. And the guilt had reached down through a lifetime, result­ing in years of tortured celibacy. It also allowed me to be tricked into a marriage that was so obviously a mistake right from the start.

Now I had to write the most difficult letter of my life. I know I was being selfish, but I couldn’t let this endanger my family’s lifestyle. My response would require tact and diplomacy. Did I really want to start a relationship with an adult illegitimate son who knew nothing about me? Would he want to know me?

How the hell would I explain how immature and helpless I felt back then?

My mind was in turmoil as I began to go over the early years.





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