Page 27 - The Outdoor Showman January - March 2022
P. 27

  Greta Osborne
Mrs. Clown, long-time Stockton resident and popular Showmen’s Guild identity
27 January 1931 – 15 December 2021 (90 years)
 Greta was born in Wagga, on the 27th January, 1931, she had one sister Elaine, Greta’s father worked in the local post office until he was asked
to go to Sydney for a promotion
that could not be refused and they moved to Tempe, this move to Sydney put a fair amount of stress on the family and her parents separated.
Greta, her mother and sister moved in with her grandmother, this was not a happy arrangement, there were many fights between her mother and her grandmother, her mother started drinking, Greta decided that she’d had enough of living in this toxic environment, so she packed her little brown glow bright case and left home...she was just 14. She caught
a train to Katoomba, it was getting late, and she asked the policeman
if he knew where she could stay, he drove her to someone he knew that had accommodation, she stayed
and worked for them for a short time, Greta managed to save enough money to move on and managed
to get work where she could.
It was while she was looking for work she came across an advertisement for people to work at Brisbane exhibition, as it was known then, she caught a train from Sydney to Brisbane and lined up with all the other hopefuls, trying to get work, she did this for
a week, we all know that she is a determined woman, she went back every day for a week, then to her
relief and delight she was eventually chosen, she asked them why she wasn’t chosen over the past week, the reply was that “they had been watching
her all week and every day when she turned up for the lineup, she was perfectly groomed with not a hair out of place”, (nothing has changed in all of those years, Greta was perfectly groomed everyday) thus began her days on the showgrounds. Greta said no one played up with Maisie Sorley as she kept a very watchful eye on all of her ‘hanky panky’ in those days Mum would say!
So began the amazing story of Vanessa Lee from Tennessee ...with Greta applying her best southern American accent to fit the part!
Not long after she started her dancing there was a young man who was putting up his ride, this young man kept staring at her... Greta’s friend alerted her to the stares of this man, Greta put her nose in the air and replied that ‘he could stare all he wanted she was not interested in him!’
This John Osborne character was very persistent and did not give up his pursuit of the woman he was besotted with... for this man it was love at first sight! Greta played hard to get... she even spent 3 months travelling before they caught up again. John had not stopped thinking about her in all that time she was gone, we all know that absence makes the heart grow fonder
and he was sure that Greta was the woman he wanted to spend his life with.
John never gave up on his dream of marrying this strong and determined woman and upon her arrival back they started going out... John would propose to Greta every time they went out but she would always refuse...
but finally gave into his charms!
They were married at Holy Trinity Church in Orange on 17th November 1952 and John and Greta Osborne would have so many amazing and adventurous years together.
Their wedding was a fairytale wedding and Greta was a stunningly beautiful bride. Greta made her own wedding dress and her bridesmaids dresses, they were made of calico, with a pink petticoat, giving it a hint of pink, Greta was very proud of their beautiful wedding and would often proudly point out in photos her work of art and talent to produce such unique and glorious gowns, in a time when money was tight, this did not dampen the joy that they both felt on their wedding day.
Greta and John continued travelling on the showground raising two sons, Leslie, born in 1953 and Lewis in 1954, they travelled the eastern seaboard for many years with their Tilt a Whirl

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