NEED TO RECORD: Joe Bridgeman has just released his second book,  Life .
NEED TO RECORD: Joe Bridgeman has just released his second book, Life . Aden Stokes

Story collector looks at life

SELF-described "collector of stories” Joe Bridgeman released his second book this month titled Life.

Mr Bridgeman, who lives at Old Stoney at Capella, describes Life as a collection of poems that detail his life experiences "from boyhood to manhood and on to old age”.

"It's poems of horses, dogs and mates of my life,” he said.

"There's fun, laughter and lots of characters to meet.

"It's about my life, the people I have met and the stories I grew up with - there are a lot of Capella characters that are still around today.”

Having written well over 100 poems in his time, Mr Bridgeman said he has always enjoyed performing poetry.

"I'm no Henry Lawson or Banjo Paterson but I think I have my own style,” he said.

"I get asked to write people's poems for their birthdays and things like that all the time.

"It's a great pleasure to have my work out in print, it's quite an achievement. It's 46 poems selected out of 100.

"I have had a lot of fun writing the book and I will get to perform a few of my poems featured in the near future.”

Mr Bridgeman, who manages a property east of Capella, has been writing for many years and said the reason he picked up the pen was the need he felt to record stuff.

"I collected wonderful stories as a child and I thought to myself back then when I get older I will put them together and publish them,” he said.

"But I kept recording. I would write short stories and collect stories, sort them out and put them into a book - you could call me a collector of stories.”

After many years of research, Mr Bridgeman released his first published work, Men with the Bark On, a history of Bridgeman and Sons Sawmills.

The book received a huge reception among readers upon its initial release in July. He is expecting a similar response from readers to Life.

Mr Bridgeman is not finished with this year yet - he plans to release a third book before Christmas titled When I was a Kid.

"When I was a Kid is going to be about when I was a kid growing up in Emerald,” he said.

"I wrote it because kids today all watch television and play video games, whereas we would walk to school and home from school - nobody interfered with us or chased us.

"We would ride our ponies and horses everywhere - we were working stock since we were five years old, moving cattle around and mustering sheep.

"We lived a carefree life but we had responsibilities, whereas kids today are taken here and taken there, they're so sanitised. It's a whole different world.

"I thought I would record my life growing up for my grandchildren to understand that our lives were totally different to what they know today.”

If you would to get your hands on a copy of Life today, phone Joe Bridgeman on 0428849224.

Copies of the book are also available through newsagents at Emerald, Capella and Clermont.