“A seasonal story of joy and nostalgia.”


While surfing through the net recently I came across the credits of a most successful Australian arranger and musical director for motion pictures and television.

His name is Ashley John Irwin. His credentials are impeccable including arranging the scores in two Clint Eastwood movies “Hereafter” and Clint’s latest “J.Edgar.” Those credits also include “Rocky V”, “Rocky Balboa”, “Spy Hard,”Freddie’s Dead” and many others.

Ashley has won 2 Emmy’s for scoring the Academy Awards and been nominated many times..

Ashley is a Sydney boy like me. But that’s not the only thing we have in common for lo and behold as I was reading Ashley John’s story something wonderful happened. Something that is very special to both of us.

You see back in the day when I was a 23 year kid at ATN Channel 7 in Sydney…my very first television gig ..I was the host of a daily kids show called “Smalltime.” I read Dr Seuss books to kids with a bebop jazz band playing backgrounds.

The very special moment that happened for both Ashley and I was right there in his bio. “Ashley’s first television appearance ever was on Chris Bearde’s Smalltime.”

Ashley was a small Aussie boy who sat next to me while I read “The Cat in the Hat” and he deemed this moment in his life to be important enough to include in his bio.

This is tearing up time for a “veteran” 45 year producer of television around the World.  The depth of the memories of those innocent early days come flooding back with this extra sweet moment of revelation

But it doesn’t end there for I found out where Ashley lives which is nearby and we spoke for the first time in all those years.

How do you cope with this kind of emotional nostalgia.

It was like a brightness surrounded us both as we spoke of Australia and our different paths to this country. Ashley knew everything about my journey and told me about his. But the beauty of the conversation was that we were both as we were those decades and decades ago.. I was the host of my show and he was the wide-eyed little boy again in the big studio with the lights.

If there are more amazing experiences like this one out there…please bring them on ..the meaning of one’s entire life sometimes  fades into the background with the constant struggles of today…but when somebody like Ashley makes an appearance the magic of the whole trip is a glistening symbol of what it’s all about.

I’m so thankful of it all that I sometimes even think that God might be on my side whereever She is.




2 Responses

  1. It truely is a small world. I have seen the same joy in my father’s life where after 57 years and thousands of miles away from home he discovered his childhood sweetheart and the very close parallel paths they took over that long time and distance only to be reunited … and as with you and Ashley… they were again as the teens in love as they were so very long ago. I saw that glow in them and my father shined with that glow until his passing. It was a thing to behold and I’ll never forget it. I am glad that you shared your story because it reminded me of those fond memories.

    • thanks for sharing…this is whjat makes the world go ’round I think have a great holiday…cb.

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