In mid-March last year, local anaesthetist Paul Ricciardo shaved his luscious curls and set aside his dreams of being a rock star. Jon Carlson, along with his partner Brittany, considered how the birth of their first child in April would be impacted by a global pandemic. Daniel Seinor and Scott White stared down the barrel of a drastically altered education system, uncertain how they would teach their students. Esperance as a community braced for hard times, for sad times. We prepared for the unknown that lay ahead.
Soon however, extreme tension within our small community turned into a sense of relief. Both State and Federal Governments initiated strategies that would manage the spread of the C-Virus. It helped, of course, that we are extremely isolated and have an anything-butdense population distribution. Of anywhere in the world, Esperance was particularly fortunate.
With expectations of not touching the Esperance blue with a surfboard for an extended period, Ricciardo was relieved to find himself back in the ocean. But one fateful day, Paul took the full force of a Southern Ocean wave to his right shoulder, dislocating and tearing ligaments in the process. Surgery quickly followed and Paul’s 2020 came to a standstill. Jon Carlson swung me a call as he regularly does. “Kyza, Paul’s talking about writing a grant application for Car Park Social. What are your thoughts?” Jon was somewhat sceptical but my reply was, “If anyone can pull it off, it’s Paul.” Roughly three months later, I was in the car on the way to Perth and I received a message from Jon letting me know their grant application was successful. “Holy hell,” I thought to myself.