Spikisi: the podcast

It seems these days the natural progression from the online ‘journey’ for an author is to not only share relevant and important material via a blog on one’s own website, as well as a Facebook page (and other socials), but also to host a podcast. Hence, ‘Sandi Logan Spikisi‘. The term ‘spikisi’ is Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinea) for ‘relaxed conversation’ or ‘open dialogue’.

The origin of the term ‘spikisi’ — for me — goes back to my time as the First Secretary at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby (PNG’s capital) from 1988-90. I started and hosted a monthly press club luncheon opportunity for local and overseas journalists to meet and engage with PNG’s politicians, union leaders, NGO representatives and other key interlocutors including Australian diplomats and business leaders. We called it ‘Club Spikisi’. (Of course it was a play on ‘Speakeasy’ but it was apt and relevant in the local context and local language.)

It seems a no-brainer that all of the interviews and conversations (in person, by phone, over Skype) I have undertaken over the last 12-18 months could provide interesting insight for Betrayed‘s readers and listeners keen to further explore the story behind the story.

So, the first very short episode of Sandi Logan Spikisi tells the story of Vera ‘Toddie’ Hays’ nephew, Larry Walters, also known as Lawnchair Larry. The women watched the TV news most nights in prison and one night, lo and behold, there was Toddie’s nephew Larry on the telly!

Have a listen to the podcast episode ‘Lawnchair Larry and the Drug Grannies’ to find out more.

And I’ll be updating the podcast on an irregular basis with more material I know you’ll be keen to hear. Keep an ear out for more!

Lawnchair Larry and the Drug Grannies Sandi Logan Spikisi

Lawnchair Larry — or Larry Walters, aided by his girlfriend Carol — made a 45-minute flight in 1982 in a lawnchair to which he had attached helium-filled weather balloons. The 'airship' prematurely lifted off from his backyard, rising to above 15,000 feet and into the controlled flight path of commercial jets landing and taking off from nearby Long Beach Airport. Lawnchair Larry was the nephew of one of the drug grannies — Vera "Toddie" Hays — whose story is told in my book 'Betrayed', released 1 June 2022 by Hachette (Australia). Here's a short audio story about how Toddie and her partner Beezie discovered Larry's air odyssey in a lawnchair!

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