Review: In the Air of an Afternoon Almost Past by Peter Goers

Many, many readers of this blog from Adelaide, from South Australia and from Broken Hill and perhaps even from beyond will be immediately familiar with Peter Goers. For many years, Peter Goes has been a well-respected on-air host at ABC Adelaide, a columnist in the Sunday Mail, a theatre guru and critic and has done much other work besides. What I, personally, did not know until very recently was that his parents Margaret and Brian Goers were aboard Pan Am flight 759 which crashed in New Orleans on the 9th of July 1982 and was one of the worst airline accidents in the United States at that point in time. Their son was just twenty-five years old. 

In the Air of an Afternoon Almost Past is Peter Goers memoir of this tragic situation and the unthinkable but all too real events that followed, being asked to travel immediately to the United States to identify the body, only to learn the real reason that the airline wanted him there so quickly was to try and fob him off with as little monetary compensation as they could get away with. While this could easily be a story of exploitation and anger, Goers instead uses it as an opportunity to tell the story of the very real people his parents were and their lives, and also how the lives of himself, his sister and his two grandmothers were changed by the accident. The memoir is very short, but extremely moving. 

Highly recommended.


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