Martha and My Man Friday

This beautiful 1938 Buick Coupe was a regular sight on the streets of Harrismith back in the Sixties.

Martha McDonald and her friend Carrie Friday used to cruise the streets going nowhere. Mom Mary called them Martha and My Man Friday after Robinson Crusoe. She says Roy Cartwright coined the nickname. Roy ran the Tattersalls horse racing gambling joint in town and was full of wit.

Years later Sheila found out that Pietermaritzburg car enthusiast and restorer Ty Terblanche had found it, bought it and restored it to its former glory. Well done Ty! What a beaut!

1938 Buick coupe2
– here’s the actual Buick we frew wif a stone decades ago! Martha and My Man Friday cruised around the metropolis of Harrismith ca. 1960’s –

With childish logic and mischief we’d occasionally throw it wif a stone (as we’d mockingly say). Always missed, mind you.

The redoubtable Martha McDonald, asked one day if she had any children replied in the negative, adding loftily “My husband is too much of a gentleman.”


Here’s a better angle to showcase those beautiful lines:

Buick 1938

From the front it’s much like other cars of its era, but from the side and half-back you can see why it gets so many oohs and aahs!

Buick sports coupe 66s 1938

edit March 2019: I read in ‘Blafboom’, Leon Strachan’s first book about Harrismith, that Martha had actually bought this gorgeous 1938 Buick Century Sports Coupe 66S from Nic Wessels; and that she lived in Murray Street.

for images, my thanks to and


Later, Carrie Friday became an organ donor:

– the Methodists get a new organ for Mary Methodist to thump out her hymns on –

This year when Mom Mary put on a pirates eye patch to play the piano as she sometimes gets double vision ‘and I can’t play if there are two keyboards,’ I reminded her ‘But you used to play a double keyboard, Mom!’ She couldn’t remember that, so I must show her this picture of the My Man Friday organ.

– Sheila video’d Mom wearing a pirate patch –


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