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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia 9_KwaZuluNatal Family

Mary and Jean

Mom: When the Colemans arrived in Harrismith for Ken to start work in ‘the milk factory’ we met them right away as Dad was a great friend of Ken’s older brother Wally. Wally had been his tutor as an appy electrician in the Pietermaritzburg Post Office back in 1938. I recall visiting Uncle Wally as a kid once – I think in Howick?

1938 post office appies PMB
– Wally Coleman in the white coat – Dad standing second left – 1938 PMB –

Ken and Jean started building a new house on the corner of Hector street and Berg street, the road that led out of town to our plot less than a kilometre away. While the builders were at it, some leave time came up and Ken took the family away, prompting Dad to opine to Mom, ‘I would never go away while someone was building my house! I would watch their every move.’ Right.

Mom’s not sure, but thinks Donald was already born when they arrived in Harrismith. When Anne was born soon after me, Mary was chosen as her godmother as ‘Jean was a great friend even though she was Anglican.’ Mary Methodist speaking!

Then Eddie was born and we were like this:

In 2015 Sheila wrote: Mum says when we still lived on the ‘townlands’ on the way to the waterworks, Jean would often ‘phone and say ‘Have you got a little visitor?’– once again her son Donald had gone missing and she knew exactly where he was – he used to walk all the way to our farm to visit his great mate, Koos. The two were inseparable.

Today in 2020 Mom’s version was slightly different: ‘You used to walk to Donald without telling me. I would phone Jean and ask ‘Is there anything there of mine?’ Maybe the strolling went both ways?

What started this reminiscing was Eddie sending me pics of Jean’s 80th birthday celebration in June 2008, when Anne and Eddie took her on a very special outing:

They got together for Mary’s 80th in September 2008

– Mary turns 80 in PMB – 2008 –

For years after the Colemans left Harrismith we heard about their farm outside Winterton. About how Ken built the rondawels and bathroom very rustically. But I never saw Donald again and only lately found out that I had heard from him once!

– view from Craggs outside Winterton – looking at Cathkin and Champagne –
– Jean and Ken –

~~~oo0oo~~~

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Polonaise in A flat major Op.53

The whole thing goes over seven minutes. I copied just the part I remember from Rumiko Isaksen on vimeo.com

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Padarewski Mom Used to Play – Minuet in G

We’ll let Padarewski play this one himself, but not for long. Sheila says she has a recording of Mom playing this. When I get it, it’ll be ‘Roll Over Padarewski!’

Categories
2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia

The Arbuckles of Somerby

A snippet:

It was schoolfriend Koos Beukes’ birthday today and I remembered he’s from Aberfeldy, so I asked him about a half-remembered memory that popped up on thinking ‘Aberfeldy:’

‘Who were the rooinek ladies that farmed out your way again?’

‘Natalie and Phyllis Arbuckle on Somerby,’ said Koos. He actually now owns the farm! He bought it from them around 1986 and Natalie then moved to White River to stay with Phyllis’ daughter Aileen.

Somerby was renowned for a big dam known for very good fishing. Fishermen actually paid to fish there! Natalie charged R2 a rod and donated the proceeds to her church. She was a staunch Methodist, and her R2’s probably doubled the takings!!

Mom says Natalie was in elder sister Pat’s class in school, so like Pat Bland, she was probably born in 1925. She remained single all her life.

Natalie died in 2010. The big damwall broke that year and Koos surmises the knowledge of that loss may have contributed to her death. Her ashes were scattered on Somerby.

~~~oo0oo~~~

rooinek – Engels; English-speaking, really; usually not English-from-England

feature pic: The bridge over the Elands River at Aberfeldy

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia

Louis, Imperial Schoeman

Mom Mary fondly says bachelor Louis Schoeman was quite important and quite full of himself – ‘He thought he was the Prince Imperial!’ she says teasingly. ‘Louis the Seventeenth,’ she says, adding one to the last of that French line of kings.

‘He played polo, you know, and that was very posh. He walked with a regal bearing. So when he walked in to Havengas bookstore one day and threw down a document on the counter in front of Dad saying, ‘Pieter! Sign here!’ Dad said ‘What for? I don’t sign anything unless I know what I’m signing!’ all the assembled men’s heads turned to Louis, sensing drama.’

‘I’m getting married!’ he announced, ‘to Cathy, the sister at the hospital.’ Well, like sympathetic, caring, thoughtful bachelors will do when a friend is in need, the men roared with laughter and teased Louis unmercifully!

‘And you know what?’ says Mom Mary: ‘It was the best thing that ever happened to him! Cathy bore them five lovely children and was a wonderful companion, mother and home-maker. Wonderful sense of fun and humour, and they were very happy together.’

~~~oo0oo~~~

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Liszt Mom Used to Play – Liebestraum

Quite one of my favourites, this would invoke peace. Some of the others caused some melancholy! Not this one.

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Liszt Mom Used to Play – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Mozart Mom Used to Play – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia school

Kathy Putterill’s School

Wild-haired Kathy Putterill ran a nursery school in her home. Their house was on a long thin plot on two levels. The lower level had Shetland ponies on it. And I think she had dogs. I seem to remember small dogs.

That’s about all I remember. They had a funny car. Right? Kathy enjoyed a smoke and a drink?

Their house (her husband was Leonard, right?) was where Warden Street T-boned into Murray Street. Below them Murray Street got steep as it rolled down, kinking left just before it crossed McKechnie Street and ducked through the subway under the railway line. The house is gone now.

Leon Fluffy Crawley and Noeline Bester remembered the ponies! They say Fridays was horseriding. Noeline says it was the highlight of the week and the only reason she hung in there! Fluffy tells how his gardener used to accompany him to school on his go-cart all the way up from Garvock Street – going home would have been easy: downhill!

Fluffy remembers Kathy smoking, and says sometimes you’d get there in the morning and have to wait outside while Kathy got ready – late start!

– Friday!! – Kathy Putterill’s Shetland ponies –

~~~oo0oo~~~

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Mozart Mom Used to Play – Rondo Alla Turca