Running on Women Power

A lovely post on Women in Ornithology by ornithology historian Bob Montgomerie led me to thinking about Women in – well, My Working Life. First there was Mom. Mary Methodist. In the Platberg Bottle Store. And Annemarie Maeder, also in the bottle store with Mom. Always in the background, too, was your ‘panel of Moms’Continue reading “Running on Women Power”

A Slice of Vrystaat

I was born in Harrismith in 1955, as was Mom Mary in 1928, and her Mom Annie in 1893. Annie thought “the queen” of that little island left of France was also the queen of South Africa (and for much of her life she was right!). To balance that, there’s this side of the family.Continue reading “A Slice of Vrystaat”

Presbyopes Gather

The Class of ’77 had a wee gathering at Zena’s place. The lies we told!! ‘You’re looking younger’n evah DAHling!’ Yeah, right! Actually, none of that. A lot of truth was spoken. Which led to a lot of laughter. Zena laid on a wonderful spread and we sat around a colourful table on her SandtonContinue reading “Presbyopes Gather”

Kleinman’s Classroom Restored to Former Glory

Earnest and diligent students eagerly absorbing the maths being taught in a chalkdust-filled classroom overlooking a little park on the corner of De Villiers and Rissik streets back in 1974, will be pleased to hear that said classroom has been restored – chalkdust and all. Also the window ledge. When City Prop’s Alec Wapnick andContinue reading “Kleinman’s Classroom Restored to Former Glory”

Rust in Warden

Rust in Vrede means Rest in Peace. Rust in Warden was anything but peaceful on account of an invasion of hooligans from the Last Outpost of the British Empire – a flock of unruly wimmin studying to be teachers back in March 1976. It took us gentlemen from behind the boerewors curtain in the salubriousContinue reading “Rust in Warden”

“Like God Clearing His Throat”

Me and Stephen Charles Reed, First Son of Clarens Vrystaat, were talking V8’s back in 2012 when he delivered that spot-on description of the sound they make as they roar off, windgat, into the distance. I replied: Oh, I DO like that description! That’s GOOD! When you hear that at a traffic light you delayContinue reading ““Like God Clearing His Throat””

Serious Optometric Research

We were in second year and had just moved out of downtown Joburg and Eloff Street to the salubrious semi-suburban delightful area of Doornfontein which was once Joburg’s premier suburb where all the gold mining magnates and Randlords lived and built their mansions. So some final year students asked us to help them in theirContinue reading “Serious Optometric Research”

Smuggies. And Justice.

A visit to Tuffy, then stationed on the Bluff in Durban with Recce Battalion was a happy reunion. There he was in uniform and me with long hair, his student mate from Harrismith. He introduced me to his sergeant ‘Vingers’ Kruger and all his comrades and announced we’d be partying tonight. We started off atContinue reading “Smuggies. And Justice.”

Comrade Skim from DinDear

Six foot four inch Pete Stoute was running the Comrades Marathon, that foolish 89km exercise in torture held annually in KwaZuluNatal, when suddenly he heard a shout from around knee-level: “Yiss, Stoute, hoezit?” He looked around, nothing. He looked down: There was Skim, short and round as a beachball, choofing alongside. Skim du Preez, kranigeContinue reading “Comrade Skim from DinDear”

Pedestrian Knocked Down!

I arrived back in town for the weekend from JHB – 1976 or 1977 – in my shiny new grey and grey 1965 Opel Rekord I’d got from Mom and Dad for my 21st. Saturday morning I phoned Tabbo. What’s happening in the City of Sin and Laughter? The usual. Nothing. Come on out toContinue reading “Pedestrian Knocked Down!”