Blithe Spirits

Durban ca 1980 – I’ve been sent here by the army; I know very little about this Last Outpost of the British Empire, but my friend, fellow Free Stater Steve Reed, has been here almost a year so he knows everything. And he knows some girls. The papers announced that some comet was due toContinue reading “Blithe Spirits”

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”

New Country, New Identity, New Skill

I was reading about Andrew Geddes Bain, geologist, road engineer, palaeontologist and explorer in the Cape up to 1864, and his son Thomas Charles Bain, road engineer in the Cape up to 1888, when it suddenly struck me! First, let’s see what these two very capable men achieved: Andrew Geddes Bain built eight mountain passes,Continue reading “New Country, New Identity, New Skill”

Leon Fluffy Crawley

Talking about the magic photo of the Soap Box Derby on 42nd Hill with Fluffy’s Dad Charlie in it, I got into an extended email conversation with my good mate from Mrs Putterill’s nursery school and Methodist Sunday school in the late 1950’s all the way to matric 1972, Leon Crawley: Fluff: Amazing the dressContinue reading “Leon Fluffy Crawley”

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.”

Did You Got A Licence?

When I got back to Harrismith in December 1973, we were moving house. The ole man had sold the old house . . . . and built a new one in Piet Uys street uptown. I filled the blue kombi with stuff – small furniture, paintings and odds – and drove it the kilometre orContinue reading “Did You Got A Licence?”

Let’s Save Us Some Souls!

The new preacherman at the Christian Church of Apache Oklahoma, looked me up after he’d been in town a while and invited me over to his place. Turns out he was interested in becoming a mission-nary to Africa and wanted to meet one of the real-deal Africans he’d heard and read so much about. MaybeContinue reading “Let’s Save Us Some Souls!”

Virtuoso

Miss Underwood taught Mom Mary to play the piano and taught her very well; she then also taught big sister Barbara to play and taught her quite well, too; in my imagination this set off the following family discussion: Let’s send little Kosie to her as well! He’s such a delicate little chap. If heContinue reading “Virtuoso”

Scotland the Brave 3

Miz Zobbs was scathing: Why can’t any of you whistle? Listen to Claudio! HE can whistle. Show them Claudio. It takes a boy from Italy to show you lot how to whistle! Poor old Claudio Bellato dutifully pursed his lips and tootled some Italian to show us how it was done while probably thinking .Continue reading “Scotland the Brave 3”

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!”