Hitch-hikers

1979 Army “basics” – basic training – and my buddy Graham and I are hitch-hiking from Potch to Harrismith. Waiting for a next ride outside Villiers in the darkness of that Friday night a clapped-out bakkie stopped. At last. Jump on, says the weirdo who looks three sheets to the wind, while handing us aContinue reading “Hitch-hikers”

A Chrysler Maritzburger Deluxe

I wasn’t there. It really felt like I was there, and I wanted to be there so bad, but I wasn’t. All I know is the Arabs decided to reduce the availability of their oil, thus raising the price of petrol and reducing the speed limit to 80km/h. Petrol stations closed at night and weContinue reading “A Chrysler Maritzburger Deluxe”

Prohibition lifted, re-instated

The rumour on the Kestell bus was that in South West Africa the laws pertaining to grog did not actually, y’know, pertain. Specifically, the drinking age laws. You could order a beer in a pub in South West Africa even if you were only fourteen or fifteen, as we were. In fact, so the rumourContinue reading “Prohibition lifted, re-instated”

Running from the Law

The first time I ran from the cops was about 1969 in the wee hours of a Harrismith Vrystaat morning. We were lurking, having climbed out of our bedroom windows to rendezvous on the dark streets of the silent metropolis as unaccompanied minors. Near Greg’s cafe we spotted one of The SAP’s Finest, drunk behindContinue reading “Running from the Law”

Eat Your Heart Out Chuck Norris!

Camping on the slopes of Platberg below Khyber Pass Pierre, Tuffy and I had made a fort of ouhout branches and cleared a big spot to make a fire. Sitting around talking shit when we heard a rustle and a shout and who appeared before us but Guillaume. He was excited that we were overnightingContinue reading “Eat Your Heart Out Chuck Norris!”

The Night We Hijacked the Orange Express

Trudi Wessels won Miss Personality at Maritzburg Varsity. We could have told them that beforehand if they’d asked. Her prize: A trip to Rio de Janeiro! Steph de Witt arranged a farewell party at Shady Pines on the night of her departure, after which we would deliver her safe and pickled to the Harrismith stasie.Continue reading “The Night We Hijacked the Orange Express”

Playing in the Snow

1973, on my way back from the States, I fly to New York on a Monday in December and ask for a flight to Johannesburg via London. ‘Sorry you can’t. Your ticket is non-transferable, and the next SAA flight is via Rio on Friday’. The old man had paid for my ticket on his shinyContinue reading “Playing in the Snow”

Forty Years

Liewe bliksem, can it be? Forty blerrie years!? Surely not. But so they tell me. 1972 to 2012 is forty years. Spectacles, of course, are a sign of intelligence, so here you have me and four meisies flying the IQ flag. Hang on, one other fella. Can’t nail his name right now . . BetweenContinue reading “Forty Years”

Dottie Moffett, 1955-2006

I went looking for Dottie, wondering where she was and what she was doing. And found an obituary on the internet! Dottie Moffett Butler died unexpectedly at her home in San Diego, California on Wednesday 5 July 2006. Dottie was born 8 July 1955 in Daytona Beach Florida. At the age of seven her familyContinue reading “Dottie Moffett, 1955-2006”

Harrismith Xmas 1979

Mary and Manie Wessels Rietvlei joined the folks Mary and Pieter Swanepoel for Xmas 1979 at 37 Piet Uys street. Barbara and Jeff, Koos and Sheila and Annie were there, too. As was poor Selina! Hopefully she got time off for being on duty on Xmas day! Looks like colour film hadn’t been invented yetContinue reading “Harrismith Xmas 1979”