We drove off the dirt road and onto a green hill, stopped the light blue Holden station wagon and walked up to the top of the low hill which ended in a steep cliff overlooking Natal down below. About 30m below us (I’d guess) was a nest, just as Robbie Sharratt had told Dad there would be, and on the nest was an eagle chick.
The main reason the ole man had taken his dearly beloved son on an outing was his new Canon FT QL SLR camera with a 200mm telephoto lens. It needed a subject, and there was the Black Eagle chick right there in the hot sun. Aquila verreauxii, now called Verreaux’s Eagle.
The way I recall it, we got pics of the nest and the chick, and a parent landed on or near the nest while we waited, but I could be imagining that part. Wonder where those pics are? I’d guess this was ca.1965 when I was ten years old.
Greg came to Harrismith from Ohio in 1972. We lost touch, then thanks to Sheila, picked up as though no time had passed! Greg was helping Sheila research ancient family history and was also sending lovely pics of his schooldays in Harrismith. We were so looking forward to seeing more of them. And of him.
He planned to visit once when his brother Jeff came to South Africa to do some work for General motors. He didn’t, so Jeff and I went to Hluhluwe without him!
He was planning to come and visit and, among other places, go back to the de Witt’s game farm near Tshipise – near the Tropic of Capricorn – with Steph.
Then Steph died. So he didn’t. But he was going to! He was going to come and visit us. We were going to see Greg again.
Now he’s gone, suddenly, out of the blue.
R.I.P Greg! Dammit!! What a blow! What a loss!
Wonderful memories of walking down Normandien pass in the Drakensberg with Greg, just me and him along lonely dirt roads and railway tracks, through these tunnels and ending up near Van Reenen – at Moorddraai where we were fetched – I think by Father Sam van Muschenbroek? I had to keep asking Greg to slow down! He was a fast walker and I was in no hurry!
The top pic is one Greg took in our physics class back in 1972.
Greg’s last message on 28 April 2016:
On Apr 28, 2016, Sheila had written:
Gregor! Where the hell have you been? Are you okay?
You just dried up and went away! A bit like our money is doing right now! All’s well here – am having fun putting old pics on FB – am loving the responses. I hope you’re okay.
Lots of love, Sheila
Greg replied same day:
I'm doing just fine. Been a bit of work finishing up the estates of mom and dad. Was quite ready for mom to go, but dad went kinda suddenly.
Such is life. What brought about this great burst of picture activity?
I'll have to get back to posting more of mine again.
My brother is probably going back to Port Elizabeth later this year.
I might try to come with him this time since my last trip got all messed up.
Glad you are doing well!
Sent from my iPad
So Greg's poor kids lost their Grandma, their Granpa and their Dad in quick succession!
Greg's brother Jeff did come to SA in 2014. I took him to Hluhluwe game reserve. Greg did not accompany him. He should have. He never did make it back to SA to visit. Damn!