Today Fifty Years Ago

Today fifty years ago was also a Sunday. I know cos sister Sheila kept a diary in high school and every now and then she pops out with an entry that brings back a flood of memories. Even everyday entries like ‘had lunch at (place) with (people)’ can trigger memories and start some lovely reminiscing.Continue reading “Today Fifty Years Ago”

His Uncle Hec’s Funeral

Des is a mensch. He’s a gentleman and he has good intentions. He’s in a serious marriage and under strict starter’s orders. The thing is Des has a bit of a dodgy handbrake. Even when pulled up tight it can occasionally slip and he can lurch forward a few steps and then all hell canContinue reading “His Uncle Hec’s Funeral”

My Umko Marathon

There he goes, no lifejacket as was the way those days. . . another guy might be wearing full lifejacket and helmet but he’d be disqualified: wasn’t wearing his club colours! Such was ‘safety’ back when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron! I roared in 140th – looks like 152Continue reading “My Umko Marathon”

Loopspruit Army Basics

– – – draft – work in progress – So there we were ensconced on a farm outside Potchefstroom among raw rockspider seventeen year-olds, fresh out of high school from all over South Africa. We heard it had been a reform school for delinquents before we got there and turned it into a military camp.Continue reading “Loopspruit Army Basics”

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”

Early Bird Book

Way back around 1968 a new book appeared at 95 Stuart Street Harrismith. I was fascinated. Nearly as fascinated as I’d been when cousin Jack read Valley Of The Dolls from the big wooden bookshelf in our long, dark, carpeted passage. That novel must have been good, as Mom actually physically took it from me,Continue reading “Early Bird Book”

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”

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”

Mona’s Wake

A gathering of a flock of du Plessis is always a very special occasion. Not an orderly occasion. Not a quiet occasion. Just very special. Mignon, Jean-Prieur and Jacques-Herman celebrated their Mom Mona’s wonderful ninety years of Mom, Music and Magic at a wonderful venue outside Harrismith – where I forgot to take any picturesContinue reading “Mona’s Wake”

Slalom Handicap

Two Springbok paddlers were watching me intently as I nimbly maneuvered my boat through the water. As I got to the gate that they were judging I ducked into an eddy and rested on my paddle, getting my breath back and having a chuckle at how clumsily I had bashed through the last gate. AndContinue reading “Slalom Handicap”