Eyewitness Account

Thanks to coincidence, luck and connections, I have an eyewitness account to the time my good friend Tuffy fell out of a helicopter! Chris Greeff is one of the most connected people I know. He mentioned that John Lee is a parabat. I said: My two schoolmates did parabats in 1971 (Pierre du Plessis) andContinue reading “Eyewitness Account”

World Firsts

Or – Firsts in the Vrystaat (well, sort of . . . Firsts For Us! There you go). In our little world: We invented Hijacking – of the Orange Express (check post) We invented Streaking – in Kimberley (check post) We invented Drifting – on the athletics track in the park (check post) We inventedContinue reading “World Firsts”

Wonderful stuff, booze

Booze opened wonderful opportunities for us as kids in the olden days. As our hawk-eyed parents became bleary-eyed and witty and hilarious, so their surveillance levels dropped and we could get on with doing more interesting things than we could when they were sober. So it was at the MOTH picnic one year on theContinue reading “Wonderful stuff, booze”

South West Africa Tour

The Kestell bus was like a half-loaf, but still the metropolis of Kestell couldn’t roust enough boys to fill it, so we Harrismithians had been invited along. Johan Steyl announced in the hall one assembly that Kestell was inviting Harrismith boys to join their ‘seunstoer’ to South West Africa. It would be fifteen days inContinue reading “South West Africa Tour”

I Must Go Down To The Sea Again . .

. . . to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking. Maybe Steph was thinkingContinue reading “I Must Go Down To The Sea Again . .”

R.I.P Steph

I can’t believe it. Steph. Died in a car accident today. Near Frankfort. I’ll write later. … … Here’s how we’ll always remember you, Steph. Us who knew you in the 60’s and 1970 – your matric year. His more recent friends and family remember him like this: Mad keen fisherman, yachtsman, can-do builder, taker-onContinue reading “R.I.P Steph”

Raiders of the Lost Saab

The black Saab is packed to capacity as we roar off in the dead of night to Kestell, that mecca of silence and stillness and, uh peace, I guess. Or was that Vrede? We aimed to fix that in our 1961 black two-door Saab 93. Riiing! ding ding ding ding Riiiiing! – that’s the two-strokeContinue reading “Raiders of the Lost Saab”

Rugby Free State u/13 Champs

It was quite a year. I had shot up and was the tallest blonde in the team (Coenie Meyer was the only other one!), but our real strength lay in an outstanding flyhalf called De Wet Ras and great teamwork. We were coached by a tennis champ called Bruce who inspired us to give ourContinue reading “Rugby Free State u/13 Champs”

An Old Mystery: Whose fault?

There were two reasons we ‘borrowed’ Gerrie’s 1961 black Saab 93 late one night: 1. If you don’t give a car a run the battery can go flat, and 2. We had Larry the American Rotary Exchange student with us, who might have heard that the Free State can be a very boring place withContinue reading “An Old Mystery: Whose fault?”

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”