Marching in the cadets was a ballache. Once a week we would arrive at school not clad in grey shirts, grey shorts and grey socks, but in khaki shirts, khaki shorts and khaki socks. It was “kadet dag” or something. Softening us up and brainwashing us in the glory of fighting for the vaderland.
This had to stop, so Lloyd and I decided to try out for the orkes. Still the kadet orkes and you still had to wear khaki but we thought it might be less onerous. I was assigned a drum and drumsticks. Zunckel was give a bright brass trompet, slightly battered.
What was lekker was instead of marching up and down like drones in the school grounds with some kop-toe ou shouting LI-INKS . . . . OM!! we headed off out the gates towards town. Freedom! There we were, Vrystaters going on A Long Walk To Freedom! Often there wasn’t even an onnie with us, and nobody shouting. We marched to the beat of the huge bass drum. Boom Boom Boom. Left Right and all that. We would march right into town, once going as far as the post office. Bonus was you also got to keep an eye on the pomp troppies.
It couldn’t last. Some parade was coming up and it was time for quality control. Kadet uber-offisier von musiek Eben Louw lined us up, got us started on some military propaganda lied and walked slowly from one to the other, listening intently as we parum-parum-pummed away. He watched as I bliksem‘d the drum more or less in time, nodded and walked on.
Then he got to Zunckel. He leaned closer, then put his ear right near Lloyd’s trompet. “Blaas, jong!” he muttered. Niks. Not a peep. The Zunck had been faking it, pretending to blow with his right pinky raised impressively. Never had learned how to make that thing squawk.
Back to barracks he went.
Oh no! This post was a dredged-up memory from 45yrs ago. I sent it to his big mate Steve Reed in Aussie, who forwarded it to Lloyd’s sister Filly in Zimbabwe where I thought Lloyd would have a chuckle reading it.
But no, I learned instead that Lloyd had passed away a few months ago. His sister Filly wrote from Zimbabwe:
Lloyd sadly passed away in the early hours of August 3 2016 from a brain bleed –
huge shock to us all and especially his partner who could not wake him for his tea.
John and I held a memorial service for Lloyd in our garden and we were
overwhelmed by the 150 plus friends who came to bid him farewell.
Dammitall I am so sorry to hear of Lloyd’s passing! So so sad.
He and I had a helluva good time together in Herriesmif. We clicked and just shared a similar outlook on life, the universe and dutchmen.
It wasn’t long, but it was a great friendship while it lasted.
Thinking of you
Filly must have said something. Steve replied:
Lloyd having no musical talent? That’s rubbish Fil. Lloyd did a pitch perfect rendition of
The Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon –
“The doctor came in, stinking of gin”
And sometimes even added the next line:
“and pro-ceeded to lie on the table”
Admittedly that was his full repertoire.
To which I remonstrated:
No, there was more!
He also sang –
“Let the spidnight mecial”
“Line a shite on me”
“Let the spidnight me-cial”
“Line a helluva lotta shite on me “
Me on my bicycle, Lloyd on the crossbar, golf bag on my back, cycling from the koshuis where he was incarcerated to the Herriesmif golf course for an afternoon of NOT normal school stuff, Lloyd singing Creedence Clearwater’s Spidnight Mecial.
He also sang an off-key John Lennon when life at school (which was NOT his forte) got him down:
“Christ you know it ain’t easy”
Another Lloyd tale –
Kai Reitz made the mistake – no, bold decision – once to put the Lloyd cousin in charge of The Bend while he went off to murder sundry buffaloes and bambis in the Zim bushveld.
I joined Lloyd.
Things did not go exactly according to a Reitz-like plan. Nor did things run like a well-oiled machine. It was more like a military operation.
Lloyd managed to get the Chev pickup stuck between two gears. So when I got there it was parked in the lands. Immobile.
Poor Ros-Merr did her best in the kitchen, making great big piles of delicious veggies but we had not bought any meat and were now stranded for transport.
Lloyd found the .22 rifle (or maybe a pellet gun?) and we went hunting for the pot, stalking our prey. Lloyd with that action he got from Mad magazine’s Don Martin, where “Fester” I think his name was, would take exaggerated loping slow strides with his toes hanging downwards.
High up in a pine tree a poor little dove was romantically asking “How’s father? How’s father?” and Lloyd drilled him.
The next meal there was all the veggies PLUS – a big meat dish covered with a lid. We opened the lid with a flourish, then peered closely before we spotted it – a tiny little mossie-looking carcass lost in the middle of a big white expanse. Ros-Merr’s sense of humour?
Next the big truck reversed over a stack of irrigation pipes. That was not good. I saw big $$ signs, but when Kai got back he set about fixing them himself, cutting off the flattened sections, hammering thin pipes though them, then thicker ones until he had restored them to size, then welding them together again!
I’m sure we didn’t run out of beer, though, so we weren’t completely disorganised.