Mr Pretorius was a new teacher in Harrismith. This is back in the ‘forties. One Geography lesson he asked a question and the answer he wanted was the town “Heilbron”.
Johnny Priest (chosen because the teacher knew he wouldn’t know?) answered “The Free State” at which Mr P lifted his eyes to the heavens, rolled them and sighed sarcastically “Why don’t you just say The Union of South Africa?” at which Johnny hastened to say “I meant the Union of South Africa”.
Toilets were outside, well away from the house, usually at the back border of the yard where the alley ran past so the night car (or ‘Honey Cart’) could get to them. If you had a big yard it could be a long walk. Mrs de Beer used to say theirs was “Halfway to Warden”!
Oh, the embarrasment, says Mom, of meeting the Honey Cart at night when walking home from the bioscope! “So embarrassing!”
Mom’s doctor in Harrismith was Dr Hoenigsberger, who was married to Janet Caskie, an Australian cousin of Mom’s Granny Bland. He was the government doctor (district surgeon) and part of his job was to attend to the inmates in the Harrismith Gaol. On the way back from there one day he hit the bridge over the Kakspruit and landed up in the spruit below the bridge. He was taken home, a bit shaken.
Later one of his friend phoned the house and one of his sons (Leo or Max) answered. “Hello, is the doctor in? We want him to come around and play bridge with us” said the voice.
“No, I think he’s had enough bridge for one day” answered the son.
Wealthy Casper Badenhorst was apparently very tight with a dollar. Had plenty, spent little. When Harrismith people free-wheeled downhill in their cars they would say “One ry nou op Casper se petrol”.