Choppers and Stuff

This is a set of reminiscences from several people, all over the world...

� about the boys playing marbs, housie-housie with a shoe box, castle for castle, no roockies!, goun for goun, fudgies for fudgies at the end of a great marb season.
Climb on your bike, hit the three speed and turn the playing cards onto the spokes all the way home 'cause you are late, happy and made a great break and its 'after dark time' all the way home.
The front wheel speedometer is reading fast.
Should I drop the dynamo down for a tad of light and go slow?, or face the old lady after dark ... not a shit!, I've got my marbs and canns and I'm happening!. Lets just beat the rain home ... Homework?, later for that!, Seven o'clock it�s Dr. Who and beans on toast .. 'HOT'!, And all the good shit on the black and white tell eight!....
The world and the word of UDI was a day away. Little did I know ..
(Std.5, Borrowdale. Salisbury.)

��.Not a Bicycle, but a CHOPPER (at least if your folks could afford to buy you one!
Long black seat, ape handlebars(with tassels), three speed with a T-handle on the cross)bar, and probably playing cards rattling against the spokes.
O yah, almost forgot the STP sticker on the mudguard!
And how about a cattie fight with syringa berries.
... did I mess up the spokes and all trying to act like a motorbike? What a laugh!. Had a garden boy doing all tightening up number everyday! (Just tuned the e-garden boy!.. hey, boy! fix!...I'm ashamed today!!).
I remember one never bought a bike with a 3-speed. It came in a Xmas box, and so up to the backroom boys to install it.
Backroom I mean, behind the shops number. Two days, and �1.00 before Zim went metric....
�..Actually it was a 24" Impala with Ape handlebars and an extra long pipe welded (by my dad) on the saddle. Single speed until a three speed was had second-hand from the bicycle shop on Main street. Hand painted silver by me, with a hooter modified from a fishing bite indicator thingy.
And a "Porc Eaters Make Better Lovers" sticker on the front mudguard, taken from a stand at the Bulawayo Trade Fair!
You all left out catching and keeping tadpoles, watching them grow into frogs. Catching Carp and when finding them alive when arriving home, revived them in the laundry bath and listening to the Nanny screaming the next morning. Riding a Triumph Thunderbird, pissed, Friday night, no crash pot and surviving...almost.
"little red spiders". I presume you are referring to the little red velvety ones? Going back to the early 1950's when I went to the Que Que Junior School, (the new one which was built in the near pisas (sp?)) we used to collect these in matchboxes and take them to school each day and the competition to see who had collected the most from day to day was very serious. In latter years, these seem to be harder to find and I can remember trying to find some to show my boys when they were young with no luck at all. I have often wondered if it was partly us kids fault that we destroyed the species!
Having been brought up in Mangula in the late �50�s and early �60�s (almost the same as Chiredzi, I think), I have wonderful memories of the variety concerts and pantomimes bravely put on by the small Amateur Arts Society. Before the new club was built, these concerts were held in a huge corrugated iron building on someone�s farm at Doma and when the kids got bored we would run into the nearby bush and chase glow worms, catch them and put them in an old matchbox and watch them light up that little space. We would always release the glow worms when we were tired out.
I also have memories of �sleeping in the car� (which was a first a Morris Minor and then we upgraded to a Beetle!) when my mom went to party at Sinoia Caves Motel!
The milk in plastic bags that you remember was called �Bengal Juice� and the orange I think was called �Bezant Orange�. I also have fond memories of going roof-rattling and never getting caught!!! My �gang� would raid the fruit trees in the gardens and those were the days when running (or riding on our bikes) around in the streets at 7 or 8 p.m. was never a threat to our safety.
I remember going to the Mangula Mine Club Swimming Pool (Baths) for only one reason that that was chaff all the boys � what can I say except that my reputation still remains after all these years!!! LOL Diving off the 3 meter board and being able to reach the bottom of the pool which I thought was so deep!!!!
Swimming in the reservoirs and muddy dams when visiting friends on the farms around Mangula.
I remember going to our neighbours to watch � wait for it �. The Lone Ranger and Tonto!!!!! I thought the actor (forgotten his name now!!!) was such a dish ��� Hehehe And who remembers Peyton Place??? Such scandal!!!!! The song �Pearly Shells� was Top of the Pops with Allan Riddel as the DJ on RTV. Listening to �The Creaking Door� on RBC and being terrified out of my wits so that when I went to bed I would check underneath it just to make sure there were no �googlies� hiding in the shadows!!!
The shift was all the rage and, you guessed it, my mother had one made by the Mine Store tailor. I will never forget it as long as I live � it was an outrageous pink with white polka dots. And to wear kid glove shoes or Chelsea boots with a shift was just the height of fashion!!!! The only thing I never did to keep in fashion was to have a �beehive� hairstyle!!!!!! ROTFL

I love reading other peoples' memories, because they always remind me of things I thought I'd forgotten! After the rains in Marandellas, we used to make "forts" in the wet sand and catch what we used to call "Doctor beetles" and put them in the fort. We always got very excited when they did something interesting like mating or fighting! And what about those horrid looking cutworm things that we used to pull out of their holes with a piece of long grass and then force to fight? Not to mention the shongololos we used to throw at each other. All much more fun than Barbies and Sony Playstation!
Hey, what about the school dances? The girls started putting in those horrendous plastic curlers early on Saturday morning, just to get the right effect!

Remember the exhilaration, walking on the platform at Bulawayo station, looking at all the name tags on the coaches, looking for your name, while the folks struggled along with the porter, pushing the those long banana shaped trollies.
The steam from the engines, the noise from the other travellers, all added to the excitement. Once the journey had begun, who could forget the scenery, bush fires or the sunsets at night, the slow passage across the Vic falls bridge.
Waking up in the morning and listening, for the clinking of the steward bringing the coffee, or the lunch and dinner gongs.
Changing trains at Kimberley, arriving at Cape Town, Ndola, or Beira, the list goes on.
And Guy Fawkes, well that�s another story.

I had forgotten all about that, with the marbs, glassies and smokies!! Wow, I really got a hiding the once for digging into my dad's marbs tin and "Borrowing" a whole load!! Funny how one word sets off all the memories, I have just remembered my brothers "doppie" collection. All vaious doppies glued onto a big board hung proudly in his bedroom! Being allowed to stay up late to find out who shot JR!!!! lol
I think sometimes it is great to just sit and remember, some of these things I haven't thought about in so many years! I dont usually do the whenweeeeee thing , but hey every now and then I think it is good to think about these things and take the heat out of life!!
I managed to get my hands on a copy of Jock of The Bushveld some time ago , my fav book as a kid, and my fav book now! The writing style is just fantastic and my son loves it when we read it.
I would love to get my hands on a copy of that film with all the animals, and the monkey's falling out of the tree because they were drunk, cant remember for the life of me the name of it! Any help ? Great kids film (and big kids of course!)
Going to the flicks and watching "paint your Wagon" ooooooooooooh and the man himself in the cowboy movies...the one, the only Terence Hill...LOL who was such a terrible actor and his sidekick Bud Spencer (oh dear I hope I haven�t muddled them up!)
Well, I hope everyone is getting as big a kick out of this memory therapy session as I am!
....who remembers those godawful pom pom brushed fluffy eeeeeewwwwwwwww poodle things that were in everyone�s bathrooms, toilet holder covers etc! and the kaylight mermaids and fish on the bathroom walls and the kaylight veges in kitchens! LOL
How about going to the Kine 600 during the holls for the "Bugs Bunny Special" or the one of the "Lassie" movies.
The Rainbow 7 Arts, sitting upstairs looking down at the screen and throwing popcorn in the path of the projector light. Being surrounded by all that dark velvet and thick carpeting, "necking" in the back row whilst the 'Forthcoming Atractions' blared out at you.
Anybody remember the portuguese take-aways next to the Kine 600 in Bulawayo, where all the kids used to buy greasy chips and fish-balls after the show, whilst waiting for their folks to pick them up?
Imagine that in thirty years time someone will post on a site like this one that they remember playing nintendo or watching the war in Afghanistan live on TV, between the Teletubbies and Pokemon every afternoon.
We lived a privileged existence, one that we can never give our children, and for this I am both grateful and sad.