RIP Dave Nichol

(c) 2015 Edward C Lunnon

8 years 7 months ill …

Physical: Deuce / Mental:  Deuce

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TvYTl0qAvcQ

Dave Nichol was a part of us – us being a number of people here in the Port Elizabeth area who have various forms of neurological diseases.

He passed away last week and his funeral will be on Wednesday. 

Every time we lose one of our group it’s like losing a part of us! This disease slowly takes parts of us and then slowly takes parts of our group! It stealthily works its way through the group. It is a silent killer!

We shall miss you Dave and our sympathy is extended to all your family and friends.

This is also Easter weekend with many people taking to the roads, heading for various holiday destinations. Many will also not return home as the slaughter continues on our roads. My family is at St Francis Bay and I spent the day there yesterday. The rain has been pouring down – maybe we wont have water restrictions after all! Electrical load shedding will continue, and St Francis and the costal areas were without electricity for most of the day yesterday!

Easter comes from the word eastre which was a pagan festival and Germanic Godess of the Spring. It is celebrated by Christian people as the Resurrection Day of Jesus Christ and always takes place on the Sunday after the first full moon following the 21st March. 

Tomorrow we head off for Cape Town  to be interviewed for our USA visas. The documents are filed, the forms completed and now remains the interviews. What a mission! Today is also 6 April, the day on which Jan van Riebeeck – the first European to permanently settle at the Cape – arrived at what is now called Cape Town!

I wonder if van Riebeck travelled on a Dutch or a Schengen passport. Did Harry the Strandloper personally check the visas of the arriving party?  Maybe if they had known then what they know now, they would have just sailed on past Africa and gone to Australia instead! They only wanted to open a tuck shop and look at all the trouble it’s caused!

We used to celebrate it as a public holiday, but that is inappropriate in the new South Africa, and, shame, in the present political climate in our country, he is blamed for all the ills in the history of our past. I guess his statue will tumble too, together with all the others that are being torn down. We live in a volatile South Africa  – some would say it is the beginning of our “African Spring”. 

Of course, despite all this spring talk, we are heading for autumn and winter here in the southern hemisphere, with Pera and i having  an extra summer thrown in later in June.

It’s all a bit confusing. When I first visited the USA i told a friend that I had left South Africa in the summer and arrived in the States in the winter. Her reply was “Oh, my God, does it take that long to get here from Africa!”

Luckily, our trip to Vancouver will be far less than that!

This Wednesday will be the 257th interview with Lance on AlgoaFM, with four more to go. I shall write more of that next time. The journey is fast coming to an end … 

  • E-tickets check
  • Car rental check
  • Drivers licence check
  • USA visa pack check
  • Photographs check
  • Canadian visa pack check
  • Credit card check
  • Club card check
  • ID card check
  • Check
  • Check
  • Check
  • Check

I’ll Follow the Sun

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Saturday 24 August 2013: 6 years 11 months on …

Advantage ED!

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We live in Ryan Street, Westview Extension, Port Elizabeth.

I bought the house in 1985 shortly after arriving in Port Elizabeth. It cost me R59 000 and included the curtains. We argued about whether the price included the asbestos post box!

I really couldn’t afford the house when I bought it – I had budgeted for a maximum of R50 000, but bugger it – in for a penny in for a pound, was my thought at the time!

I’m now arguing with the municipality as to whether the value of my house should really be R1,8 million rand! Maybe I should throw away that letter box and reduce the value!

The Lloyds lived just up the road from me – in Westview Drive, Westview, Port Elizabeth.

Grant and I coached rugby together at Grey in 1986/7. He had matriculated in 1983.

His brother Guy (aka Sarel!) was still at school and captained Dickie Ogilvie’s Third rugby team in 1986. Sarel is a member of the class of 1986. He is now a pilot with the national airline.

Dickie was a colleague of mine. I was often a non-paying boarder on the floor behind the brown couch at their home in Villiers Road (especially after nights out in the Bay)! He taught Biology and, besides the rugby prowess, had also played cricket for Eastern Province.

I left teaching in September 1986 for the business world. My mother passed away at age 55 in November of 1986. I returned to teaching in January 1987!

Alec Watermeyer, like me born in 1956 and Colleen Ogilvie’s brother who was farming Doorndraai near Aberdeen, passed away early in 1987.

Dickie and Colleen left teaching and Port Elizabeth in December 1987 to farm Doorndraai. I spent that Christmas with them and the extended Watermeyer/Murray on the farm.

In the Ogilvie display cabinet in the sunroom of Doorndraai are little porcelain men, some three centimetres high, in blue shirts and white shorts and numbers on their back from 1 to 15 – the mighty Third Team of 1986.

Even the faces are replicas of the original school boys who played in that team.  They were a gift from Sarel and the boys to their coach at the end of his last rugby season at Grey.

Just before Christmas 1987, Grant Lloyd went to the USA. I joined him in New York City on Boxing Day 1987 just after coming back from Christmas at Doorndraai.

We had Delta Travel passes. They enabled us to travel on Delta as standby passengers anywhere, anytime within the 48 contiguous (love that word!) states of the Union.

So we started off in The Big Apple and spent New Years eve and smoked weed on Times Square. I gave up smoking on the top of the World Trade centre on that evening. It was just too damn cold in the snow to keep my hands out of my pockets to hold a cigarette!

The World Trade Centre passed away on 9/11 of 2001 (all four of us Lunnons were on holiday in the USA in that September/ October of 2001!).

Grant and I planned our American tour as follows: each day we bought a copy of the USA Today. On the back page of that newspaper was a map of the USA detailing the weather forecast. We looked for the places with the good weather and flew there next.

We followed the sun!

I hope I can remember this correctly:

So from NYC we flew on to Houston, then New Orleans, then Orlando and Disney World and the Kennedy Space Centre, then Fort Lauderdale. There we rented a car and drove down to Key West, Florida.

From Miami we flew on via Dallas,Texas to Phoenix, Arizona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Then we went back to Flagstaff and Phoenix and then on to San Diego, California. We took the train south to Mexico.

Then we rented a car and drove north to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, and on to San Francisco. On the way we stopped at Pebble Beach to walk on the hallowed golf course (it was too expensive to play!)

From ‘Frisco we flew to Salt Lake City and on to Seattle. Then the long haul trip from west to east all the way back to Atlanta, Georgia.

It was there, after a month of travelling, that Grant and I parted our ways. Grant came back to South Africa, I went on to Washington DC and then back to Oklahoma City and Sulphur, where I had lived as an exchange student in 1975.

Before I returned home in April 1987 (I had to return to teaching in the second term), I did one last flight from OKC to Orlando to pick up a very large Mickey Mouse for my godson, Robbie Ogilvie.

Mickey sat in the chair next to me on my return trip from Dallas via Frankfurt, Nairobi and Johannesburg and on to Port Elizabeth. He now resides on Doorndraai  on the Plains of the Camdeboo in the vicinity of Aberdeen, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

I could write a book to add to the above seven paragraphs of our itinerary. It is but the skeleton of a trip of a lifetime that I shared with Grant Lloyd. I have a very thick album of photographs, USA 1987, that documents that tour of ours – the cities, the people, the backpackers’ inns, the hotels, the cars, the scenery …

We followed the sun!

It is no small wonder that I was shocked and saddened to hear yesterday that Grant passed away this week in Johannesburg, after having been involved in a motorcycle accident.

My thoughts and condolences are with his wife and family, his parents, his brother Guy and all his friends and colleagues that he touched during his all-too-short life.

RIP Grant.

I am certain that the tour will continue. Just follow the Son.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VhNHJWS2O88

One day you’ll look to see I’ve gone
For tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.
Some day you’ll know I was the one
But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go.
And though I lose a friend,
In the end you will know, oooh.
One day you’ll find that I have gone
But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.
Yes, tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go.
And though I lose a friend,
In the end you will know, oooh.
One day you’ll find that I have gone
But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.

  

 

Ich bin ein Berliner

Tuesday 3 May 2011:  4 years 8 months on … ADVANTAGE CBD

Today would have been my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. My father, Herbert Louis Lunnon, was of English and Dutch descent and my mother, Doris Stanbridge, was of English and Irish descent.

They were married in The Strand on 3 May 1951. Sadly, both have passed on – my Dad at age 60 in 1976 and my Mom at age 55 in 1986.

I am the second of four children and the only son, born in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

I am a South African.

John F Kennedy, President of the United States, an American citizen, Irish by descent, made a speech in Berlin in 1963.

He said “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).

He was underlining the support of the United States for West Germany 22 months after the Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall as a barrier to prevent movement between East and West.

The speech is considered one of Kennedy’s best, and a notable moment of the Cold War. It was a great morale boost for West Berliners, who lived in an exclave deep inside East Germany and feared a possible East German occupation. Speaking from a platform erected on the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg, Kennedy said,

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’

In this week of the killing of Osama Bin Laden north of Islamabad, Pakistan, I can say I take pride in the words “I am an African American. I am an Okie!  I am an Honorary Citizen of the Great State of Oklahoma!”

Not because I want to be controversial, but because those titles were conferred on me in 1975.

I have written before that I was selected as a Rotary Exchange Student in 1974 and headed off to the USA in January 1975. I stood on the roof of the World Trade Centre in New York City and the world was at my feet.

I headed off via Chicago to Sulphur, Oklahoma and attended Grade 12 at Sulphur High School. Having been there just three weeks, I wrote the following in the Sulphur Bulldog 1975 – the school yearbook Vol 23 (1975):

The purpose of Rotary Student Exchange is to exchange understanding, and to build up fellowship and goodwill between people of different races and cultures by staying among them and becoming a part of them. I have come to you from The Strand, near Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, to do just this, but whether I will succeed or not, remains to be written in the book which I have set aside on my private shelf, that book for the memories which will be written within my life this year – the memories forming an Adventure in the “Volumes of Life.”

After three weeks … I know … that this book which is being written, is going to be a number one best-seller! I have been made more than welcome in Sulphur, I have been accepted into the community, and I have been made a part of it …

I can say now, with confidence, that like reading a book, I am going to be reluctant to finish the last page of 1975.

And so, I can say too that in October 1975 I had the great honour of having United States Senator Dewey F. Bartlett confer on me the official right and privilege to designate myself as the bearer of the proud and historic title of OKIE.

And on 1 December 1975, in Oklahoma City, Governor David L. Boren designated and appointed me as an Honorary Citizen of the Great State of Oklahoma.

During 1975 I was privileged to travel through North America, from Galveston in the south to Winnipeg in the north and from Los Angeles in the west to New York City in the east.

It was the beginning of a relationship that continues to this day. In 1989, I spent three months in the USA, travelling from Mexico to Seattle, from San Francisco to Washington DC, from Las Vegas to New Orleans, from San Diego to Orlando, from Salt Lake City to Houston and from the Grand Canyon to Key West. On a Delta travel pass, Grant Lloyd and I followed the good weather around the United States, and experienced all it has to offer – from sea to shining sea!  

I have water-skied on the Lake of the Arbuckles and the Lakes of Minnesota and I have snow-skied in the Rockies. I have walked the trails of Aspen, Colorado and the greens of Pebble Beach, California. I have weeded the roads of Murray County, Oklahoma and have smoked the weed in Times Square, New York! I have wondered at and touched the stars of God’s creation in the deserts of Nevada to the 13000 feet above sea-level trails at the Maroon Bells behind Snowmass Lake in the Rocky Mountains.

 In 1999, I attended the University of Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida and experienced Disneyworld for the second time (after also having been to Disneyland in Anaheim, California on a previous occassion.)

On 20 September 2001, just days after Bin Laden orchestrated the attacks on the Twin Towers, our whole family flew from London, right over New York, on our way to Atlanta, Georgia and Table Rock, Missouri. Sean was 8 and Phillip was 5 but we remember the smoke billowing up from Ground Zero into the clear blue September autumn skies of the Big Apple. For a month, we experienced the unity, the togetherness and patriotism of a country that had war declared on it.

The Land of the Free was no longer so free. (You even had to go through beady eye machines – something that we had grown up with in apartheid South Africa!)

I am happy, that almost ten years later the Home of the Brave has won that so-important battle in the War against terror. 

And I am so happy that in two weeks’ time, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Port Elizabeth will be producing the musical OKLAHOMA! in the Savoy Theatre. It is especially significant and humbling that the profits of the premiere of that show will be donated to the Lunnon Family Trust Fund – a fund established to assist with our sons’ education costs and my future medical expenses.

“If I were to die today, my life would be more than Okay”

I thank God for an extra-ordinary and very privileged life.  

 

The Great State of Oklahoma

To all who shall see these presents, Greeting:

This is to certify that

EDWARD LUNNON

THE STRAND, SOUTH AFRICA

Is hereby designated and appointed

HONORARY CITIZEN OF OKLAHOMA

With all rights and privileges pertaining thereto, with the obligation to fully enjoy the innate hospitality, natural beauty and vast resources of this great state and to carry the word that Oklahoma is striving to create a model of excellence for the nation.

Given under my hand in the City of Oklahoma City

This 1st day of December 1975.

David L Boren, Governor

State of Oklahoma

—————————————————————————————— 

State of Oklahoma

Dewey F. Bartlett

United States Senator

Whereas,

The citizens of Oklahoma have pride and affection towards the name of OKIE, and whereas, today’s OKIE has the opportunity to look around him, at his state’s growth and enthusiasm, to see the better world he lives in, knowing that “We belong to the land and the land we belong to is grand”; and WHEREAS, today’s OKIE enjoys his state’s lakes and rich lands, its vibrant economy and vital growth.

NOW, THERFORE, I, DEWEY F BARTLETT, SENATOR OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, do hereby take great pleasure in conferring upon

EDWARD LUNNON

The official right and privilege to designate himself as the bearer of the proud and historic title of

OKIE

This title is conferred with the strong belief that an OKIE is a fortunate, gifted and versatile person and the further belief that it is great to be an OKIE, knowing further that this entitles the bearer to be an honoured citizen from

 Oklahoma, Key to Intelligence andEnterprise.

Done on this, the 13th day of October 1975.

Dewey F Bartlett

United States Senator

Fasten Your Seatbelts!

3 October 2010: 4 years 1 month on …

Fuddruckers is a chain of hamburger restaurants in the United States.

We went there for lunch on the way to Atlanta’s O’Hare International Airport when we were returning to South Africa after our month-long holiday in Georgia and Missouri in the USA in October 2001. It was the day that the United States declared war on Afghanistan, after the Twin Towers had been destroyed on September 11.

Sean was nine and Phillip was six.

They loved Fuddruckers. From a lengthy menu, you get to order your specific favourite roll and your specific hamburger patty. Then you go around the various food stations in the restaurant and add on whatever your heart desires – different relishes, garnishes, cheeses, tomatoes, onions, etc etc etc … and you end up with a burger as tall as the Twin Towers used to be! And you could eat as much as your heart desires!

So, we decided that the theme for last night’s party should be a Fuddruckers Build-a-Burger evening. Bring your own patties which we braaied and you add the rest!

The reason for the party was simple!

When we were in East London in August to play Selborne College, Rob and Anneline Parker had sat next to us at the Grey Orchestra concert.  Rob was quite emotional about that being the last weekend of our matric sons’ rugby and music at the school. After all, as parents, we had spent the last twelve years next to the sports fields together and attending various concerts and functions.

We had discussed this in the car on the way home to Port Elizabeth, and I suggested that we have a party to celebrate this milestone in our lives. We decided to party in order to celebrate Sean’s leaving school, my birthday on 18 September and my 4th birthday with CBD, Pera’s birthday today, Sean’s birthday on 20 May and Phillip’s birthday on 7 July – we decided to celebrate Life!

The Fuddruckers theme came easily – the date came with great difficulty. Every date we chose already had something else planned. Eventually, we settled on Saturday 2 October and we invited Sean’s class mates and their parents – people who have been a part of our lives over the past twelve years.

We need the rain, Lord, but please not on this Saturday night!

Despite Windguru and the SA Meteorological Agency saying otherwise, the weather looked like it was going to be miserable, so we put up Pera’s large family tent in the garden and a gazebo on the back patio.

But God gave us a rain-free and a wind-free evening … And so, last night, we had some sixty people celebrating at our home – transformed into a Fuddruckers for the evening.

I had thought of saying a few words, but decided not to interrupt the festivities, mostly because I think I would have been too emotional.

This is what I would have said to our eighteen year old sons (and to all those children in South Africa) who are about ready to leave high school in three weeks’ time (and what I did get to say on Tuesday before they left school):

Rector, Men of the Grey: 2010

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you.

Some of you call me Mr Lunnon

Others say Uncle Ed

For some it’s just Ed

For just one (I hope!), it’s Dad

And a few say Sir!

But the first time I stood on the stage in this hall

Everyone in front of me called me Sir

despite the fact that

I was but a few years older than you are now.

That was because I had just started my first job here

As a teacher at The Grey.

None of you were even born yet

After all, that was 26 years ago.

Not much has changed in this hall since then.

The faces have changed,

And the unlicensed pub, called Kim, that was run by the BODAS

Under this very floor, during those years,

No longer operates!

  

Unlike past generations, most of you, from the present generation, have flown

Wherever you fly in the world, the procedure is basically the same

And most of you will be familiar with that procedure

 

The whole flying procedure reminds me of our life journey too

Much of it is in the preparation

And that is what you have been busy with up until now

 

You have been packing your bags for the last 18 years

You have been planning your flights

You have booked your tickets

You have passed the initial checking-in requirements

The bags are now loaded onto the flight

You have taken up your seats

 

Right now you are taxi-ing to that final point on the runway before you stop for a while

You fasten your seat belts

Make sure your seats are in the upright position

And the tray tables are stowed away in front of you

 

The pilot does the last final tests and checks

And if everything is OK you will be cleared for take-off

And then the real journey gets underway

 

For the next two months you will be busy with those final tests and examinations

If you pass and all is ok, early in January 2011 your name will appear in the newspaper

You will receive your school-leaving certificate

You will be cleared for take-off

 

But no-one just flies off arbitrarily

The destinations and the goals are set

Each of you will be on a different flight

 Each headed in a different direction

 

Some of you will fly first class – some economy class

Some are “lucky” and may get upgraded along the way

Some will be squeezed in – some will travel comfortably

The ride sometimes is smooth

Sometimes bumpy

Sometimes the cabin crew is something good for the eye

Sometimes not

Sometimes the meals and drinks are free

Sometimes not

Sometimes you are diverted

Sometimes on time and sometimes not

Sometimes the journey goes according to plan

And sometimes the journey ends catastrophically.

  

Many of you are aware that, four years ago,

I was diagnosed with a very rare terminal illness

And that I was given but a few years to live.

I had never thought then that I would make today.

Please don’t wait for such a life-changing event

To shock you into living!

 

As we sit here today – no one knows what the future ride will be like

 

But whatever happens –

Ensure that you enjoy the ride – every single moment of it

As from now!

Make the most of each opportunity that comes your way

And, moreover, when they don’t come your way, make opportunities

Plan and set yourself goals

Participate in everything

Enjoy the view

Take many walks and smell the roses

Speak to your traveling companions

Rest

Enjoy the refreshments

Drink as much as possible – water that is!

Stop every now and then to listen to the music

Read your in-flight material – as much as possible

I have found my Bible full of travel tips

You may wish to read yours, too.

And put your travels in the Hands of the Great Captain.

 

Marvel at the wonder of your trip.

 

As your parents and teachers, we have confused you at times

We have taught you morals and rules,

But at the same time we told you that

Snow White sleeps with 7 men

Tarzan is half naked

Cinderella comes home way after midnight

Pinocchio tells lies

Aladdin is the king of thieves

Batman drives at 200 kph!

It’s no wonder you mess up sometimes!

 

But, as your parents we have brought you successfully to this point of departure

For the first time our paths will now go separate ways

We will watch you as you fly off and disappear into the distance

But we will always be there for you to return

Our cell phones will always be on for you

It will be up to you to turn yours on to call us

Hopefully not only when you need us

But also when you just want to chat and share with us

And tell us where you are in your journey

 

But whilst we see you off at this time

Remember that we are also on our flights of life

Just in front of you

All that you will experience we have experienced before you

And we can often give advice – available to you at any time

Heed that advice

And, God willing, as we see you off on your life journeys today

There will be that one day that we will be waiting for you

When you eventually arrive at that Destination that we believe we are all headed to

 

 

We wish you good luck for your examinations

We wish you good luck for your journey

We wish you pleasant weather conditions

We wish you lots of leg-room

We wish you pretty air hostesses

We wish you great traveling companions

Above all, we wish you safe traveling

And happy landings

 

Over the next few days you will receive many words of wisdom

There is an Old Mutual advert flighted on TV at the moment

It says:

We get wisdom in many different ways

It’s what we do with it that counts.

 

Your life is now in your hands!

 

(And Happy Birthday wishes to my wife, Pera, today – may there be many happy returns of the day!)

PS. Fuddruckers is not a bad word used to describe naughty schoolboys, as many Grey boys think, after our friend John Clarke heard us use the word and decided to call them Fuddruckers!