What I did in my school holidays in July 1968 – Lemmy

What I did in my school holidays in July 1968

By Lemmy Hadassin

‘Twas a cold and smokey highveld, before the winter dawn

A Cessna four-seater, parked neatly on the lawn

The pilot checks the fuel as we all climb on board

Uncertain what’s ahead, a silent prayer to the Lord

Final year at school, I’m just sweet sixteen

Flying to De Aar in the Cape, where I’ve never ever been

My Dad and Bill Moffett, a job there to review

With the pilot, Arthur Webster, and me make up the crew

“Fasten seatbelts rather tightly”, Captain Webster’s call is clear

Nothing to worry about, and not much for me to fear

The engine sounds so noisy as my heart begins to pound

Down the runway at high speed the plane lifts off the ground

We’re flying high, it’s daylight, so much never seen before

A highway here, a farm over there, a dam and so much more

A thermos flask of coffee, and egg sandwiches for us to share

Should be at home studying, but I don’t really care

Flying over mountains, we’re close to our destination

The engine stops, the propeller slows, a worrying situation

The captain tries a restart, unfortunately no such luck

Lets out a loud profanity, which may well rhyme with duck

We glide over the hilltops, and the town is not that far

Perhaps we’ll land on the road, but this is not a car

Arthur spots a sandy track, a good landing’s on today

Little does he know there’s a wall mound in the way

We hit the ground with a mighty bump, the plane does a total flip

Landing upside down and skidding on, as I bit hard on my lip

Held hanging by the seatbelt, I should have stayed in bed

Undo the buckle, and lo and behold I fall onto my head

The Captain fears a fire and kicks out the side door

We scramble along the roof which has now become the floor

We’re out, we’re safe, just a few cuts and bruises to show

The plane’s a wreck, will I fly again – the answer’s a definite no

A farmer saw our plane above, gliding slowly into trouble

Appears with shovels, thought we were buried deep in rubble

Transport to the town, by I know not whom

Should we check-in and get a room?

I offer to ride home on the evening train

A ride on rails sounds good to my brain

Arthur says no – it’s like riding a bike

after falling off, get up and go for a hike

He calls the aero club from a call-box phone

“Send out a bigger plane to take us all home”

A six-seater arrives as sunset is near

An engine up front and one in the rear

The town folk turn out at the aero strip

To watch us fly off in this strange looking ship

My palms are all sweaty, my nerves are a-jitter

I may be a coward but I’m surely no quitter

The new pilot is cool, so I am much calmer

Gets us back home without further drama

Arthur’s bought a new Cessna – is he quite insane?

Will I ever choose to fly with him again?

Hazel & Lemmy Hadassin
2nd Battalion Transvaal Scottish Circa 1972
Rev Sholem Moshe and Bertha (Bluma) Hadassin. Lemmy’s grandparents. Rev in Bloemfontein until 1950


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