Saturday, June 09, 2007

Milestones in my Life (1968-1983)

1. My birth - Pretoria, South Africa 1968 - 1st of October. It was a tough one. I came out of the womb with a bluish-tint and required the expertise of a university professor for delivery.

2. Surviving Infancy - Thanks Mom and Dad and of course G-d. I was hospitalized for Asthma at Age three. Experience was very traumatic.

2A. Birth of my sister Lana - 1970.

3. Conversations with my Grandad - on the bible, history, the War (WWII). He passed away shortly after my eighth birthday - November 1976.

3A. Birth of my sister Debbie - 1973.

4. Senior Kindergarten - 1974 - hated it for the most part. Poor Reports indicate that I would struggle in Primary School.

5. Starting Primary School - Jan 1975 - My parents had already taught me to read, write and apply basic arithmetic. The year was a breeze. I excel in Primary School. Parents help me start a Matchbox Toy Collection. For more see: http://www.matchboxtoys.com/home.aspx).

6. Learning about the World from my Dad at a young age. Father will encourage me to read, read and read. My passion is history and geography. Early heroes are Nelson, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Duke of Marlborough, Henry V. Source of reading:
Look and Learn (see http://www.lookandlearn.com/) amongst others. At around the same time I become fascinated by all things British - this will change over the years.

7. The US Elections in 1976 and the Soweto Riots of the Same year - my first intro. to politics.

8. I become an instant footer fan in 1976 after Grandmother (Ruth) introduces me to Sticker Cards - Liverpool 4 Ever. Go Reds. Starting Collecting Brit Coms at about the same time: Roy of the Rovers, Tiger, Battle Action etc.

9. Grade 4 - Excellent teacher - Miss Fereirra. They don't make too many Math teachers like her anymore as far as I can tell.

10. Encephalitis - Summer 1978 - almost died - no damage - Thank G-d.

11. 1979 - Trip to the US and Canada - Visited New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Rockies, LA, San Fran, Las Vegas. Finally ended off in London before flying home to Johannesburg. Thatcher becomes British PM ending years of Labour drudgery.

12. 1980 - Won School wide General Knowledge Competition. Represented school in Jewish-Day School Match up. Finished third. Represented school in Bible Quiz Contest in the same year.
In the same year I survived another life threatening Asthma attack. Overdosed on Ventolin as well. Nevertheless I was intensley involved in swimming especially the Breaststroke.

13. British Lions Rugby team tour South Africa in 1980 - I followed the tour religiously.
Passion for Sci Fi Cultivated at about this time: 2000AD, Judge Dredd, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Battle Star Galactica were amongst my favourites. Reagan defeats Carter. I was hoping for a Carter victory. I will never be so foolish again. Carter - the worst post-war President that the US ever had - more proof why the young shouldn't vote.

14. 1981 - Barmitzvah Year - My portion is Bereshit - the first in the Torah. My parents have a ceremony in a tent in our front Garden. It turns out to to be one of the coldest summer nights of the year - oh well.

15. 1982 - World Cup in Spain. Another event that I followed intensely. England went out of the tournament without losing a match. Italy were the eventual winners 3-1 over West Germany.
I saw the final in my Uncle's House in Toronto, Canada.

16. 1982 - Grades drop and I goof off - Teacher labels me class clown - My Dad is NOT impressed. This represents a turning point in my school studies.

17. 1982 - Second Trip to US and Canada. Visited my Uncle in Toronto, New York, Washington, New Orleans. Finished off in Switzerland before going home.

18. 1983 - Leave Carmel and start education in Public System - Pretoria Boys High School.
http://www.boyshigh.com/. Most difficult year of my life. I suffered constant harrasment but managed to tread the water. Very Strong Grades in History, Accountancy and Geography. Struggled in Art, Industrial Art and Afrikaans. Still underperforming in Math and the Sciences.

.........To be Continued......Next Instalment....(1984-1987)
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