The Things You Remember

My dad also wrote a book.  What I remember is a chaotic heap of papers, pockmarked with cigarette burns that seemed to grow every time we moved.  I never caught him at it.

The first time I saw this pile was when we moved to Rustenburg, frontier post of the Kalahari Desert and unpacked this one big old trunk that belonged to my dad’s parents. I was seven.  My dad was back doing shift work on the mines, platinum this time.  We’d just spent two years in Zimbabwe where he managed a sisal plantation (a species of aloe used to make rope and mats).  We might’ve stayed longer if there hadn’t been an African uprising over wages when I almost died from eating bread the rebels had laced with strychnine.  By then my dad’s stack of paper was as high as a small end table, ratty as hell and tied with string.

The thing is my dad had a lot to write about.  He would’ve made a good David Livingstone, that intrepid Scotsman who became the first European to explore the central and southern parts of Africa, famous for discovering the Victoria Falls.  By the time my dad married my mother, who at first refused his offer of marriage—he’d already been engaged three times—he’d traveled the length and breadth of South Africa at a time when it was mostly dirt roads and wild animals were still plentiful.  He even tried to make it up to the Congo by himself in a banged up 1930’s Model A Ford.  He didn’t make it.  No roads to speak of.

I bring this up now because I’m doing a final on my memoir, Loveyoubye, and it just hit me that he’d written a book.  How could I have forgotten that?  I can’t ask him or my mother what it was about.  They both on passed years ago.  I’ll never know.  It’s been quite the wild ride writing this memoir.


3 thoughts on “The Things You Remember

  1. Sandra,

    I just read “Things You Remember,” “The Beach,” and “About Rossandra White.” Delightful! Looking forward to reading more. Just learned more about you in 2 minutes than 20 years as neighbors……so where is your writing published? On line?

    I don’t remember if I thanked you for your sweet comments about my clay work and website when I first received your email, but in case I did not, ‘thank you.’

    I like your website also. Did you have someone do it or is it a template that you adapted for your writing. I did mine with the Apple Iweb software, and while I am satisfied with the overall result, it is somewhat limited and would like to do more. The photography, by the way, is also mine. It’s something else that I play with. 🙂


    1. Thanks Sandy! I stand revealed. It’s a WordPress do-it-yourself template. I’ve had excerpts from my books published, won contests, had an agent and then an editor, who loved my work. But. VERY long story short, the publishing field is not doing well, e-publishing is taking over and well known authors are self-publishing on the web; they can make more money and it doesn’t take as long to get the book out there. Here’s the thing though, they have the platform and the notoriety so it’s a cinch for them. I’m going to have to work a helluva lot harder to get “noticed” as it were. Hence the website, the first step. So meanwhile, I’m sending out queries, entering more contests–a way to build a following and get noticed–as well as continuing to write. But as you can see I need to get on the stick writing more on my blog.

      Rossandra (that’s actually my real name)

  2. Just happened to find your website through SHe Writes. Yes–please do! (write that is). You’ve had a very interesting life. This reader wants to know more. Best of luck, Diane

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