It must have been the summer of '81, when Nicky, our eldest daughter, started pestering us to go to a Disco! The answer was "No! Definitely not! You are far too young!" Over the next few weeks, she wheedled and cajoled; begged, pleaded and threatened! Eventually, her Dad and I came to an agreement with her. Dad said, "Okay, on one condition, Mom goes with you!"
Nicky's little heart was filled with joy, and news was quickly spread around the class at school! Before I knew it, I was chaperoning a car-full of young teenagers! Oh my goodness! What had I let myself in for? I had just become "Mom's Taxi"!
Thus, began "our Friday nights out!" Dad stayed at home, very obligingly, to look after our two younger girls.
I must add, at this point, that our daughters had a whole host of friends. Buzz bikes were all the rage, and most of the boys were riding these 50cc vehicles. Most of the girls could only dream of riding them. (Although Angel, our youngest daughter, attempted to ride one across our front lawn. She "popped a wheelie" before crashing into our pre-cast wall... Luckily with no damage to herself or the wall. The bike sustained serious scratches!)
When Friday nights came around, I had to seek out my slinkiest jeans, and a suitable foxy top; just so that I could "blend in" with the crowd. I didn't want to look like a chaperone, nor spoil their fun. (I must admit, though, I had lots of fun myself! Much to Nicky's disgust, lots of high school boys asked me to dance too.)
One Friday night, the station wagon filled to capacity, we set out for the "Disco" to have a "jol" (jolly good time). As we got to the big T-junction, Nicky, in the front seat with me, shouted "Mom, there goes Coenie!" I followed her pointing finger, to see a young man on a buzz-bike whizz past... Doing about 40km an hour. (More noise than speed on those things!) "Quick, mom, follow him. He is going in the wrong direction!" So, I obediently turned right, to follow said motor vehicle. Not a problem, I thought, not at that speed! So, off we set, in hot pursuit... What would we do with that noisy contraption when we caught it?
With the gang of kids in the back, urging me to greater speed, I diligently followed. As slow as that bike was going, I could not seem to lessen the distance between us. Soon the last of the street lights dwindled behind us... We were entering an area of small holdings.
Now, I was reduced to following a small red tail-light. With the kids behind me, literally breathing down my neck, I followed that little red light, like my life depended on it! The whole wagon-load of girls, cheering; whooping and shrieking as they egged me onward.
Suddenly, the red light made a right turn. I hung a right too! I soon found that we were now travelling down a dirt road with a "middel-mannetjie" (two tracks with long grass in between). Long summer grass brushed the wagon on either side. We bumped on... And on... Seemingly for ages. Then, right before our eyes, the light vanished! Gone! Poof! Just like that! No turning, or swerving... Just gone!
I stopped the wagon where we thought the light had disappeared. We all got out, and by the light from the headlights, searched the sides of the road for signs of a rider... A bike... A turn-off. Nothing! Not even a bent blade of grass could we find.
We eventually all piled back into the vehicle, feeling very disappointed at not catching our quarry. We went on to the disco that night, but the "fizz had gone out of the champagne." Coenie never rolled up later, as Nicky and Co. Were hoping. To tell you the absolute truth... I don't remember ever seeing Coenie again!