Remember those days when we all had autograph books? (OK Youngster, excluding you – you will not remember.) Your friends, nearest and dearest would write a message, some words of wisdom or a joke in your autograph book. On the last page of every single autograph book in the world, someone hurried to write: “By hook or by crook, I’m the last in your book” – with their name and date. There was also the endless stream of “Roses are red, violets are blue …” variants. I still giggle like I did when I first read this version as school boy:
“Violets are red, Roses are blue.
I’m not a poet …
Well, that was obviously not in my book.
It was very special to have a message and signature of a famous person in your book. As a passionate rugby supporter I spent a whole Saturday morning in the hotel foyer where the 1970 All Black team had stayed in my hometown. I still treasure their signatures – Brian Lochore, Colin Meads, Ian Kirkpatrick … the whole team. My prized signatures, though, were those of the Springbok captain, Dawie de Villiers and the legendary Frik du Preez.
In these uncertain and, for many, troublesome times, I want to give to you these wise words that my dear mom wrote in my autograph book when I was 10 years old (free translation):
“The best advice to steady those trembling knees during daunting and uncertain times, is – kneel on them. Love, Mom.”
Stay safe and spread love … nothing else.