It is now that with trepidation I introduce you to Grandfather McGee, my grandfather on my mother’s side, her adoptive father. Avery McGee is what his name was, as an accomplished liar as you would ever have the pleasure to meet. The difference between an amateur liar and the truly accomplished is not in the lies per se, but in the ability to remember them so well that if questioned years later, they are repeated word for word.
Avery was not only an accomplished liar, but had been a major womaniser all his life and at the age of sixty odd had not changed his ways, the woman had remained the same age as in his youth or had become younger, only he had aged. Avery, I refuse to call him Grandfather, lived in a town by the name of Komatipoort and was the barman for the Komatipoort motel.
In his day he had been quite the adventurer, running away to sea at age twelve, fighting in as many wars as he was able, making vast fortunes and giving them away to indulge in wine women and song. When he applied his mind he was a successful businessman.
The reason that my Granny divorced him was not because of his womanising, but because he just disappeared one bright morning. This was in the middle of World War two, at the time he had a very successful car dealership in Durban and one morning had left for work as normal and never returned. Granny was beside herself, and the police were brought in to find his body, it turned out that on his way to work he had decided he was bored with selling automobiles and enlisted into the army to go and fight in the war. It never crossed his mind that he should notify anyone. Once it was established he was not dead, a manager was found to run the business until the end of the war, but when Avery did not return Granny sold the business for a large profit and moved my mother to Johannesburg for health reasons, mainly my mother’s asthma.
Granny being the pioneering spirit that she was had all her and mother’s belongings sent by train to Johannesburg and proceeded to drive from Durban to her new home. In the early nineteen fifties the road was not very pleasant and there were many men who would not have even attempted the journey.
Granny did not divorce Avery even then, and waited for his home coming, assuming that he was still busy in Europe helping with the reconstruction and that she would hear from him sooner if not later. Avery having left the European theatre of war had proceeded to join in the Colonialist uprisings in Africa, fighting on both sides if truth be told and being rather well paid for it no doubt.
After a few years he decided that Granny must have divorced him by now, proceeded to remarry in Kenya and proceeded to have the son he had always wanted, Teddy. Fortunately, for him that is, his new wife died a few years later, either from Malaria or some other disease, before it was discovered that he was in a polygamous relationship. Granny only divorced him when he returned to South Africa with Teddy in tow.
I do not think the reason was because of his marriage, but rather that Teddy was a constant reminder of what she could not give him, an heir of his own blood. Avery went away with Teddy and they lived a life as ‘Great White Hunters’ all over Africa, only returning to the Republic when their services were not wanted by the strife torn region. Teddy was never given a formal education, and it was when he finally married Magda, that he, due to her influence, managed to obtain a matric.
Now you know a little of Avery’s history. I will now tell of his special talent in creating “Children of The Grave”
Lots of Hugs and more,