A Ratho Mill Wedding: Elsa and Denty. As I look at this picture so many memories and stories to be told. Thanks to Robert Young who submitted it and Sonja for finding it. ..
There is even a picture of me and I am standing next to someone who gave me some tutoring in photography. Left to Right, the Anglican Priest was "Father Mike Odlum". He had the luxury of an air-conditioned darkroom at the Calliaqua/Rathomill Rectory. I had just started to work with 35 mm photography and did the darkroom bit. I remembered some super shots he had taken of a whale in Bequia. It was at least a 16 x 20 inch black and white photo. IIt would be nice to include some of his St.Vincent photos. t was here that I got a few tips about type of film to use, exposure and a book on the "Art of developing" (photographic negatives). Anyway he fell in love with Charmaine Issacs and married her and at the end of his term, they went to England. A recent e-mail indicates that the union produced a son and they still live in England. I also remember pestering Father Odlum on the tenets of the Christian faith as my perception of science, logic and spirituality seemed to be in conflict.
There is probably a story of a fellow in this picture who use to loan his car out occasionally. One story was that it was parked out at one of several romantic spots in St.Vincent. I hear that the practice of covering the license plate with bush to prevent identification at the 'lovers site was prevalent. Well the fellow forgot to remove the bush and was driving back through town with bush on the license plate which was a dead giveaway not only resulting in tarnished reputations to the occupants of the car but to the owner of the car. I also heard that the loans of the car ceased immediately.
So much to tell about the teen years in Rathomill:
The late night raid on a mango tree: it did not help that we were stoning it bringing down ripe and green ones and having to run like hell when threatened by cutlas wielding owner who uttered something like "if a catch all yo mudda A**** - needless to say that we did not stick around to hear the rest.
The masochistic game of "Corkings" as it was played on the "Canash'" (Rathomill Careenage) beach. It was quite simple: and only required a tennis ball, a good pair of legs and a sting-proof back . One player would obtain the ball and his victory was to fire the ball at someone as hard as possible to 'cork' him. Anyone without the ball would stay close enough to get him to fire the ball but not so close that you would receive a 'corking'. Often there would be mad scrambles to get away from the ball and once it had been fired then there was a mad scramble to get the ball.
Further along the beach and after the corkings game we would draw a 'wicket high' line on the back of a coconut tree and we would scrounge for any kind of batting instrument: broad drift wood or the branch of a coconut tree shaped to size. Bowling was not necesarrily the order of the day as the action more resembled the act of 'stoning'. When the tennis ball (we called it Flannel ball) was not available, green limes or non-rounded almond fruits were used. This required the batsmen to develop extraordinary hand-eye coordination. At the end of the cricket game. we would then sprint at full speed along the beach and plunge into the water for swimming, liming, 'eyeing', duckings and others activities.
Don't know if the short-cut Gulley between Calliaqua and Rathomill still exists but as the story is told, a few knew that this was the route some Girl Guides would take to get home as the sun was setting. On one and only one occassion, a couple of guys had white sheets and something to generate the sound of rattling chains. They hid and as the girls passed , they stood up making unintelligible sounds. The girls ran like hell to the great amusement of the pranksters.
I remember a delicious roasted breadfruit on the beach: Prior to roasting it on an open fire, A tubular core was made inside of the breadfruit and a mixture of corned beef and onions or was it smoked herring and onions was placed in the core. As it roasted on the open fire, the outsde completely blackened but the meat/fish mixture would spread through the breadfruit and add another dimension to an already wonderful taste. And there is nothing like salt water exercises and fresh air to generate a good appetite.
I remember an old gentleman who had quite a round head - that, combined with his hair pattern prompted him to receive the honary nickname of "Flannel-Ball head" which I don't think he appreciated as he walked along the street with his farming cutlass in hand. Nicknames in St.Vincent!! - well that could fill a book!.
Alright just a few: I often wondered why one of my friends was called HUMPTY: was it because he fell off a wall or had a very manly characteristic? Then there was "HAVE-a-RIGHT". Unfortunately this fellow very often ended his verbal discourse with "I have a right" so it stuck with him. Then there is CRACKY and this is one talented fellow so I am intrigued as to why he had that nickname. In fact, on my way to my first piano lesson with Miss Eunice Horne I heard this glorious piano playing by Cracky and hoped that I would be able to equal or surpass what I was hearing.
Then there was SHINES and I only found out recently that this was related to a Shiny hair cut. Then there was "FATTY-WITH-THE-GOLDEN-BATTY" - I don't think I have to draw a picture of that one. Then there was HORSEY and I am not going to touch that one. I remember Nanny Goat and Salt Head (probably a pilot today) and FOWL-BONES. At one point and for a short time, I was fondly called GRAMPS - not because I was old fashioned but because My adopted parents left a space for my birth mother. I had to call my birth mother Mummy Bella but I had to call my adopted parents grannie and Grampa so naturally this oddity of me calling my adopted father Grandpa resulted in short-lived nickname of Gramps. By the way don't even think about protesting because it might stick with you forever
So could it be that when your appearance did not meet the 'norm' or things you said or did were particularly noticeable then you mifgt end up with a nickname The nickname is now such a serious cultural aspect that I observe death announcements that includes "better known as xxxx". This simply ackowledges that a person might be better known by his nickname.