to I remember Page
Close your eyes, and go back . . .
the Internet or the Mac,
Uzis and crack.
Nike and Reebok, before the NBA.
Sega or Super Nintendo.
burglar proofing and KFC.
soca, dub and chutney
children's rights and women's lib.
talking about hide and seek at dusk.
through the window, sitting in the gallery,
your lips over hops and condensed milk.
to Saturday afternoon confession.
chocolate tea and cocoa tea and green tea and shining bush tea.
sandwiches in a brown paper bag to school.
chilibibi and press with green and red syrup, with or without
in cold water from a barrel with a calabash.
butterscotch, hoop, Jacks,
and Thief, Rounders !
cricket in the road with a lime
on the floor reading Mandrake and Katzenjammer Kids and Mutt and
books from the library.
Hoops and jawbreakers and kaiser balls.
in the rain under the guttering.
for walks on Sunday afternoon.
Concerts. Window shopping.
old pants to the beach and collecting sea shells and pretty
Wait. . .
excitement of catching candle flies in a jar and batimamselles.
the ti-marie to sleep.
birds with sling shot, cooking and eating them.
marbles, running jockey in the canal.
- When a
calypso on the radio in Lent would have caused a scandal.
going to town was a major outing requiring serious preparation.
holidays by your grandmother and aunts.
oil and senna pods at the end of August to clean you out!
caimite and mammy seepote and downs and sapodilla and sugar apple
tying up your mouth with lalay.
trees,and skipping rope and eating a bucket of long mango.
a Christmas tree from a guava branch with cotton for snow.
thought apples and grapes only grew at Christmas time.
and robbers, cowboys and Indians, keeping an eye out for soucouyant and la
down the bannister, jumping on the bed.
a pet chicken, duck, rabbit or goat and crying when it became a meal.
tickled to death.
till you were out of breath.
so hard that your stomach hurt!
tired from playing....remember that?
to the Chinee shop for Trebor and a penny sweet biscuit.
There's more . . .
your mother's head.
for the bowl when your mother made a cake.
coconut or custard ice cream on Sunday and licking the palette.
cane with your teeth.
Remember when . . .
there were no sneakers, only softmash, watchekongs (washicongs) and you
washed them every Saturday and whitened them.
you consumed Penny bread, boil-een soup and Mespo strawberries
you knew nothing of Rottweilers or pit bulls, only pot hounds.
- When a
penny was a decent allowance, and another penny a huge bonus.
you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
fashionable young ladies wore crinoline and boleros.
your mother wore stockings that came in two pieces and had garters.
all of your male teachers wore ties and female teachers had buns.
you had to be rich to have a car or a radio.
there was no TV and you went to sleep at seven o'clock.
there was no designer water.
laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside
any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry
groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real
restaurant with your parents.
every kitchen had a safe with wire mesh.
came in rum bottles and had to be boiled and the cream was a great treat.
they threatened to keep kids "down'' if they failed...and they did!
your mother used to say that your licks hurt her more than it hurt you.
- When you got a cut-ass and you bawled out “oh God Oh god!
adults spoke in code or spelled words so "little ears'' wouldn't
bad behavior news got to your parents faster than the internet
we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings,
drugs, or gangs.
of parents and grandparents, godparents, tanties... was a much bigger
If you can remember any of these things, well, I swear you
must be my age!!!!!!