Sunday, June 8, 2014

50+ Things I Remember

A few days ago when I wrote a short note on Facebook for my 50th. birthday I reminisced about some the things of the past which were still vivid in my mind. Later that day I thought these memories would make an interesting compilation as a poem or other literary endeavour. Here's my trip down memory lane in no particular order.

I remember my first ever memory arriving at Leslie Land from Hospital Road
I remember my first day at school
I remember going to church on Sundays and Sunday school afterwards
I remember my first communion
I remember playing football in the rain
I remember fires being so rare that people would run after the fire engine to see where the fire was
I remember when an emergency vehicle siren was a truly rare occurrence
I remember Victoria Park with only the pavilion
I remember Vigie field without the Sports Complex
I remember being able to cross the Vigie airport runway when the light was green from the tower
I remember crossing the Vigie airport runway and the siren suddenly blaring as a plane was landing

I remember Sunday afternoon strolls in town with my mother and siblings
I remember public TV at the entrance to the Castries Market
I remember the M&C fire
I remember when the Castries Town Hall was the hottest spot for a calypso tent
I remember Gaiety and Clarke's cinemas
I remember Y. De Lima
I remember the ice cream van driving around on Sundays and parked in the boulevard
I remember the Syrians as new immigrants walking around on Sundays selling cloth from suitcases
I remember them being called 'Amigoes' because they referred to everyone as amigo
I remember the Columbus Square with no wall around it
I remember 'Assou Square' being held on Columbus Square

I remember the CDC being nice and clean, and safe
I remember looking through the concrete blocks at the Town Hall to watch a show for free
I remember going for a stroll through the George V park (the Gardens) without fear of being mugged
I remember a wild bull escaping from the Market abbatoir and running amok in the Gardens
I remember hanging out late in the Gardens after school playing Cowboys and Indians
I remember crabs in the Gardens
I remember tadpoles and little fish in the canals of the Gardens and along A.F. Valmont
I remember flying ants after a heavy rain
I remember Jack Spaniards and being stung on the lip
I remember hunting lizards with bow and arrow made from coconut palm spines
I remember running around barefooted and getting rusty nails and broken glass in my foot
I remember playing marbles

I remember playing 'hat or beheaded cards
I remember playing 'man or woman' with cards cut from cigarette boxes
I remember the Daher cigarette factory behind Clarke's Cinema
I remember Diamond cigarettes
I remember Flamingo Restaurant in the Boulevard
I remember the Monastery
I remember the Venezuelan Cooperation Center
I remember bazaars at the Anglican school
I remember lucky dip
I remember bus fare to Gros Islet being ten cents

I remember Reduit with no houses, only cows
I remember when the last bus to Gros Islet left Castries about 7:30 PM
I remember hiking a ride near the 'cabaret' in the corner near the Market when all buses were gone
I remember Carnival Monday went from downtown to Marchand
I remember Carnival Tuesday and presentation of prizes going through the Boulevard
I remember the concrete canopy on JQ's building collapsing under too many carnival watchers
I remember the Cable and Wireless newspaper library at their back entrance
I remember a good roti from Matthew's restaurant
I remember Renwick and Geddes Grant on Bridge Street
I remember Bata
I remember Lafayette's supermarket

I remember Raskasas
I remember Bram Bram, Dockie, and Basket
I remember Guy Love and the Guy Love dance
I remember Macdalena Cho-Cho Blo Pie Coco
I remember Norman Chien and Isaac Gros Gwen
I remember Tony Martino
I remember Teacher King at the Anglican School
I remember the Carmichael School at Leslie Land
I remember Miss Bootie

I remember Ferrand's Dairy having the best milk in St. Lucia
I remember Ferrand's Dairy delivering milk in glass bottles to your doorstep
I remember Choc Ice
I remember Holiday Foods and Corn Curls
I remember the waterfront without government buildings
I remember walking the stretch
I remember when most people were not so big and fat and out of shape in St. Lucia
I remember when you had to walk to and from most places
I remember the 13th. of December (National Day) cycle race around the city circuit
I remember Ryan Ravenea, Jean, Emille, Red Cap, and Never Win
I remember Juicy, Fanta and Tip Top

I remember demonstrations, riots, and teargas in Castries
I remember plywood city
I remember the Cunard turning back because of riots in Castries
I remember St. Lucia's Independence
I remember the old Gros Islet cemetery where Bay Gardens Beach Resort now sits
I remember Choc Dump
I remember when land at Beausejour was worthless with a swamp and infested with mosquitoes
I remember wild goats and donkeys at Cas-en-Bas
I remember being unable to find a bus up north on a Sunday
I remember people thought 'Coco' was mad when he began a limited bus service on Sundays
I remember Stevens Yachts at the Rodney Bay Marina

I remember Eagle's Inn in Gros Islet
I remember having to wake up at 4:30 am to catch the only bus from Canaries to Castries
I remember that bus ride from Canaries to Castries taking at least two hours
I remember hurricane Allen in 1980
I remember passing for St. Mary's College; it was like winning the lotto
I remember walking Pavee' road everyday
I remember learning to swim
I remember Reduit beach when it was peaceful and quiet and not overrun like it is now
I remember invading Convent girls' beach parties at Reduit beach
I remember Bro. McCarten, Bro. Cyril, and Bro. Regis
I remember Tapon, Abercombie, Rodney, and Presentation
I remember when Bingo and Pep got their calypso start at SMC
I remember 'calots'

I remember Sir John Compton, George Odlum, Jon Odlum, George Mallet
I remember  threats to 'shoot from the hip' and 'break glass in your ass'
I remember Madame Henri
I remember my first kiss
I remember my grandmother
I remember finding my father dead in bed
I remember our pet goats 'Muds and Fads'
I remember my pet Siamese cat
I remember our dogs Tiger and Rover
I remember eating condensed milk and sugar, and Klim
I remember the hot milk at school
I remember sweets for the Queen's birthday
I remember cake after SMC sports
I remember Chadwick (Bobby) Deligny

I remember you, you, and you................................

I remember so much more.

What do you remember?