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Archive for June, 2010

Civic pride

It seems we are going to have to accept this sight as fairly common these days.

There was this fellow, his wife and children in tow, in the unthreatening confines of our neighborhood super store, with a gun — loaded or not — strapped to his thigh. Never mind the other families peacefully going about the business of stocking up their larders.

I suppose his was an expression of civic pride.

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New plaid shirt

The other day I got two photos from John Citron, a friend of many years. Back of the photos he had written: 1982, Red River Beach, Cape Cod, and 1999, Red River Beach, Cape Cod. Seventeen years between the pictures!

They showed John and me, in the identical location,  dccked out in plaid shirts, my right foot propped on a rough bench, dune-like acreage behind us, both of us with a slight wince against the sun. I don’t remember now if the plaid shirt photos were planned, or were arrived at by accident. Though, the latter is unlikely.

In the 1982 picture by crown was adorned with aggressive black hair. In the 1999 version the pate is fairly shining. John, remarkable fellow, was somewhat less de-foliaged.

John sent us the pictures with an invitation to visit them again at his new place on Cape Cod — and a chance to complete the triptych, perhaps dated 2010.

This means, among other things, that  I have to get me a new plaid shirt: John said he has his already.

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Calling Tobago

Returning a note from JdeV.

Great to hear from you and Tobago. Must have been a massive chore to get your stuff over there and to undertake the transformation of making your new place your own. And, as you say, you’ll have to get used to a more leisurely pace over there.

This could in fact be helped by the lessening of tension generated by an end, for now, of PNM un-wisdom and, with it, the introduction of a new set of people to run the country, people who should have, as an example, the mortal dangers of PNM hubris and pigheadedness.

What the new prime minster has to do, from day one, is to drill her followers on the need to keep their hands out of the kitty, over time; to be less arrogant, more accommodating and really factor in the reasonable aspirations of the average Trini.

Time, though, has a way of wearing away the instincts about integrity, so let’s hope the new government remembers that time is longer than twine and they must therefore resist what seems to be the reflex ways of our people when, alas, they get into power.

Ah, Tobago! I once, long ago, was a resident of that pleasant land for all of three months, but didn’t have the wit to realize my good fortune, prompting me to try, successfully, to remove myself back to Arima and Port-of-Span whatever chance I could.

The Guardian had posted me to Scarborough as their staff reporter, following Thomas Richter, who had gone before and no longer wanted to enjoy the easy pace there. I quartered at  McVille Guest House, within walking distance of everything: the bay at Cheapside, the movie house, the market and, best of all, the library, where I became a fixture.

But Arima and my friends there beckoned and on many occasions I would arrange for Lynn Hutchinson, the head librarian, who had writing aspirations, to cover for me while I took the Friday night ferry back to Trinidad and my buddies, returning on Monday.

It was actually a lovely time, though, and I later regretted I didn’t make greater use of my days there. Janice and I, much later, spent her 40th birthday there, on the edge of the Mt. Irvine Golf Course in a cottage loaned to us by a client. And, still more recently, we had a great time there at Ericka’s, where I fell in love with Kiri Te Kanawa and her “Four Last Songs.”

I would love to return, one day, and to do some photography with Alex. Very thoughtful of you to remember is in Show Low, and to send us a signal.

P.S. I hope the dogs have the good sense to catch on that living in Tobago, minutes from the sea, is downright special!

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