Carnaval 1946, reputed to be the best of the 20th century. Excellent views of spectators hanging from their balconies enjoying the sights. Image thanks to Panama Vieja Escuela.
The moment arrived when the three of us would leave my mother’s place and I arrived as promised to the dance hall for a look to see who I knew could take these women off my hands- to find out what exactly we could get into for Carnaval in Colon. Since I wasn’t a bar hanger-on, the first bar and Toldo we encountered I found to my liking since it was nearby, small and sufficiently out of the Cabaret circles. It had a bar and an area for dancing at the Jukebox so that I took turns dancing with both women, for the men hanging out in the place seemed not to be interested in our crowd. I soon became bored, however, more thinking of how hungry I was feeling waiting to see if I could get some breakfast. Continue reading
Artists like Manito Johnson were very hot for the Carnavl of 1957. Manito Johnson on the far right with his band, “Los Diferentes.” Image.
In 1957 the month of February brought in my other passion- “Carnaval,” which I still so much loved. That year,however, I hardly noticed it. It was not until my sister Aminta whom we had left behind in Bocas Town came home to Colon that I would feel the pressure of Carnaval. Since Pug- the Chinese girl- had been Aminta’s long time friend, I had come to realize the truth, that I had gotten involved with Pug because of Aminta. In any event, Aminta was staying with my mother and I had arrived to visit with her to retrieve my white dressy shark skin suit, which was still very fashionable and would make me look great for Carnaval dances. Continue reading
Despite my occasional reprieves from the everyday worries of being a young adult, my emotional state during this time was in continual flux over how Pug and I had fallen out of love. We were in a real period of splitting up. But I didn’t want to duplicate this scenario with Barbara. I’d come to the conclusion that I could not have a real love affair again after my failure with Pug. Continue reading
Once I was back in Colon I resumed my secret passion- dancing! I became interested all over again in going dancing following the radio promotions for dances to be held in Colon. I gathered the nerve to ask my buddy Nick to loan me a jacket to attend a pretty hot dance that was coming up. I had, in fact, begun to replace most of my Sunday best clothing that I had lost in Bocas. Taking a good look in the mirror I also became aware that I hadn’t had a decent hair cut since my odyssey in Bocas and now, it seemed, I must have appeared pretty menacing. Continue reading
Exiled Argentinian President, Juan Domingo Perón in the center, flanked by José Dominador Bazán (bow tie), Governor of Colón at the time.
Our arrival back in Colon not only marked the end of our love story- Pug’s and mine- but it was an important reintroduction to the people whom I hadn’t had contact with for almost two years. Back in this Silver City called the City of Colon I would be picking up where I had left off when I was sleeping at that single room that was never crowded. Continue reading
Entrance to Mt. Hope Cemetery in Colon, Republic of Panama.
But, Miss Ethel Levy’s wake would turn out to be a revealing one for me in particular. It was attended by mostly her family and close friends crowded into the Chapel at the Mount Hope Cemetery. I never did look forward to these things and the actual viewing of my close friend’s remains was brief. So I hung out outside together with my acquaintances listening to the Albert “Nick” Brown the tailor- Miss Levy’s only son- give a running account of the events leading up to his mother demise. Continue reading