La Playita

La Playita today but, 60 years ago there were fewer houses and more scenery.  The water was great. Image thanks to

La Playita today but, 60 years ago there were fewer houses and more scenery. The water was great. Image thanks to

Colon Province has always been known for its beautiful and alluring beaches which I still hadn’t had time to explore. Turns out the guys in the class planned a beach trip one day  just a little bit before the start of rainy season. “Hey Riri, let’s go to the beach this afternoon after school,” said Tito Johnson, “Everyone in the classroom will be there.” “Sure,” I said, “but, let me see if I can get some bathing trunks.” “Don’t worry about that,” said Johnson, “I’ll loan you a pair if you can’t find anything appropriate.” I was thrilled at the invitation since the girls from our class appeared to be eager to go as well.

Although I didn’t know how to swim I was looking forward to this inpromptu invitation from my classmates. Since the beaches were a little far for a stranger to colon like me, we had agreed that the boys would go to pick me up in front of my building after school that day. The guys didn’t know this, but their offer to show up at my house to pick me up had made me feel that something valuable had been restored to me and that a sense of normality had returned to my life.

When I told Bobby, my stepfather, that I was going to the beach, he immediately asked me if I had any bathing trunks. “No, Sir,” I responded, “I was just getting to that. Would you have a pair to lend me?” “Sure,” said Bobby, “I have several. Here, take a look and pick one out,” he said as we stepped into his bedroom. I picked out the hippest looking pair that had a green print pattern and were the perfect fit; they hugged my body making me the best looking young bather from Colon on the beach that day.  Bobby said I could keep them and off I went with my friends.

We waited for a few other companions so that we could all go in a group and they told me that I didn’t have to bring anything but myself. When we arrived at the small but gorgeous La Playita, however, I would find the perfect atmosphere for my future escapes from my troubled home. The remarkable views from the beach and the tranquility of the Atlantic coastal waters would become my refuge from the storm brewing in my house.  A deeo sense of relief came over me.

Thanks to my friends from school, I had discovered a jewel of a getaway and it seemed that, when we got there, my spirit became implanted in that beautiful place on God’s earth since I had always loved to visit the beach.

This story continues.

4 responses to “La Playita

  1. Love your stories, I share them with all my Panama & CZ friends via email & fb.

  2. I had a bright classmate when I attended Abel Bravo who lived in the Playita.
    My classmate spoke about it so much that often the entire class would go over there together and visit with her at her house . I remember in those days, the military government had offered my classmate a scholarship ( beca) from when she was in the elementary up to her secondary schooling in Abel Bravo.
    One of the thing when we were growing up, was we were always welcomed at everyone’s home , and this included the poor ones as well as the well to do homes.
    And contrary to what many believe today, the city of Colon and its outskirts had many well to do folks too.
    There is another majestic angle of the city of Colon,near second or firsts street, where the Atlantic coastal waters come up very close and it appears to just divinely embrace this historical city.

  3. Haven’t heard anything from the “Silver People” lately, are you OK? Take a look at facebook group “Panama, land of my heart Panamá tierra de mi corazón”.
    Saludos amigos de Chagres ~~ Lou

  4. Lou Seldon:
    Sorry Lou for appearing to be so preoccupied with other things, but in fact we have been busy preparing for the real work, of cleaning and dressing up the three surviving Silver Roll Cemeteries to meet next year’s 100th anniversary of the innauguration of the Panama Canal in 1914. It is a very special date for us and we hope to get people who are living in Panama to meet with us for a planning meeting soon. We would like some old timers also to be with us.
    Thanks for shouting us Lou.