News From Albert Scanterbury

Advertising was in a primitive state in the late 50's in Panama. With his sign painting skills, however, Albert Scanterbury kept very busy with local business.

Advertising was in a primitive state in the late 50’s in Panama. With his sign painting skills, however, Albert Scanterbury kept very busy with local business.

I was was soon to receive a letter from my father from Brooklyn by way of my old friend and neighbor Albert Scanter bury- But more importantly for me was how that letter would become an answer to my prayer. I had long ago stopped having much to do with Pug; we had been separated for a while and, to tell the truth, my immediate preoccupation was my garage job and how I needed to secure a place to live alone on my own and find a way of getting my nourishment in the mornings. 

One fine day, while I struggled with these same issues, I hoped as I did every morning, that I would get something to eat before I reached the shop, since by then it would be very hard for me to leave the shop. If I hadn’t eaten my lunch by then it would mean feeling hunger pangs until the next morning or afternoon. It became virtually impossible getting something to eat at any other tome. Here I was on old Mariano Arosemaena Street in my neighborhood where I had grown up and where I felt right at home,
As I sat there in a Chinese fonda waiting to be served my lunch of chicken fried rice, I greeted some of my old friends and neighbors who knew me as I grew up. Beating back a sense of exhaustion at having to wait so long, I thought to have heard someone calling me by my childhood name. “Hey Juni! Juni!.”

The voice sounded familiar and I searched the scenery that sunny day to see who it was. The call rang out again and I turned to see who was. Suddenly, I recognized the face of Albert with childhood joy, for it was Albert Scanterbury, who I recognized as a kind of neighborhood uncles and hero, someone I valued a lot..I was overcome with gladness at meeting up with this man whom I admired, as well as his aged mother, Ma Bea. Was the embodiment of patience and interest in my welfare- a real mother. I jumped off the stool forgetting how hungry I was and ran across the street, ready to spend some time with Albert, totally glad to see him When I reached him I was about to shake hands, hoping to catch him up on my life since I last saw him, when he became serious and ordered me to, “Go see Ma Bea!” “Go see Ma Bea!” he repeated, completing bypassing the expected greeting after so long without seeing him.” But, I want to talk to you,” I pleaded. “Go See Ma Bea!”he said insistently and so I gave up and watched as he continued walking by.

I went back to my stool in a quandary and made up my mind to seek out his mother as soon as possible. It had to be important for Albert Scanterbury, one of my childhood art tutors and probably one of Calidonia’s best sign painters and graphic artists at the time, to be so urgent about seeing his mother. Albert also dabbled in boxing and baseball when he could, as well as promoting boxers and famous baseball players from among the Silver People.

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