Author Archives: Roberto Reid

Out of Work and Desperate

A refuge at times- the Silver Club House.

A refuge at times- the Silver Club House- would help me reflect on how I would solve my out of work problem.

The thought of Pug still being my lover was a constant worry to me in those days. For Pug was a better love detective than I once believed. I had thoughts of replacing her quickly as I walked the streets of Colon. I discovered that I could do that when I lived in Magnolia Building back in Calidonia. Her name had been Maria Elena but now she was out of my mind. The girls I had been meeting at Abel Bravo school in Colon, however, were a different story and a real challenge to me as they were quite good looking. Even so, I had gone out with very few of them. In fact, my return to Colon from Bocas Del Toro had been a major challenge as I was an adult by now with a baby. Those fifteen year-old dreams in Magnolia Building of Panama City only came to haunt me for it made me remember my primary school days which would never return again. But, girls were secondary to my biggest headache- I was out of work and desperate. Continue reading

Back to Troubled Reality

Typical Colon Balcony, probably the most beautiful in the whole Republic.  Image thanks to file-magazine.com

Typical Colon Balcony, probably the most beautiful in the whole Republic. Image thanks to file-magazine.com

I had gotten up late that morning and hoped to make it to the open Market fonda in the middle of Colon City for something to eat and I sighed as I awoke that it was back to troubled reality.  As I passed by some of my street friends, I  wondered why they were  congregated at the side door of the Twelfth  Street entrance to the Bar.  I stopped there before I continued on my way. But one of the guys at the side door had spied me and called me over. Continue reading

A Memorable Carnaval

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.

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

Carnaval 1957 Was On

Artists like Manito Johnson were very hot for the Carnavl of 1957.  Manito Johnson on the far right. Image.

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

Pork Gâteau and Being Young Again

Pork Gâteau

Pork Gâteau

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

Dance With Me

Image thanks to metacolor.org

Image thanks to metacolor.org

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