Author Archives: Roberto Reid

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.  Continue reading

The Luxury of a Routine

Flat tires became oart of my routine.

Flat tires became oart of my routine.

I met the ensuing days with a comfortable routine. On many a night, I would lock myself inside the garage after deciding to stay all night, then do the natural things such as bathing and getting a well deserved night’s sleep on a bed roll on the floor of the garage. In the morning I’d change into my dried coveralls and wouldn’t officially open until some of the guys who worked all night at the gasoline pumps knocked on the roll-up gates alerting me that some customer had been looking for me for a mechanic job. Continue reading

My Mechanic Shop

This shop is very similar to my mechanic shop on Ave. 12 de Octubre with the Dos Pinos cooperative.  Image.

This shop is very similar to my mechanic shop on Ave. 12 de Octubre with the Dos Pinos cooperative. Image.

I directed the Chivita driver to drive his vehicle over the  air powered lift and after the small bus was in place I was able to raise the vehicle to a height I would be able to manage. He wanted to follow me under the vehicle but I wouldn’t allow him in such a dangerous zone. I told him, You just sit at the desk and read the newspaper and let me to check out the “Chivita.” He did as I instructed him. Continue reading

Ads Pay Off

This is the popular Chiva stop in front of Casa Muller or Muller Building in the heart of Calidonia in front of El Cruce. Image thanks to La Critica Libre.

A popular Chivita bus driver was my first customer.  So I began to see for myself how the ads pay off.. Image thanks to La Critica Libre.

Once I was back in Panama City some good changes came my way. One morning my uncle Pinky ordered me to follow him, leading me to believe it was for another job and we wound up at a garage and gasoline station owned by the gentlemen who organized the “Dos Pinos” Cooperative, a new and exciting development in Panama as well as the rest of Central America. The Twin Pines or “Dos Pinos” logo blazoned on the front of the station situated right on 12 de Octubre Avenue became familiar and somehow comforting to me..  So I followed along with my uncle. The next week he had more surprises for me. “This is your garage,” he said, “you play with the lift and any other equipment, until you get confident at using them. I have to be at work” He was working as a clerk on Albrook AFB at the time. Continue reading

From A Double Cross to Success

Dr. Josephine De Croix Trust, founder of the Superet Church Movement, Her church helped me turn a double cross into success and some kind of sanity again.

Dr. Josephine De Croix Trust, founder of the Superet Church Movement, Her church helped me turn a double cross into success and some kind of sanity again.

It is a blessing to be back posting on our Chronicle after a brief hiatus especially after the culmination of Etnia Negra month.

Back to Colon and how I was feeling as a young man and unemployed in the fast deteriorating economy of the City of Colon. In addition to dealing with depression and desperation at not finding steady work I was also feeling spied upon by Pug. I felt like my every move was being reported to Pug who was tailing me around whenever she could. In my futile attempt at putting distance between our relationship and get her out of my life, I tried to get involved with other girls just to get her “out of my blood.” Well, Pug usually found out about those encounters also and didn’t hesitate to reproach me for it also. Continue reading

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