Dice games were an attraction on Bamboo Lane. Image thanks to Morguefile
While living in Panama City Pug would now show up looking for me accompanied by her “forever friend” I only knew as the Bamboo Lane girl. I strongly suspected that Pug had me set up to have a date with her. Such was the turn of Pug’s mind. She had time for this kind of thing – double dating and looking for romantic adventures- while I was focusing on getting more integrated into my old Panama City neighborhood. Working at the garage did not leave me much time for romancing and possibly getting another girl pregnant. Bamboo Lane in Colon had developed a rather notorious reputation as a hangout for gambling, prostitutes and generally attracting persons of questionable repute, so I didn’t have much confidence in Pug’s new friend. For me, Bamboo Lane was where I could get a quick, cheap haircut or buy a “pantscut” at a reasonable price to have some tailor make me a new pair of pants. Many people who lived there were just trying to survive and make an honest dollar. Continue reading
I was struggling ti get freedom from this Chinese girl. Image of handcuffs thanks to Morguefile.
Throughout this time of setting up my garage routine and taking in new customers I never lost sight of regainng my freedom, I had placed Pug- La China- on the back burner. She had, however, been stepping up her visits from Colon to see me to pick up money for herself and the baby. Her attitude hadn’t changed, however. She continued to generate stories about me mistreating her- all lies- just to hold it over my head. Remembering how she had damaged my peaceable relationship with the whole of the Westindian community in Bocas, thus forcing us to leave, I tried to keep her visits as short and cool as possible. I would just hand her some money for the baby on the nights that she did come as I saw her step down from the bus in front of the garage. Continue reading
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
Although I was back to my troubled reality I could still enjoy the beauty of Colon. 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
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
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