Category Archives: Culture in Panama

The Girl from Bamboo Lane

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

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

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

Dedicated to the Silver Women on Mother’s Day

The Clubhouse in Balboa around 1959, manned by a hard working Silver Woman.

The Clubhouse in Balboa around 1959, manned by a hard working Silver Woman.

Taking a well deserved pause from our chronicle we want to share a poetic tribute to our Silver Women on Mother’s Day.  This poem is provided, once again, by our resident poet, Mr. Louis Emanuel and it is especially dear to our hearts. Continue reading

How I Met Albert “Nick” Brown

Image thanks to Wikipedia.

Image thanks to Wikipedia.

I was still in shock after the incident with my mother that nearly took my life that evening, and hadn’t really had time to converse with Mrs. Ethel Levy, Pug’s grandmother when, just about then, this tall, well dressed dark-complexioned  guy showed up to join us on the stair way in which we were having a conference regarding the events that had linked us all together. Continue reading

Dancing Nights in Colon

The first time I went to a dance in Colon was because most everyone I knew at school had reassured me that they were going to be there. So, I asked Pug to go with me but she refused, averring that she wasn’t really a dancer. It would have been the first dance in which I would meet some of my classmates socially, so I was eager to go. Continue reading