My grandfather, Seymour Green, left me an old Panama Hat like the one pictured.
Colon by the draw of 1953 was, in fact, witnessing the end of an era, another big period of transition in the lives of our Silver People. Personally, my own experiences would become landmarks, though tragic they might have been from my perspective since I had also taken on the role of an observer who needed not to be writing at that particular time in our history as a people. My memory served me well and I really believed that I had been blessed with a unique ability to remember details of my times in Panama and our history would prove to me that it was for a purpose. Continue reading
Since that first chance meeting with China and our encounters thereafter, her mysterious ways kept me fascinated. To just hear her speak in West Indian, however, would be the deciding factor that made me fall in love with her and, ultimately, make her my first wife. It was a rare novelty and contrast to me, and I guess to everybody who met her, to hear West Indian English coming out of the mouth of this gorgeous little young Chinese looking girl.
My new neighbors in La Playita were surprisingly up to date on all the happenings in the Canal Zone, as their fathers and grandparents had been. They would bring to the beach the up-to-the-minute news as to what was occurring amongst the Silver Roll employees. Anyone who would happen to visit La Playita would, at any given moment, be quickly informed as to what was current regarding the politics of the American Zone as well as that of Panama City’s and Colon’s.
The insistent knocking had irritated me so that I decided to go see who it was who dared intrude upon my peace and quiet. I had no intention of dallying at the door with whomever was there and I thought hard before I put my hand on the lock to open the door. Instead, I looked through the cracks of the window and, lo and behold, there stood this beautiful Chinese girl who was just about ready to abandon her mission and walk off. Continue reading
We West Indian Panamanians are remarkable survivors and pretty soon I was socializing freely with the rest of the youth at Abel Bravo giving the school that singular air of Panamanian-ness. Only in Panama could you find this mixture of people all living and trying to study harmoniously under one roof. That is, until racism would start to rear its ugly head. Continue reading
The RAE dictionary like this one is something we wish we had in the library. Image.
Our holiday at the beach was brief and my companions from Abel Bravo dropped me off at the stairway entrance to my building at the close of the day. I found my mother in good spirits, for a change, and talking with some of the neighbors about her son in “Abel Bravo College.” It was, in fact, the highest level of public education accessible to all humble households throughout the province of Colon at the time, as I explained before. I started taking note of the differences between Abel Bravo and my former school, The Instituto Nacional, in small and large ways. Continue reading