Tag Archives: depression

Between the College and The Institute

Colon train station

This vintage photo of Colon’s Train Station is thanks to panamarailroad.org.

The whole thing was outrageous to me. I hadn’t lived with my mother more than a couple of months in Colon when she worked up the nerve to be scolding me for spotting her in one of her questionable moves. Silently I kept recurring back to the day she abandoned us as small children, to leave us with her sisters-in-law whom she hated and who hated her right back. Continue reading



A very old image of Gorgas Hospital’s Isolation ward. Most probably where my mother had been treated.

By the time my mother finally entered her home again I had the child fed and comforted. I sat in the almost darkened living room trying to read by the dim light coming through the window louvres when, without any regard for the wellfare of the baby, she, as always, burst into a shrieking fit of power and rage and loudly said, “Who do you think you are?” In recalling her usual fits of rage, she always acted like the Alfa female in a wolf pack. Continue reading

No Turning Back

Corner of 3rd and Melendez. Except for the parked cars, everything looks the same. Image thanks to http://www.ugo.cn/photo/PA/pt/1108.htm

The bus reached the City of Colon that night and I continued to reminisce about the brief visits that I had had recently to Colon, and how I had not been planning any more visits so that I could get down to serious study at the Institute. Colon had meant visits to my mother’s home and on my last visit I hadn’t noticed any changes in her attitude or outlook on life. Continue reading

A Hard Year

Black girls as much as Black boys,
had to deal with depression as it was
very widespread amongst Westindian
adolescents. Image

By the end of 1950 I was almost sure to be graduating from my sixth grade class at Escuela Pedro J. Sosa. And yet, I felt peculiarly imprisoned, in stir, as a prison-like attitude dominated my thoughts. My teachers had a lot to do with these feelings as they were pretty hard faced and indiscreet about openly rejecting the Westindian youngsters like me. Continue reading

The Bloody Scenario

You are looking down from one of the
balconies in our building at Mariano Arosemena St..
The neighbors watched the entire bloody scene
unfold in our courtyard
from these same balconies over 60 years ago.

The day on which the whole neighborhood’s eyes would be turned on my mother would be another day of calamity for me, another shameful incident for us kids to have to endure. The Silver commissary caper had not yet subsided nor had its potential for disaster insured our safety as small children. Continue reading