Tag Archives: San Miguel


The strange “rainbow” that I watched dance from building to building
was probably some kind of back draft activity as the Great Colón Fire of
1940 got started in April, the week of my fourth birthday.

It was my first story and I was almost sure that it may have been Cuadernos Balboa’s first Westindian story of that year of 1950 or any year before. As the class suddenly became quiet, I noticed that the teacher had returned to her desk at the front of the class. Tarrying some at her desk she then left the room again as activities in the back of the classroom became louder. The writing paper I had been examining, while my memories of early childhood flashed back and forth, was almost new. I caressed the page with my sharpened pencil intent on practicing writing a story. Continue reading

Eric’s Spirit Followed Closely

Image is of Magnolia Building,
where my Uncle Eric grew up and
died. Our apartment was the one
on the top floor in the middle of the
three apartments in the upper left hand side-
the one with the open door.

The habit of hanging around the school for lunch and evening study group with his classmates would be something that my Uncle Eric would get into the habit of doing since his mother was never home to see that he was well taken care of due to her always being at work. School then became for him (as it did for me years later) a more important place than our home. I can’t speak for Eric but with me, in particular, school became a place where I sought the nurturing I never received at home. Continue reading

A New Generation and a New Culture

Carnaval Street Scene of 1912 attended by a an
enthusiastic and well dressed
Westindian multitude

Images thanks to Mr. Oswald Baptiste,Editor of the Rainbow City H.S. Newsletter

Initial relationships between neighbors were strained as the people learned to live within communal oases that were inadequate for the sudden influx of new tenants that were populating the cities. During the first years the new Westindian arrivals would become reclusive in the cities even though they were Panamanians. Continue reading