Tag Archives: Susu

Born to March

Image thanks to the Panama America

Looking back on last month’s patriot activities in Panama I couldn’t help but conclude that we Panamanians are natural born marchers; we love parades, marching bands, and all street exhibitions that allow people to march in a group like comparzas. Continue reading

The Reid Clan on Display

The National Institute of Panama would have another Westindian Panamanian, another son of the Silver People from Calidonia, to display in the upcoming November patriotic festivities. For the adolescent that all the neighbors referred to as Juni, this would be a special event in which to collect the due admiration I thought I deserved. Continue reading

Preparing for Achievements

Instituto Nacional of Panama as I remember it. aerial view.

My war with Rico that night had drawn an enormous crowd.  All or a good part of the neighborhood in which we lived either ran over to see the spectacle or later heard about it from people who had. Rico, on the other hand, wound up with a nasty baseball-size knot on his head, and the whole fracas quickly became “the event” to remember.  I came out pretty unscathed. Continue reading

Next Stops: Chorrillo, Betania and Rio Abajo

This is Rio Abajo today, an important part of the
Silver People Trail. Image thanks to Peter Hahndorf on flickr.
Ancon Hill as viewed from the back of what was
once the Ancon Laundry where my grandmother
worked for over 20 years. Today the building is
the headquarters of the DIJ (Dirección de Investigación
Judicial (the investigation arm of the police). You can just
about make out the Panamanian flag flying at the top in
the upper left hand corner of the photo.

Chorrillo, that part of the old sector of Panama City, had its colored community, having been a gateway to Calidonia and its colored communities of Guachipali, Marañon, and San Miguel with its view of Ancon Hill and the sea, and the beaches in the nearby upscale Bella Vista District with shade trees lining the streets and avenues. The beaches that ran all the way to Old Panama- Casco Viejo- were up until then clean enough for families and young boys to use as the neighborhood swimming holes that boys would remember for the rest of their lives. Continue reading

Self Esteem

Silky Strate" was one of many hair straighteners which promised to solve the kinky hair problem. It was sold in Novedades Yankee in Panama City and Botica Kipping in Colon.

The “Black and White” brand of cosmetics was
one of the first to offer their face powders, lipsticks,
and makeup in colors complimentary to darker
shades of skin.

The school year of 1951-52 would find me, a basically lonely adolescent boy, remembering to write down all the Westindian neighbors I had met upon arriving to live in Magnolia Building since 1943. That would be significant for me in more ways than one especially since I would suffer a dramatic change in the loss of my sister. She didn’t die but she might as well have since she ran away from our house where we lived with our paternal Aunts and my grandmother to go live with our mother in Colon. Continue reading

You Won’t Find Our Story in Any History Book

By sixth grade my Spanish School experience led me to conclude that our teachers wanted us more Spanish than Westindian. So unique were we,
however, that being ourselves made us quite different; at least that is what I thought. Continue reading