A fawn colored Pug and a black one. Image thanks to wikipedia.org.
By the early part of 1953 I had fallen deeply in love with that girl I secretly named “my China doll.” At the time I thought it funny that, here we would meet so often and I still didn’t know her real name. So, during one of those meetings-turned-dates I asked her, “By the way, what’s your name?” She answered nonchalantly, “Pug!” as if I should have known this by this time in our relationship, or a fact someone should have informed me about a long time ago. Continue reading
Rubbing compound did a good job of filling in scratches, rough spots and leaving the car with a gleaming shine. Image thanks to cebuhomebuilders.com
School work at Abel Bravo College coupled with our choir practice was taking over much of my time. However, thanks to a special competition, I would radically change my perspective on my classes, my vocation in life and on my classmates.
One morning, Professor Coite, the music teacher, announced that he was about to return our essays on the great German musician Johann Sebastian Bach, which he had asked us to write. He started to read off the list of the three best writers in our “Cuarto B” class who would be required to read their work before some visiting dignitaries from the Ministry of Education within a few days. Continue reading
The original album (soundtrack) to the Broadway play by Oscar Hammerstein. Image thanks to wikipedia.org
As I walked out the door, I began to reflect on that scene between my mother and me and the way she was behaving. Later on I would find out that China and my sister, Aminta, were fast friends long before I got to Colon. I proceeded to reflect on all my encounters with the Chinita who, until then, had been doing everything in her power to meet me. Continue reading
Scene from La Playita today. It is sad how very few changes have ocurred in Colon as in Panama City in terms of recreational places for the people. All of our governments have been guilty of total neglect. Image thanks to almanaqueazul.com
The first girl to show up that day from our class was a Chinese-Panamanian girl named Lily. She had come with our youth group who’d met her at her house and marched all the way to the beach. The whole group of us finally met up with the other West Indian boys and girls in our class who were now arriving at La Playita. Continue reading
La Playita today but, 60 years ago there were fewer houses and more scenery. The water was great. Image thanks to almanaqueazul.com
Colon Province has always been known for its beautiful and alluring beaches which I still hadn’t had time to explore. Turns out the guys in the class planned a beach trip one day just a little bit before the start of rainy season. “Hey Riri, let’s go to the beach this afternoon after school,” said Tito Johnson, “Everyone in the classroom will be there.” “Sure,” I said, “but, let me see if I can get some bathing trunks.” “Don’t worry about that,” said Johnson, “I’ll loan you a pair if you can’t find anything appropriate.” I was thrilled at the invitation since the girls from our class appeared to be eager to go as well. Continue reading
Bobby Grant at age 95, a few months before his death. God bless him.
The mysteries surrounding the care and treatment of women that I had learned earlier on in my life from that terribly pragmatic pimp in Marañon were working like a charm. I was keeping the beauties of Abel Bravo at bay and clinging to my studies as I had never done before and, what’s more, my mother seemed to respect my apparent alone-ness although genuine conversations between us were quite rare. Continue reading