Even today Panama’s Criminal Justice system is under heated scrutiny. Thank God my dealings with them over my Uncle did not effect my future career goals.
During these crucial times of considering my career options, whether to push to get on the Governor’s list of teacher appointees for the Province of Bocas del Toro or to travel to New York City at my father’s beckoning to obtain employment there, I was asked to do a favor for my Aunt Elsie. Continue reading
Dice games were an attraction on Bamboo Lane. Image thanks to Morguefile
While living in Panama City Pug would now show up looking for me accompanied by her “forever friend” I only knew as the Bamboo Lane girl. I strongly suspected that Pug had me set up to have a date with her. Such was the turn of Pug’s mind. She had time for this kind of thing – double dating and looking for romantic adventures- while I was focusing on getting more integrated into my old Panama City neighborhood. Working at the garage did not leave me much time for romancing and possibly getting another girl pregnant. Bamboo Lane in Colon had developed a rather notorious reputation as a hangout for gambling, prostitutes and generally attracting persons of questionable repute, so I didn’t have much confidence in Pug’s new friend. For me, Bamboo Lane was where I could get a quick, cheap haircut or buy a “pantscut” at a reasonable price to have some tailor make me a new pair of pants. Many people who lived there were just trying to survive and make an honest dollar. Continue reading
I was struggling ti get freedom from this Chinese girl. Image of handcuffs thanks to Morguefile.
Throughout this time of setting up my garage routine and taking in new customers I never lost sight of regainng my freedom, I had placed Pug- La China- on the back burner. She had, however, been stepping up her visits from Colon to see me to pick up money for herself and the baby. Her attitude hadn’t changed, however. She continued to generate stories about me mistreating her- all lies- just to hold it over my head. Remembering how she had damaged my peaceable relationship with the whole of the Westindian community in Bocas, thus forcing us to leave, I tried to keep her visits as short and cool as possible. I would just hand her some money for the baby on the nights that she did come as I saw her step down from the bus in front of the garage. Continue reading
I kept the unopened letter in my back pocket. Image from Morguefile.com
That afternoon I hurried back to my garage, for I thought of never responding to my father or taking him up on anything he had to offer. This resolve not to respond to him set me free forever and I vowed not to open the letter or read it. At that time in our lives I had a bad feeling about allowing that man who called himself my father to dominate any part of my life again. By the time I reached my garage I had stuck the letter in my back pocket unopened and tried to forget it. I had known that man most of my young life and at that moment I rejected the very idea of having his cruel presence in my life ever again. Continue reading
Flat tires became oart of my routine.
I met the ensuing days with a comfortable routine. On many a night, I would lock myself inside the garage after deciding to stay all night, then do the natural things such as bathing and getting a well deserved night’s sleep on a bed roll on the floor of the garage. In the morning I’d change into my dried coveralls and wouldn’t officially open until some of the guys who worked all night at the gasoline pumps knocked on the roll-up gates alerting me that some customer had been looking for me for a mechanic job. Continue reading
This shop is very similar to my mechanic shop on Ave. 12 de Octubre with the Dos Pinos cooperative. Image.
I directed the Chivita driver to drive his vehicle over the air powered lift and after the small bus was in place I was able to raise the vehicle to a height I would be able to manage. He wanted to follow me under the vehicle but I wouldn’t allow him in such a dangerous zone. I told him, You just sit at the desk and read the newspaper and let me to check out the “Chivita.” He did as I instructed him. Continue reading