So It Go
Most things happen in isolation; some things appear as part of a wider condition .
Some weeks ago I mentioned in a column that when I bought a nightclub in Toronto as a home base for Tradewinds, that although I had put up my house to secure the purchase, that didn’t quite cover it, and I had to turn to my sister and her husband to put a second mortgage on their house to seal the deal .
You can try to describe Kaieteur Falls to someone who hasn’t seen it; you can try, but you will fail .
“What’s your favourite Tradewinds song, and which one you feel has had the strongest reaction?” I’ve been asked that many times .
In the course of doing my column recently, I remembered a time in 2008, when I was living in Cayman, and a close Guyanese friend, living in America, had sent me a couple emails complaining about the rot in Guyana .
Some weeks ago, I’m on the phone with a friend in Canada who is infuriated about the boorish behaviour of a recent guest in his household .
Some readers tell me, with grace, that I deal too much with cricket .
Sometimes you learn from an unexpected source .
Wherever we live, there are situations or conditions or attitudes in the society that we come across, or they come across us, that have a negative impact on how we see the place .
When I decided to write a weekly column for Stabroek News, some preconceptions were involved .
It’s true .
I had had a brief encounter with the dress code previously at the Cultural Centre, or rather my wife did, so I went last week forewarned this time .
It is often the case when popular musical patterns shift – roughly every 15 years or so – that the adults of the mature generation, who are left behind yearning for their music that is now passé, will generally turn their backs on the new genre or even shut it out completely .
A good idea, although previously ignored, always bears repeating .
When I moved to Canada 50-plus years ago, a musical career was not on my radar .
Daily life in Guyana, particularly if you pick up the newspapers, knows no shortage of despairing incidents – “jarrings,” I call them – that combine to strain one’s resilience .
Calypso is once again under the lens in a fine unravelling by Raymon Cummings in a recent letter to this newspaper where he expressed urgent concern for the declines in standard, in quality of judging, in song topics, and in marketability of the material .
I’m not a Twitter and Facebook guy .
Twelve years ago, when I was living in Grand Cayman, I bought a minivan in Tampa and shipped it down .
A close friend sent me a note recently that I’m passing onto you .
Several weeks ago, I wrote a column entitled ‘Knowing the fine fine‘ on the point that to understand the why and the how and the where of conditions in a country you have to live there a long time in order to begin to see all the factors, many invisible, that are operating on the particular aspect that’s bugging you – garbage in town; speeding minibuses; shoddy workmanship, etc .
A young man from West Demerara who takes care of the electrical problems in my home was pointing out to me this past week that I should get rid of the half dozen or so fluorescent fixtures in the place .
Useful as they are, dictionaries are inadequate when we are trying to define certain intangibles .
One of the striking things about the Guyanese culture is our disposition to improvise, to use our ingenuity, to use our wiles, to try and overcome .
In the early 1990s, during the ‘mo fyah’ disturbances, a prominent Guyanese political figure called me in Toronto with the suggestion that I should write a song to help calm tensions .
Every now and then you run into people who are true masters at what they do .
Out of nowhere, sometimes from a complete stranger, sometimes from someone who knows you intimately, a chance remark will come to you and set you thinking about a subject you had not previously considered .
I approach the columns I write for Stabroek News appreciating that, among other things, they are likely to trigger discussion .
Approximately 15 years ago yesterday, a young man from Berbice arrived at Niagara Falls, Ontario .
Within a month or so of returning home to live, I found myself in a well-known lawyer’s office in town to have a document notarized .
I’m driving with this Canadian lady heading for “cottage country” in Northern Ontario .
This started with a comment from my friend Henry Muttoo, the theatre whiz, following a piece of poetry by Louise Bennett I had sent him .
I hate to travel .
When I formed the Tradewinds band in Toronto in the late 1960s, we played frequently at a small bar downtown on Yonge Street (the main drag) called the Bermuda Tavern .
I’m a big fan of the American evangelist Bishop T D Jacques .
About four years ago I travelled from Cayman for the funeral of my friend Bobby Clarke who had died in Castries after a tough two-year battle with cancer .
Hardly a day goes by without someone, in a private gaff or a public forum, waxing eloquently about “the good old days,” and how great things were then, and how unfortunate our young people .