When I was youngster I worked for about three years at Atkinson Field (now Timehri) which was originally an American base.
When I first went to live in a big city in North America, my almost immediate impression was the astonishing level of order in the place.
I had completely forgotten that almost 15 years ago, living in Grand Cayman, I had sent my friend Colin Cholmondeley (then living in Jamaica) a short column from Wisden Cricket Monthly by BBC broadcaster and writer John Arlott on the West Indies cricket tour of England in 1950.
When I returned to Guyana in 1968, after a gap of some 12 years, I was standing in my aunts’ shop at Hague Front, talking with a rice farmer from Hague Back who had known me from a boy.
I am going to assume that you haven’t been living in a truli hut in the Amazon, and you know that since the terrorism upsurge the airlines have these restrictions designed to keep us safe in the air.
In the song “Angels Wings”, dedicated to Caribbean mothers, I am actually singing about the life of my own mother, Zepherina Barcellos, who left many impressions on me.
These columns I produce every week for Stabroek News are fun to write and fun, also, for the feedback they generate.
Some days, in fact most days, the barrage of distressing news on the pages of our daily newspapers is enough to cause despair if not clinical depression.
I love mutton curry. From the first time I sampled it at an Indian wedding on the East Coast donkey years ago, I was hooked; you can keep your chicken and even your hassar.
Most of the time, people appear in your life almost as in a passing parade, they come and they go.
Recently I spent two days in Florida, two days in New Jersey and five days in Maine, mostly just travelling about, noticing Uncle Sam’s ways, reflecting on back home ways, eating some good food, checking out the fall colours in the leaves – in other words, essentially down time.
Visitors getting into a car in Guyana for the first time are often left shocked, perhaps even stunned, by our driving habits.
Ideas for ‘So It Go’ columns come from anywhere and everywhere. Recently, for example, I met Bernard Fernandes, a musician/teacher, born in Guyana, raised in Trinidad, now based in Canada, and in the course of several email exchanges, he was curious about what would be some of my favourite calypsos.
It’s probably impossible to start with a digression – a digression means you’re departing from something that has already begun – but allow me to infuriate somebody by starting with a digression anyway (creative licence), and here it is: I hate the term ‘remigrant’; it sounds like a concept in a sociology paper, or some species of wandering fish.
Last week, in a column entitled ‘Knowing the Fine Fine,’ I made the point that to know any society, including this one, you had to remain imbedded in it for a long time, and that therefore when resident Guyanese tell expatriate Guyanese that they “don’t understand Guyana,” the comment is accurate.
Usually it’s clear where I’m going when I start off one of these columns, but sometimes I start out one place which leads to somewhere else; today is one of the latter.
Sometimes you meet a person, and you mesh instantly. It was like that with a man named Ormand Panton I met in Grand Cayman many years ago.
I was born at Hague and spent the very early part of my life there, but in my teenage years the Martins family lived at New Road, Vreed-en-Hoop.
In a recent column, where I referred to some of the differences between living in Guyana and living outside, space limitations prevented me from mentioning an importance difference – marketing.
I call him “Kraws” but you know him as Ken Corsbie, Guyana’s premier storyteller/comedian who celebrated his 80th birthday recently, and I’m touched that so many of you got in touch with him on that occasion.