Sports — 02 July 2016 — by Charles X Hyde (as told by Winty J)
Winty J (Vincent Johnson) – my life: Part 3

A: You didn’t have any contact with the music world at that time?

W: No. No. ’65, now. Now my music thing will come on now. After, around ’65… I would leave school now.

PART 3

W: Now, let me finish the school thing first… let me get back to Baptist. I went to Baptist for a little while, and then my parents moved south. And then I was transferred to Wesley. My fourth school now, you know. You hear me? I’m at Wesley School.
So, when I look back, at the things I used to do in school, like for instance: every 2:30, you know after 2:30 they give that 2:30 break? We don’t go back in class! So now, when I grow up now, I ask myself, how those teachers allowed this?

A: Well, some schools, the very small infants would go home 2:30, but the older ones would leave at 3:30 p.m.

W: But this is (Standard) 4 or 5 we are in now, you know. We should be there till 3:30. And what do you think we are doing? We’re looking for mischief. Me and a brother named Pennel. Now, he was my “bom bally,” you know. Well, the Pennels lived right beside Wesley School. Their yard was right, like inside Wesley School. They didn’t have to walk any distance to go to school, just walk right through the fence into school. And there were a lot of Pennel brothers.

A: Okay, Alvin (who played on Coke Milpros in the mid ‘80’s) was probably related to them, Alvin Pennel.

W: Yes.. there was a lot of them..

A: So, from Wesley now….

W: So, from Wesley now… and it’s that same friend, you know… that I would be giving trouble with in school and out of school…
We are at St. Ignatius now… because St. Ignatius used to be hot with football, you know.. and basketball…

A: I recall some teams like Ebenezer, and Mary’s…

W: Well, ‘Natius was a grounds for regulars.. Not only in school… Even after school… because you had a crowd down there who “neva easy,” which were “Pie State,” Quilter, “Chupa,” and that whole crowd from around there… “Bunkat,” Soberanis, these are ‘ballers, who… so they kept that area tight.

A: Bet games?

W: Yaa… So we are from around Mex Avenue, so we have our own little crowd…

A: Holy Redeemer had their own thing at Back Yard during those times …

W: Oh, Laad, man! Bwai, me score some goal back deh, I di tell you… Because, BATA gaan bring in some tennis… I will get to that same Holy Redeemer thing… because I no play, you know…
But now a deh da Wesley School…

A: (Laughs) Alright, alright, Wesley…

W: Now, I had a problem at Wesley School.. where me and this same bredda, weh di heng (hang out together).. he disrespected me and bax (back hand slap) me… in front of a crowd at St. Ignatius grounds… Da deh we di play ball… and di man… wahn lee ting, wahn argument… and di man bax me…

A: Bwai!

W: Bwai, well look ya…! What?! Dat da war.. and… war!… And I know dat da lot a dem… Me da me one.. I have one brother, you know, but hihn no grow up ya. Da man live da States forty-odd years.. So da me one, you know.. But now… Me and hihn fight.. And di next bredda yer now.. Pennel… and hihn come now… So me decide now, you know what?… Me wahn broke weh fi home.. ‘Natius had wahn lee bruk fence weh could put you on Amara Avenue…

A: Because dehn wahn double-benk you… yo betta try reach… try reach yo yaad…

W: Yes… A haf to try reach mi yaad… Now, running from there to Tanoomah Street to Canal Side, and then down to Mex Avenue… But yo haf to cross da street weh come down from by weh Reporter deh… Anyhow… i di chase me… Hihn di chase me, yo know, but then i done gat i bredda fi set me up…

A: Cut you off pahn di corner…

W: Cut me off pahn di corner… So, hihn stop run… If a man di chase you, and hihn stop run, you wahn stop run too… fi see if yo could ketch back yo breath too.. So I di stop, di walk, and I di look pahn him… and I just hear something fly pass my ears corner, and i ketch pahn wahn zinc fence… Right deh so I done know that da i bredda dat now… Well, look ya, bwai! Da more running now.. And a know if a get eena mi yaad, a safe, because mi uncle mi way out, yo know… Mi uncle da mi wahn Honduranean… and, due to weh dehn see blood… dehn different when it come to… you know..

A: Dehn deh head a we pahn dat… dehn ready…

W: What!? What!? My uncle used to tell me, “Any time dehn do you anything, yo know, just tell me..” because he had a gun… you know, he had shot a man named Georgie Grey, weh mi bax ahn… dehn ting happen dah Yabra, yo know… i spend wahn lee time (in jail) fi dat…

A: i lucky… Dehn days dehn used to heng man fi everything…

W: What! Bwai, mi uncle nearly gaan… Yo hear me? Dehn mi wahn bus i neck… But dah due to weh i da mi wahn sports figure.. mind goal…

A: Weh hihn mi name?

W: Joseph Brown.

A: Joseph Brown? Da hihn da Scotland?

W: Yes.

A: Oh, yes. A mi hear dat ting fi true…

W: Hihn mind goal… hihn into boxing… into biking… Attila the Hun, Trinkets and all dehn man deh used to come da fi we yaad come…

A: So yo reach home…

W: Yes, a reach home… So, now I know a haf to go da school… And di Pennel dehn live right next door to me (school)… And da wahn lot a dem… So my only way out now… is to pick up a seven inch knife… from my kitchen… and stuck it in my pants…

A: How old were you at that time?

W: About fourteen… going on fifteen… Yaa, about fourteen, to be exact… definitely over fourteen.. because I was in Standard 4 at that time. No, I was in 5, because I had already left 4; 4 is at Harvey Hall. When you leave Harvey Hall, which is across the street, by the church (Wesley Church), it used to be Harvey Hall, it isn’t there any more… When you left from there, you definitely had gone through Standard 4, which is one of the hardest classes to get through… the next one is Standard 5. So we were in Standard 5 at that time, and Ms. Gillett and Ms. Straughan were teaching us… So…

A: So da butcher knife…

W: So I get da school now… And the glass door…. If you open a glass door, and this wall right here now, it will become like a mirror… yo could see it… So… bad bwai no shut i eye eena school… You know how dat go when yo di pray… We no deh pahn no praying… I could remember a girl friend…. da pure shilling sign she show me while praying di go on… Yo hear me? Pure shilling she di show me, meanwhile praying di go on… because she wahn go buy “stretch mi guts” weh deh downstairs fi one cents… and shilling da lot a money dehn time deh…

A: (laughs) Bwai, shilling.. dat da big money…

W: But now… Well, me no gat shilling everyday fi gi ahn, yo know dehn way? Maybe wahn lee 5 cents, 10 cents, 2 cents… So… class di go aan now… praying di seh… but like a say, yo know bad bwai no shut eye,… so, I done di expect anything now… So I di watch dat mirror, alright?… Hihn kyan see I di watch hihn so easy… because I got mi head like a di look eena di class, yo know… Now, he wahn… he is coming upstairs, with a Police club, which he got after Hattie,… because you know a lot of those things were lost during the hurricane… and dehn ting mek out a sapadilly (Sapodilla tree), and dehn ting deh haad bad… dehn ting deh bruk you up… So hihn come wid one a dat… eena i pants too… and when i gaan fi teck it out a i pants, I get fi see him… and I haul my knife too…

A: Hmm…

W: Dis da eena di class, yo know… while prayers di go aan, yo know….

A: Eena di class?

W: Eena di class, yo know… Bwai, dehn two teacher look pahn we… dehn say, “Unu? What is this wid unu?!”
Dehn send we to Miss Floss Cassasola right away…

A: She was the principal?

W: She was the principal at that time… You know what they used to do with us in those times in the school? They had a thing named sash cord. You soak that eena water, and that stand up… When you get one a dat cross yo back… you behave yo self. I can tell you dat. And they had a time when they used to make a man hoist you up on his back….

A: All cross the desk…

W: Hey… So, dehn send fi Police now. First time wahn man wahn get eena anything wid Police. And the Police came; and Miss Floss beat we up bad eena dat class, wid hand, foot, I no know whatever… she just, because she said, unu?… Unu think unu wahn destroy my school? Bwai, she was mad… Dah slap, cord, everything wid di two a wi, and wi di bawl…
Now di Police gweyn wid two a wi down Albert Street. No handcuff, yo know, because we da young bwai, yo know. Police gweyn wid two a wi to di Station. Two a wi di bawl now, because… wi da friend, yo know… so di two a wi di bawl… two a wi young…
We get da di Station, now… Dehn send fi food fi we… Hihn stop eat and di cry…. So, yo see me?… You think you wahn stop eat and bawl, fi mek dehn sorry fi you..?.. Me stop eat and bawl too…

A: (laughs)

W: Yeah, me stop eat and start cry too…
So, next thing, my people dehn get fi hear…. My stepfather came, and he asked me what happened… and I tell ahn… He said, well listen…. then we gweyn go meet Mr. Hassock now, yo know… Da maanin now, yo know,… Dehn di look fi send me da Listowel, yo know…

A: Senator?..

W: We gweyn go meet Mr. Hassock…. downstairs of court…

A: Agapito… oh yaa, he was a magistrate or something..

W: Yes, he was a magistrate… So, my stepfather, weh dah wahn big man… hihn tell me weh fi say… i say, “Guilty with an explanation”… I still no know weh dat mean up to now… i say, “Tell the judge yo guilty, but with an explanation”… now I could understand weh dat mean… explain yoself weh gaan on, yo know…
And we went to court… And the man put me on probation for maybe a year or two, or something around there… but hihn get lash.. I don’t even know if they carried it through… but he was to get seven cuts, because it was he who really started the whole thing… dehn mi believe my ting (story).

So, I get, weh yo call that… expell? That is the word?

A: Yaa, I guess, expelled from school?

W: Yaa, I get expelled from school now… I wahn get dash out a school at fourteen, around that time, going on fifteen…

A: What!

W: Dis dah mi fifth school now, yo know..

A: Yeah..

W: Rockstone Pond, Zion Park, Baptist… no, dis dah mi fourth – Wesley…. (long pause)
A no like use the word “luck”…. A like say “blessing”, because dat da di only ting it can be, yo know? I happen to get enrolled in Holy Redeemer without a transfer paper. No school no do dat..

Related Articles

Share

About Author

(0) Readers Comments

Comments are closed.