Sports — 06 July 2016 — by Charles X Hyde (as told by Winty J)
Winty J (Vincent Johnson) – my life: Part 4

(Continued from page 52 of the Sun. July 3, 2016, #3000 Issue of Amandala)

W: 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…

Part 4

A: What! So dehn no even know weh yo come from…

W: No! Holy Redeemer don’t know weh I come from… Dehn tek me een…

A: Who da mi di principal, then?

W: Sister Magdalena… I could never forget… Sister Magdalena… and then yo had one weh name Francine… she used to teach right upstairs of Vogue (the store downstairs on Queen Street, near Swing Bridge foot), wid Sarge and all dehn bwai weh mi deh eena Standard Six… Dehn bwai mi eena bigger class than me, Sarge…

A: I thought it was Sister Xavier who was principal then…?

W: Yer who, Sister Magdalena was the principal at dehn time deh… and her second… well, the lady who was teaching Standard Six mi rough… dis one beat you wid i hand… dehn call ahn Francine..

A: (Laughs) Yaa, I know Sister Francine, Vasquez, yes, she no di joke…

W: Dehn time ya now, ball di play back da Garden deh… no Garden, ball used to play da Garden eena di evening…

A: Da Back Yaad…

W: Yes, Back Yaad… Then, BATA gaan bring een some tennis (shoes) with pegs… yo remember dehn one deh?

A: Yeah…

W: BATA bring een some wicked tennis with pegs… Bwai, look ya, my parents dehn buy me one a dem deh… Anytime you yer recess da afternoon time, look out… da zinc (fence) di ring…

A: After school… when di big boys dehn come through…

W: Yeah!…

A: Sheepman and dehn man deh…

W: (Laughs) Yes, yes… Pomo… Paapy Banner… Pappy Cat.. look ya! Bwai…!

A: Yeah, Back Yaad…

W: So, I ended up at Holy Redeemer. As a get deh… team again, bwai… team again.

And the only… just when we wahn start di season, Hattie come (Hurricane Hattie, October 31, 1961).

St. Ignatius against Holy Redeemer! Di two a wi got on yellow shirt… one a wi mi wahn haf to tek off shirt… But di game neva play, bwai… Dehn send we home di Monday, because Hattie come da same Monday night…. And dat da how da school ting done (for me)… right deh so…

And I get enroll in the music right there… A got to remember that…

A: At Holy Redeemer?

W: At Holy Redeemer, on the drums…

A: I know they had the school band…

W: Yes, and they had me as one of the lead drummers up front… because, once you are in the front row, you da one a di top drummers. I remember a brother named Nelson Neal who got killed in Viet Nam; he was one of the drummers too. I always remember when he gaan da Viet Nam, very young, in the ‘60’s

A: I remember Vallan Haylock was one of the “directors” (with the stick up front leading the parade) of the band.

W: Sheepman (Lightburn) da mi di big man with the drums, di base drum man. “Bumbi” Symms da mi wahn man weh knock di two…

A: The cymbals…?

W: Yes, hihn da di same lee Vallan Symms uncle, or some kind of faamly…

So, I continue and I mi deh dah school when Hattie come, and…

A: Hattie rough up everything…

W: And, after Hattie, school open back… and I got to about fifteen now… still in Standard Five… wahn lee man name Mr. Wong mi di teach we… wahn Chiney man name Mr. Wong

A: (Actually, he was) ‘Fonso Martinez’s (and Hilly Martinez’s) half-brother or uncle…

W: A meet di man nuff time and a gi ahn respect, yo know? In my old age now, a no know if i still living…

A: Yaa, i still living…

W: Alright, yo see ahn, no?

A: I see ahn…

W: i like ride a bike, i left handed…

A: i no ride the bike again, i like walk…

W: Mr. Wong, bwai… He was a nice man…

A: Yaa, i teach me too. i teach me eena Standard Five, a very good teacher, one of the best…

W: Standard Five. Because, dehn time deh… di class deh ya, but fi come down di step, Magdalena she used to have her office right deh.

A: Yaa, I remember.

W: She deh right deh da her desk…

A: Yo haf to pass deh…

W: Yo haf to pass deh!!… Then, Mr. Waight hihn deh right een deh di teach (Standard 3)… hihn had wahn lee bad foot…

A: Yaa, Mr. Waight mi rough, too…

W: And I could remember how dehn used to beat you… Miss Magdalena… yo bend down…. And she got wahn cane, weh kyan bruk… one a dehn wild cane… dah right cross yo rump, bredda! A di tell you, man…

A: When yo no go da church pahn Sunday, yo have to line up if yo no bring wahn excuse from yo parents…

W: And then pahn Friday yo get da communion ting; if yo da Catholic, yo haf to go see Fada. Then hihn had wahn five finger ting weh i beat you wid. You no remember dehn ting deh?

A: I neva get beat with the five fingers… (but I heard about it)

W: Dehn had wahn leather weh mek like five fingers, dat da weh i name… and i have steel eena di end or something eena di end fi mess you up… And when you give trouble, da dat… when you gweyn da Fada, da dat yo wahn meet… Fada Troy…

A: The real bad boys. Fada Troy or Brother Troy; or Brother Croix, I think it was..

W: We continue on… I’m going to school still… and, I mek wahn bad decision, man (depressed tone)… around fifteen…

A: Dis da after Hattie…

W: Yaa… A come back now, and a deh da school fi wahn lee while… Around ’63, I decided to… a no wahn deal wid school no more… Me no know how dat come to me… but i just come to me da day…

A: Hattie bruk up wahn lot a ting, and throw wahn lot a ting out a sink, yo know… Di world mi confusing… all kind a ting happen during da period a time before things get back pahn track… Yo see wahn lot a tings…

W: Yea, i mi rough pahn we… Yo figure yo could go help yo parents… because dat da mi my ting… I… I left school…. I walk out a school… Mr. Wong send me da Miss Magdalena…

A: Fi go get lashing?

W: Yes, and I run down di step past her…

A: Yo no wahn tek no mo lashing…

W: No… and me run down di step past her… And dis da wahn nother ting, when I look pahn mi parents again, and a say… I no know how they allow this… My mother neva really…

A: She musi neva even know weh di go aan…

W: She neva really press fi me go back da school… which I think i should a mi do, because a mi still young… a still fifteen…. Dehn time deh Michael’s di give Entrance… Dis ya one, you know, yo coulda get wahn lee Entrance… because a mi tek one a dehn already, but a fail, at da same Michael’s, due to weh a mi live side a Michael’s, and we play ball eena Michael’s…
Michael’s was like ours one time. Wahn man name Mr. Temple, wahn American, mi di teach deh… big American man name Mr. Temple, gi wi di yaad fi control weekend; we could play all wi ball, but keep it clean… buy ball fi wi too, a no. What! And da me da di man weh mi di run tings.

A: So yo decide fi no go back da school. Weh yo do next?

W: So a decide a no gweyn back da school. At this time, the airport (now P.S.W.G. International) just mi di build, di airport right deh… and di soldiers (British) mi di build camp up deh, di English bwai dehn… mi di build camps, so dehn mi di hire youths up deh at that time. You could a go up deh and get wahn painting job. So I went up there, right after school.. and a… what, boy…. yo parents dehn like dat, because i wahn bring een lee money…

A: Tings tight dehn time deh, what… after Hattie…

W: But check this out… We deh pahn di job… We di learn to paint and get pay… because yo di learn… afternoon, yo go eat hurry, and yo go play wahn lee game ‘gainst di white man dem, wahn lee football, yo know?… Now yo wahn eat hurry up and yo gweyn go play…. and man gweyn go do wahn lee meditation… after dat… round da one so… we done eat and everything, and ball wahn play… and man gaan lik wah lee, yo know?… and do wahn lee meditation…

A: So yo done di tek yo lee touch already…

W: Yes, me start…

A: Yo mi di go da Yabra… from di time yo di go da Yabra, yo mi di…

W: Yes, because mi sister live wid Bismark, weh da wahn Yabra man… so I used to Yabra already… I have to trod from weh I live to Yabra, weh no deh far… Mex Avenue bridge, I live right deh… and I go right da Yabra deh by John Scaan…. mi sister live down deh wid Bismark, yo know… so I have to trod Yabra… plus a play ball da Yabra field… me swim out deh… so… Yabra… Yabra gah mi ghost… yo know weh deh seh?… Yabra ghost di come; me da one a dem…

A: You used to smoke cigarette dehn time deh, or only the herbs?

W: Well…. A wahn gi u da history deh bout di cigarette… Em… but… let me finish di airport ting, alright… A deh pahn di airport job now… and we done play… and afternoon come now and I… yaa… me da di talk man…

Di man dehn no di work… Dehn di listen to me run my mouth, Chalwa…

A: Yo di keep back di work…

W: What!… Bwai, di corporal… hihn no have on no shirt, yo know how dehn white man dehn… high cap on… “Mr. Johnson… I’d like to see you in the office…”
Because everybody sit down ‘round me, yo no… I no di work, and I just di run my mouth, Chalwa… yo yer me?…

A: (laughs) Yeah, lot a lyrics…

W: Yeah, di man… di corporal come, and i say, “Mr. Johnson, come in the office. I’d like to talk to you.” i get me eena di office, and… me no know weh i di come wid now, yo no… Because I no even di realize dat I di keep back di man work… yo know dehn way? No, I… now I could see all these things, no… i neva wrong… i say, “Well, listen.” i say, “Right now you are keeping back this work… and we go’n give you two weeks.”

A: Hmm. Discipline…

W: And I get fire…

A: Just like dat…

W: Just like dat, Chalwa…

A: Dehn no easy, yo no…

W: No. I get fire, bredda… and right after dat, a gaan gaan start heng round Yabra… And I mi kind a lee biggish too, yo no… a neva kind a too small… and dehn bwai mi done know me down deh, due to weh Bismark da mi brah’nlaw… And I have to pass dehn every minute… and then I become di only youth di heng ‘long wid dehn big man… and dehn send me go do all kind a ting…

A: Young bwai…

W: Yes… I go do all kind a ting fi wahn lee seventy-fai cents, dalla or fifty cents… becaaa… da me… and one ting a could seh, dehn no allow no young bwai round deh weh no go da school… But like a say, I mi kind a lee biggish… and a mi done fifteen, and yo no?

A: Yaa, well, yo done pass through dat already…

W: Yes, so da now… di real music ting wahn come to mi now… ‘65

(To be continued in next Issue of the Amandala)

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