So sad to read about the demise of Mr. Alfonso Ramirez, he did not know me, but I felt a little affinity towards this gentleman because he and I grew up in similar circumstances. His family had Democratic Bar, which was famous for its “Democratic Gin”, and we had Hi-Lite Club, with its “Rum & Gin”. Both were immensely popular products with their clientele.
This was before the big producers started mass production of Caribbean Rum, Travellers, Old Master, etc.
We had to buy our strong rum and add our secret ingredients to have our own brands. Liquor was cheap then, 10 cents for a drink and 25 cents for a triple.
I only met the gentleman once, when my friend, Landy “Scaramouche” Medina, invited me and my friend, Roman “Drum” Melendez, to have a drink with him at the Democratic Bar, on Hydes Lane, I think. That would be back in the late 70’s or early 80’s.
One of my friends started misbehaving and he had to put us out. That’s the bad part of selling liquor; too much misbehavior from the customers.
He was a fan and contributor to Amandala, and we all enjoyed his writings.
May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.
Another, sad news is the passing of Mr. Stephen “Strings” Kuylen, well-known custom broker at the Santa Elena border. I met him there in 1983, where he had gone after he gave up “RK’s Burgers” in Orange Walk. He was a Lynam College graduate, May he R.I.P. and R.I.G.