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Three score and ten… Not out!

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In de game ah cricket, one ah de greatest ambition of any batsman. Male or female, is to score ah century / one hundred runs in any one innings; mek it better if dem runs were to be scored in ah ‘test match’. Even better still is when dah player makes ah double century or even carries his score to over four hundred and break Brian Lara‘s world record!{{more}} Sad to say dat ah played lots ah cricket as ah youth growing up, ah never one day mek ah century, but ah think today November 9, 2011, ah know what it feels like to mek ah ‘Century’ in one innings, and still batting!

Yuh notice ah didn’t say ‘one hundred’, well my ‘century’ is ‘Three Score and Ten” years, and dat is what ah mek dis week on November ninth.

Looking back over dis short period, de years went so fast dat ah got to say de period short; however ah want to say thanks to de Good Lord, my strict Mom, as opposed to my soft and gentle grand-parents, my uncle held on foh my dad, who was ah great musician, hindered by mental illness, but not wid-out his humour and famed foh sound add-vice.

On de subject ah ‘falling in love’, his add-vice was ‘Row-row you boat, gentle down de stream’! Ah only wish young people today would close-off de high speed out-board engines and use de good ole row-boat wid oars. And last but not least, faithful friends, my villagers in particular, ah must pay tribute to my villagers, dat great Murray Village Community.

One ah de advantages of being ah “child raised in ah village” is dat ah enjoyed ah full and rounded life. Apart from de protection and de nurturing from adults and senior peers, dey was de coming to-gather ah big and small, de freedom to roaming and explore de area, climbing de near-bar fruit trees wid-out permission, yuh could call dat “permissible juvenile theft”; spinning top, pitching marbles, flying kite, making sling-shot hunting foh fruits and birds; now-ah-days de youths use guns to hunt down each other.

We learned to swim and never went to ah beach, yuh ever heard bout ‘river dam’? Well dey was Pastor Feddy Medford water-fall and dam way he uses to baptize his converts.

When school went on vacation, we played almost all day into de early hours ah de nights telling ‘Nansi Stories, playing ‘ring games’; how ah sorry foh dem young people who ain’t know bout ‘ring games; we sang game/songs, my fear-foh-hit game/song was: ‘Ah-gouti undah dey, tease um! tease um! Darg (dog) dey ah dooh (repeat). Nah go dey! nah go dey! Bull-darg go bite yuh’!

Some of us were Boy Scouts or Girl Guides; as kids were mannerly and respectful to seniors, but most importantly, there was God, who didn’t have Church clothes to reach town, got de benefit ah de Met-dis open air Sunday School under ah bread-fruit tree and later in Sir Rupert John’s garage.

Sunday School was way we learn ‘bout ‘man’s soul’ and ‘conscience’ and ‘peace and love’ and ‘ being kind and gentle to one another’. We seldom fought, but when we did, we fought wid our fists.

How vividly ah remember de gang ah youngsters from Miss Burnett at de top ah de hill to Mc lean’s gap at de bottom. Dey was Miss Forbes and Miss Andrews crowd of Prince, Patrick, Ranny, de two sets ah twins Brother-Peters and Sonny, and Sheril and Shirley ; Lalla Williams girls; de Edwards (Shark-head, Clayton, Pounce and Bullet); Mack Nanton de village carpenter; Sarah Clarke boys Ralph and Mike; de Joyettes-Pappy ‘sherriff’ Joyette de coffin builder, his son Leo de Village Taylor and his boys Sonny whiskers, Dennis, David et al; Wadgee, Christopher and Turkey foh Miss Inez; De Richards brothers of musicians; Alvin and Carmen foh Miss Dorcas, Percy Bonadie kids; Boy (Sheller) foh Miss Baby; Christine and Winston foh Cappo Smith; de Mc clean kids Vonley Ken and Stean; oh, soo many ah we to mention, suffice to say, when we went to school we stuck together and nobody messed wid ah Murray Village person, we were like ‘stinging ants’, yuh touch one yuh touch all, and we were too much to handle.

Yes is within dat kind ah humble and bonded environment ah was moulded; dat is de substance, de roots from which ah was able to gather de ‘will’ to keep going, till God help me to reach ‘three score and ten’, and ah still batting, notwithstanding de fact , dat just before stroking de ball to reach seventy, ah swung my bat at ah faster delivery, wid an awkard bounce, missed de ball and and got hit in de groin area, ah refuse to retire till ah face de last ball in de innings. Yuh never know ah might just go foh Brian Lara’s record.

Having said all ah dat, it would be remiss of me if ah don’t say thanks to all ah dem people, me children, grand-children, me friends, big and small, young and ole on Facebook, who gone and let out my age mek all dem girls know ah reach seventy and living over-time. Ah will have all yuh know dat foh my birthday, ah had Lobster and garlic shrimp at ‘Red Lobster’ on Edward Street, if you please, courtesy my daughter Cindy and her husband Floyd and my grand-son Najee. Yes ah write dat foh Lie-Za eat she heart out!

And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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