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Ah treasured milestone

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If ah didn’t have another engagement last Sat-dey night ah would ah crash Dennis and Didy George’s Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary Party. Dat is no easy milestone to cover, 60 years times 365 days equals 21, 900 days, Mr and Mrs George (see photo on page 28) have lived together foh over twenty-one thousand, nine hundred days! Ah know people who married two and three times and ain’t reach twenty years yet.{{more}} In de Commonwealth realms, couples celebrating dey 60th wedding anniversary can apply to de Queen at Buckingham Palace or de Governor-General’s office here, foh ah message from de Queen. Ah think we belong to de Come-an-wilt, dat has to do wid Al-ba-ba sorry.. dat should be ALBA!.

Ah not as familiar wid Mrs George as I am wid her husband, Dennis, but foh her to have held ah family wid ah ‘not so easy to go wid’ husband Dennis and five lovely off-springs, miserable Jerry included, speaks volumes of de good lady, she deserves ah full Pen-shun from NIS; except Arm-in will ball murder again foh de NIS. Seriously though ah know Dennis, dealt wid and wuk foh him ah couple times. But from way back as ah lickle youth-man, ah uses to hear de name Dennis George long before ah ever met him. He and my uncle Bernard worked at Corea & Co foh years, sounded like dey were buddies. Dennis’ Primary school classmates reliably inform me dat he was ah bright boy, but in dem days it took more dan brightness to go secondary school, Dennis’ parents didn’t have dat three pounds sterling or $ 14. 88 ah school term fees, so off he went to learn trade wid ah top class furniture builder named Bertie Gaymes. Interestingly Gaymes’ workshop was located right way OT’s “Finishing and Furnishing” furniture store is presently.

Ah overs dat in dem days ah trade-man made ah shilling ah day, if he was dat good. But de young and adventurous Dennis found himself hunting one day in de Vermont Nature trail, when he ‘set-eyes’ pon ah beautiful flower in de Valley wid ah strange name, Didy, he immediately packed up and head back to town to wuk foh real cash!

Wid plans to start dis sixty year journey wid Didy first and foremost haunting on his mind, ah shilling ah day couldn’t buy ah ring and mind ah wife; so Dennis went to wuk wid Corea’s in de Hardware Dept. While there he eventually became ah supervisor. Wisely, he didn’t quit his trade when he went to wuk foh Corea’s; instead he opened his own furniture shop at de corner ah Middle and Higginson Street, opposite Met-dis Church, and not far from way his full-time wuk-place at Corea’s. He practically spent most if not all his spare time in his shop. Ah don’t think ah have to explain dat in de early days, dey didn’t have machines, power saws and planes, electric sanders and spray guns and so on; was hammer, saw, chisel and plane; sand papering was done manually. One ah his sons, Jerry does boast how he’s ah Joiner too, but he will never say he run from de trade, de wuk was too hard! But de seen-yah George was not afraid ah technology and when de modern day machines became available, he moved up in style. De quality ah his furniture was excellent and Soon he was supplying most ah de leading stores wid ready-made furniture: beds, bureaus, chairs etc. Ah would not be in error if ah say dat Dennis George and Gurney Gibson were de pioneers in de mass production ah furniture for de stores in town.

Ah vividly remember one night around de dinner table, hearing my uncle saying: “ My friend Dennis throw de keys give de Casson’s (at Coreas), and walked off de job today.” Ah think somebody tried to mess wid him, and yuh don’t mess wid de Dennis George dat ah happen to know and worked for. From dense-forth, he went full time in his furniture business till he re-tyred. And happy to say dat Mr George was one cents-able Black Man dat didn’t let his labour go to waste, ley me put it right, Dennis George was frugal and invested his money wisely including ah bit ah real estate. Stone foh stone, board foh board, Dennis and his wife live in one ah de better built West Indian houses at Cane Garden, and ah don’t have to say who built it all by himself.. Ah feel inspired writing dis piece on Mr George foh many reasons; he’s ah role model foh poor Black kids, faithfully married to ah poor Black girl as well from Leeward, ah lady who opted to become de I-deal home-maker, virtuous wife, stern but loving mother of five. Dey are both Christians and very humble people; Dennis himself is modest about his achievements, maintaining ah good reputation foh dealing honestly wid customers and people in general; his middle name is hard-wuk, de thing dat most people running from today, everybody want money but nobody want to do “hard-wuk!” At 80-plus he still moves around, looking as fit as ever, wid ah frame packed wid muscles gained from those days ah pushing de hand saw and plane. Ah recall quite well when Searchlight opened its doors, it was Mr George who offered us de use ah his building at Bottom Town. So foh all his kindness and much more, from Searchlight we say Congrats! Lie-Za called to find out what ah writing bout, ah told her “ah respectable couple who celebrated 60 years of marital bliss, it’s called ah Diamond Anniversary.” She asked me way yuh does get for ah 40th anniversary, ah told her, ah Pearl. She went sigh-lent, den started to relate her plans how If and When she and Lie-Owe get married, she not waiting foh no sixtieth anniversary, she will settle foh de 40 years, she will give Lie-Owe his Pearl but she want ah Paul and not just one, foh 40 years she is entitled to two, 20 year ole Pauls.

AH NEW TOM AND JERRY SERIES

Ah nice Cat ‘ N’ Mouse Game has started between Ralph and Arm-in; reminds me ah de Tom ’N’ Jerry TV Cartoon. Ralph of course is Tom de pussy who all time setting his Red Rat trap foh Arm-in. He baited de trap wid ah piece ah dry bread, offering de Ah-live Branch to de Awe-position. Using Lie-Za’s words, she say Ralph say dat in de hold-he land, de spirit told him to wreck-an-soil his NME, so he wit-drawing de High Court Cases in which he was awarded de-fall’t judge-mint against both Arm-in and Come-ins in ah slander case. Everybody saw dat as ah good move, if dey were playing ah game ah Pedro, yuh could say Ralph played ah ‘Jack-ah- hearts’ to kill NDP’s Pedro, de ‘Five ah hearts’ and dah will be de end ah dem. Not so easy. Someway in de pack Arm-in found ah ‘Queen-ah-hearts’ dat big enough to hang de Jack and saved de Pedro. Like Jerry, de Mice in de Cartoon, Arm-in is telling Ralph, de Cat dat he will eat his bread only if he put ah slice ah cheese pon it. He asking Ralph to wit-draw all de-famo-tree cases against all NDP supporters, specifically mentioning Dug-he and Lynch. Ah keep telling all yo, Arm-in is ah man of principle. But trust me it’s not over till de “Fat man sings,” de trouble is two Fat Men singing, one on either side. 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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