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Ah want to be ah Nonageranian

My date and I arrived late, de Party was in full swing, Jewels Ferdinand was at de end of his “toast,” and from de applause he got, ah know he was his usual dime-ah-night self. We all converged at de “High Tide” to party wid Grand Master, Eric “Tartah” Browne as he celebrated his 95th Birthday. Non-age-nar-run (Nonageranian) people 90-99 years ole, are few and far, so it is always ah blessing when ah loved one reaches 90. But on Choose-dey night we were graced wid de presence of four persons who are still active and blossoming at Ninety-something. Sitting gracefully wid her daughter Jennifer, across from my left was Mrs. Carteel Trotman (91) of Trotman’s Electrical Supplies and still taking cash at de company’s Kingstown branch! Den on de opposite side, to my right was Lady Clara Veira (92), looking as charming as ever except foh those 90 year ole knees dat giving her problems; nothing wrong wid de brain though, it “right dey” good as ever. {{more}}
She and her daughters came to identify with one of their most faithful Supervisors. And sitting at de table opposite to Lady Clara’s, was Jim “Uncle Jim” Veira (94),Eric’s longest living friend and buddy from boy days. He was dey wid his son Sam and his wife, Uncle Jim looks as young as Sam oops, Sam looks as ole as his dad. Dey tell me dat when Uncle Jim was ah Pastor at Gospel Hall, he uses braved de road on his bike to G’town and back every Sunday to conduct Church Service, maybe dat is de secret to his longevity. But de Man ah de Moment wid de highest score at 95 was Eric Browne. Dey call him all kind ah names, but Tartah is de community’s fear-foh it, derived from ah tie-tongue sibling who couldn’t say “Dardah.”
Lots ah surprises as ole friends and family came to celebrate wid him. His big son and daughter, Dutchy and Merlene living in de US, had come in to sit at de head-table. Ronald “Ron B” and family, Ann still de prettiest of dem was present wid her family. De Browne clan is big, nuff grand and great-grand tek up half of de tables. De food was just right, Vincy call-Lou is always good, but is de ‘Fish’, ah doh know if is because Tartah is a Fisherman, de fish was well done or donewell! In some way or de other, Mr Browne would have touched de lives of most of us present, and around de tables was nuff whispering of interesting tales, stories, anecdotes about dis One-dah-full gentleman.

How when he goes fishing, if de water is rough, he ties one end of a rope around his waist, de other end around ah tree, just in case he gets washed off de rock. De most exciting tale was when he got soaking wet while fishing one rainy fore-day morning, he took refuge in ah cave, all of ah sudden ah piece ah thunder crack wid ah flash ah lightening, or Vie-see ver-saw, instantly his clothes dried up, luckily foh Tartah, he wore rubber boats and beerly escaped being electrocuted by lightening. No thunder or lightening will stop Tartah fishing though, after dat near death experience, wid de first sign of ah change ah weather, catch or no catch, he packs up and heads home.

What really surfaced on Choose-dey night was de virtue of ah simple lifestyle and de Humility in Man. Tartah takes care of his kitchen garden, he lives to fish and at “95” he still walks from home at Murray’s Road to Cane Garden Point, two miles away, to fish on de Rocks and catch nuff fish to feed de family.

When ah grow up, whenever dat is, ah want to be like Missah Browne at “95” to be able to feed me-self, plant me own vegetables and best of all go pon ah rock and catch me own fish. But first ah got to grow up!


Beat up pon LIAT and say as much as yuh like! Say it’s not ah business, period! Say it’s inefficient and more expensive to travel wid! Say it’s unreliable wid flight schedules, passengers missing international connections, luggage showing up days after arrival, sometimes not at all! But yuh can’t say nutten bout its “Safety Record.” So good to know dat our own, Rommel De Feitas, son of Marcus and Sylvia, Dug-he’s nephew, was one ah de pilots who safely landed ah distressed LIAT’s Dash 8 plane in B’dos, de plane had a main wheel failure. Dey was 43 persons on board. However de nation and indeed de region is still awaiting to hear de Cheerman of LIAT, PM Gone-Soft give de pilots, including Rommel, ah lickle big-up and say: ” Yes, Rommel, Marcus’ son is ah good man!” Failing to do dat Mr PM, yuh gone thru! Is like eating de goat and tun round to eat de kiddie too!”


Talk is cheap! Lie-Za say how de latest call to legal-lies Marie-won-her making she laugh. After we, successive Guv-ah-mints been “dissing” de Marie-won-her Farmers, hunting and shooting dem down, bun down all dey crops year after year, after we done pack up de Jail wid our young men foh a spliff, we want to mek it legal to plant de Herb, dey couldn’t find ah better name: “Me-dissing-all Marie-won-her!” When we Legal-lies de Herb foh Me-dissing-all use, we will be able to eat it, drink it but nah smoke it!. Lie-Za is asking foh Rip-arreas-shun from de US Military and de SSU to compensate de Farmers foh de millions and millions ah dollars worth ah de crops dey destroyed over de years.

And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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