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Dat White Coat


Ah was telling Lie-Za ah have ah lickle machine at home dah does tell me How Low me Blood Pressure is; notice ah say “How Low”, because dat always giving me Low Reading. But from de time ah sit down in de doctor’s office, and he come out all dressed up in his White Coat, and hook up his machine to my hand, his machine reading is nearly twice mine. She said to me: “Doh panic, nothing wrong wid yuh machine. your machine is fo Low Blood Pressure readings and de Doctor’s is foh High Blood Pressure reading!” Suddenly she is ah doctor, she tells me ah could be suffering from ah disease called “White Coat Syndrome!” Ah person could be cool and relaxed and from de moment he see some Medical Students in dey Whie Coats on de street coming towards him/her, right away his/her pressure gone up higher dan VINLEC pole. Anyhow, she add-vice me to believe way de Doctor Machine readings tell me, and tek de med-he-care-shun. Doctor Lie-Za recommend ah Exercise! eat plenty Garlic! drink plenty Say-nah-man bush! And doh forget Exercise!

Anyhow, few weeks ago dey was a photo in all three Newspapers featuring a group of young medical students at Trinity College receiving “Dey White Coat.” Me pressure went up so high ah didn’t even reckon-eyes dat three ah de youngsters decked in dey bran-new “White Coats” are my adopted nephews: Jerand Maule, Carmold Murray and Akil Augustus. Dey gonnah be great Doctors in ah few years.


How swiftly time flies. About 12 years ago, Sister Ivy, de Principal of St Mary’s Primary, told me she wanted to add Cuatro Classes to her music syllabus at de School. We spoke wid de Venezuelan Ambassador, Madam Tibisay, who made it all possible foh de school to get 12 Cuatros. (Ah does pray foh Venezuela’s recovery often). My furst batch ah Grade Four kids were all excited. We made ah deal, dey will address me as uncle Bassy at all times, from dey’re on it was clear sailing… Oops!, clear playing. Within two weeks dey learned ah couple chords. By week three, lickle Xavia told me she had composed her own song, and immediately started to sing it foh me, not knowing de whole group already knew Xavia’s song: “I got the Blues!”. Dey played de two chords dey knew “D and A7th”. Ah was so impressed dat ah got de Principal’s permission to take dem for an assessment at de School’s Music Festival dat was in progress. De lady Adjudicator from T.n.T was impressed when ah told her dey were beginners, just one month and it was dey own composition.


Dat first group ah students went on to Secondary School. Den came ah next group, lickle 9 and 10-year-ole Boys and Girls. Smart kids who caught on to de Rhythms quickly and played Cuatro like Venezuelans. Ah remember de Min. of Eddy-care-shun invited dem to do two items at a Primary and Secondary schools Awards Ceremony at Met-dis Town Hall. De late Pat Prescod was at de back of de Hall, and when dey were coming off stage, Pat called me aside and said: “Beautiful strumming Bassy, great potential!” If Pat Prescod say so, it had to turn out to be so.

In de Common Entrance Exams, it did not surprise me dat St Mary’s was among de top five places, and among dat five were Jerand, Carmold and Akil. Dat was de school’s academic success, nothing to do wid my Cuatro Instructions, maybe de half hour classes ah week it use to relax dem. Dey were just ah special bunch ah intelligent kids.

Dey went into Grammar School and next thing dey was ah School Band, my three adopted nephews were out front: Jerand playing Key-boards, Carmold de Rhythm Guitar and Akil de Bass, dey, along wid some others including Saed Bowman ah talented Pannist were very popular. Come CXE and de Trio did not surprise, again, dey were right up dey among de Top places. Dey shifted institutions and went to Community College, and continued to blossom, de Band got better and bigger. Again it did not surprise me when at CAPE Level, dey all won Scholarships to move on to Trinity College to earn dey “White Coats!”

Ah must add-myth dat meeting dem three youngsters in White Coats, ah feel normal, me Blood Pressure right dey stuck at 130 over 80; and later when dey all graduate de pressure will mek it perfect. What will mek my day is if one ah dem become ah Brain Surgeon and create ah Memory Chip and plant it in me brain to prevent me from becoming See-Nile.

Before closing, Lie-Za wants me to wish Miss Ferdie of “Best Mauby in Town” fame, ah happy 90 th Birthday. Still going strong making she Mauby; and still counting her money widout adding machine or computer. No Calvert, no Jules no Leslie could better dat. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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