Ah Doctor Name Priest
Franklyn K. S. Jacobs alias “Priest” never liked his nick-name and he never told us how he became “Priest.” De last time ah saw him was in 2005. He had come home from de UK to join us
in de Cell-he-bray-shun of de 50th Anniversary of de “Boys Grammar School Class of 1955.” He was de last of de Gang to come in from overseas, and we were happy to have him foh dat festive occasion.
From de moment he landed, he summoned us to Chit-Chat session at Cobble Stone Inn. Immediately we realized dat Priest had not changed! Brought ah strong English accent, an expensive looking Pipe, an enlarged stomach and his MD. He made it clear dat he was still “Priest”, but would appreciate if we add de title Doctor to his name.
His mother died when he was a baby, and had we known dat, am sure we would ah bin more gentle with him. He somehow wanted to appear tough, so he limed back and forth between Devil Street at one end of de Block and De Bridge Boys on de other. Plus he was sheltered and man-trolled by his lovely Aunties who had good Government paying jobs, and made life good foh him, dey spoilt dey nephew with love.
In school he was vocal, quick to challenge anyone to ah fist fight. His fights never went beyond one punch, and he would start ah bawling. He and Sam Commissiong (deceased) left ah Record in Boxing in de school. Class going on and he and Sam Commissiong getting into ah fight. Eugene Moore, de teacher, wanted some act-shunes, and took dem outside to settle dey differences. Moore went to de Games Room, brought two pairs of Boxing Gloves; took de whole class outside, formed us in ah circle (Ring); as Priest and Sam slugged away at each other with some vicious and wild punches. Priest was doing well until Sam stopped him wid ah shot to his chin, and Mr Tough guy started ah big bawling! Fight over, but although Priest surrendered, he had landed more shots.
Priest would have liked to be ah sportsman like his dad Cooper Jacobs, ah Nah-shun-all foot-baller, or his uncle Barney Jacobs, ah Nah-shun-all cricketer, Surely he tried his skills at both sports, but ended up as Best Dressed Player. Where he excelled however, was in Athletics. His event was after Sports day, House Feed. Twelve Bread and Beef was an appetizer foh Priest. He just had ah passion foh Corned Beef. During our 50th Anniversary, he begged us to please have ah night of Bread and Beef and Ju-C. We actually did and we all reminisce on de good ole days.
So ah have given yu ah bit of his lighter side as ah schoolmate. Now de heavier side of Priest is dat he was ah bright student, very disciplined scholar. De Subject choice in those days was Science or Law, Easily Priest could have been any of de two. He was younger dan most of us in de class and brighter as well. Codos to dem two Ole Aunties, dey uses to drill him and made sure he studied at nights. He was determined to become ah Medical Doctor following in his dad’s footstep, dat he did quite successfully. He has gone to ah better place of milk and honey, but sadly foh Priest, my faithful friend, no Corned Beef and Bread. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
lBassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.