Barrouallie: Tales of different eras
May 24, 2013
Football revisited, then au revoir, adios, goodbye from Tales

Well, after several months we are finally at the end of our tales. Since we have not “depleted” the information, tales will continue in a different form. There is definitely more to be said. Before officially bowing out and expressing my gratitude, I must revisit the sport of football.{{more}}

My brother, Trevor “Bono” Kennedy, filled me in on some information recently. There were a few things which I too remember. My brother recalled how Bamboo posts, fork-sticks and, in some instances, board formed the uprights and cross bars of the goal area before we graduated to what we have today. He is of the opinion and is convinced that all young men in his era and before, played football. The “after match” discussions continued way into the night at Grace and Truth corner.

When compared to this era, some things have changed. In addition to the goal area, football shorts were just that: short. Thus, the Spring Village team, which was part of the local competition, created quite a stir when they turned up in three-quarter length pants for one of the openings. The crowd erupted in laughter, as they mimicked them. My brother recalled one instant when Mr Blugh’s establishment had imported “football shoes,” which the locals called “Jim Tags” and which were sold out instantly. The following day, the park was awash with yellow and black Jim Tags.

In addition to the teams which were mentioned last week, there were others from different eras. There were ”Beginners,” who looked like “Jokers” if they played “Old Boys.” One had to look out for “trouble fo dem” when “Mohawks” played “Downstairs.” “Downstairs” supporters occupied what is now the bank end of the park, while “Mohawks” supporters lined the Jackson end of the park. I understand that was the game to watch in that era. Of course “Downstairs” members gathered in the downstairs of the “founder’s” home to strategize from time to time.

“Paragons” also graced the park; so did “Humble Lions,” “Ajax,” “Brydens” and “Tottingham Rangers.” In addition to the players mentioned last week, there were Comic, Arwees, Turkey, Sinto Carr, Ronald “Pierre” Jack, Gideon Francis and his brother Tusty, Meldon James, Augustine Lewis, Percy, brother of Elmore Poyer, Elliot Mulraine, Keith Rocque, Dragon, Roach, Pollo Rassy, Slave I, Culture, Red eye, Abrie, OC, Dow, crop, Rodwell “Smoker” Alexander and other goalkeepers who were not mentioned last week were: Da-Vee, Bouncer, Fay, Teeshay and Austin Barbour. Then there was Austin’s brother “Tash”. Now mentally challenged, “Tash” was a good footballer and a “ladies’ guy” in his heyday. It is a pity how life’s challenges and circumstances can bring about unbelievable changes. The players mentioned represented different teams in different eras. Do you remember “Tasso” who played for “White Horse?” His back kick came straight from one goal end to the other.

Of all the players, one will always remember “Salthead” ,”Taylor”, “Duke,” “Steppy” and “Pretty Sh*t” who were in a category by themselves. One of the stories goes that all defenses were cleared, the goalkeeper was beaten hands down and Duke was alone with the open goal at his mercy…Woodup! The ball went flying over the cross bar. To this day, no one could explain how that happened, because there was nowhere else to kick the ball but in the back of the net.
In one game, “Pretty Sh*t” had spent most of the game on the touch line, much to the dismay of the crowd, who wanted to be entertained. Suddenly, the manager of the Spring team indicated it was time for “Pretty Sh*t” to go on. The crowd was excited. As soon as “Pretty Sh*t” ran on, the whistle sounded…Phew…signalling the end of the match!!!!!!…sheer pandemonium, every man Jack was in stitches… “park mash up.”

Like all good things of old, Tales have come to an end. It is my hope that the youths are more informed about this town and where we came from relative to estate life, tales of the sea, our customs and traditions, to places of interest in the community, political, sports and educational tales. In some ways I wish we can return to some aspects in an effort to “save” the current generation. I especially like those eras when the village raised the child and children knew their places, the era when children made do with what their parents could afford and who respected all.

Nationwide, too many of our young people appear to be losing their way. Too many of our children are seen unattended and at late night functions which are meant for adults. Respect is no longer on the cards. In my day, our school uniform, which defined and identified us, was greatly respected. Today, too many school children, particularly those beyond the primary level, no longer respect their uniforms and this is very troubling.

In closing, I wish to thank my mom, Mrs Mona Dalton and other family members, Mr Frank Branch, George “Adda” Primus, Mr Phillip Charles, Mr Arnold Caesar, Mr Alfred Hepburn aka Kyah, Ms Alvis Johnson, Mr Lance John, Mr Trevor “Bono” Kennedy, Strosbert Hepburn, Gracina Cunningham and Nigel Frederick for information provided and for words of encouragement. I wish to mention the name Alfred Lowmans who was laid to rest last month, but who was also very instrumental in providing me with tales. I wish to express my gratitude to his family especially his daughter, Jillian.

Thanks to Mr Michael Dalton, Mr and Mrs Royden and Pearlette Hannaway, Mr Brian “Nardo” Charles (New York), Mr Walter Jackson (New York) Ms Vernice Dublin, Mrs Eileen Francis, Ms Kenisha Patrick, Brenford and Cordelia Findlay, Mrs Johanne Daniel-Francis, Mrs Carmena Francis, Mr and Mrs Elmore and Dafflyn Poyer, Ms Kezian Patrick, Ms Mida Mason, Mr Frederick (attached to the RSVPF and who currently resides in the suburbs of Kingstown), Mr Dennis Trant/ Scrubb, Mr Heulin Pierre, Mrs Monica Malcolm, Ms Emily Frederick and Joy and Bernard Haynes for the words of encouragement.
Thanks to the many readers who met me from time to time and also expressed well wishes. I wish to express my gratitude to my e-mail fans here and in the diaspora. Thanks to my friend Camelitha Chambers- OGarro who incidentally informed me that tales was given some publicity on Barrouallie beat (Facebook) thanks to Derrick Anderson. Thanks to all the members of the Community of Barrouallie. Last but not least thanks to Searchlight’s management for affording me the medium through which information was transmitted. Thanks to all.