Bassy - Love Vine
December 23, 2010
My greatest Christmas gift

Ah drove thru town earlier tonight (Chose-dey) and when ah see de crazy shopping scene as ah got pass Corea’s & Hazells Inc. near the vegetable market, it sent me down memory lane some fifty-sum-ting years ago. Back den, every twelve year ole boy wanted ah Christmas job; ah wanted ah Cash-boy wuk, but dem jobs were hard to get, yuh had to have ah God-father. Long ago God-father meant “standing foh ah child when s/he christen, promising financial help, to see s/he he gets de best training foh adulthood”.{{more}} Now-ah-days yuh pick yuh own God-father by joining ah pull-it-tek-all party; when dat party get into office, yuh family taken care of, children get wuk, dey scholarships sure, de best job and de highest promotion is yours wid or widout qualification. In my case it was my God Mother, Lily Wilson. She was de Deputy Headmistress at Prep School, specially built for children of de Colonialist, ex-patriots stationed here, de elites, white planters and senior public servants’ children as well. Her sister Katie Wilson, was Head-teacher, she was sent to de UK to be trained to handle these children. So ah put me case to me God-mother who told me leave it to her. Ah few days after, she told me to report to ah Mr Snellings, de boss-man at United Traders Ltd, now Corea’s & Hazells Inc. Snellings was an Englishman, so it was easy like kissing hand foh my God-mother to get de lickle job foh me; ah case ah “I tek care ah your child, yuh tek care ah my God-child”. De management staff was all white folks except two blacks, Clarence Keizer and one Sonny Derrick, dey did de Customs wuk. Christmas shopping was hectic even back den. As ah lickle youth ah never wuk so hard, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 50 cents ah day, yuh might want to call it child labour, but dat Christmas Eve night when ah opened me pay envelope and saw $ 6. 00, ah felt ah was ah Bill-in-air, richer dan Bill Gates. Ah believe Mr Snellings wanted to rub it on my God-mother, he told me and my colleague Mike Bennett dah we can continue to wuk after Christmas. Christmas night ah gave me mother and me grand-mother ah dollar each. Dat softened dem up ah lot, after dat ah weary hear dem telling dey friends how I was such ah thoughtful child. But dey gave me hell foh bad spending de rest ah me wages. My problem was dey had ah set ah bully at Grammar School, was no way ah could ah stand up to de weakest among dem. But from day one pon de job, ah saw ah set ah exercising springs for $3. 00. What caught me was de package cover-photo wid ah massive muscular guy, and it read, “build strong muscles in months”. Dat Christmas eve night of 1955, ah pull spring all night and ah have never stopped exercising since den, from springs to weights, to Karate, to Tae-kwon-do to just walking and light dumbbells now-ah-days. Ah don’t see many youngsters doing Christmas jobs, long ago senior form students got Christmas jobs at Guv-ah-mint departments like Customs, Post office etc, way dey got good wages. Not now-ah-days, de kids prefer to harass parents foh money to go walk town streets in groups like models, den go to Church to eat KFC by de Subway. But tonight it all came back to me like yes-today; my first 50 cents ah day Christmas wuk from which ah bought my first Gym. Dey are many Christmas Gifts dat ah cherished, but ah would like to think my life was greatly influenced as ah result ah dah Cash-boy Job, after which ah never stopped wuking. And de other is dah set ah Exercising Springs, after which ah never stopped exercising. Maybe your best Christmas Gift is a firm commitment to do some simple exercises, stretches, skipping, walking, whatever, just exercise.


I am honoured dat she has chosen to call me Uncle Bassy from ah baby, similarly my children address her Mom and Dad as uncle Andrew and Aunty Jackie. And ah would hasten to say de hall mark ah de Cummings children Jarand, Anique, Jadrick and Bradley, is Respect foh de elderly. Ah child could be brilliant like de sun, widout Respect, ah not interested. So ah hasten to say further dat ah got my Christmas Gift dis year on December 9 th, when Anique Cummings, nine days before her 23 rd birthday, was called to de Bar. Anique and her siblings literally born in me hands, as ole people would say. Unlike her brother Jarand who, from ah lickle fellow remains quiet, Anique was chatting away as ah baby; saying things dat mek us wonder if she wasn’t here before. She is de girl between two brothers and she took dem on in every corner, dat helped to toughen her up. She is very outspoken, loves to argue, so we knew all along dat Anique was going to end up following either her Aunty Tricia in medicine, or her own Dad, Andrew ah Q.C. Law it is, she holds ah Masters Degree and wid her charming personality and humility, our prayers go up to Heaven for her guidance and protection. This is probably ah good time to tell her Dad, Andrew that ah no longer require his services, ah replacing him wid Anique sorry, Lawyer Anique Cummings. Let’s all have a blessed Christmas and wid dat, is gone ah gone again

One Love Bassy.