Saturday, 12 April 2008

A Lifetime Ago

This is not the work of some retro Trinidadian photographer. This is a walk down memory lane courtesy my sister's new scanner. Now I know where these pictures vanished to-
My sister Jennifer is five years younger than I am and lives in Miami. She squirrels away photos, clothes, Enid Blyton and TinTin books, and other miscellaneous bric-a-brac from our childhood every time she comes home to visit. She sent me these photos today. Seeing them after so many years was bittersweet if not downright painful.
As children we spent lots of time in Mayaro, that long, lovely stretch of beach on the Southeastern coast of Trinidad. The golden light of the old photo perfectly captures my nostalgic memories of this time- swimming at dusk with Tramp. Tramp adopted us and was a loyal companion for years. He was a great dog, a good old pothong (pothound) as we say in Trinidad. He actually belonged to a neighbour but preferred our house and eventually they just gave him to us. He would "sing" with my father when Daddy came home on a Friday night with a few after-work drink under his belt. In this picture, he is obviously annoyed with me for making him pose with me when he was wet and probably cold.

This is Jennifer with Tramp and this picture is taken minutes before we went for a swim.
Jennifer and I- circa 1976?
Another Mayaro shot This is the only shirt that appears in all my childhood photos- This red with the white Vee was a hot favourite. And both Jennifer and I seem to have worn it daily for several years. In this picture, Jen is between Natalie Farah (Coutts) and I. It was the Farah's house in Mayaro that was our Mayaro base until we became adults. The grown ups had a very set routine. We would wake up to a huge breakfast with fried bakes, black pudding, eggs, bacon- the whole sheebang- after which Mummy and Daddy would play doubles Padda with Uncle Jack and Auntie Shirley. The children would sit on this bench and watch this game- One love, deuce! Game! Waiting patiently for the game to come to an end and the swimming to begin- this routine went on almost every weekend for years.
Mummy playing pool in Mayaro.

Daddy relaxing in Mayaro.