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On Edwards Street in Shanty Town lived two men. One was called, Obediah; and the other one was Mr. Jim. They lived in close proximity to each other, on the same side of the famous Gouyave River. Everyday, they were serenaded by the rhythm from the river water's flow, that gave Shanty Town a unique place in Gouyave to live. Some of the Shanty Town residents like, Miss Liza, Levita, Tan-Taee, Ms. Angie, Elena, and Peter, Miss Silvia, Miss Rhoda, Manny, and Mr. Mc Cloud, Monica (Sue-Wee),
Kee-kist, Mr. and Mrs. Neville Benjamin, Miss Claris, her daughter, and her grand-daughter, Monica, and Joan, were note-worthy people. They protected Shanty Town from becoming a lair. They stopped one form being destructive while passing through it. Obediah kept his deck, as well as Mr. Jim.
Obediah was a tall man. He, Mr. Jim, and Captain, who'd an amputated leg, were the tallest men in Shanty Town. Manny, one of the many fishermen that lived in Shanty Town, followed closely, behind them.
One ordinary thing that Obediah and Jim shared was riding two of the biggest bicycles in Gouyave. The were emphatic men; they rode they bicycles with speed up to some twenty mile an hour, and went around some street corners actually, without divulging from it. They stayed focus when they were riding the bicycles. Each one had his own unique way of riding their bicycle. The both styles were fanciful!
Obediah was shy of being known as a vehicle driver, but Jim drove a Land Rover almost everyday.
The Land Rover that Mr. Jim drove was from The Douglaston Estate. The Branch Brothers owned the estate, and hired Jim to work for them.
Jim drove the Land Rover hard. His statement was always 'Clear the way'! when he was driving up, or down the street.
Was Mr. Jim a reckless driver? No. He wasn't.
Jim's old style of sitting behind the steering wheel of the Land Rover was masterfully comfortable, even if it'd look inept. For one thing, Jim constantly kept his eyes on the road, and never had problems with the pedestrians, nor with another motor vehicle.
Obediah, on the other hand, was never seen driving a motor vehicle. He rode on his bicycle, like Mr. Jim, to and from work. Although he wasn't an employee on any of the estates in St. John's, he was a dedicated worker in the line of work he did. His was a kind of work that wasn't done by a weak-boned man, because when it came to throwing sand from the seashore over a relatively tall wall wasn't easy to do as it looked. It took a lot of shovels of the mineral to make up one pile, that was enough for a truckload.
Obediah sold the sand to various truck drivers for the purpose of construction work, throughout St. John's and beyond.
There were some uncommon things that Obediah and Mr. Jim shared. Having children of their own was one of them.
Jim had a famimy. He'd a wife and three children, two girls and a boy that lived with him. Obediah had a wife, but no children that lived with him. However, they were happy men!
All of Jim's children were quiet people. Still, like every other child from Shanty Town was, they behaved themselves with equal understanding. Funny it was that few people from Gouyave ever thought of going down to Venezuela to live and work, but the oldest of Mr. Jim's daughter was one who'd made Caracas her home for some time. Perhaps she'd the spanish she studied at The St. Rose Modern Secondary School was one of the reasons that she took up residence in Venezuela, South America. By all accounts, Mr. Jim was proud of his children, and their accomplishments in general.
Jim wasn't a big hang-out guy, like Obediah was. He was seen on the front street in the twilight, or early evening, only when he'd needed to buy something from one of the stores there. On the other hand, Obediah hung out regularly on the front street, and he had many friends there to talk with. But, still, Mr. Jim and Obediah were down-to-earth men, with a big heart for the life they lived.
Mr. Jim didn't smile at people like Obediah did. Still, they were respected equally, by everyone in the town of Gouyave. They had their place in history; and that'll live for long, after they depart from this life on earth.
Mr. Jim and Obediah were excellent examples for the young people like Chenney, Mantone, Pasty, Cherry-Ann, and Artherly, Dunstan, Valarie, Jude, Silma, Sarah, Sherland, and James and John to follow, without worrying about a thing.
You sure remember and correctly stated the names of the folks who lived in and around that area. But Daniel, did you know who was Mr. Jim's, as you called him, first child? He was the father of Gouyave's famous FLJ. I never knew who FLJ's mother was, but Frank was Jim's first child. He grew up with Jim's mother, cousin Margaret. In A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE you will notice that I spoke at length about cousin Margaret and my mother's close relationship. That's because they were first cousins. Cousin Margaret's mother, Miss Mawee, and my mother's mother therefore my grandma, Miss Ceaty, were sisters. That would explain how FLJ, Pamela (LBM's Godmother), Byron, Dolores, Joan, Marcelle, Leon and the rest of Lee DeCoteau's children, plus Joslyn and her children like Cornel and Nugent and I and the rest of Miss Idora's family are all related.
And btw, wasn't Obediah a street-cleaner as well?
Finally, I never knew nor thought of Lower Edward Street as a part of Shanty Town. Back then River Lane was River Lane and Lower Edward Street was simply Edward Street. That dirt road that linked the area from the pipe stand on New Street past the public toilet running alongside the river, and ending near to where Dada (Miss Sylvia) lived was lovingly called River Lane. People like cousin Margaret, Miss Nita (Tilda's mother), Miss Uska (the grandma of Miss Phita who lives in Brothers), Miss Harold (Paparoo's grandma), Miss Iriney (Dada's mother) and others once lived there. Man, it used to be one of the more very pleasant walking areas of the L'Anse, and as a little boy that was one of our main marble playing spots. After leaving Grenada, I couldn't believe that this was the same River Lane that folks were now calling Shanty Town with all the negative stereotypes that it conjures. How sad!
Congrats my friend, keep up the good story-telling because the history of our Gouyave is so very interesting if only to find out who is related to whom!
Yes,Tony. I know River Lane. It is the undisputed name for that area of Edwards Street in Gouyave. However, Shanty Town was a more popular name for that said area, when I was a little boy. It reminds me of Harlem, Belfast, and Barbados; which became the unofficial names for the areas like Hubble Bridge, etc. Nevertheless, many years have passed; and people don't know what the official names of these areas were.
That's where the saying: "the longest liver sees the most", comes to light!
About Frank (FLJ). I'd always thought of him as a grandchild to Miss Melda, as well as MMargaret and Brenda Mitchell, who migrated to the UK some good few years ago. And that Frank joined them at a later date. Frank and my big brother, Kent, were wonderful buddies. I never knew who Frank's mother, nor father was. Later, I'd learned that Frank was a "Cumberbatch" (sp), and that he was indeed related to Miss Lee.
Miss Lee was the mother of the "Joan" you mentioned in your post.
I don't think that I'd ever known the linkage of Miss Idora to the Cumberbatch, so many of the folks you claimed to be your cousins, are a surprise to me.
There was a lady that lived one, or two doors away from Miss Croix called, Miss Georgiana (sp), and I have heard from since my boyhood days, that she and Miss Idora were blood sisters. Apart from that, I have no other knowledge of who, if any, were a sister, or a brother, for that matter of fact, to Miss Idora.
But, everyone says that "we're living in a small world", and many folks around us are related to each other, in one way or the other.
I did remember Obediah as a "Street Cleaner". The reason why I didn't mention it here was because I am drafting a story about Mr. Bobby, Mr. Alexis, and the same Obediah, and the dedication and contributions for maintaining a clean, secured, and a healthy environment on our streets in Gouyave.
By the way, I'd always thought of Mr. Jim as a close relative to Mr. Dowling Lee,and BBK,and to Mr. Allan, who was a die-hard fisherman in Gouyave, and lived in Central.
Thanks for outlining everything to me! The more I get to know about Gouyave and her folks is better for me.
Still, it'll be no surprise to me now, if what I just said about Jim was true.
You are correct that the "lady that lived one, or two doors away from Miss Croix" was indeed Miss Georgiana my Tanty Georgie, as we used to call her. She was one of two of my mother's maternal sisters that I knew. The other was Miss Lucy, the mother of Miss Chrisita (the ground-nut vendor) whose children include Lester Peters (the current Homestead owner), Jacqueline (Michael Borrows wife) and others who you may or may not know.
One point of correction though, her name was not Miss Croix but actually Mrs LaCroix. She and her husband, "Doc" lived on New Street where folks like Mr. & Mrs. Percy John (the sweet drink maker), Ms. Ugee, Mr & Mrs Harrack (Fitzie, the sculptor's parents) and of course Tess, the grandma of our own webmaster. The LaCroix's home is now occupied by Decima, an out-of-wedlock daughter of Mr. LaCroix. Btw, when you get down to writing about Mr. Bobby and the other street cleaners, please don't forget to give due praise to Mr. Alexis Charles, and their boss, Mr "Doc" LaCroix. That's in case you didn't know.
As far as I know, there was no relationship at all between Miss Melda and FLJ. Ms. Melda's children were Aloysius and his sister Jessel who incidentally is the mother of Margaret and Brenda that you mentioned. Dr. Aloysius "Bowser" Charles died some years ago during a New York visit. Mr. Alexis Charles was their dad. As a point of interest, Sir Carlyle Glean and my 2nd Standard school teacher, Carlton Knight also grew up with Miss Melda and her children. I may be wrong but I believe she was their aunt.
Upon reading the posts, a friend from London who should know, called me to tell me that Frank's mother was from St. George's. True or not, I don't know because I have no idea who the woman was. But I do know that FLJ did grow up with his grandparents, cousin Margaret and her husband Mr. Graves Cumberbatch, or Pa as we used to call him.
Unless I'm unaware of it, there is no relationship between Mr. Jim and Dowlin, Hilton "BBK", Salton and Alan Lee. Jim used to be associated with Key-pooch-ee Donaldson behind the market. His brothers, Lloyd and Ben also worked with Mr. Donaldson.
And finally, you must have been much too young to remember that Allan Lee used to live in the first house from the pipe stand on the L'Anse bridge heading towards my mother's shop. There he lived with his sister Miss Muriel and their mother Miss Florie. Miss Muriel's daughter Constance Glean whose children included Winston "Ma-kee-kee", Orson, Osril and others also used to live there.
I hope that helps.
The story is very interesting. I rememher Mr. LaCroix, but only as a sick, old man who sat down in the verandah and somewhere under the verandah sometimes. Decima and a younger girl, Dawn, used to tend to him. Both Decima and Dawn were friends of mine. At one time, I thought that Mrs LaCroix and Miss Georgiana were sisters. The girl that live with Georgiana had a striking resemblance, that helped me to entertain the thought that these two families were related to one another.
Even the resemblance of Mr. Jim was striking to BBK, and Dowling Lee!
With that said, I only know Central as Mr. Allan's home. Constance, whomI'd always believed to be his daughter, used to cook and send his meals to him. They'd a wonderful relationship.between them, but Mr. Allan met with his maker in one of the strangest ways imagined. His death is still a mystery to me this day.
Besides Margaret and Brenda Mitchell, I don't recall knowing any one else that was related to Miss Melda. Later, I'd learned that Sir Carlyle Glean came from that family.
I remember Mr. Alexis as a street cleaner, but didn't know that "Doc" was his boss. I'll put together the best piece of writing on Mr. Alexis.
I appreciate the knowledge you shared with me on the topic. Especially that of Miss Chrisita.
That was a great help!
One more thing, DNJ. The girl who lived with Tanty Georgie was her grand-daughter, Mona. The venerable military man who loves riding his bicycle in cycling meets and whom his comrades often praise so much on Facebook is Mona's son, and of course my young cousin of whom I am so proud. He is Trevor Adams.
Mona's name had slipped completely, out of my mine. But, her face couldn't elude me. She was such a quiet, and soft spoken person.
I read about Trevor Adams quite a few times. I knew him as a young lad. It never cross my mine, that he's Mona's son.
Your knowledge of Gouyave and her people is definitely a great one!
It's not so much that my "knowledge of Gouyave and her people is definitely a great one!" It is much more because those folks you are talking about are my close relatives.
That's understandable. I must say that "Gogouyave" caused a lot of 'cats to come out of the bag'. I mean it helped things to come to perspective. And, still, there's a lot of more things about Gouyave that I never heard about.
Hopefully, someone will tell their stories about Gouyave someday, for the sake of the young generation especially.
Gents, Great dialogue about the wonderful people mentioned in this posting. Most notable, Ms Georgina (RIP) my beloved great grand mother, Miss Idora (RIP) my beloved great grand aunt and my mother who resides in St. Croix. I maybe wrong but I recalled Mr Obediah the street cleaner. I never knew him to ride bicycles or working in any other capacity however, I thought he was the father of two or three girls about my age or younger while I was a young boy in Gouyave.
Folks like Ms. Ggeorgina, and Obediah, and Ms. Idora, that gave Gouyave its shape and form. Most of them are now deceased, but the names and good deeds are still here with us. They were great villagers,who had helped raised almost every child in Gouyave. The mark they left behind are the ones that makes us what we are today. It's a shame that those who came after us can't see the ways of yesterday's people. And, tomorrow's children will be further away from it yet.
I don't recall Obediah having chidren in Gouyave; nor beyond it, but I've heard recently,about his granddaughter, Leesha (sp), who've done well with her CXE exam, and will be attending The St. George's School of Medicine, at age 17.
Let's keep the Gouyave Light burning! It can only do us good!