Some years ago, a man in a carnival costume in Gouyave was waving to me as others like Linky/Pudding and Loomtick were also doing. Those were old buddies who I didn't see in many years. But who was that other guy? I sheepishly waved back, for here was somebody I just couldn't remember. So I asked another old friend who was standing there with me to help me out. "That's my brother-in-law, Lloyd Noel," was Geraldine Mathlin's reply.
Despite the many times I promised to apologize to Lloyd, one thing or the other came up to cause me to say "next time when I come back home." This September please the Lord, would have been the next time as I vowed there won't be another "next time" excuse for me.
Imagine my shock when a friend called to say that Lloyd Noel died during surgery for a broken hip in a Brooklyn hospital. I couldn't believe that I was robbed of at least saying "hi Lloyd" to a living person instead of the corpse I gazed upon during his Memorial service yesterday.
I wish I had a personal story or two to add to the many wonderful tributes that were paid to him during the eulogy. I had none. Lloyd was my brother's age and friend and they both spent many years in England together while I was still a "likkle boy".
So I lost out on telling Lloyd Noel this September, that A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE should have been written by him, not me. For here indeed was a true Gouyaveman who returned to Gouyave to STAY and SERVE his beloved hometown and island despite being cast in prison for refusing to continue to be Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard's puppet Attorney General when they took that fatal turn that left a bloodied stain on Grenada's history.
To Norma and the rest of his family as well as his many friends, please accept my deepest condolences on behalf of the DeCoteau family. Rest in peace.