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A big deal that makes me feel very proud

The topic of this post may not be a big deal to today's generation. They may even regard it as blasé with little meaning to them. But for me and many of my time, it is a big deal that makes me feel real proud whenever I encounter situations like those.

Today, I had an endoscopy procedure done to make sure that I'm not following my father's footsteps that led to his death. To my pleasant surprise the anesthesiologist was a fellow Grenadian from Chantimelle of all places. Yes, on Carnival day he used to play Short-knee. Unfortunately he didn't catch a cray-fish in the river during his last visit home to show his daughter how he used to enjoy his life as a youngster in Chantimelle. But he did take her to see Cocord and Annadale waterfalls.
Of course the chances of a Grenadian anesthesiologist hovering over you as you are readying for a procedure are rather slim to none, especially here in New Jersey. But that it did happen at all is what made me feel especially good and proud this morning.

A Black professional and particularly an anesthesiologist when I was a youngster in Grenada would have been unthinkable. Chances are he would have been Polish or from one of the other East European countries with a name indicating his ethnicity.
Today we are in a completely different world. Anyone, a Black Gouyave boy/girl, Grenadian, Caribbean or whoever can achieve anything providing he/she put their mind to it. The Chantimelle doctor is a living proof of that fact. Ace cardiologist, Dr. Triston Smith, from St. Dominic Street in Gouyave who recently finished an internship at famed Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg is yet another example of what I'm talking about. That's why it saddens me to no end when I hear some young gifted Blacks, male and female as I recently heard, saying that they don't need to go to college to make it in America. Oh, Yea! Would you rather go to jail???

We'll never know if Mrs. Idora DeCoteau or Miss Cyrillia at the top of the Lance in Gouyave might have been major business women had they been in a different place and time. We'll never know if Winston "Doo-Ray" Sylvester would have been a world-renowned inventor. They were not, but with the very little they had to work with, they did uncharacteristically well in their time and place. That's why A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE was written to pay tribute to folks of their era when no one else would. As an aside, if Bobby Benjamin finishes his plan we'll soon be reading his book GROWING UP IN GOUYAVE as he recently said on Facebook. Hopefully it will be filled with many more outstanding Gouyave folks who might have made far more significant differences had they been in a more accommodating place and time.

Yes, we are in a different time and place. Today the world is at our youngsters' feet to make an impact that years ago our ancestors could not have even dream about. Their time and place virtually doomed them to the little that was possible. Like me today though, you just may run into a highly qualified professional from Chantimelle, Grenada, or the Caribbean who may put you to sleep during a procedure. Let him/her be your role model to pursue whatever dream you may have.

Please, DON'T WASTE IT. Believe in yourself and always be willing to help support those who are trying to help themselves, as Mrs. Carnice Alexis-Modeste and her team of St. John Educators' Scholarship Fund are doing in Brooklyn.

A mind is indeed, way too precious a thing to let it waste, wither and die especially when it doesn't have to.