When we were boys
The Coocoos When we were boys we lived in a wide, wide world. We were lucky, we were blessed. We had everything. Our world was a dream world. We were rich, not in dollars but of life.
We were between the country and the town, between the sea and the river, between the savannah and the hills. We had the best of both worlds, for we did everything the town boys did, we did everything the country boys did.
We played all ball games, cards, even hopscotch and pick-up of the girls, not forgetting hoop sayway and cowboys and Indians.
We played all times of the day. We played games that lasted hours on end, sometimes a guy would go for a dive in the sea and return to a football game.
There was never a dull moment. We were hunters and went after birds in the hills with our homemade catapults, we were divers who speared fish with our innovative guns made with bobins, zalen parasol and strips of inner tubes.
When we were boys there was always something to do, a game to be played, a place to go or a joke to be made. We would go from the sea to the river and then back to the sea; from the savannah to the hills and back several times a day. Just for the fun of it we would hop unto the tailgate of vehicles and go all the way to town and then walk back up.
When we were boys there was a season for everything. There was mango season, a major, nut season with its particular rites, there was football season and cricket season. There was the time of year when the 'cooleewe' would be 'sennayed' by the likes of Gheewa and others. As a boy Gheewa was my hero and I will always remember his unshaved face and husky voice. He was a great man.
A major season, always too short, was anniversary. That was the time of year when the cinema would bring back all the top movies of the past year at a reduced price. Outside of Christmas and recess time, that was a time of year when money became very important. We would do anything to raise the fifteen cents for the Pit. One year Pittipeepee sent my brother, Spraggs and I to get a crate of 'cokes' for him at the Coca Cola Factory on Valley Road from Kings Hill. We shared the twenty four bottles between us and sped down to the factory. Upon our return Pittipeepee gave us each three pence instead of the fifteen cents he had promised. Though he stiffed us, he was a wonderful character.
There was kite season, Christmas and carnival season. There was a season for every kind of fruit, though mango was king. There were times when we only played sakeetarpayee or scout game, two variations of cricket.
When we were boys our wonderful dream-like life was crowned by the overwhelming success of our Area's young football team, Harlem Rovers. A wonderful thing was that our school was right there by the sea, by the savannah. One could play a game of football in the mornings, have a bath in the sea and then go to school on time.
Though we may have spent as much time at the sea and the river and the hills, the Savannah was our greatest asset…it was our escape, our freedom, so close to home, it was our church, our mecca…there we were safe.
The Coocoos was one of the many groups or clicks of guys who would lime and do everything together.
NEXT TIME Mango Season……. MERRY CHRISTMAS NEWTOWN