Category Archives: village

New Village postscript – Part 4

Mister and Mrs. Fédée lived close to where Ma Douse lived. Like other New Village residents, they kept a mental, compartmentalized dossier on every person within the community—to use when the occasion arose. And they never had any trouble with the law. Except for that one incident with Kasilda one Christmas Eve morning. Kasilda had lodged a complaint against them or one of their daughters at the Police Station on Jeremie Street and a police officer had been dispatched to investigate. When the policeman invited Kasilda into Mister and Mrs. Fédée’s yard so he could get both sides of the story, Mister Fédée protested and demanded that the girl remain at the roadside. The policeman, bristling at the blatant affront to his authority, insisted that Kasilda come into the yard. She complied, and the community got a Christmas Eve to remember. Continue reading New Village postscript – Part 4

New Village postscript – part 3

Miss Jaynise and Miss Fanny, too, have crossed the Great Divide. They, too, lived along the challenge section of road. Miss Jaynise’s adopted son, Hester, who was called “Gi Pants” by many who knew him, is a patient at the Golden Hope Hospital—an institution for the mentally ill. He has spent the last twenty to twenty-five years of his life there. Continue reading New Village postscript – part 3

New Village postscript – 2

“Small goals” football is still played on the section of road from the entrance to the shortcut leading to La Pansée to the dead-end close to the river—unlike the “challenge” variety of cricket and football; that pastime is as dead as the competitive spirit that spawned it so many years ago. The games were played mainly on weekends and holidays when boys would scramble to get their household chores done as quickly as possible so they could take to the street. Once there, opposing teams, each headed by a captain, would be selected and the challenge match would begin after a small wager was placed by the teams on the outcome of the game. Continue reading New Village postscript – 2

New Village postscript – Part 1

Mister Glace once operated his garage from here
Mister Glace once operated his garage from here

Mister Glace, his wife, and their family are no longer seen in New Village. Mister Glace has been dead these past many years while his Curacaoan wife lives with one of their daughters. The house has been rented to one or two families, and two small commercial enterprises now exist on the ground floor where a garage once was. That garage was once a thriving business where vehicle owners from near and far brought their vehicles for service or repair. It was also a place for small talk and socializing during off-peak hours or when work was done for the day. The garage was abandoned when Mister Glace’s sons drifted off in search of other pursuits, and he decided he could no longer operate it on his own. Continue reading New Village postscript – Part 1

The psychological conversion of Claude Charles

“Gimme a dollar,” he pleaded ardently. I turned around and, without looking at his face, took in the unkempt appearance of the wretch before me. His right hand was outstretched expectantly, while his left held up his trousers to prevent them from falling off his gaunt frame. Reaching into my back pocket, I looked at his face for the first time and was shocked. It was more than a physical thing; my mind lurched like something tossed about in a strong wind as my past rushed headlong and uncontrolled into my present. Even with his mop of unruly hair tinged with gray, unshaved, sunken cheeks, bloodshot eyes, and wild demeanor, I recognized this destitute creature as Claude—a childhood friend. Continue reading The psychological conversion of Claude Charles

The quarrel

Quarrels were commonplace in New Village. They were even more so in crowded areas of the community where people lived cheek-by-jowl. Usually, a quarrel was conducted in Creole and lasted more than twenty minutes. Once the quarrel began, the goal was for one of the parties to achieve a kind of one-upmanship over the other by shocking or shaming her into silence through the revelation of some scandalous misdeed that had hitherto been a secret. Continue reading The quarrel

The public standpipe

Built in 1956 or 1957, the public standpipe elevated New Village residents to a higher status. They no longer had to trek to parts known and unknown in search of water. The constant bickering, and sometimes unfriendly rivalry, between La Pansée and New Village residents over the use of the one La Pansée standpipe became a thing of the past. Continue reading The public standpipe