"Ay,you is Rudder?" the boy asked,I answered," That's how THEY teach you to address an
elder?" He,now with the mixture of surprise and confusion doing a "Rent a tile" on his face suddenly broke up the uncomfortable dance with the wide eyed whiff of a revelation. Then he flung the answer that hid behind the eyes and the unsure smile at me " Permission please,you is Rudder?" It was my time to hit the dance floor of uncertainty,should I venture into," The proper thing to say is...etc", then,as swiftly as he " fling down de lyrics" on me, I decided to play for a draw,"Yes I'm MISTER Rudder"
NOSTRAND AVENUE CONFIDENTIAL
I'm at Rambee's home in Brooklyn, food sharing,Dee,the wifey, still cooking up as storm,and some young men coming through the door with even MORE food from grand ma J downstairs."Hi uncle, hi mister Rudder" " Hi ,how are you guys?" was my reply," Fine sir,and you?"
" I good" I reply. They eat voraciously ,only taking time to remove their baseball caps revealing their red white and black Trini-flag do- rags that go along with the pan and Trini-map pendants around their necks.
"Nice seeing you again sir,welcome home" they say as they shuffle out of the apartment almost on the run,it's off to the panyard now,Mr Popwell,the Sonatas arranger, doh play win no damn late coming .
"We havin' ah li'l get - tugedder nuh,on Canada Day,an we would luuuv ,tuh have all yuh and de chirren"(The SOFTENER) ,Then the(made in Trinidad threat/warning/order followed)" Allyuh COME y'know,I eh takin no damn no fuh an answer, doh leh mih have tuh drive up deh an drag allyuh tail down here y'know,(victory lyrics now), see you sweethearts den." Then she hung up.I turned to Christine and we both smiled a knowing smile as the sterile lady from voicemail land tried her best to conquer the Trini lilt/tsunami we just heard ,with a weak, "End of message"
CANADA DAY. Finally find a park,no need to look for address,Baron's Melosian Rhapsody blasting from a half mile away. We walk down the path to the back yard just as Baron let's out a trademark "OYA" . " OR HOR! I say allyuh wasn't comin, buh look how big dese chilrun get,....allyuh go,de res ah de chilrun in de basement ,it have Wie an X- Box.
She with two plates of food in her hands,suddenly swings away before we could say prunes and suddenly unleashes a back back win' on an unsuspecting guest as Machel screams, STAMP ON IT!STAMP ON IT,then,just as quickly she runs off to han'out the two plates of food,then again at almost the same speed,spins around and says to me "Ah have yuh fish, I eh forget yuh"
Fete in full swing, old and young in the flow of the soca river,the DJ mixes in some New School as a chubby white Canadian shouts in his best Trini accent " Ay , I is ah Trini boy watch meh" followed by a chorus of "Yuh wish!"
Teens,twenty-somethings and middle agers are now in the frenzy of the fete,food and drinks have already surrendered to the sweet lawlessness of the Trini experience, and then IT came,..
Bahia Girl into High Mas'(Oh god, why deh does always do me dat) It was at that very moment that Gregg stood next to us on the balcony looking down at the Trini Prance and declared. " Yuh see all these people here,dem bring up deh children like how we grow up y'know David,yuh see how dem youths into the soca, an not too much ah dat wild t'ing deh callin SOCA now y'know.Look,yuh see de four ah dem. (pointing to four young men in their mid twenties) ALL ah dem graduate from York and UFT wid honors y'know breds,and yuh see them two li'l girls deh,(pointing) ,dem bright,bright, bright"And as if he needed a clincher, he brought the hammer down. " Dem not into dis Vibes Cartel and all dat kinda gully an' gaza shit you know,( He ,hot now ,adds) breds,when I go Trini now ah does get so faaacking vex,ah does feel to jes geh outta deh "(Head shaking ruefully now from side to side)" De culture gone boy,"(Then slowly smiling now with the scent of a revelation,he adds) "BUT IT STAY HERE"
QUESTIONS for the readers...
Is Creole culture dying?
What IS Creole culture,does it really exist?
If so,has it migrated?
Does it really matter?
THESE THREE STORIES ARE TRUE ALTHOUGH I'VE CHANGED THE NAMES .
WANNA HEAR FROM YOU..