Gordon Robinson | Gullible’s Travels
The Old Ball and Chain and I travelled unusually far recently.
On November 26, we updated passports and visas and travelled to Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre (not Old BC's inspiration) for the first annual Ska-Rocksteady Festival. She assured me she'd relax and enjoy. I believed. "Ouch, stop! [Old BC fighting me for the computer] HELP!"
Old BC: Old Grey Balls spinning his way out of the truth because he loves local music so much. It's a miracle we reached anywhere because there was NO SECURITY; no signs; nobody to direct traffic or parking. When we finally found the stage soon after the advertised start, the reason for the absence of security became apparent (only 10 other patrons). More people eventually showed up.
Ladies, you know what WE must find as we reach anywhere like this, so while Old GB scouted for food, I inspected the 'facilities'. Pure Porta-Potty! So, you know who drank NOTHING all night! Anyway, the music was good. Derrick Morgan stole the show.
She can say whatever. The show was underpromoted, but a good first effort. For me, Leroy Sibbles is still Jamaica's best live entertainer, and he proved it.
Six days earlier, we travelled even further to MoBay because Old BC's 'baby' ('Sputnik'), who works there, needed surgery. She assured me her presence was essential. I believed. Okay, call me gullible. She booked us into Half Moon, but we stayed at Cornwall Regional (CRH) where she scrubbed in; supervised the surgeons; took charge of the operating theatre; and the first 24 hours of post-op care.
She was IMPOSSIBLE to live with for two days, nearly requiring hospitalisation for excessive 'fretration'. She eventually conceded her 'baby' would live and we spent Tuesday evening at the hotel, culminating with a magnificent dinner at Jamaica's finest restaurant and best kept secret, the Sugar Mill.
Old BC: Him can LIE, yuh see! Of course, I worried, as any mother would with a son under general anaesthetic, but I've good reason. Our eldest had elective surgery (1998) and practically died post-op after aspirating into his lungs and being found unresponsive in his room. He's fine now.
All Old GB did
was complain. He complained about waiting at CRH! Why, at his age and stage, was he eating bun and cheese for breakfast? Why'd Nick need me post-surgery? I thought I'd married Archie Bunker.
PRAISES FOR DOCS, HALF MOON
Anyway, a million thanks to brilliant surgeons, Drs Barbara Grandison and Selbourne Hemmings; anaesthetist Dr Banu and ALL the nurses who took special care of my baby for me. At Half Moon, we were greeted by ever-present Anglin (in his 50th year), who smoothly settled us into our favourite spa suite. Old friends Everett and Basil made us feel at home. I noticed new orchids at the entrance and beautiful umbrella bougainvilleas outside the lobby; told Everett I loved them, so he immediately called 'Man-a-Yard' Wordsworth Watson, OD (allegedly "on leave"). Mr Watson promised to take photos of him, me and the flowers together.
Heroes Weekend, we travelled to Melia Braco (not Old BC's idea) for Merritone's annual reunion. She promised to relax and enjoy. I believed. 'Gullible' is now my middle name. Legendary selector Winston Blake was unavoidably absent, but Monte (with Mikey Thomson) produced quintessential Merritone Friday night-Saturday morning. Monte and Craig Ross delivered Saturday night. My musical highlight came Sunday morning when Floridian 'Junior Cyrus', an old-school practitioner, played strictly vinyl.
Old BC: Notice him concentrate pon de music? The third-floor room was too far away and the service, except for Jason, as good as anyone, mediocre to unfriendly. Mark you, Braco was fully booked for the event, so staff could've been stretched.
My favourite Merritone weekend moment was briefly connecting with Braco's HR director, the beautiful and talented Ann-Marie Burke. Seeing her evoked a flood of memories of her late great father, my friend William 'Vunnie' Isaacs, PNP stalwart and lifetime Dodgers fan. During the politically volatile 1980s, 'normal' was seeing Vunnie and his friend, Hugh Shearer, together at Terra Nova (where Vunnie 'owned' a table) for breakfast and again at Jade Garden for lunch. Thus, despite the volatility, lines of friendly communication were maintained. Vunnie's father, Wills O. Isaacs, another legendary Comrade, famously addressed a 1959 election rally: "May my eyes fall from my face and knock like bone dice if I don't lower the cost of living!"
BTW, Vunnie, Cubs defeated the Dodgers in 2016's NLCS and won the World Series for the first time since 1908. Billy Goats, be damned!
Peace and love.
• Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.