Clyde Reid has no regrets
MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
Once upon a time, Clyde Reid was a teacher. He taught at various high schools in St Thomas and Portland. Today, Reid operates as a street vendor at a bridge located at the intersection of Church and Queen streets in Morant Bay, St Thomas, who sells a variety of items such as hairbeads, fashion jewellery and make-up.
Reminiscing, Reid told Rural Xpress of his years of education and as an educator in the late 1980s.
"I went to the Happy Grove High School then to Titchfield. After that I went to the University of the West Indies to study in the Faculty of Social Sciences with a major in history," he said, adding that he was a 'mans of Chancellor Hall', a famous all-male place of residence at UWI.
He continued: "I used to teach A level economics and history. I also taught social studies at the CSEC level. I taught at the Morant Bay High School for a few years then at Penwood Secondary and Titchfield High, by then I decided to leave the teaching profession."
Giving reasons for this grand decision that would change the rest of his life, Reid said: "Well, some people have one talent and some people were given five talents. I have 10 talents and teaching was just one of them.
When I left teaching I started to sell in the streets and do a little farming, but most of all I just wrote. That (writing) was my number one hobby. It became the major thing I did when I left teaching," Reid shared.
The now 56-year-old who was Portland birthed has lived in St Thomas for over 20 years. He told Rural Xpress that he never made a dollar from writing.
"I do not write for an income. I just write the things that I find inside myself. The researches that I do are all privately motivated and privately funded.
"I have been selling by the bridge for over 10 years, but I used to drive from school to school, spread out my things and sell until I couldn't be bothered with that anymore so I set up right here," he said of his current spot located just above sewage water.
And despite popular comments made by onlookers who know of his earlier years, Reid expressed that he has no regrets.
"I make more money than I ever did as a teacher. As a teacher, I don't remember even buying a bicycle, but as a seller, a Rastaman in the streets.
"I have bought a Land Rover already, a Lada, Mitsubishi pick- up, a VW Rabbit and I just walked out of them and gave them away just like that. If years could go back, I'd make the same decisions that I did. I wouldn't change anything at all," he said.
And though he admits that he isn't completely comfortable, Reid said his achievements are more than satisfying.
"I can't say I'm absolutely comfortable, nobody is. I don't have all the material things necessary for that, but I made the right decisions in terms of what I have achieved as a writer.
"I just finished my last research, the greatest thing I've done in my life. A documented research that shows a lunar versus a solar day, a comparative, mathematical, statistical and a philosophical analysis between the sunset day as recorded in the Bible in the old Jewish calendar versus our roman midnight day. I have researched until I have reconstructed the whole ancient paradigm, the old lunar calendar and clock.
"I have just written a great book, I have found the world's most missing historical document, the ancient Jewish calendar."