Patria-Kaye Aarons: A few good men
There are some men out there who in the past week have opened my eyes to real virtue. Men who have, in their own quiet way, shown me how small acts can make a big difference. Today I call these men by name.
Neville 'Bertis' Bell
Outside of being a media college and a down-to-earth cool dude, by far my favourite hat worn by Bertis is coach.
It's difficult to easily identify a role model for young men. A constant presence there to give advice, encouragement and support. And also a voice from which they will take correction when required. Bertis has been that and more to the hundreds of players who have passed through his hands over the years.
I also love the humanity that Bertis brings to being a man. It doesn't hurt that the boys have seen their coach cry on TV - or when they win a match. Coach is the first man to hug them when they hurt. And that matters.
With every success Bertis takes George's to, there have been calls for him to ascend to the position of national coach. I'm not one joining that chorus.
Schoolboy football needs Bertis. More important, schoolboys need Bertis.
Al speaks the truth. It's a tenacity that many in his profession have not had to date for fear of repercussions. It was he who first painted in great details the horrors of the health system. He has been persistent in his role as president of the Medical Doctors Association, and, even after his term, continues to bat for better conditions for both patients and health-care staff. He's the first that I can remember to say what many of us feel: that politics is destroying much of what is fixable.
I admire his forthrightness. This is what we will need to make our country better. Brave soldiers willing to speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Brave soldiers who realise that silence will only cause the ills to remain unchanged. Who waan vex vex.
I had a very frightening and frustrating experience last week and the white knight that rescued me was a complete stranger named Veliston Walker.
The touchscreen on my laptop stopped working. And looking through the settings trying to fix it, I came upon a suggestion to reboot the computer. According to the Dell descriptor, I wouldn't lose my files, photos or music. With the written manufacturer's reassurance, I figured it was worth a try. I had nothing to lose - or so I thought. After the reboot, sure, my touchscreen came back, but to my horror, the programme that I used to do my business accounting and all my books were gone. Adios. Bye-bye.
I soiled myself.
Almost two hours on the phone with Dell trying to restore my files, I'm guessing from the accents, Dell transferred me from a computer, to the US, to India, back to the US, back to India, to a Scandinavian sounding man and finally to a US answering machine. And still the problem was unresolved.
In panic the next day, I turned to Courts, from which I had purchased the computer, and Veliston Walker, with a little digging, restored my files in under 15 minutes. I am eternally grateful.
Last week was the technology week from hell. I also had a situation with Microsoft, and having wasted three hours of my life with what seemed like tech support from every continent, the problem was not resolved.
Surely, we can offer better service in Jamaica. Let's hurry up and bat for some of those IT customer-support jobs and rally Veliston and others like him and show the world great tech support with Caribbean charm.
You think of sportscaster and pure testosterone comes to mind. It seems the natural progression for someone who perhaps was the jock from high school.
But Donald is a most unlikely candidate. There are struggles Donald has gone through on his journey as a sports broadcaster that have been more than mettle-testing. Things that have been downright hurtful. But that's his story to tell.
I am so happy for this gentle giant. Long hours, tears, passion and heart, Donald has poured all into his craft, and it paid off. Donald has been recognised as the PAJ Sports Journalist of the Year, and I say well deserved.