Little Moments with my Dad (2nd Edition)
Little Moments with my Dad (2nd Edition)
Little Moments with my Dad — Mr. Thomas Linsford Coleman Sr.
A Tribute by Kenrick Mark Coleman, MAPR, BSBM
Morning Journeys on Mr. Ack’s Truck
· I believe it was in 1992 and 1993 when my Mom, Dad, my older brother and I travelled to Punta Gorda on Saturday mornings. I remember helping my Mom sweeping the house from Friday night. She also cleaned the kitchen and other sections of our small two — storey wooden house with zinc roofing. My dad also did some cleaning at the shed at the back of the kitchen. I must mention that I grew up in a very poor family. On Saturday morning, we woke up early (around 5am), took a shower, and dressed up. We walked out at the Rice Mill Junction and waited for Mr. Ack’s Truck, which passed around 6am. (Note — Mr. Ack was a villager who used his old blue farm truck to take passengers to Punta Gorda town. The truck had a wooden back, with low benches made of planks of wood (set on cement blocks/rocks/buckets).
· When Mr. Ack came, the conductor set a bucket on the ground, which we climbed on to get in. My dad always helped my Mom, me and my older brother, and then he got in, finally. I usually sat beside my parents and would observe fellow passengers. I noticed mostly Maya elders in their beautiful cultural outfits — the women in long brightly colored tiered skirts and white embroidered blouses; the men in black cloth pants and white long sleeve shirts. I enjoyed these old days and journeys on Mr. Ack’s farm truck. Of course, sometimes, there were awkward smells from people sitting near. I always peeped out the wooden truck too, as we travelled through the villages en-route to PG. In those days, there were a few families and homes in the East Indian and Creole villages along the way.
· Mr. Ack would drive up Main Middle Street (now George Price Street) and all the passengers would get off in front of the old PG Market. The market was at the PG Civic Center (opposite Belize Bank). It was always abuzz with vendors selling fruits, vegetables, food, meats, etal. It was also always over crowded with people from all over Toledo — people buying, people talking and laughing, children running, babies crying. It was truly a time-honored activity. I remember wondering if Mr. Ack would accidently drive on the vendors vegetables, fruits, etal. He never did (smiles). I guess he was an experienced driver.
· Mr. Ack Farm Truck would leave Punta Gorda around 11am en-route to Big Falls Village. He would pick up all of us at the market again.
· While in Punta Gorda, I remember going to Mahung’s, Ms. Flo, the Cobans, the Market, and Salam’s.
· I remember my parents bought me a ‘Combo’ savory package treat. It tasted similar to Pizza rolls. It was from a shop on Front Street. I don’t remember if it was Louise Ramclam or Irene Mahung who operated it, but the shop was in the late Nurse Isabel Palma’s home. I loved this ‘Combo’ treat, and I think it was until 2013 I found it again.
Breakfast at Granny’s Kitchen
· I remember quite vividly the early morning arrivals in Punta Gorda. My dad would take us over to Granny’s Kitchen, owned by the Young’s family in Front Street (directly in front of the late Leela Vernon’s home). It was a homely cafe, and always filled with customers, Americans and Belizeans. The tables were small and round, and four chairs were around them. I remember ordering toasts and eggs, and coffee. The waitresses were very warm too. They poured coffee into our cups from a kettle. The smell of the coffee and smoke made me feel like I was in the USA. All of the waitresses looked American (I guess they were all Young relatives).
· Honestly, I never met ‘Granny’. But I remember catching a few glimpses of elder ladies cooking in the kitchen when the kitchen door swung open.
· I think my dad paid a mere $5 a plate for the breakfast. Well, that was in 1992 and 1993. I remember the cafe closing its doors later on though (sadly).
· Outside Granny’s Kitchen, we always felt the very cool sea breeze. Actually, the Young’s home is very colonial in style. I hope one day that more research is done on this home, and preservation (if possible). It is truly beautiful!
Riding in Esperanza Road to a Used Parts Shop
· I remember one evening after coming home from work, my dad and I went on his bicycle to a Used Parts Shop in Esperanza Road in Big Falls Village. I enjoyed the ride, albeit a little bumpy on the rocky road in Esperanza. I think I had to disembark the bicycle when he was going uphill, and we both walked up. I think it was a ladies bike, but he built in a plank of wood between the seat and handle, and as kids, we sat there. It was a quick ride — usually 20 minutes, from Rice Mill Junction to Esperanza Road.
· I loved immersing in the jungles and tranquility of Esperanza Road.
· I think the guy’s name was Mr. Dale. He and his wife lived at the far end of Esperanza Road, and had a Used Parts Shop. My dad usually went to look for certain parts there.
· I was always scared of Mr. Dale’s shop though. As you entered his yard, he had a huge scarecrow (dressed as a man), and it looked very ugly. I always held my dad’s hand when I was walking up the shop, and looked straight ahead, never in the direction of the scarecrow. I think I was four years old then.
· I don’t know what happened to the used parts place or the family.