Little Moments with my Dad (4th Edition)

Kenrick Mark Coleman
6 min readAug 20, 2021

Little Moments with my Dad (4th Edition)

Little Moments with my Dad — Mr. Thomas Linsford Coleman Sr.

A Tribute by Kenrick Mark Coleman, MAPR, BSBM

Easter Egg Hunt at Sue Bonner’s Apartment Complex

· Sue Bonner was a Peace Corps Volunteer providing support in the Education Sector in Toledo. She helped at the Big Falls RC School, other nearby schools and the Toledo District Education Center (where my late Aunt, Wilma Coleman was working). Sue rented an apartment from the Aleman’s here in Big Falls whenever she came to conduct volunteer efforts.

· Sue immediately bond with many families in Big Falls including ours, my Aunt Wilma and her family, the Aleman’s, the Juarez’s, the Teul’s, the Bardalez’s, and a few others. Sue always visited my family and had lunch or dinner, or simply a superb conversation.

· I remember (I think it was 1996 or 1997), Sue invited me and my older brother for an Easter Egg hunt. At first, I wasn’t sure if we would have made it. Thankfully, my parents finally agreed (when the day and time arrived), and my dad drove us over to Sue’s apartment complex at the Aleman’s. My dad actually went to Texaco to do (mechanic work) on his meek beige colored Toyota Pickup. Gladly, he was at Texaco for over an hour, and we had enough time for the party.

· We arrived at Sue’s and Ravina was already there. A few minutes later, Janine, Vildo and Carmelo Jr. (the Juarez children) arrived, and so did Amira and Rahyla Teul. They were a few others, but I can’t remember the names or faces.

· We all stood around in the complex front yard, which had many trees and decorative hibiscus and other bushes. Sue came downstairs and said ‘Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the Easter egg hunt.’ She told us that she worked all morning, preparing for the event. She spoke to all of us for a while, a jolly introduction.

· After about 15 minutes of chit chat, she told us to start hunting for the Easter eggs, which were hidden in the patches of decorative bushes, grasses and trees at the complex. Everyone started running around, searching, and finding the eggs. Honestly, I was the only kid who couldn’t find an Easter egg. Sue noticed that, and said ‘Kenny, what’s this behind the hibiscus?’ I ran over, and found an egg. I was happy!!! But, I was also sad, as I realized it was a hard boiled chicken egg hand decorated with color markers. I was expecting a more elaborate egg (filled with sweets and chocolate), like the one in photos and newspapers. (I always reflect on this moment and have a good laugh.) Sue told everyone to peel the egg shells and eat their boiled eggs. I cannot remember if I ate mine (all smiles). She started sharing juice and water too. All of us at the Easter Egg Hunt began having the ‘happy kids’ talk’. They were a few more eggs hidden behind some faraway trees, and Sue encouraged us to keep looking. They were tons of laughing!!!

· Our dad arrived about an hour later. We didn’t even noticed he arrived. It was when he blew his horn, and we looked, and saw him waving at us. His exact words were ‘Time to go home boys’. Sue was upstairs and saw us leaving, and shouted for us to ‘wait a minute’. She rushed inside her apartment and brought two lovely Easter baskets filled with Easter toys, chocolates, candies and other treats! She brought one for me, and my older brother, Thomas Jr. I was entirely excited then! Sue also said ‘Hi’ to my dad, and they spoke a bit.

· We arrived home, and I was eager to open my basket and showed my parents too. That was one of the more charming gifts I received as a kid.

· Given that my parents were firm with us growing up, I am grateful that my dad decided to take us to the party.

Sweet Potato Harvest in 1995/96

· My dad worked at the Rice Mill, nearby our home. The Mill had tons of trash from the rice processing, and after many years, the trash turns into good soil culture for planting vegetables, etc. My dad would always bring a few bags of the good soil (which he dug by himself) and used it to plant.

· Since we had a huge backyard growing up, my dad planted many trees including Cashews, Tangerines, Grapefruit, Red & Yellow Craboo, Gooseberry, and a few others. I believe my parents planted these trees from the late 1980s. The Gooseberries were my favorite! I ate tons of them (when it was in season).

· I remember my dad had an entire area with rice trash (soil culture). He planted Cassava, Yams, and Sweet Potatoes in that area. Months later, my dad went over to check on the staples. I didn’t know what he was doing, initially. He started digging under the vines growing all over. He unearthed a huge purple ‘vegetable looking’ item. He told me: ‘This is a sweet potato, Kenny. We can make a cake out of it.’ It was huge, and probably weighed 20 pounds!!! He carried it over to our home and showed my Mom. He told her that she could make a potato cake. I think a couple days later, my Mom made the sweet potato pudding. I clearly remember tasting a piece and falling in love with Sweet Potato Pudding! It was truly delightful! Today, Sweet Potato Pudding remains my all time favorite dessert. I actually made this particular pudding a few times (Post-London journey), and crafted an excellent recipe, which I believe reflected the first time I had it in my childhood days.

· I truly enjoyed this experience harvesting (or at least, looking on as my dad harvested) sweet potatoes! I am also grateful that this experience helped me to secure my favorite dessert of all time!

Christmas Dancing at Mr. Balona’s Family Residence

· When we were kids, my parents took us to visit families (Jacobs, Parham, Williams and Coleman) in the Christmas Season (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, News Years Day). We usually travelled to Jacintoville, Dump Area, and Forest Home to visit families. Honestly, I enjoyed these visits.

· I remember my dad took us to visit Mr. Balona in Dump area during the Christmas celebrations. His wife, and my dad are first cousins. We also bought vegetables and meat from Mr. Balona’s Store for our restaurant.

· Mr. Balona warmly welcomed us into his home. His son, Antoine, actually began playing some old fashioned Christmas music, including Soca and Punta genres. I remember Mr. Balona and my parents began talking about the season (for a bit). Then, the music started to (hit the spot). Oh, he offered my parents rum drinks during that time! I remember his wife sending cake and softdrinks for us, (the boys). We began to eat the Christmas cake. It was so delicious.

· Then, Mr. Balona told my parents: ‘Let’s dance’. Mr. Balona got up, and started dancing. The music was great — Christmas tunes, Soca, Punta, — my type of music!

· Mr. Balona then pulled me up from the couch, and said, ‘It’s Christmas time, let’s celebrate.’ I was keyed up! The music was ‘hitting the spot’. I began to dance too. My dad got up and started dancing too, and so did my Mom. I was so happy in that moment. I was dancing in good company and with good music!

· I think we spent an entire evening dancing and having a memorable Christmas moment at Mr. Balona’s family residence in Dump. When we arrived home, I was tired and sleepy.

· I am truly thankful that my dad took us to visit Mr. Balona and his family.




Kenrick Mark Coleman

Chairman, The Kenrick Mark Coleman Foundation ~ British Chevening Scholar ~ MA Public Relations, University of Greenwich, London ~ Holistic Conversations ~