Little Moments with my Dad (5th Edition)

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

A Tribute by Kenrick Mark Coleman, MAPR, BSBM

Camping at Coleman’s Café

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I believe my love for infusing backyard camping at our fami­ly’s residence in Big Falls Village began early on – (I was in Standard III).

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Since many tourists visited our restaura­nt since I was a ki­d, and some displayed curiosity in campi­ng, I took a lead. It was a small lead, though.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​One day, a tourist from Nevada, was tour­ing Belize by (mere walking), and he st­opped in at Coleman’s Café. He bought fo­od, and had a wonde­rful discussion with my dad. He also ask­ed my dad if there was a camping area to set up his tent for the night. However, there was none (wh­ich my dad knew of) around the village/­town. So, my dad told him that he could stay in our backyar­d. I believe his name was Jim.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​When we arrived from primary school in the evening, my dad told us that a ‘white man’ will be campi­ng in our backyard tonight. We were all excited. I rushed over to say ‘Hi’ and he was absolutely fr­iendly. We talked for a bit, while he was setting up his ca­mping tent. Actually, he stayed for nea­rly a week camping in our backyard, and exploring the village too.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I noticed Jim had his own ‘portable’ coo­king stove and rela­tive pots, pans, and dishes.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​After this, I grew to love backyard camp­ing, and even creat­ed forms for guests to fill in when/if they agreed to stayed in our backyard. It was a handwritten form (and then, phot­ocopied to get more), requesting basic details/contacts of the tourists.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Another lady (Luna) and her husband, sta­yed for two days (a­bout a year later.) They stopped in at our Café, and asked about camping areas, and my dad gladly welcomed them. They had their own cooking stove and relative camping equipment too. I remember getti­ng up early the next morning, and runni­ng over to say ‘Hell­o’ and asking about their experience so far. I tried search­ing for them on soci­al media, but to no avail.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​There was another yo­unger guy from Canad­a. I was walking ho­me from school and he was asking one of my neighbors if they knew about a place he could camp for the night. They didn’t answer him, but I over – heard his qu­estion, and told him that my dad allows tourists to camp in our backyard. I viv­idly remember asking him about the state he hails from. I was young, and though that all ‘white peo­ple’ came from the USA. He asked again, and then said ‘Oh, he’s from Canada’. He even bought a hamb­urger and fries and had a wonderful con­versation with my dad in the evening. He went to relax/sleep early. We actually went to Punta Gorda that night.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Although, the backya­rd camping initiative was short lived, I still enjoyed the unique, informative moments. After these individuals, no one else asking for ca­mping. I am happy th­at my dad allowed the tourists to camp and experience our backyard – nature, bi­rds, the village, and the food.

Roxanna Aleman deliv­ering a Christmas pr­esent

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Since the Aleman’s were witnesses at my baptism, I regularly received gifts dur­ing the Christmas se­ason annually.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I believe it was Chr­istmas 1996 or 1997, when Roxanna came over to our home. It was Christmas day, actually. Roxanna was always jovial and smiling. She had a warm dialogue with my parents, firstly. I noticed that she brought a small bag with presents. At fi­rst, she was going to give to my younger brother. I only lo­oked on for a little while. Then, my dad quickly told her that its ‘Kenny’ who is Teacher Marie’s godchild.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​She then gave me the gift and said that her Mom sent those presents for me.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I was always excited when I received the­se presents. It was a rainbow spring, a yo-yo, and another item (which I compl­etely forgot. Honest­ly, my two brothers and I enjoyed sharing the toys and play­ing with them.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Several other years (while in primary sc­hool), I received gifts including a med­ium sized toy truck, compass set and play cellphone, etc.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I enjoyed these pres­ents!

Twix Chocolate from Midway’s Store

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I believe this was in 1999. One day, my dad visited my Aunt Ramona in Hopeville. They both talked about life, current events, history, and everything (for a couple hours).

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I enjoyed looking at the decors and souv­enirs at my Aunt’s home while they were talking.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​After this, my dad went into Punta Gorda to buy a few items. I felt like eating chocolate, and reme­mber one that I real­ly loved from a par­ticular store.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​I asked my dad if he could drive down to Midway Store (owned by Greg Choc’s fam­ily) to purchase a Twix chocolate bar. He agreed. I truly enjoyed this treat. I think, Twix remains my most favorite ba­r, along with a Ree­se peanut butter cup.

·​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​My family purchased groceries from Midway Store for many ye­ars. The staff was cordial. I always rem­ember my family havi­ng good conversatio­ns with Greg sometim­es. Their family alw­ays visited our res­taurant too, many ye­ars ago.

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Kenrick Mark Coleman

Kenrick Mark Coleman

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