As I am in the mood for writing, paying tributes to the persons who are important in my life, it is Doston’s turn to be given the once over. Doston was the 3rd born of my parents children. As I’ve stated before, most of my memories are from the age of 4+ years old, leaving the years before that vague. Therefore my tribute will consist mostly from the time we moved to GaGa Street. Doston’s story will contain some interesting titbits I learned about myself years ago from another of my bredas, by another mother and father. Granty Papa aka Henry Salabie said he grew up at our home in Townhead because, his mum Ms Ethlyn Grant worshipped the way my Parents especially my dad raised their children. Dad was strict and a no nonsense man who ruled his children by the Bible’s teachings. So Granty spend his days at our home and made the transition to GaGa Street with us.
Granty Papa told me that I was a tiny baby with a big appetite and probably an even bigger pair of lungs when I want my own way. One day I was left in the care of my 2 bredas; Doston and Byron as was the norms, the older siblings helped to look after the younger. This day in question it was the turn of Doston and Byron to care for their only baby sister me – RATTY, until Mama comes back. Naturally when I started crying, I was plied with the bottle, but still nothing seemed to appease me. So after doing everything in the book that was known by 2 bigger bredas, they were left baffled to the reasons for the crying. As luck would have it, it was time for nappy change. When the latch pin that was used to pin the (bird die – back then that was the nappy), my bredas made a gruesome discovery.
My side was pinned up in the nappy and that was the reason I was crying. But because I had no way of communicating, because at this stage, crying was my way of communicating. And believe me when I say that to this day the least little thing still cause me to shed bucket loads and you’d think I am only a big cry baby. Since all I could do was cry, naturally they thought the greedy little baby with the big appetite was hungry again. Luckily for my poor bredas, it is not now because someone might have reported them to the Political Correctness Brigade for Baby/Child Cruelty. Or even worse someone who have it in for them might have gone to make allegations to ruin their lives forever like what happened to me 2 times now, since I am living in the UK. As soon as you stand up for your values and beliefs someone will see you as a threat to their incompetence’s and lack of knowledge.
Therefore one cannot be too careful and be on their guards, looking over their shoulders for the evil and vilest of persons who are intent on setting/stitching us up. When they are out to get you for whatever reasons their prejudices minds conjure up, because you are a true professional and passionate about your vocations in life. Nobody takes time to recall the contributions you made all these years for which they have been giving you accolades up until a month ago. Instead they will be lurking in corners, trying to set you up, trying to get you to do something so they can get you for breaches in the trap they set for you. Believe me this is no fancy fairy tale make believe story that is part of my repertoire of my vivid imagination.
I am saying this because I know as a Family WE do have Vivid Imaginations that we use to get out of some Dire Straits most of the times and Doston is even better at it than I am. Therefore I am beseeching everyone to be on your guards, read the fine prints in every little piece of paper you sign your name to and don’t get outsmarted. Remember when you sign that piece of paper, you are basically giving up your RIGHTS to any form of Human Life that you are entitled to. It is even worse when they decide that you don’t suffer fools gladly and have a mind of your own. If your face don’t fit and you are not prepared to forgo the values and principles by which you were brought up and by which you chose to live your life. Despite their craftiness they cannot let me lose the passion nor get me to stop giving of my best for any cause I believe in.
When I was home – JA for my #2son’s – Valdin Legister’s wedding and was talking to Sonia Powell, she mentioned that she used to live in thatched house. When I spoke to Doston, he told me we lived in thatched house too at Townhead. However although I recalled exactly where we lived at the time, with the McIntosh & Colquhoun as our neighbours and Ms Lou & her beau Mass Witney living across from us. I remember Mass Witney because he was this Strapping Red-Skinned Man, whom I believe may have a fondness for the bottle and had to be transported home when he had one, too many to drink…? I have absolutely no memory of the thatched houses and can only recalled the carts moving our houses to GaGa Street and events and life after that. Doston talked about how some of the houses caught fire when people used the Kitchen Bitch to kill mosquitoes. In some cases the houses could not be saved and everything went up in flames. I have to give thanks that my family was blessed in many ways.
Although I have some vivid memories of my family and people in the local communities, there are some pieces missing that I have to rely on others to fill. I have always known my breda as a tailor in the early days. He sat on the veranda at home and sew, until he got his own house and sat at the window in there sewing and looking out to see those passing by. He always had the radio turned up high and I guess this might have been some form of motivation and company for him sitting there on his own working away at his trade from dusk till dawn. Anyhow there were other aspects of his life that I only know about because we are a Story Telling Family. We inherited this trait from our dad and not mum, because mum did most of the beatings and dad the talking throughout our lives. Doston was the one who begged Mama to give me a second chance. However don’t get mum mad because then you’d not hear the end of it…?
We will chat about the good the bad and the indifferent and not afraid to take the Mickey out of each other and ourselves. However we would not intentionally say are do anything to knowingly hurt another person at the same times. Because as we all know the saying, word is wind, but it can also be a powerful tool in the wrong hands that can ruin a person’s life or leave scars that cause much pains and sufferings. Sticks and stones may break my bones but word is wind can sometimes have reverse effects and lead a person to do things that uncharacteristic of them. There are a few reasons in our family why some of us did not finish our schooling and Doston’s reason might be funnier than the others, because it smacks of egoistical self-centredness more than anything else. And believe me Doston is exactly that kind of a person who is all about “Me, Myself & I…” first and foremost in everything he does to this day. But in a kind of nice way, because by the time he finishes with the hard luck story your heart will have to melt.
However not finishing our schooling did not have much of a negative effect on us at all I believe. I had to laugh like I usually do when I heard the reasons for Doston not finishing his schooling. And his story in a nutshell was he had a sore foot which took long to heal. By the time the sore healed, Doston said he felt like an Old Big Boy because of the length of time he was away from school. He decided not to go back because he did not wished to be ridiculed. Doston said he had 2 choices; to go chop cane or learned tailoring from his elder breda Balis. He chose the easier options, because he didn’t fancy working in the boiling sun in the cane fields. Doston claimed he was basically a lazy person who will always opt for the easier way out, so it was easier for him to learn tailoring.
Doston made a decent living from doing tailoring because he was one of the best in his heydays. He was ambidextrous like dad, using the scissors in both hands and writing with his left. Dad used the machete in both hands and write with his right. He built up a valid customer base and had to turn away customs in the busy seasons. Some of his customers especially those living abroad would save up materials for him to sew on their visits home to take back. My breda BYRON, the younger one to Doston would always say since sewing is Doston’s trade and how he makes a living, he’d always pay him to sew his trousers when he came home. I learned to sew with my hands from Primary School because we did needle work. I later graduated to the sewing machine and could do some sewing like my mum. The last uniform I wore to Secondary School, I sew myself because the dressmaker was too busy. She helped me by cutting it out and left me to do the rest. However I believe if a vocation is not your calling, then you are not going to get far or be able to make a living from it. Working with young children was always my passion and I’ve done it most of my life.
Like any family, we’ve had our ups and downs and as Latoya Nembhard-Samuels says to me the other day. We are a dysfunctional family, however no matter what happens and we are ranting and raving at each other. But when the time comes for us to support and be there for each other, we will drop everything and run to our family’s aid. Doston always say every one of us can go abroad and leave him at home, all we have to do is make sure he is looked after. We all have our soft spots in our hearts and Doston is no different, even if he has to make his points with some drastic threats that we know he is not Man Enough to carry out. He has had to make a few changes in his life over the years and managed to move with the times, and he successfully made the transitions every time.
Along with the tailoring; he worked as a Market Inspector in Savanna-La-Mar. With the decline in the tailoring trade over the years, he started doing farming and tailoring for back to school and the occasional sewing for those who still prefer tailor made wear. Some people still prefer the tailor mad instead of the mass productions that don’t really match up to their standards. Doston has had to be industrious even when he does not always make some sound judgements. But we are all humans and entitled to make a few mistakes and learn from them. I have made some serious errors of judgements which I prefer to view as another part of my lessons about the rules of life. He has driven taxis and his main focus now is farming that he use to supplement his income.
I live to see the day when my breda Doston can plant to make ends meet, because I remember back in the days when he used to say he is not going to the bush, because his grounds are at the shops. Back then he had money, but with changing times and industries we all have to do what we have to do to make a living to keep body and soul together. He has been doing an excellent job of changing with the times and moving on. Our yard is kept up to stands similar to that of Dad, but there are other shortcomings in his make-up that I don’t think will ever change. But we have to be prepared to accept him as he is and work with his best features instead of trying to change him completely and making his life a living hell here on earth. It is not wise to judge a book by its cover because every one of us is unique, different and special in our own ways.
Doston was diagnosed with diabetes years ago and makes 3 of us siblings with the condition, including yours TRULY. Don’t know what it is but we 3 have much in common from spitting images of looking like our Mama to being darker in complexion and we: Doston, Texchus and Ratty are the ones to inherit the diabetes. I always thought that the diabetes was on Mama’s side of the Family because my Granny got strokes before she died. Uncle Esley Saunders also had strokes, was blinded and paralysed before he died. I learned more recently however that diabetes also run in Papa’s family as an auntie had infantile diabetes in her 20’s. Mama was only one step away from getting a massive stroke, but she always got to the doctor or treatment in time. My word my Mama was a Miserable one, and I am exactly the same.
I will say whatever it is that is bothering me and if you don’t take heed I will speak my mind. Some might chose to say I am dismissive of authority, saying derogatory things about them or even gag me to stop me from voicing my concerns. But you know what even if you don’t hear me saying it out loud, I will be cussing in my heart if you go out of your way to trouble me and then tell lies on me to ruin my character and blacken my good name. Therefore I am going to rebel when you put a sanction on me of being uncooperative, unprofessional, confrontational, intimidating and lacking empathy. Because you are judging me without even knowing who I am and prefer to be prejudice and hold a grudge against me for only you know what reasons. Like me Doston is not on medication for his diabetes and manages it with bush, aloe vera, single bible, etc… Because we are a family of doers and Researchers, who don’t just sit back and expect others to do things for us without lifting a finger. We are our own Bush Doctors, Counsellors, Obeah Man/Woman and all round Busy Body who likes nothing better than to take care of ourselves as we love life to the max. We have had our share of witnessing sufferings in our lives, so we try not to leave ourselves opened to call down sufferings on ourselves if we can help it.
We are not bad minded and grudge-full of the achievements of others but instead celebrate with them. We would never think of depriving another person of what was rightfully theirs because we know what it is to struggle and do without some of the basic amenities that some take for granted. We are hard grafters who believe you get back from life what you put in and life owes none of us a favour as we have to go out and forage for ourselves and not take the credit for other people’s hard work when we made no contributions. Doston worked like a Mother and Father for his 4 Daughter’s and like any one of my Siblings. Back in the days when Doston’s money was flowing, he’d buy his children the best of everything. The Silly Man would change the girl’s uniform every term when they were going to High School, but I am sure he can look back without regrets and be proud of the investments he made towards his children’s education. We are Proud of our Offspring even when we might not say it enough for them to hear us. But we take it for granted that they should know we love them even when we don’t say it enough. Give us a chance and you’d have to tell us to stop talking when it comes to the subject of our family and the children in particular.
WE are who we are in the NEMBHARD Family, a happy go lucky bunch of people striving for the Best. But none of us are BAD APPLES, so please take that back or I will be Ramming It Back Down Your Ignorant Throat if you are not careful. And my Family and Friends will back me 100%, because you don’t know me like they know me?
Happy Birthday Doston. XXX all the CLANS.
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- Mervelee Ratty NembhardAuthorAdminMass Doston a try him best fi keep up? Happy 65 BD Doston. I’ll try & send U little supn soon.
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