25 Years Ago
Visiting San Pedro over the week end was a good friend Mr. Alpuche, who used to be the police officer in the 1950’s. His daughter, Anne Alpuche, attended primary school here along with me and many other peers of the time. Mr. Alpuche commented that his house, the police station did no longer exist, so I put myself to reminisce on this building. It was an elegant building at the time - a time when there were thatch houses with outdoor toilets and the kitchens with firewood and the fire hearth or “fogon” as they were called.
I can talk about my primary school in the forties and which I attended in the 1950’s. I am told that it might have been a two-story building, but the one I knew was a single floor.
Have you ever wondered how people will remember you when you are gone? Your actions today and the way you touch people’s lives will determine how they will remember you many years later. People might say, “You see that man there, he used to be a great Karaoke singer.” Or others might say, “There goes Angel Cho, who used to beat his wife.” Or perhaps at your funeral the long line of friends will not fit into the church or the long list of fine things to be said will take ten minutes in your eulogy.
Making things was no problem in San Pedro 25 years ago. We made our own candy - casham, tableta, coco brut, and piñon. We made our own kites with fine sticks and paper. We made our own corn dough for our corn tortillas. And do you know what? We made our own sails for our sailing boats at a time when we could not go buy a Yamaha outboard motor.
Last week I touched on some of the tough aspects of the life of a skin diver like the absence of having a fresh water bath or sleeping on the deck of the boat wrapped up in the sail. Adventurous you might say, but that is tough living. Today I have a few more thoughts of a skin diver 25 years ago when Caribena Fishing Cooperative was in its prime and they were out there at Glover’s Reef and Turneffe.
Have you ever wondered what thoughts go through the mind of a baby? What are the thoughts of a housewife as she lays her head on the pillow? And what does a thief think about when he finally goes to bed at four or five in the morning? What are the thoughts of a business entrepreneur as he ends his day on a bed? And now, what were the thoughts of a fisherman when he went to sleep right on the deck of the boat he was working in?
The other day my daughter, who got her ingenuity from her dad, who got his ingenuity from his dad, was making flavored syrup to enjoy some “raspado” or” fresco” right at home. We got this electric ice shaver that can make some fine shaved ice in no time, and she treated us to some fine old time raspado or fresco that is still sold all over Belize. And this got me to remember when ice was scarce in San Pedro and the way we all got to value such a valuable commodity.
First of all a “tablita” is a little piece of stick and you will now find out why guys used to say, “To hell with the “tablita” or the little piece of stick.” At a recent gathering with some old friends, some of whom were old time fishermen, the topic came out as to why the last generation of folks had so many children compared to today’s families.
Dancing is a lively activity today and very much liked by most people, but it is not a very special event like it used to be in the past. Dancing was a really very, very special event.
Will be updated soon.
Which glass windows? There were no glass windows on houses twenty five years ago. When we were growing up in old San Pedro, there were hardly any windows in the small thatch houses, and only one wooden door. So how were the hurricane preparations back in the 50’s and 60’s?
My little grandson’s birthday party is right upon us and someone asked the question, “Will there be rum punch and beer at the party?” Someone else quickly added, “Why should there be? Of course not, because this is a children’s party, not an adult’s party.” I was very happy for this and this led me to reminisce about children’s parties 25 years ago.
The following are definitely late comers to San Pedro. And I am not talking about people who came late to San Pedro, but about things. People cannot come late to San Pedro. Some people just came earlier but nobody is late.
Can Twenty Five Years Ago go 157 years ago this time? That is how far back we would need to go if we would like to have a chronological look at the development of San Pedro since it was founded in1848.
I hope nobody is calling you a “pendejo” after last week’s article on that topic. Remember the saying: “ Amores de lejos, amores de pendejos”.
Will Be Updated soon.
You will find proverbs wherever you go and they are usually some wise saying that locks up a lot of truth. Whoever made them up was wise and at the same time quite witty because instead of saying it directly, he disguised it in the form of a saying. Those proverbs or wise saying of San Pedro in the past are quite picturesque and unique in that you do not hear them elsewhere even though they have similar interpretations as others used elsewhere. Most of these proverbs were handed down to us by our parents by word of mouth whenever a situation arose.
Lots of young people have expressed interest in some remedies of 25 years ago. Some seem funny and some seem unbelievable, thought some methods seem to have logical explanations. Whether you try them or not, I do want to assure you that most of them work, if not all. Still some people might also have different and even more effective methods. Here are the last in this series.
If you have not yet tried any of the home remedies discussed so far, chances are you never get sick or you like to run to the doctor as your first recourse. You never try anything at home as a first attempt to alleviate the ailment or perhaps cure what would have proven a simple ailment. However, you can cut these pages and keep them for that emergency. You never know when you will be caught in the middle of the night with no doctor at hand.
Well, no lawsuit yet, and still not in jail for malpractice. So I have a few more home remedies (medicinas caseras) that were popular 25 years ago. It is not suppose to discourage you from going to the doctor, but to give you an alternative in case no doctor is available or your pocket is low.