By Angel Nuñez
Of course ‘almost everything’ we used to do in yesteryears in San Pedro had to be quite different from present day state of affairs. I want to stretch my imagination and say that people even looked different. This will be a tough one but I will attempt it next week. Stay tune. But first these different things.
Landing On A Grass Airstrip:
Do you believe that landing on a grass airstrip is a bumpy landing? Not at all! I have landed countless times on grass fields and the pilots gave me the softest landing you can think of. Old timers in San Pedro remember when they USED TO land at the San Pedro Airstrip with pilots such as John Greif II. Then there was Roballo, Yasin Shoman, Charlie, and Mandy Castillo.
The San Pedro Airstrip was a product of the efforts of Celi Nuñez McCorkle and John Greif who persuaded our Premier at the time, Honorable George Price, to acquire the land from Blake for the purpose of the airstrip. Our Area Rep at the time, Hon. Louis Sylvestre ‘Cuz’, was also very instrumental in bringing our San Pedro first airstrip into reality. After the land was cleared of bush and coconut trees, it was leveled and grass was allowed to grow on it. Oh yes, it was grass, but folks in San Pedro thought it was the greatest single achievement for our community. Just let me insert here my last bit of interesting information and it is that the commercial flights offered by Maya Airways were ONLY seven dollars one way. And in the 1960’s some folks still preferred to travel by the Elsa P Cargo Boat and passenger service for 50 cents to the Capital City of Belize. That is how we USED TO travel to and from San Pedro sixty years ago.
San Pedro's First Airstrip
John Greif II
Novelas By Books Not Television:
Doctora Corazon (Doctor Love), Lagrimas y Risas (Tears and laughter, Policiacas (Police Stories), Todavia Sueño Contigo (I Still Dream With you) were popular, weekly, book novela series that San Pedranos enjoyed in the 1950’s and 60’s. In lieu of television, of course, these were considered a great source of entertainment. After a hard day’s work at sea, what was there for a fisherman to do with no radio, no television, no cinema, no discotheque etc. Well he jumped into a hammock, pulled out his novela and read on for fun or until he fell asleep. The fishermen who went on twelve-day expeditions to far away fishing sites also took their stock of comic books and novelas. I want to tell you that besides being a good source of entertainment, these books played a good role in developing reading and comprehension skills, the improvement of the Spanish language and building vocabulary all in one. And what about the ladies and women of the village? After a hard day’s work in the home, what was there for a woman to do? Exactly the same thing as the men- read and enjoyed their novelas.
After a while everyone had accumulated a good stock of books (novelas), and they USED TO exchange their books so that they could red twice the number of books they owned. We were all very fortunate that a lady in San Pedro had relatives in Chetumal, Mexico and she USED TO receive new stocks every now and then and she USED TO rent them to the villagers. Yes folks, life is only as boring as you would want it to be. You can also make it very entertaining and exciting as we USED TO sixty years ago in San Pedro.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today Online Newspaper -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush, A & R
Contact the Author at: [email protected]