The Way I See iT

The way I see it, nothing can beat ‘the good ole days.’

I was privileged earlier this week to be present at the open day held at the Maisie Bartlette community center in Brown Hill.

The focus on that day was a vivid description of life in the fifties and sixties etc as it was then in Nevis.

During those years, our parents, grandparents an even some of us who are of that generation, had to deal with certain situations which may be considered harsh in this modern time.

Mr. Edred Warde was given the unenviable task of elaborating on those early years of Nevisian life.

As the students of grade five from the nearby Ivor Walters Primary School, listened intently and took careful notes, I watched the look of stark horror and maybe even disbelief on occasions, as he gave the revealing details.

Later, I interviewed the children, based on what they would have learnt and my conclusion was correct.

None of them could fathom living in a world with no electricity; television and internet.

It was hard for them to understand how people survived journeying, morning after morning, for miles upon miles, to get even one bucket of water and complete a wide variety of household chores, all before going off to school and still being able to get to school in time to avoid the dreaded strap of the Headmaster!

They could not understand an era where there was one pay phone in a village and people lining up at that pay phone in order to be able to make an important call.

The story goes that in Brown Hill, there were two individuals who virtually HOGGED the pay phone. Once they got on, no matter how many persons were waiting, they would stay on for up to an hour, just putting in quarter after quarter.

One person even alluded to the fact that one of them was known for bringing her chair to the phone booth and was even seen at the booth at 1am one morning!

Apparently the ‘brothers in the hood,’ got so fed up with the situation and placed the much feared COBEGE (that plant that bites your skin so much), all over the booth and phone.

Well I newa!

The IWPS students could not quite understand how people could comfortably utilize anything except a flush toilet. How could people use that little hut in the yard? So what happens when rain is falling and you needed to go?

You better make up your mind to take the wet and go and relieve yourself.

They could not comprehend how that little space that now houses the Brown Hill Community Center (Maisie Bartlette sorry), could have had up to six different grades, with over 100 students, prior to the new IWPS school, that they now know.

How could people sit on stones, under trees and have classes and still learn?

They could not fathom ironing their clothes with a flat iron or a goose.

Give me the NOW life, was the general consensus of opinion.

‘I don’t think I could have survived like that,’ one boy said bluntly.

What they probably failed to understand, was that in those days of going barefoot to school, with trousers with holes in them ( I notice the style has come back), we did not have any choice and virtually everybody was a part of it, so nobody was left to laugh at anybody.

I want to suggest that we were happier then; we were very content with what we had; there was a high level of community spirit, sharing and camaderie; crime was not yet invented and we ‘lived happily ever after….’

Maybe what the now generation of children need, is a dose of the ‘good ole days.’

Maybe that will curb the envy; violence; wanton waste and senseless acts of deviant behaviour.

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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