Sunday, June 17, 2012

The FATHER of Skeldon is gone.


Today, the father of Skeldon has passed on. I am sure there is, but I do not know many people in Skeldon who are 95 years young and still move about like Jamna Persaud Singh.

Showing the boys how it's done.

I remembered him as a high voice, loud, stalwart of a man. Walking into his work shop at the head of Kingston Rd, #79 Village, there was no doubt who was in charge. He made boys into men. There are stories that many of his apprentices would tell about accidents in their pants when he spoke to them. His complete knowledge of ANYTHING mechanical was impeccable.

Uncle Jamna and my grandfather, Uncle Phil, were buddy friends. During his time of many years as a hire car driver, my grandfather utilized the many functions of Uncle Jamna's workshop. I would take several pieces of work and Uncle Jamna, being the loving caring man he was would immediately pull me into his greasy arms with a hug. "Bai, a weh dah old man deh?" He would normally charge us a small fee or none at all. Of course in those days when the "Old bais" them get together was a whole 'nother story. During those times, Uncle Jamna was the owner of Ambassor Inn and Bar at Springlands. After hours of debate and gallons of liquor, the two old bais would come to our home. Pow, pow. He would let a few rounds off in the air, just to announce that they were home. Really, we could not hear the loud old cars and loud inebriated old mouths right in front of the house. But that was signature JPSingh.

Last year March I went back to Guyana after 20 yrs. I met Uncle Jamna at a funeral wake. He was playing dominoes. I slipped into the seat next to him and asked, "Do you remember me?" He looked at me and smiled. Slapped a domino on the table with the vigor of a 15 year old school boy. Then turned fully to face me. He took my shoulders in both of his bony hands and stared into my eyes. Under his bushy eyebrows his eyes softened, " You are old Khedaroo, grand son!" There was that old familiar hug, raspy old voice, and greasy smell. He remembered me.

This is the memory of Jamna Persaud Singh, that will forever itch into my brain, like it was a from his engraving machine. This is how he was to the entire community. Many times I saw this same embrace and hug, same raspy voice, same love for his community. While most of his children, grand, and great grand children are all overseas he choose to stay in Skeldon and work in his workshop until the day he passed. You, sir, distinguish gentleman of noble ancient being, straw hat off to you. I can hear the glasses click as you meet your old friend. Where ever you both are, Happy Father's Day to fathers of Skeldon pass.