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. . . . . On Father’s Day

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe via Compfight cc

 

In my last post, I stated how grateful I was to my friends and family, who’ve made my life possible.  Since it was Mother’s Day, I focused on women, so for Father’s Day, I’ll concentrate on the men.

The problem with writing about close male friends is that in the modern age, we have become conditioned to believe that any sign of affection between men is also a sign of homosexuality.  This is a real problem, since without a few close friends to act as a compass,  extremely bad things can happen.    This conditioning is quite recent, as can be seen here.  Men become estranged from one another, with each fighting his own private battle, totally ignorant of the fact that the man next to him has the same issues.

This is all very sad and, it is also deadly.  Studies show that men with more social contacts (friends) live longer and happier lives.

There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.

– Unknown

Here are the men who have come this far with me and helped mold me (for better or worse!) into the man I am today.

Dirklyn Munnings – ‘Dirks’ is in biblical terms, “a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” which is especially apt since he was originally the best friend of my older brother, Kevin.  After Kevin’s death and my return from college we’ve become so close that people often think that we are brothers, nevermind the fact that Dirklyn has six brothers of his own.  Dirks is amazingly helpful but also damned annoying so the pleasure of seeing him is always overcome by the urge to curse him, which I do on an almost weekly basis.  This fact was included in my Best Man speech at his wedding.

Alex Carey – Alex once tried to convince me that a male walrus needed a baculum (Penis bone) because female walruses were too ugly.  His exact words, “Come on, don’t you think a (male) walrus would prefer a cute sea-lion instead.” A 15 minute discussion ensued on walrus/sea-lion relations.  Alex also  described his financial situation as, “escaping the miry clay.”   Our conversations are meandering and nonsensical but also filled with useful information.

He has the unique ability to accurately assess the financial costs (and how best to mitigate them) of romantic relations with women, from first date to marriage and everything in between.  It was from him that I learned the finer points of “raising the game“.  Alex is of the Masonic Order and his writings on perfecting the craft can be seen here.

P. Elliot Sealy – Gynecologist/obstetrician and one of the angriest, most abrasive people I know.  He is also one of the most charming.  Elliot even flirts with Aunt Elva. When people ask how  we know each other, I tell them he is one of my experiments gone wrong.  Actually, he is the nephew of my best  childhood friend. Ask a eight-month pregnant woman if Stevie Wonder shaved her? Yup. Compare getting a loan to date rape? (They’ll ‘roofie’ you.  You’ll know you’ve been violated, but you won’t be sure how.”) Check. As I said, abrasive, so it is always amusing to walk down the halls of the local hospital with him and see nurses, patients and even other doctors, giving him a smile and a nod of recognition.  There are many benefits to having a good friend who is a (competent) doctor, so I guess we’ll stay friends for another 35 years.

Dwayne J. Harrison (Deceased) – ‘Harry’ was the kind of man, that I wanted to be; quiet, steadfast, focused and incredibly smart.  Even though we might not talk to each other for months at a time, when we did, it was with the same comfortable familiarity that we had in university.  When he died from a heart attack  at the age of 43, I cried as much as I did when my brother passed away twenty-six years earlier.  Gone but not forgotten.

Maverick Moxey – Yes, Maverick is his real name, and as I always say, “Maverick by name and Maverick by nature”  Have you ever noticed that when a TV commercial wishes to convey the symbolism for rugged, hardworking, individualism, there is always a welder/metal worker in the background, (watch  truck advertisements to see what I mean)  I met Maverick when I was a student at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute studying welding and he was my teacher. In other words, he is not just a welder but a trainer of welders.  Profane, hard-drinking, harder partying, and loyal to a fault, few people would believe that he began his working life as an accountant and presently has at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Welding.    If Harry was the person to call if I needed a well thought-out, plausible alibi, Maverick would be the person I’d call to hide the body without asking questions.

Joel Reckley and Maxwell McIntosh – When I went to live on Green Turtle Cay,  I barely knew the difference

Green Turtle Cay waterfront

Green Turtle Cay waterfront

between a hammer and a saw.  The only thing I knew how to build  was a sandwich.  Joel and Max were extremely generous with their time, skills and tools.  From them I learnt, how to build hurricane shutters, fix a water pump, fill my rain tank and several other ‘manly’ skills.  This experience gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a welder.  Most importantly, I learnt the truism of the phrase, “If you  can’t be handsome, then at least be handy.”

 

 

Honourable Mentions

Robin Hardy and David McGorrin – Not much to say about my partners in art.  My work with them is explained in this post.

 

Compliments, and recognition of the men in our lives are always in short supply.  Which man in your life deserves recognition?  Leave your answer in the comment section.

. . . . . On Mother’s Day

A black black family but not mine. Flickr Commons

With eight operations; (two major), one near fatal car crash, two parachute jumps, seven bouts of pneumonia caused by the hereditary disease Sickle Cell Anemia, various mishaps and accidents, all behind me and the 50th

My sister Elise with Max Taylor sculpture

My sister Elise with Max Taylor sculpture

birthday looming, there are times I need to take stock of where I am physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually. Here is what I know for sure.

Without a strong support structure of able, intelligent, friends and relatives, I’d be DEAD!

I’ve written before about the Power that Gratitude has on our lives.  In this vein, I’d like to give thanks to those persons who have come this far with me and whom I am prepared to carry with me the rest of the way.  Since it’s Mother’s Day, I’ll start with the ladies . . . . . .

Family

Eula Delancy (Mother) – Great men like myself (I’d also say Modest but it sounds like bragging) begin from great stock like her.  There is no need to write more because she has her own post which you can read HERE.

 

Elise Delancy (Sister) – Older than me by ten years, my relationship with her is explained in this post.

 

Aunt Elva on her way to church

Aunt Elva on her way to church

Elva Minnis (Aunt) – My dearest aunt -who still does my laundry and

has mediated any number of arguments between me and Elise.  Aunt Elva is one of the funniest, wittiest and kindest women ever.  Despite

having known her all my life, I am always surprised by the number of people she has helped or continues to help. Never a word of who needed her and what was required.

Her personal motto “live while you may and die when you can’t do any better”,   describes her perfectly .  My favourite quote from her is, “I ‘most 90 but I ain’t old yet” which she said on her 85th birthday.

Karen Strachan ( sister) – My eldest sister and the only one of us brave enough to reproduce.  Thanks for taking that one for the team!!

Singleton Cox (Cousin) – Like the little annoying sister I never wanted,  my super successful cuz  has grown into the kind of woman that makes my family proud.

Girlfriends

Lauren Riviere – My Significant Other (along with Consuela – an inside joke)  and my source of happiness 95% of the time.  Why and how she has managed to put up with me for almost two decades is a mystery.

Betty Rolle – Author, quiet activist,  a source of inspiration and a light into the minds of women.   At one point I quoted Betty so much people thought she was my girlfriend.  A brilliant conversationalist, even her ‘small talk’ is worthy of a Nobel Prize.

Vanria Gibson – Trotman – My BFF.  I still have a hard time believing that I’ve had some of the same friends for more than 30 years and that she is one of them.  It wasn’t until her wedding that I learned  that Vanria is capable of maintaining four or five “Best Friends Forever” relationships.  I’m totally down with being her side BFF for another 30 years.

Marcia Musgrove – Best advice I can give for living a long, healthy life is to find a Seventh-Day Adventist.  Every  rock, bush and potion known or even suspected to increase life, they have it.  Listening to Marcia’s,  instruction I’ve improved my overall health.  Special mention: The only person I know who can slip the words “oolitic sand” into casual conversation but still insist that she’s  not a geek.

Stephanie Babbs-Seymour – Back in the 80’s she was a good friend in college, flash forward to the 2000’s still a good friend and a successful entrepreneur.  No one would think, listening to our conversations that Steph is only a year or so, older than I am.  She gave me on point  relationship advice and helped me get over my homesickness while we were in college.

Rene Hepburn-Davies – Did my entrance interview when I joined my present employer, still friends today.  A friendship filled with laughter and guidance is something we should all cultivate.

 

Honourable mentions go to:

Jennie Reckley (Deceased) During the time I lived on a different  island in The Bahamas, Sister Jennie, fed me, kept my spirits up when I was at a low point, taught me that courage and perseverance  required neither loudness nor martyrdom.  I miss her greatly.

Dr. Christine Chin– primary care physician. Thanks for giving a damn when the male doctors didn’t.

Dr. Raine – Repaired the botched operation on my toes done by another podiatrist.

Hannah Middleton and Shermona Wisdom – Physiotherapists who are putting me back together again.

 

I’d say that’s it but it’s not, there are so many who played a role in bringing this far.  I salute them all!

What about you?  Who are the women that made you a better person?

 

 

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