The energy of a space can have a profound effect on one’s soul no matter how grand or humble. My grandparents’ home was such a space. What to the naked eye appeared as a little “hole in the wall” in the heart of Port of Spain, was actually a magic-filled dwelling where sewing machines transformed into race cars and three ingredients miraculously got spun into a bottomless pot of belly full blessings, by Ma’s sweet hand,and some how there was always enough to offer a visitor or beggar. My Grand Mother possessed a type of cosmic magic. Petite, hazel-eyed Goddess, hips for days and her little brown comb nestled like a crown in her curly fro. Behind that warm Caribbean woman smile was a litany of hardship and victories, but you would never know. Her sweet kindness was hypnotising. Upper class or pauper it was all the same to her — “God’s children”
The lodge located above the house was the source of many horror stories my siblings and cousins would sit around and tell late at night.
What you know bout sharing one pack of corn curls and two ‘sweetdrink’ with 10 cousins?! Vibes! We would Hear the strangest sounds coming from up there and just let our imaginations run wild until we fell asleep or until Grandfather aka Sunny chased us to bed.
Now my grandfather, he was a proud man, respected and respectful. Shoes always shining and shirt jacks well pressed, pant seam sharp like razor, quiet and distinguished, at least that’s what everyone else saw. To me he was my old patna who let me pull out his grey hair for a shilling a strand. I never pulled more than three dollars worth as that was just enough to buy me a cola champagne soda and a salt nuts from the Rastaman on the corner. If i was lucky my grandmother turned her back long enough for me to steal a spoonful of powder milk to concoct my cola champagne milk shake ( you couldn’t pay me to drink one now though lol).
Come 5 am, I was always awakened by the smell of ‘black disinfect’ (if you know you know) the sound of water hitting the pavement just outside the door and My Grandmother humming her church songs (her favourite was “One day at a time”) as she washed away the jumbies of the night before.
And breakfast! What you know bout a latte Grandma style? ‘When she cool yuh cocoa tea for you pouring it back and forth between d two cups and by the time you get it half d cup is bubbles or froth and it’s the perfect temperature to eat yuh roast bake and cheese or saltfish accra with.
I could go on and on about this space and the happenings I witnessed…Being in this space taught me the value of kindness, loyalty, integrity, respect, love, family, sharing, caring and that “the little that you have is enough to carry on.”
From my Grandmother’s Grandmother all the way forward to the new generations these values will be passed on.
#66 Duke Street… all I have is love and gratitude 🙏🏾💕
From dem time to NOW.
All photos are stills from video posted by Gicelle Magloire on Instagram.