The Arima Kid - Pt II

You were doing something serious and important?

But of course!

Yet it was trivialized?

[Interrupting] Everybody, everybody, everybody!

Was that not painful?

Very painful. Even my closest connections, some of my immediate family and other people would say, “Listen, man, why you don’t do something serious?” But it give opportunity! I remember we went to Cedros and there was a man with a funny face. They called him “Ugly”. He was making faces at me from the audience. People were saying, “Move from here!” But I put him on [camera] and asked him, “How you going?” And he made his funny face. He got a job just from that, what we called DEWD or Public Works. He became a personality, more than a clown. He became “Mr Ugly” instead of just “Ugly”. So it [Scouting for Talent] did so much for so many.

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The Arima Kid - pt I

Here’s the first part of my Christmas 2007 interview with the now late Holly B. For a newspaper, I’d cut half of this out, to make sure it fit on a single page. For you, I’ll leave Holly untouched and run it in two parts. It could be cut – it was, for the papers – but, to me, it ought to be read in full.

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The privilege of service

My name is Robert Alexander Kendal Lee and I fought Ebola in Liberia.

I’ve worked in HIV in Trinidad, pandemic influenza in the Caribbean and Central America and the Haitian earthquake cholera outbreak. So Ebola in West Africa made a fitting last gig in 2014.

I am fifth-generation Trinidadian, descended from people who arrived from Canton, a small town outside Paris and either Northern Ireland or Scotland in the 1800s. One of my great grandfathers had five wives. I am descended from the half-Chinese, half-Scottish (or Northern Irish) wife.

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The High Cost of Living

My name is Robin Foster and I’ve found out that, to go about the business of living, you have to accept your own death.

If you look at my face good, you go see Pelham St and the Circular Road running right through it. I’m from the Belmont that David Rudder sang about.

Myself and Trevor and Steve, David’s younger brothers, were friends. David and I only became close when he got thrown into this other world, the kind of popularity he got, I was probably the only recognisable face on that side [of the social divide].

Belmont had characters. An old Indian man used to ride donkey-cart called “Riverbud”. One day his cow get away and bust through our pitch game. Mr Rush used to ride a bicycle with about a million bags. Everybody used to call him, “Bags!” And he would reply, “You black and stink!” Everybody was black and stink, except for Bruce Aanansen, who was “White dog!”

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Trini to the shamrock

My name is Mary Adam and I lived in Trinidad for 42 years; so maybe I’m an honorary Irish Trini.

I’m from Cork in the south of Ireland but I lived until last month in Cascade. I have a vivid memory of arriving in Trinidad at dusk and driving away from Piarco in a wide American car with clear plastic over the seats. The windows were down and as we drove past the sugarcane, the music of a million frogs wafted in on the soft evening air. It was incredibly beautiful and all was right with the world.

I’m the second in a very close family of eight. My father died in 1973. I have four children and nine grandchildren. My husband, Malcolm, is retired from medicine and UWI.

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