JAMAICAN NATIONAL 102 NOT OUT

JAMAICAN NATIONAL 102 NOT OUT

By EWALT AINSWORTH                                          03 24 2012

This is the second year in a row Jamaican Frank is celebrating his 100th birthday; his is now 102 years and does everything he did half a century ago except waste time and gamble.  Frank is a strong believer in the 11th commandment adumbrated by Reggae Singer Prince Buster…”thou shalt not pidgy-wing or call my name in vain for my wrath shall descend on you heavily.;  all his days are occupied by pretending he will live another century (or part thereof).  And guess what…the medical prognosis is good and over the weekend he had a slight bagwat for those who did not make it on his 102nd birthday – 02 14 2012.

On a recent visit to his official visit residence on Sanford Avenue in Essex County, New Jersey last Valentine’s day, there was very unusual activity.  There were scores of balloons and twice as many people all dressed up, looking good and smelling good awaiting the elevator to go up to the fifth floor.  It is only then I realized that all the young people around me, were on the same mission to go meet and greet Frank and help celebrate his 102nd birthday.  

I remember vividly the e-invite stipulating that in case of bad weather, an alternative date, March 24 was proposed.  Knowing both Frank and his erstwhile caregiver Guyanese Vibert George, I did both; both functions were stellar and sterling.  Both men were hospitable and gracious and alternated in being care givers to each other.

Vibert is about 25 years younger and would have worked extensively in Guyana as an educationist, engineer and later Labour Relations Manager.  He migrated a quarter century ago and has been able to foster both an unofficial and official relationsh- as care giver and companion to Frank.

Vibert ensures Frank gets his meals, mojo, medications, therapy and exercise on a regular basis.  Frank has not been to Jamaica in more than 50 years and hardly remembers anybody alive in his home country.  Vibert does all the travelling, visiting and samples literally, all that Frank indulges in. Vibert was in Guyana last year about this time and imbibed and indulged in coconut water with steel drops;  every morning he had five different fruits for breakfast and simply wishes he can afford to come again soon with Frank in tandem. He protects his friend and watches for him like a butcher shop dog.  ASOMELYKAM.

Another day and another time, I would ask you guys, weather permitting, to do a visual appraisal and tell me who is who.  Frank was a jockey and worked in the equine industry.  He, like Vibert, knows more than a mouthful about tantariadine and Ninjinsky in that order.  Happy birthday Frank.

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