September 21, 2019

The Publisher speaks: Believe you me

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By Joan Wilson

Joan Wilson

Life on Grand Cayman in my ‘growing up days’ was a very simple but enjoyable experience. We were all so close. Everyone was your friend. Personally speaking, I had a different friend for every occasion. For instance, if I wanted to sing I’d go to certain friends; cycling, I’d go to another; horse riding, to another. Believe you me, if it could be done I did it. Oh, by the way, I also had a friend that used to sit and read with me, too.

We never had many bicycles in those days so we rode what we could get onto. For instance, my father’s bicycle was a very big frame and, I guess, especially made for him. So, every time he got off it I would sneak it away, go through the bush and down a little pathway to one very special friend. We’d go riding on father’s bike, but of course, neither of us could reach the pedals so we each pushed. When the pedal came up on one side I pushed and when it came up on the other side she would push. Boy, was that ever fun! There were no trainer wheels on any of our bikes but we had more enjoyment and more licks than you can bet. But believe you me when I finally got my bicycle at the age of 18 I knew how to patch the tubes, take the tyres off, oil and clean every inch of the bike.

Believe you me, we had a few shipwrecks around the Island. The last one I recall was ‘The Cali.’ Boy, it didn’t take us long to claim her for our new playground. That was after she had been emptied and stripped of her cargo that was mainly rice.

Church played a very big role in my life back then as it does now. I went to church along with my sisters and brothers, and our parents. We weren’t dropped off and left for someone else to look after us. This played a vital role in moulding our young lives. We had Sunday School at 10 am where we were taught our lessons. Sunday afternoons we were allowed to go for a swim and / or a bicycle ride with our friends, just as long as we were back home to attend church in the evening. Again, with our parents. We walked every step of the way, too.

Do you hear people moaning when it rains today? Believe you me, we used the rain for good, clean, wet fun. The rain in our faces and on our heads would turn you into almost a new and refreshed person. With the marl or mud between our toes it was all very good therapy and it was all free.

Believe you me.

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