Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:30 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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This is how he rolls
My name is Gerald Ramkissoon and I operate the roller between innings at a cricket ground. I’m from Gonzales in Port-of-Spain, born and bred, a small community where everybody know everybody else. Adults still have the privilege to talk to other people’s children, tell them, “Is time for you to go home now.” If it wasn’t safe, I wouldn’t be there. I have options, but I choose to stay there.
I’m a grandfather and I never smoked a cigarette in my life. My wife is Mino. I have my son, Gerald Jnr, working with me. My daughter is Genelle and my grandson is Kieron, after Kieron Pollard, the great batsman. He’s six and, hopefully, will be in the Queen’s Park cricket clinic next year. I mean, I have the opportunity, so I might as well take advantage of it. My granddaughter is Kayla.
I just finished primary school and then started working life. I didn’t have a choice, really. But it’s not something bad. Not having education was a learning experience for me. It give me the encouragement to push my children and grandchildren to go a little further. We didn’t have television growing up. We had comics like Superman, Spider-Man, Thor, Two-Gun Kid, Rawhide Kid. I haven’t gone cinema for a long time. My job is a real commitment. You reach six o’clock in the morning. If it don’t have game, you leave six in the evening. If it do have game, you leave sometimes ten o’clock.
The biggest change I see in Trinidad is the youths and the crime. The two of them connected and it have nothing to really help. When I was a child, other parents would get involved. It take Gonzales to raise a child. When you watching this youth, about 14 years, with a gun, telling you to pass whatever you have, and you know you have children bigger than that, is a sad thing.
We can’t say it ent have no jobs. It always have a car to wash, a yard to clean. All that is part of “job,” all that bring in money for you. When I was young, I would leave the football to wash a car, because I know I would get a $5, and then I would be able to spend that $5.
I never had it in my mind to sell drugs and get fast money. Fighting for turf and block, you’s part of it, but your family’s the target. And for what? Go and do an honest day work and hold that salary. Police can’t hold you and the bandits ent looking for you.
As a youth, 13-14 years, I used to go in the Oval scoreboard and score for free. I not looking for anything. This one guy, John Stanford, said, “You want a job?” That was 1981, and I been here since. Everything I know, he show me to use.
I get a lot of young guys coming to ask for jobs.
Rain falling and you have to get the covers on fast to protect the wicket. They will sit down in the stands and watch you. “I ent coming out in that rain, nuh”. But that is what they get hire for: that is they job! I tell them, “I don’t think I need you any more. Collect your cheque”.
You could never finish learn. They always have something new. But I feel I know a lot about rolling. It have ways in rolling.
The best part of the job is when you see your wicket is playing good. You sit back proud: I made that wicket. The bad part is when the wicket ent playing good. You look to hide from the media: “No, I don’t think Gerald is here right now.”
One thing I learn is that you enjoy your job. If you don’t, is best you leave it. Because you would be miserable, not comfortable, every day.
Things going on in they family or the country: the murders, the kidnapping, the whatever, you must know a Trini: he always happy.
So I say a Trini could only live in Trinidad.
Trinidad & Tobago means everything to me. My whole life wrap up right here.
• Read a longer version of this feature at www.BCRaw.com
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