The Sticky Wicket series was well received by critics and encapsulate the growing pains of the sport in the US. It showcases the collective experiences of immigrants from the former British colonies where cricket is defined as the national sport. "Cricket in the suburbs in New York and New Jersey is going through the same challenges that Carnival did. It is taking some time before we get full acceptance," Rouse opined. In Sticky Wicket the truth is said in jest. "There is a lot of clean humour," he added, "but the overriding theme of the books is about overcoming obstacles." Minutes later, he spoke briefly about the clash of cultures and the resistance experienced by immigrants bent on enjoying their pastime. "We still have to fight with soccer moms and little league baseball for space on city owned grounds...and they outnumber us and have more political clout. But we have to fight back for recognition," he said, upbeat about the future of the sport in the US.
As Rouse signed his collection, Chapman, a former US soldier and art graduate, was not to be outshone. His deeply rich and colourful photographs were everywhere, depicting the colonial and contemporary architecture of his native land, along with its pristine and natural features. "As a young man I can't remember walking without a camera," he said. At 49, Chapman, who was raised in Port of Spain, is a single dad whose talents have also touched his son. "He does great work but seems more interested in soccer," he said. At the moment, Chapman is anticipating greater exposure in his homeland, and is laying the ground work for an exhibit there. He described his work as "artistic photography," where he fashions his craft "through the lens of a painter."
Photography he said "captures and saves moments and places and things for a lifetime, and beyond," recalling his photograph of the twin towers just before they were knocked down in 2001. Evoking bitter-sweet emotions, he also reminisced on "the gems" he captured in Haiti before the devastating earthquake. The evening was far from over but Rouse and Chapman had already made lasting impressions.
(Dr Glenville Ashby-Foreign correspondent)