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Señor Gomez, how you do that?

Señor Gomez Speaks on Mas'

Mr. and Mrs. Gomez
Mr. and Mrs. Gomez

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Staff Article
Interview Recorded: May 15, 2005
Posted: June 12, 2005

I am happy

I am happy. My wife and I are living here, we are still enjoying Carnival, and anything with Carnival they call both of us. What do you want more than that? I went to prize giving in Arima last night and they said, "Gomez you want to come up here to win the people prize or what?" Do you know how nice it feels? I go anywhere. Sometimes people will say, "Mr. Gomez, how much will it cost to come to our school?" I said, "It would cost you nothing. What it will cost is that you give me transportation and you buy your material." Even if I do not have material I always have wire and I go. That is my way. I did something for the Ministry the other day and they liked it. They said, "Gomez we going again next year." Right now they asked me to build fourteen Baurokeets for tomorrow. I am going, night and day I am going; I am accustomed to that.

I do not like to say when I am gone, because you calling it. But when we leave these shores, I would like people to say, "Well boy, that man Gomez used to help we boy," or, "You doh know Gomez, he was the Mas' Man." I met a fella sometime ago, and he said, "Gomez you could remember me?" I told him no. He said, "I come by you a Carnival Friday when we money was done, and when I see you bringing out thing I thought you were going to charge us, because we eh come with any money. What we have for you?" I told him, "Nah, go your way ... enjoy yourself." Look they buried a friend of mine on Friday. She used to come and say, "Doh tell me no, ah want a big headpiece." I said, "What is the big argument, tell me what you want." She said, "I want to pass the following morning for it." When the following morning came, she got it. They paid a tribute to her, so at the funeral I said I will make something because I remembered I had something that I had made for her, so I say I will contribute the frame and so on. It is good to give; you don't give, you don't get. I believe so and I believe as long as you are going fair, life will be fair to you.

I enjoyed my lifetime up to as we speak. There were times when things were down, we had one or two sad times like everything, and we weather the storm. My wife is still here and we are going. My friend Berlin tells me, "Boy you will live one hundred and fifty years comfortable." He said it is because of the way I move. I am not saying I do not get a little pain here or a little pain there, but those pains are not keeping me back. From the time I start to walk about the pain gone, like everything. When I get up in the morning and I take a little exercise, because I hear a little exercise good, and I gone with that. All I would just like to see as we go along, we enjoy the rest of our lives happy, because as I told you, I had it good: I played sports, I ran, I beat some and some beat me.

There comes a time when you have to cut a line; and to be honest, I used to do a lot of drinking as a seaman and I stopped, no doctor or anything. They said I would get sick. Dr. Sealy was my doctor and she said, "Gomez you should stop gradually." I said, "No I cannot stop so." Thank god I stopped. I met Sprangalang outside a time and he said, "You eh no Trinidadian; you acting, you always not drinking. How you drinking malta? I eh buying any malta." But it doesn't bother me. I go, and I have fun. All my children are grown up. I mind them and they are minding me now. I do not demand anything from them. We are going to New York and when we reach there, is two suit cases full of things, one for me and one for their mother. I told them I am not staying for Labour Day, they say, "But daddy how you could do that?" We have some Grenadian friends that come here and one of their daughters is going to get married and they invited us to the wedding. My wife is behind it, she said we should come back and go to the wedding. We are coming back here on the 20th August, and the wedding is either the 28th or the 29th August 2005. We will go because they are already preparing for us. They also come here as well.

I am a Community Man; I am doing my work and I will continue as long as I have years and strength. From the school days, there is a teacher I wanted to see who came to launch a book here at the University, Cecil Grey. He is the man that used to breaks me from getting licks for ‘breaking beach'. If I did anything, he will say, "I will deal with him, send him across here." He would say, "Boy behave yourself. Don't do that again Gomez." It was about two years ago when he came to launch the book. I was going to put on a suit and thing, when I check, the man launched the book and gone. I was vex, I wanted to put my finger on my forehead and say, "Sir, permission please." I know he cannot forget me because he used to defend me. There are so many people you have to say thanks too.

I am happy, honestly. I do not have any big wealth, but as long as you have health and strength that is your wealth. What do you want better than this? When I talk to people, they tell me things like, "Gomez boy, I see you home in New York. Tank and them say they would like to see you; they know you come to New York. Look Tank number." I check for all of them as soon as I go up. All of them are seniors to me, but what they like is that they are seeing I am still maintaining the art form, and I always talk about my area.

I also went to a course on domestic violence towards women. What they did is put two people together, so that you could talk about me and I could talk about you. And then they gave us a branch to talk about it before we got into the other thing. They gave me a branch, so when it reached to me, well of course we discuss what you will say about me and what I will say about you. The lady was working at the Ministry for Women, and I told her I was a Carnival Man and so on and we started to talk. I said, "What I have here in my hand reminds me of the beautiful area where I was born, which I am still living for seventy years, South East Port of Spain. Beautiful area ... come and look, and see us." They started to clap, but some people were not saying where they came from. Anyhow, as we went along, I told them that I got to know this lady that works in the Ministry of Women's Affairs, and I am happy to know her. When it was her turn she said, "Well I met this mister they call 'Senor' Gomez who is a Carnival Man," and they clap again. The person who was carrying on the programme said, "One moment, it is good to see we have people from all walks of life, Steelband Man and Carnival Man, this is beautiful." They felt good about that and that made me feel better. I got my certificate and everything and I showed my wife. She said, "You used to lash me long time you know." I said, "But that was long time man, look ah have my certificate I cannot lash again". It was nice to see that you had walked that road, to see that you had gotten over that. My wife said, "You used to hit me," and I said, "Well I used to drink rum." I had to defend myself, because I have something showing the history. I felt so happy getting the opportunity to do this because my wife was a victim of that, and there was more applause because I came out and spoke the truth. I said I used to drink rum and at times my wife probably didn't do anything, but with the rum I was seeing wrong things ... couldn't see anything right. I could go and talk to people now about what happened to me after doing all that nonsense. It was real good.

We have to get along somehow or the other. The Lord sends everybody to do something; he sent you all to do just what you all are doing here now. I didn't know you all before you came here, and now we have a relationship like a family. I have a couple sisters still out there and one or two of my family and they would tell me, "You see how rum drinking not good?" I said, "No, do not pull down rum; rum do not call anybody. You could socialize nice and have a good drink, but you must know when to stop."

At one time I could have controlled the drinking. You know they say when the rum chokes you and it gone through you have no control? Well I believe mine bust about nine times. I used to speak to myself in the glass. "You going down the road eh, doh go an' play the fool. You could drink a little thing with them boys and come back." You are kidding yourself and wasting time. My daughter tells me how people see me on the TV or the papers. She called me and say, "Daddy you buy Newsday?" I tell her no. She said, "Well you are big on the Newsday." I went and I bought five and I have them below my mattress. Anywhere that I go, I get the clippings and I send it for them to see that I am still there, no falling back, still weathering the storm. The people in Connecticut, the doctor, would say, "Gomez I need to have all those clippings." A time a young lady came here from the University, and I showed her many things. She wanted to stay, she was excited. I went to photocopy something with Senor Gomez on it and a fella said, "Excuse me Mister, the name there, are you the person?" I said yes and he said, "You know how long I hearing about you? Last week I saw you on the papers again." My family would call me and say, "Put on the TV you are on the TV." You cannot pay for that, these things that happening here, they do not sell that by the yard or the pound. Sometimes like I would tell people, I do not know how to say thanks.


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