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Enjoy Memories of Old San Pedro

Close your eyes and go back. Go way, way back. I am talking about playing hide and seek at the beach with the neighborhood boys and girls and then going home late, around six and having supper of hot Johnny cakes and fried barracuda roe.

It was radio entertainment time at home in the evening listening to Serefino Coleman with his humor show, and the children tuned in to Lydia Ramirez with Roncon Infantil. Lydia gave a riddle asking which is the forbidden fruit and a Sanpedrana wrote in saying it was the guava.

Azules y amarillos was our favorite game, but then there was “Alza y pica la zorra”. For marble time, all the children cleared the sand off the sandy street and played, small circle, large circle, square, triangle and “hoyitos” or little hole. Going home with your win of marbles also meant a good spanking or lashing by mom because you had not only gotten your pants dirty, but a hole at the knee as well.

Powdered milk (aka klim) was free because there was an abundance at school and the barrels were shared out among the 50 students. Canned corned beef was the Sunday favorite meal because the chickens in the backyard were reserved for more special days like birthdays or Christmas.

Cocobrute, tableta, fudge, piñon were our favorite home- made candies and sold at two for five cents. Remember going to Mrs. Rosita Valencia for panades, garnachas, and enchiladas for afternoon snacks at two for five cents and one or two local bakers delighted us with caprichos, ojaldras, and other sweet bread in the evenings.

Chichi Regina Nuñez sold macobi seeds (pepitas) and you filled your shirt pockets for five cents. Everyone played caparucho in the neighbor’s yard and when you took it to school, the teacher confiscated it. Tops, hopscotch, ludo, snake and ladders, jacks, skip rope, hoola hoop, chalupa were the villages’s prime entertainment. Kids racing down the street making an awful noise with a metal drum rim while in other parts of Belize they used a bicycle rim. In which game did we use these words: High spin, consut, pushup, picks, bongolon, ahogado, parada, gups? You got it- marbles.

Summer holidays children got extra busy at sea- hand line fishing, lobsters, and the wire traps. The scouts enlivened the Island. The nuns spent three weeks and the children went wild looking for sea shells for their favorite nun. Sister Helen was a Sanpedrana and thus a favorite. Poor nuns did not know the difference and they were sold parrot fish or hog fish for snappers. They were always delighted.

Bradley’s lemonade and Chavannes were the top soft drinks and all flavors were still called lemonade. Weird thing!

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

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