Tribute by Omilla Mungroo. All I remembered was my mother making a big fuss over us getting dressed in new clothes, combing my long hair, and then the four of us walking from home through St Joseph with my dad. It was the first time he was taking us all out without any other relative, and without the car. I can’t recall the entire trip, but the thing most memorable in my child’s eye was the proud grin on my dad’s face when he was greeted by one of his friends along the way.
The man had made some sort of grown-up comment to him and his eyebrows raised in pride as he smiled and whistled. I don’t remember ever seeing my dad smile so brightly before. I heard the man say something like, “All four ah them one time?”
I didn’t understand their small talk but I think I was the only one asking all the questions. “Where are we going? What are we going to see?” All he said was, “Herbie,” and then he smiled and added, “The Love Bug, and we are going to the Planet Cinema.”
Tribute to Dad: My first cinema date
We were walking from home, which was at the point where Maracas and St Joseph met, to the Planet Cinema on Riverside Road, Curepe. The Planet Cinema in those days was one of two cinemas in Curepe. The other one being Crest Cinema, which stood near where the Sauce doubles vendors now occupy on the Southern Main Road, Curepe.
My dad was a cinema bug. He often went to Planet Cinema, perhaps because it was walking distance from his parents’ home. That day he was walking us to his favourite place. I can’t say whether my siblings were as excited as I was then. It seemed they were just waiting to get back home to play.
Today, despite all the ups and downs over the years, the hurts, the mistakes on both our parts, since that first visit to a cinema with my dad, the love between a father and eldest daughter never dies. It teaches lessons, if we are willing to learn.
He doesn’t go to the cinema now. Both Crest and Planet cinemas are now defunct. Dad is now a TV bug.
I remember a song I heard when I grew up, The Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics. So I am saying this now to my dad who is very much in his living years, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad!”
And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in sweet T&T!
June 2014 – Issue 10 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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