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West Indian Day Parade '03
       'A personal feel'          

I've Seen this before! Rain, rain go away...come another day. And so It seemed
the weather was about to again, dictate to some extent, the conditions of the West
Indian Day Parade.

As we got in line at New Jersey transit station to purchase our train tickets  to
New York. Ahead of us were a number of kids wearing Trini' colors and generally
chatting. An older Jamaican man recognize their colors and made reference to
the obvious, Trini! he exclaimed, then mention the possible impact  of  weather
on the parade.

At which time the body language  became defensive and the conversation abruptly ended. Oh, oh, they did not want to even consider that. This man was 'raining on their parade.'

We've arrived in New York's Penn station, and boarded a train to our destination.
As we got off the train on Eastern Parkway our fears were realized. It was raining,
though moderately. As I surveyed the surroundings, observing the crowds, and the
concessionary stands that lined the median of the parkway. I reflected on last year's
parade, then one of their primary occupations was keeping their tents grounded.

The rain wasn't their more formidable opponent; it was the wind. According to official sources, this area so far this season, have seen  20 inches of rain compared to a normal
12 inches. Before leaving Philly I tuned the radio to a New York station for the  latest update on the weather. The forecast was for rain all day. But this didn't materialize. Overcast, yes but hardly a drop.

Those creative ornaments so absent from last year's parade were back and in
full form, the music was good ,very good. I felt like playing mass myself. Caught
up in this thing and trying to stay out of the way, of the masqueraders. Yet due to
some sort of involuntary reflex I asked one of the revelers for a taste and was turned
down flat. But like any incorrigible Fox, ("The Fox and the Grapes") I was able to
dismiss my rejection as a sour misadventure.

Unsanitary humor, leave now!

I'm reminded of a joke I heard some time back, where a restaurant attendant when questioned by a gentleman traveler, as to the availability of 'Sanitary facilities' on the premises, responded, "We have facilities sir, but they aint sanitary."

I can't think of a worse fate than being trapped in a Porto-potty -- heck, there're
few fates worst than having to use one 'em. I was literally faced with this possibility
when while, ummh...indisposed, the damned thing started to rock.

Apparently under the pressure of the revelers, the barricades were now being pushed
against the facility. As the music got louder it became a mere echo as my mind raced:
Oh, lord no! Hurry up! Hurry up! this thing is going to topple.

As I exited this hell... pew! I look to see what was happening. Trucks in the streets
were hardly moving, nested by revelers. This my friends is uniquely  Brooklyn. It was
jammed, sardines packed jammed. Year after year I see this, every thing is practically
at a standstill, yet more revelers are jumping the barricades to join the fun, horrific!
   Al-in-all this was a very good time. After a disappointing 2002 this grassroots of
Caribbean parades was back. In full form.
 

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