When I was very young I grew up in a household that had three generations of people, grandparents, mother and her siblings and then grandchildren.
Our grandmother loved the holidays and there would be a lot of preparations for whatever holiday was imminent.
About 1967 with the coming of Independence Day, they decided to travel to Kingston to watch the parade in the National Arena.
We started early; we had to in order to get there on time whether by train or bus. Whatever the mode of transportation from the country, we eventually had to take the Jolly Bus (Jamaica Omnibus Service (JOS)) to the Arena.
Of course, it was crowded by the time it came to our stop and we were unable to sit together. I was put in the middle of two strangers while the rest of the family stood where they could.
At five, I would have no idea where we were going, especially since it was a very different landscape from the familiarity of the country so I would need some family member to look out for me to advise me when it was time to get off. The bus had stopped and was moving when someone protested because she was supposed to be getting off as well.
I looked around due to the slight commotion only to see my aunt disappearing down the steps and the doors slamming shut behind her. I looked around and imagine my consternation when I did not recognize one face on the bus. They had all got off and left me.
The reaction was immediate. I started hollering while I tried to push through the people in the crowded bus.
“Stop the bus driver, it seem like dis pickney family gone leave her,” the woman I was sitting beside hollered.
The crowd parted and helpful hands allowed me to move quickly through the crowd, still hollering.
I hit the ground running because I could see them way up the road. They heard the crying and looked around and saw me hollering up the road, tears, lelle and boogers running down my face.
They had not even missed me.
Of course, as usual, everything was my fault and I was duly chastised and roughed up and made to feel worse than I already felt.
Then we continued to the Arena to enjoy the floats as they came in. It was a colourful, noisy and memorable affair.