Summertime, and the livin’ is easy; fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich, and your mamma’s good lookin’; So, hush little baby, don’t you cry.
One of these mornings, you’re going to rise up singing, Then you’ll spread your wings, And
you’ll take to the sky.” George Gershwin
Can you believe it, summer 2013 has taken wings and flown. Is that why seasons come and go?
In a matter of days, the Labour Day fliers that now cling to poles and walls in Brooklyn and elsewhere, will demit their lofty heights and surrender to the wishes of the dump truck.
But this will not be before this coming Monday, when Eastern Parkway will come alive and provide for some, a financial nest egg; for others, the joy of carnival; still others a comfortable view of the parade from the comfort of their windows. All the while, annual summer barbecues and cook outs will also enjoy their last hurrah.
For me, my summer circuit had one interesting addition. I visited the home of a Trinidadian computer guru where I got to see one of his energy savers — an outdoor kitchen — and savour a four-course meal of grilled and smoked meats and vegetables with rice served in grilled pineapple halves and then watch the movie Argos, in an open air theatre setting, near a pool.
Still, it was Dalton Bostic’s, get together that again won my summer prize. Unlike last year, there were no stories about “Dr. Bostic” or Gear Box. Nor was I quizzed about vintage Gabby or asked to list the rum producers of the 60s (and include the rum that was made in honour of Sir Garry).
Michael Tudor, the nephew of Sir Cameron Tudor was reflective, philosophical and on a role. In the process, one got to hear about the turning points of his life, those who influenced him and the pathway which led him to work for Timothy Geithner — former president of the Federal Reserve Bank and Secretary Of Treasury in the Obama Administration.
Dalton Bostic: “Watch Edey. Last time he was here, I opened my mouth and that became a story.”
Michael Tudor: “I’m good. I can handle myself, and to besides, Edey knows that I know a lot but I can’t talk about it.”
Michael, who wanted to be an airline pilot from young, began by talking about the Modern High school his work at LIAT and BWIA, and the opportunity that American Airlines presented as he became interested in computers, since flying was out of his financial reach.
We had all enjoyed a good meal and as Michael continued, several ears were listening.
“I was tested. Tim told me many things. But I knew how to keep a secret” said Michael.
Indeed, some would argue that he received part of his preparation in Barbados.
Listen again to Michael:
“I learned to keep secrets from Errol Barrow, Uncle Cam, Brandford Taitt and Asquith Philips. They use to have meetings at my mother’s shop. At times they would bring the Chinese Ambassador to get pudding ‘n souse on Saturdays.
So I grew up hearing things and couldn’t say anything. When I hear those guys talking, I don’t hear a thing. I know how to keep a secret. I will not betray anybody’s trust. Anything I tell you, anybody can hear. That is why I love to tell people things to their face.”
Michael believes that if you have an idea what you want to be from small, there is nothing to stop you, once you put your mind to it.
When Tim Geithner became president of the Federal Reserve Bank, Michael was already with the bank, and, when he became the 75th Secretary of the Treasury (2003 – 2009), Timothy asked him to come and work for him. Again it was a matter of trust.
Michael — who has met President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder — is eternally grateful for the boss, who advised him to go to technical school, since he wanted to get into management, and organised a payback arrangement when Michael told him:
“Don’t tell that I can walk on water and don’t give me the shoes to help me walk on water.”
I wish I had space to reproduce verbatim a summer story that was relayed with the fluency and poetic charm of Sir Cameron, that reflects the platitude that the best always rises to the top and confirms the truism that there is a Bajan in every corner of the globe, and Washington, US.
Because of illness — he had passed the exam — Michael never made it to Combermere School. However, it was at the Modern that one of his teachers sat him down and told him that he expected more of him. It certainly wasn’t George Gershwin but after many, many, summers, Michael can honestly say that he has certainly spread his wings and reached the sky.