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The attainment of 40 years is worthy of a great celebration. For Patricia Archer, who is perhaps better known as “Big Sweets” as we discovered when we asked for her by her real name, this was indeed the case. The gentle giant with the amiable personality was clearly recognized by a suitable, descriptive term. It was therefore not surprising that one of her friends, travelled all the way from Brooklyn, New York, to be present for this grand celebration at Big Sweets Bar in Haggatt Hall, St Michael. Lana Cox told us that she had arrived from New York to surprise her friend who came home to find her there. Lana also brought along her friend Kenrick Phillips for the trip. Kenrick is an avid fan of the shop limes and was therefore quite eager to make the trip. One of Big Sweets’ long-time friends from primary school days was highly visible at the lime to celebrate Big Sweets’ birthday. When we spoke to Lisa who, like “Big Sweets”, is another charmer, she calmly responded: “We are best of friends. We went to school at Pine Primary together. So I am happy to be here to celebrate with her.” Another friend, Cynthia Mondere, was working hard in the kitchen ensuring the food was properly prepared for the patrons. When asked what she had to offer we were told: chicken, baked and fried pork, seacat, rice and stew and macaroni pie. Pat, as she was known when she went to school at the Co-operative High School, where she was a champion athlete, had her daughter, 21-year-old Jalisa close at hand. The UWI accounts and economics student was keeping a close eye on the operations in case help was required in any area. Among the patrons we met was well known calypsonian and perennial Tune Of The Crop winner, Grynner. Grynner was his usual upbeat self, in high spirits. As usual, some of the other patrons quickly gravitated to him. The dance floor was kept busy as patrons danced the night away. The oldie goldie favourites were the order of the night. However, the modern calypsos like If Yah Sweet energized the dancers. The deejay kept the tunes flowing. The atmosphere was lively, the folks in a carefree mood. They seemed to be giving thanks for every day. While they came to celebrate with the proprietor of the bar, for them it seemed to be one grand celebration of life. The other “Big Sweets” from Cottage, St George, of whom we wrote in last week’s article, was also on hand to pay tribute to the younger version. Various proprietors of shops were also seen at Big Sweets Bar, having come to recognize the birthday of the big lady. It was one big showcase of camaraderie among folks who fully understand the importance of cooperation. Community spirit is still very much alive in Barbados.