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THE LOWDOWN: Bring forth milk and honey


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Bring forth milk and honey

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“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
“Cut the dramatics, Lowdown,” said a Voice at my side, “and stop whining. You know I’m not into marketing goat’s milk”.
Sometimes I think if God wasn’t so busy, He’d like to be a farmer. He loves to scotch on the tractor next to me in his old faded “I rule tings!” T-shirt and jeans, shooting the breeze as we meander up and down the field.
This week we rambled. “Was it necessary,” I seethed, “to bring out those poll results with full Front Page coverage to humiliate our Prime Minister the same day he was hosting a major Caribbean leaders’ conference? That was way below the belt.”
“‘Render unto Caesar’,” put in my Companion. “Respect is due to a dog far less Mr Stuart at an international event. This was a time for Bajans to stand solid behind their leader.”
“And, Lord, did you notice that two days a week on Brass Tacks now seem dedicated to the homos and their rights?”
“Sodom and Gomorrah, Lowdown. They who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it!”
Then I got to telling Him about three Rastas who came visiting to buy goat’s milk. Suddenly they got all wild-eyed and one told me: “Jah say, ‘Bring forth milk and honey!’” And this he kept repeating in a loud voice, raising his hand as if he was pointing out a banner message emblazoned across the sky: “Jah say, bring forth milk and honey!”
“Maybe you should listen to him,” God advised quietly.
Well, that sure got my hackles up. I explained not for the first time that me and the wife have worn ourselves out bringing forth goat’s milk for the last 20 years. We have struggled against competition from the Government farm at Greenland, which sells half-gallon bottles for $8 (compare coconut water: same bottle for $13.)
Over the years we survived by producing milk year-round while Greenland’s imported goats were seasonal. Now, thanks to their able officer-in-charge John Vaughan who, according to a report from a visiting Jamaican team, used melatonin injections, reproductive drugs and pheromone effect, they’re into year-round production and have knocked our sales for six.
We’ve recently sold a fair number of replacement stock (most, not surprisingly, bought by a Trinidadian), and culled the milking herd drastically. But still we’re giving away gallons of milk almost every day to pig farmers.
“Then maybe the Rasta message is meant to be taken sequentially. You’ve brought forth the milk. Okay, done with that and bring forth the honey.”
“But, Lord, I ’fraid bees!”
“No problem. You don’t get honey only from bees”.
And sudden so, that message hit me like a ton of bricks. Why work me and the wife to death milking goats when there is honey out there ready for the taking?
First, there is the long overdue recognition of writers which Froon has recently promised. He’s making Austin Tom Clarke’s boyhood home in Flagstaff a “mecca” for visitors. (I am told they’re calling it “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to fit in with the George Washington House concept. Makes sense.)
Surely “Hoad’s Hacienda” will get similar recognition. For years tour buses and jeeps have paused, some with loud shouts of Lowdown, and you can hear the guides on loudspeakers telling tourists how this writer lived in a bus before he had a house. “He gets more sex in one column than Sparman could in two books” is a popular, if unjustified, claim.
But there are other unlimited possibilities. Farley Hill is roughly the same size as my property. I already have a big shed. Al Gilkes will tell you that hills are okay to frolic on but the real sweetness is in the valley. So why not Reggae In The Valley?
We can have dances, concerts, moonlight sorties with the sea in easy walking distance, crab catching, Eccy Becky and Brett, the works.
In short, we will be bringing forth honey like nobody’s business. Hoad’s Bottom will be the venue of choice!
Sadly, however, I must mention a musical hero who passed this week. Guitarist Clifton Glasgow set the stage for all the Latin American combos that followed the brass band era. An amazing talent, yet never too proud to sit in with us amateurs. May God be with his family.

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