DE MARKET VENDOR: Ali worthy of national award
Last week de Vendor hear ’bout de passing of Mr Zaid Ali, a gorrilliphant in the entertainment business in Bubbadus and de Caribbean.
Mr Ali spent 56 years in Bubbadus and as far as I concern, he might have been born in Trinidad but he belong to we.
Fuh decades the cinema of choice was de Globe and later, as we progressed, he open de Drive-In. There was a time when de Globe was the heart of the entertainment business and many big names from de region and de world perform there.
It was fuh years de home of de Miss Bubbadus shows and when other cinemas started to drop like flies, Mr Ali reinvented de Globe and kept it relevant and competitive. Many a man had de first date, first squeeze (of de hand) and first kiss in dat cinema.
When other cinemas closed doors due to the influx of DVRs, DVDs, satellite and cable TV, only one man was left standing – Zaid Ali and the Globe.
The Drive-In cinema was a place fuh friends to meet, and boyfriend and girlfriend. People to dis day line up to get in wid chairs and food dat they spread out in front de cars and even de folks in South Ridge would enjoy a free viewing from time to time.
I don’t know fuh sure but I hear many a baby was conceived at de Drive-In. Fuh some it was de closest thing to a bedroom; I remember cars wid what looked like curtains hanging from de windows.
One night I get embarrass when I return wid food and get in de back seat of de wrong car and see man and woman scrambling to get out de other door. Talk ’bout shame!
Today de world over, drive-ins disappearing. In Grenada, pun Maurice Bishop Highway, one covered in bush; in TnT dem disappear or turn into malls, but in Bubbadus de Drive-In going strong despite fancy cinemas at Sheraton and Limegrove.
Yuh got to hand it to Mr Ali; he was sharp as a razor, astute as a businessman and knew every detail of de business from de bottom to de top.
In de early days he used to live close to de action in a house pun de very spot that occupy today by Harmony Insurance. De Vendor know de Ali household well. He was a close friend of my old lady and, in any event, any young man worth he salt knew that the Ali household had beautiful daughters.
Mr Ali ensured dat he children (he had nine) knew de business and dem start at de bottom, collecting tickets at de door and learning every aspect. He mek sure dat de Ali legacy would continue fuh generations.
He was a kind and considerate man and de Vendor benefited from many a free show at de cinema and Drive-In. I could never understand how he and he sons could recognize who in de car before yuh hit de pay booth and let yuh in fuh free. Even when yuh insist that yuh want to pay, dem would say no. I guess family ties go a long way. I would always say thanks and spend de money at de restaurant.
He was even godfather to one of my sisters. On behalf of de family, who mostly overseas, I extend to the Ali family my deepest condolences on de passing of a great human.
A man like Mr Ali was worthy of national awards. He was a trailblazer, an innovator who withstood the changes in technology and time.
I, Market Vendor, gone fuh now. You have a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?