RIP Prince



RIP Prince

RIP Prince

It was the beginning of the 80s when we first found commonality through neighborhood play. We rode our bicycles all over town, went fishing, and built sling shots to shoot at things. We spent hours at Ted’s Burgers and Big Mack Records playing Pack-man, Centipede, and Pinball games. I remember when we first got into real trouble while horsing around in Big Mack Records. We were shoving each other over losing a game and I pushed you through the plate glass window. Everytime the owner, Big Mack, saw me he threatened me to pay for his window so I dodged him. That wasn’t an easy task as I had to work right next door at Nicey’s. That was the first time I actually feared for my life but you said “nuh worry bout him”.

As we got older we played basketball and Soccer with the neighborhood guys who were part of our little clique. On weekends we all pitched in to rent Kung-Fu movies, buy take-out food and Beer and hang out in your basement. Somehow everyone knew that your house was the place to be (respect to your mom for putting up with the noise). We were always the first ones in the neighborhood house parties. When there were more than one party going on we would go back and forth from one end of the neighborhood to the other. We frequented Block 160, 260, 275, Dusay Place and sometimes we would even walk from Chester Lee to Glendower to party.

Before we had steady girlfriends we went to movies together as “youth an youth”, no funny bwoy thing. Rambo, Conan, and Mad Max never missed us. Bwoy, it was hard when your brother died (RIP Omar) but you carried on. Then I remember when your girlfriend’s mom wanted to kill you because you got Karen pregnant. She got over it though and you asked me to be your daughters God Father. (respect to Tennisha) The 80s was the best time, it was our time. It was when we rose from adolescence into manhood and saw big changes happen in our lives.

When the 90s arrived things began to change mutually as well as in the neighborhood. “Certain things” came about that caused animosity and violence between the man-dem. (RIP Stokeley) I shifted focus onto work and family as I too had children to take care of. Your free Spirit took you in other directions away from the bs also. You had natural talents that enabled you to master anything you tried but you weren’t into the 9 to 5 thing. You always wanted to craft your own destiny and although it caused conflict with the people around you they had to respect that. You did Barbering as well as Bouncing at the clubs but it wasn’t long before you ran into trouble.

I heard you picked up a couple charges for breaking the leg of some young punk at a club. Then you faced some other trumped up assault charges for some unrelated ish. After beating the charges you were wise enough to change scenery before the situation consumed you so you relocated to Vancouver. You connected with the Asians out in Van City and excelled. (respect to all the Asians who loved you as you did them) I would hear from mutual friends how well you were doing but every time you passed through TO I missed you as I would always hear about it afterward.

In the mid 2000s we reconnected and you encouraged me to take a trip out to Vancouver. I saw first hand how you had definitely made a name for yourself. However, at that time you were at another transition point in your life. You were frustrated with the Barber shop and other things and you wanted to take what you had achieved and put it into your dream of opening a restaurant. As we jumped from rock to rock in the Capilano River it was like we were kids again. Two 40yr old men reminiscing about the good old days.

“Move out here” you suggested. “I’ll think about it” was my reply but my friend; I had a wide space between my heart and my mind while between yours there was none. You had the ability to act on your impulses which made you a risk taker. Nothing held you back and you lived as you pleased. That is how I know that you didn’t have many regrets as the energy drained from your body in your last days. Like you I also wished you could have seen more years at the restaurant. It was your dream and you didn’t get the chance to fully enjoy its success.

By the time I heard you were gravely ill in the hospital I barely had time to wrap my head around the thought that someone so physically strong and mentally determined could be brought down by anything. I am glad that I got the chance to talk to you a few last times my brother to share some good old memories. The life has now expired from your Soul and like all living things your Soul must return to the Earth. You have always had a Strong and Free Spirit however, so I know your Spirit will never die. It has joined the Pure Dark Energy of the Universe where it is free.

Visit us often and do your best to guide our steps as the world is full of unaccountable Souls who live to destroy Life. I know that good memories are permanent, you proved that. We will meet again on those large rocks in the river my friend. Till then, Love, Respect, Oneness.

Ps, I know the rest of the man-dem will miss you too. Shouts to the original Chester Lee crew; Danny, Ray, Gilligan, Stick, Stripe, red Wayne, Fedda Foot, Andrew H, Dizer, Macka, Kid Ralph, Birtland, Major Troubles, Craka, rip winston(Froggie), Foreign Cat, and your brother Bull from me Alkie. Respect to your children and the rest of your family too.


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