edge

Family Man Chasing Ato

Photographs by Mark Lyndersay.

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Ricardo Small and I nearly beat Ato Boldon in a race once.

I’m originally from Laventille side but I moved to Wallerfield side, which is Arima side, in 1986, where I reside for about, let we say, five-six years. Then I moved to Arouca, Bonaire. And I spend my time there.

My lady is Nekisha Lewis. I have two daughters, Precious Taylor and Jedidah Taylor, one in form five and the next one in standard five. Both preparing for exams next year, Jedidah for the SEA and Precious for CXC.

My daughters’ mother, Victoria Taylor, and I split up when my little daughter was about two years old and she’s now 12, so ten years ago. But, as a father, I believe I should take the positive side and, no matter what, show up! Most men make excuses. I’ve been maintaining my daughters since they’re born and to date. I’m proud of them for showing me I’m not wasting my time – because of the effort they’ve been making in school and thing.

Every morning, I pick my daughters up from their mother’s home and drop them to school, that is our bonding time. I pick them up from school and drop them to lessons or whatever. And I talk to them three-four five times every day on the phone.

People usually worry about girls more than boys but I’m not worried about my daughters’ mental thinking because they’re very mature for their age. I believe I set high standards for them. As I say to other fathers, “Once you communicating with your daughters, is one of the most important things”. Support them in everything they doing. If you don’t know about something, find out – just to be able to talk to them about it.

I always tell my daughters: the best thing to do in life is to challenge yourself with the most hardest things you have. Don’t do what is easy. Do what is hard. And then you will find that, what is hard, will come easy, eventually. When they come home from school and say, “Daddy, I don’t like that subject, it too hard!” – THAT is the subject I want them to do!

I was raised by my mother and dad, Fedora Small and Keith Pickering. He was a Lucian. Presently I have six siblings and we grew up amazingly, we lived together close and never argued for all these years. They used to call my call my mother, “Poxy”. My oldest brother is Dexter Small. My second brother died but my third brother is Hayden Small. I am the fourth. Then my little brother, Ryan Small. Then Stacey Small – she played nationally for Trinidad & Tobago volleyball. My second sister is Ienol Small. Then there is Jesselle Small. That’s the last of the Smalls.

My father always had this tradition that he liked to lime. He was the life of the party and he always created that family setting. He was a go-getter and always

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

entertained. A few years ago, I recognised that I took a lot from him. He was always a creative person.

I believe I got my skills from my father. One of the things I admire about my mom is, she got the opportunity to go to England to study nursing. And she chose to stay in Trinidad and raise her own children. When you see these things, it is not hard to say, “Moms, relax yourself. We will support you.” And that’s what we’ve been doing.

Before he passed, you could see my father worried that he did not do enough [in life]. So, the family had a birthday lime for him and we stood up and told him that there was nothing more he could have done. You had seven children, we told him, and they’re all employed, who is married, everybody is going well, they have their children… We pinpoint he did well as a father.

When we went into secondary school, we used to buy these shoes called Bata Bullets. I didn’t like them. So I ask my father to get me a job on the August holidays to make some cash. And he ended up getting air-conditioning trade for me. That was when I was, like, 14, and I’m 47 now. So it’s a few years’ well, boy, wow! I worked with companies for years and today I have my own little company and work for myself.

I started running at QRC but we leave and went Arima to live and I joined Phoenix Club in 1986. From there, I went to Carifta, I competed more local games.

My fastest time in Trinidad was 10.1 in the 100m. I was preparing to go on the circuit – I didn’t want a scholarship because I already had my trade, I just wanted to run – and, that year, I end up getting injured. I was there with my girlfriend and doctors couldn’t find out what was my problem. [Eventually] I talked to a guy who do tai chi and he told me it was my sciatic nerve. But, by the time I figure it out, I had a child, and I make up my mind to just go into coaching.

I still love running, even if I don’t run every day. I will wake up four o’clock in the morning and do my little workouts in the Arima savannah home by me.

Ato Boldon and I bounced up in the Oval when he and his HSI team [Hudson Smith International, an elite track & field training unit set up by coach John Walton Smith and sports attorney Emanuel Hudson] came down to Trinidad. Our Phoenix Club team ran against them in the relay in the Oval and then again in the Hampton Games. In the relay, I always run the back stretch. And, in that relay race, Ato Boldon end up running the last leg, too.

BC Pires tell me that David Rudder says every Trinidadian male says, at some time in his life, he nearly get catch thiefing mango. If you don’t do them things when you’re small, well, you didn’t have no boy days! So, of course, I thief mango in my boy days and what David Rudder say is true because, of course, I nearly get catch thiefing mango.

One man we used to thief mango from when we was small was a man who – we thought – had a gun. The other man we used to thief mango from, we thought he woulda catch us – but his dog catch us first! And, on top of that, we get licks when we get home. We get bite by dog and, when our father hear we was thiefing mango, we get licks for that, too.

One of my fun, long time, was flying kite. I could still make kite and I know about mange and kite-tail. I teach my daughters and all. Flying kite and spinning top, all those things, is dying arts now. And is not just not having the freedom, is knowing who you associating with – you can’t say you safe with this person because is them-self who is the ones…

Life for me as a child was really fulfilling. I had boy-days I could now share with my daughters. Is like doing it all over again.

I nearly beat Ato Boldon in a race and I nearly get catch thiefing mango and, after all these years, I think I take more satisfaction from nearly getting catch thiefing the mango. Yes, running against Ato was good and, if I had beat him… But the mango leave a fond memory of my boy-days. It makes me laugh. And, too, that memory of the mango reminds me of other memories and then others remind me of others. Is a ripple effect. I could sit down and talk with my brothers and laugh.

Life in Trinidad is a family life.

People go and live away and adapt. Even children. And, when they come back here, they feel free. They don’t want to go back.

A Trini is a person who love, not just their family, but love their neighbours. We like that togetherness. I think we are the only people in the world who could actually have fun through nothing.

Trinidad & Tobago, to me, means EVERYTHING. We have everything here that we need to be just as good as any First World country on the outside. That is why I never leave the country to go anywhere else to live. If you can’t make it down here, you can’t make it anywhere else.

Family Man Chasing Ato

Photographs by Mark Lyndersay.

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Ricardo Small and I nearly beat Ato Boldon in a race once.

I’m originally from Laventille side but I moved to Wallerfield side, which is Arima side, in 1986, where I reside for about, let we say, five-six years. Then I moved to Arouca, Bonaire. And I spend my time there.

My lady is Nekisha Lewis. I have two daughters, Precious Taylor and Jedidah Taylor, one in form five and the next one in standard five. Both preparing for exams next year, Jedidah for the SEA and Precious for CXC.

My daughters’ mother, Victoria Taylor, and I split up when my little daughter was about two years old and she’s now 12, so ten years ago. But, as a father, I believe I should take the positive side and, no matter what, show up! Most men make excuses. I’ve been maintaining my daughters since they’re born and to date. I’m proud of them for showing me I’m not wasting my time – because of the effort they’ve been making in school and thing.

Every morning, I pick my daughters up from their mother’s home and drop them to school, that is our bonding time. I pick them up from school and drop them to lessons or whatever. And I talk to them three-four five times every day on the phone.

People usually worry about girls more than boys but I’m not worried about my daughters’ mental thinking because they’re very mature for their age. I believe I set high standards for them. As I say to other fathers, “Once you communicating with your daughters, is one of the most important things”. Support them in everything they doing. If you don’t know about something, find out – just to be able to talk to them about it.

I always tell my daughters: the best thing to do in life is to challenge yourself with the most hardest things you have. Don’t do what is easy. Do what is hard. And then you will find that, what is hard, will come easy, eventually. When they come home from school and say, “Daddy, I don’t like that subject, it too hard!” – THAT is the subject I want them to do!

I was raised by my mother and dad, Fedora Small and Keith Pickering. He was a Lucian. Presently I have six siblings and we grew up amazingly, we lived together close and never argued for all these years. They used to call my call my mother, “Poxy”. My oldest brother is Dexter Small. My second brother died but my third brother is Hayden Small. I am the fourth. Then my little brother, Ryan Small. Then Stacey Small – she played nationally for Trinidad & Tobago volleyball. My second sister is Ienol Small. Then there is Jesselle Small. That’s the last of the Smalls.

My father always had this tradition that he liked to lime. He was the life of the party and he always created that family setting. He was a go-getter and always

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

entertained. A few years ago, I recognised that I took a lot from him. He was always a creative person.

I believe I got my skills from my father. One of the things I admire about my mom is, she got the opportunity to go to England to study nursing. And she chose to stay in Trinidad and raise her own children. When you see these things, it is not hard to say, “Moms, relax yourself. We will support you.” And that’s what we’ve been doing.

Before he passed, you could see my father worried that he did not do enough [in life]. So, the family had a birthday lime for him and we stood up and told him that there was nothing more he could have done. You had seven children, we told him, and they’re all employed, who is married, everybody is going well, they have their children… We pinpoint he did well as a father.

When we went into secondary school, we used to buy these shoes called Bata Bullets. I didn’t like them. So I ask my father to get me a job on the August holidays to make some cash. And he ended up getting air-conditioning trade for me. That was when I was, like, 14, and I’m 47 now. So it’s a few years’ well, boy, wow! I worked with companies for years and today I have my own little company and work for myself.

I started running at QRC but we leave and went Arima to live and I joined Phoenix Club in 1986. From there, I went to Carifta, I competed more local games.

My fastest time in Trinidad was 10.1 in the 100m. I was preparing to go on the circuit – I didn’t want a scholarship because I already had my trade, I just wanted to run – and, that year, I end up getting injured. I was there with my girlfriend and doctors couldn’t find out what was my problem. [Eventually] I talked to a guy who do tai chi and he told me it was my sciatic nerve. But, by the time I figure it out, I had a child, and I make up my mind to just go into coaching.

I still love running, even if I don’t run every day. I will wake up four o’clock in the morning and do my little workouts in the Arima savannah home by me.

Ato Boldon and I bounced up in the Oval when he and his HSI team [Hudson Smith International, an elite track & field training unit set up by coach John Walton Smith and sports attorney Emanuel Hudson] came down to Trinidad. Our Phoenix Club team ran against them in the relay in the Oval and then again in the Hampton Games. In the relay, I always run the back stretch. And, in that relay race, Ato Boldon end up running the last leg, too.

BC Pires tell me that David Rudder says every Trinidadian male says, at some time in his life, he nearly get catch thiefing mango. If you don’t do them things when you’re small, well, you didn’t have no boy days! So, of course, I thief mango in my boy days and what David Rudder say is true because, of course, I nearly get catch thiefing mango.

One man we used to thief mango from when we was small was a man who – we thought – had a gun. The other man we used to thief mango from, we thought he woulda catch us – but his dog catch us first! And, on top of that, we get licks when we get home. We get bite by dog and, when our father hear we was thiefing mango, we get licks for that, too.

One of my fun, long time, was flying kite. I could still make kite and I know about mange and kite-tail. I teach my daughters and all. Flying kite and spinning top, all those things, is dying arts now. And is not just not having the freedom, is knowing who you associating with – you can’t say you safe with this person because is them-self who is the ones…

Life for me as a child was really fulfilling. I had boy-days I could now share with my daughters. Is like doing it all over again.

I nearly beat Ato Boldon in a race and I nearly get catch thiefing mango and, after all these years, I think I take more satisfaction from nearly getting catch thiefing the mango. Yes, running against Ato was good and, if I had beat him… But the mango leave a fond memory of my boy-days. It makes me laugh. And, too, that memory of the mango reminds me of other memories and then others remind me of others. Is a ripple effect. I could sit down and talk with my brothers and laugh.

Life in Trinidad is a family life.

People go and live away and adapt. Even children. And, when they come back here, they feel free. They don’t want to go back.

A Trini is a person who love, not just their family, but love their neighbours. We like that togetherness. I think we are the only people in the world who could actually have fun through nothing.

Trinidad & Tobago, to me, means EVERYTHING. We have everything here that we need to be just as good as any First World country on the outside. That is why I never leave the country to go anywhere else to live. If you can’t make it down here, you can’t make it anywhere else.