If this ‘Grandstand’ could talk! ‘Raa…ti…dixxx’!!! It would tell a lot of tings…as dem say…story would come to question!???!!!
But…we will keep it clean and historic. The ‘Grandstand’ provided a shady panoramic view of the baseball field, soccer field and the racing track. Scores of athletes performed on these fields as little league, junior league and semi-professional athletes. Arguably Rod ‘Cline’ Carew is the most famous ‘Gyambo’ athlete that grew up playing on these fields. Undoubtedly, he is the most universally accomplished ‘Gyambo’ athlete embraced as he has been by the Panamanian, U.S. citizens and all baseball aficionados in the world, as one of the best hitters that ever played the game. Less known is the fact that he grew up and was nurtured playing baseball in front of the ‘Gyambo’ spectators that would gather in these bleachers to watch him and many other local athletes play the game and continually hone their skills. If you are a ‘‘Gyambo’’ visitor to this site and old enough… you might remember seeing Earl Holder, Vibert Clark, Phillip Malcom Sr., Phillip Malcom Jr, Wilburt”Scooter” Holder, Aubrey (Hog) Baxter, Errol Sainten, Franklin”Reds” Walters, Ruperto “Bankhead” Toppin, Robert”Bobby” Prescott, Jose Stennett, Rennie Stennett, Fulo Pacheco and many other ‘Gyambo’ baseball athletes perform their best in games played on this field.
And then there were the track and field personalities and events that made the Gyambo track “the place to compete”. During the earlier years, some of the noteworthy runners were, Phillip Malcolm Sr., Arthur Perkins, Sidney ” Proka” Dryden, Theophilus “T” Peterkin, Frederick Myrie, Zellica Thorne , Sylvia Daniels and others. ( Names Please ). Then we saw Chubby Malcolm, the Ramsey sisters, the Dunn sisters, Delphina Grant, Reva Richards, Delcita Oakley, Jean Holmes and many others develop their prowess as track and field athletes that would represent the country at many international competition events. In the late fifties, early sixties no one could tell us Gyamboans that Wiggles McFarlane was not the precursor to Hussein Bolt…the fastest sprinter in the world second only to Ranny Sealy.
Any of compilation of ‘granstand’ stories would be incomplete without acknowledging the role and legacy of Mr. French. He incubated athletes and encouraged us to be the best that we could be despite our natural physical strengths and limitations. He was the navigator, negotiator, the ombudsman that negotiated the ‘permission’ to use the fields for all the athletic activities (track and field, soccer, archery, boxing, volley ball, cricket, swimming, weight lifting, and yes quadrille dancing among others) that marked the annual ‘seasons’ of our lives, and provided context for personal and professional development and character.
Any resident of Gyambo circa 1945-1975 could tell promethean stories of sports competitions played on these fields and witnessed from the ‘grandstand’. Can you remember one? If so please share it with us in the ‘open space/segment’. And please remember we want to hear ‘Grandstand’ stories that happened in the ‘day time”