Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Panama Banal

No post here, just a catchy title. I mean, I did spend most of my formative years in the Canal Zone but I'm sure no one wants to hear about that. It wasn't an exciting place for a three-year-old to be, living on the edge of the jungle. Hell, I spent damn near the whole time hanging out in the gunamalaca tree in the back yard with Sammy the Sloth talking labor relations. How exciting is that? Sammy was union rep for Treehangers Local #89 in Aguadulce but whatever fame that brought him was eclipsed completely by the fact that he played pee-wee softball with Lech Walesa as a child. That's the kind of fame you never get away from! It was in that tree that I had the first inkling that I would spend my entire working life toiling in dimly-lit factories. It wasn't so much the idea of being able to collectively bargain for better working conditions that appealed to me--I knew that wouldn't last. I didn't see the end coming in the form of right-to-work laws, but I knew it coming. (I wasn't some two-year-old fool, you know!)--rather, it was the idea of dim lighting. The sun was bright in Panama except when I was jammed in the crook of that gunamalaca tree. Allowing my pupils to relax just a bit eased the migraines of toddlerhood. Thankfully, the sun did go down every night so I could sleep in peace. Under my mosquito net. In the morning, I would flick the scorpions off the net with my index finger and then get on with my day. Pretty much like I do now, four decades later.

Sammy the Sloth


red dirt girl said...

The ex's dad spent his life working as his country's first lawyer specializing in organizing unions. He successfully organized the first labor unions in his central american country ....... then spent the rest of his career negotiating deals between the unions, companies and the government. I says he created himself a niche market (being in retail these days .....)

cute sloth.

Anonymous said...

That is one cute sloth. And a great story. You're on fire these days, Dave.

UF Mike