A really interesting article from the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday on THC member Ricardo Moore.
AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Ricardo Moore and I wear a grille in my mouth – but not for the reason you think.
We moved plenty but I born and really grow in Curepe.
Partly right now, we in Arima for the last, let we say, 15 years.
You read your little scriptures and they show you God tell Abraham to sacrifice he only son.
Boy, if I in that position, God will have to vex with me! God dealing in faith – but that is my child!
Let we be real: no parent could vex with you for that. Not even God!
I have a daughter, Hadassah Moore, mother is Leandra Valere.
Is a daughter I have, not a boy who could try and fend for heself.
I have to protect my daughter. I telling you, honestly, (if necessary) I going and sit down in a jail and make 100 years for my daughter.
My father is Hilton Moore, they’s call him Sambo.
He did play real ball! He had a record for scoring a goal in King George V from 44 yards, whatever-whatever.
My grandmother, Elmyrah Moore, was a Bajan – but she was a BAD Bajan! She had a record for beating man very bad!
She hit my grandfather with a pot – one of them long-time ‘tensil – and knock him out, Nanan!
I really have five siblings but, with my father and mother, is four of us.
My sister is the first, I’s the second, and the two other boys under me.
But we, like, two years apart. My sister is 40, I’s 38, my brother is 36 and the next brother is 34. Boom!
Being real, I have a kinda phobia for LGBT.
But getting big now, I kinda understand it don’t really matter. If that is your style (is okay). It all boil down to respect.
But you can’t come to me with that kinda vibes.
You live your life. Just hold your corner.
As a man, being real, I would prefer being around lesbians.
Carnival is the GREATEST thing on Earth!
My sister was real bright. They skipped her straight to standard two and she was my competition, whatever-whatever, Nanan.
It had a time my mother start to drill me: no play! When I come from school, is straight work, whatever-whatever! I started to buck up on my work.
But, you know, boy, broken, father going through struggles, nobody to pick you up.
In standard four, I came first in the last two terms in class.
Boom! I end up in Mr Elton Nelson standard five class, a famous private lessons teacher, he did write some maths book.
In the first two weeks, boom, I in the top class but, being honest, I was too slow. Within two weeks, I was in a “B” class. Mr Singh. A good teacher, too, whatever-whatever, but, you know what I mean, Nanan, if I coulda get a push within lessons or something.
I still pass for El Dorado, though.
I was young about 18 and whatever-whatever-whatever. We went river, liming with guys bigger than we.
We bounce up some fellas, yes, we know them, because we play football with them.
They jumbie two people and take they things.
We didn’t know they had done rob (another) man who (already) run by the school, El Dorado Comprehensive!
Them didn’t know the man was a security man!
When we come out from Guava Hole by the school, the man (who had been robbed) raff one of my pardner.
We run off. This pardner get lock up. He call the people who was robbing! He call everybody name he see!
And that is how I come and get lock up.
It had a man in the jail, they’s call him Dictionary. When he reach in jail, he fed up (with illiteracy),
he learn to read by just reading the dictionary! It ent have a word in that dictionary that Dictionary don’t know!
He will listen to people on them radio talk shows and realise them fellas not intelligent because they using big words but they don’t know what the words mean because they not using them words in text (sic).
Is an embarrassment to you and your family, when police come to your home and arrest you! Daddy come and shine torchlight in your face because you lock up!
Police does give everybody case. It does hurt me sometime.
You don’t HAVE to spoil a youthman life.
I spend about a three months inside Raymond [the Remand]
Yard because family had to accumulate bail and thing.
Boy, that just sour me!
The case throw out but you get lock up for robbery with aggravation and you actually don’t know nothing about it.
You send a person in jail, is two things could happen: either they get better or they get more worse.
And is 100 per cent is going to get more worse. Because in jail, they have no form of rehabilitation (sic), no way you going and rehabilitate (sic) yourself!
My father tell me: if you get in trouble, I defending you straight through! But if you go and look for trouble, don’t come and look for me.
He wouldn’t let nobody bobolise me but, if, as a man, I know I did stupidness, I stand my bounce for myself.
My mother was sick in the hospital and passed when I was 18.
Before I go to see my mother in hospital, I programme myself to give my mother a hug, kiss her and tell her I love her.
You will believe I reach the hospital and never hug her, never kiss her, never tell her I love her? I just wanted to be hard.
Boom, I come and get lock up! I tell my sister, don’t tell Mummy I in jail.
Boom, the first month, my father tell me Mummy not doing so good. I realise somebody tell she I in jail.
Two months later, my mother come and dead. And I know I kill she.
My father ask me if I want to go to the funeral. I say, no. I couldn’t go to my mother funeral under shackles.
When my father tell me my mother died, I went back in my cell and tell my pardner, “Boy, Randy, boy, dog, my father now tell me my queen gone, dog.”
Is when I came out, I realise Mammy really gone. I was ready to go and meet my mother.
I was looking normal but, if I tell you, I did kind of lost for some years.
God have a way for you.
When you watch my two boss in the mall store where I work, them have a million tattoo all over they body, I don’t have even one!
People will watch a pretty boy, well thug out (and won’t judge him). But because I black and ugly and I have a grille in my mouth, I’s a criminal!
That is the reality, Nanan!
I get my goalpost (two missing front teeth)
when I was about 14, in school. I walk around a corner and somebody was swinging a piece of wood. I wake up in the hospital. I get hit right in the face by the wood.
When I was about 17, my teeth end up coming out. Young so, staying with a no-teeth, to go and put in a every-teeth, they talking ‘bout $10K.
I say, the only cheapest thing is to put gold in the whole front. So I put on a whole grille and I just leave it so.
So I get a gangster look accidentally.
People’s come into the store and watch the grille in my mouth and the Marvin Gaye on my head and think I’s a thug.
They don’t know I wearing the Marvin because I leave home in a hurry and my hair ramfle and the mall real cold!
A Trini is different from everybody else and, despite Chinee, Indian, Dougla, Spanish, whatever-whatever, all Trini is the same. As a Trini, you could associate with anybody and you different from everybody.
Photo Cred: Mark William Lyndersay