I owed you two Photo of the Week posts during the Blogging de Carnaval series so I’ll deliver them today:
This gentleman participated in the Traditional Characters competition at Victoria & Albert Square on Wednesday February 6. I believe he is 86. His name is Frank Smith*. Mr Smith’s fancy sailor costume was entitled “From Then Till Now”. Let me give you the scoop:
Mr. Morris took forever to cross the staging space. Forever. That’s what you get when you play mas over age 80. And you know what, the longer he took the wider my smile and my admiration grew. Yes, this gentleman is old, his age has slowed him down significantly from when he was a young man playing mas. But did that stop him? No way. You live until you die. Moreover, sadly, the average age of some masqueraders was decidedly “up there”. Don’t get me wrong, there were several moko jumbies, some sailors, some fancy indians, and definitely blue devils who were under age 30. However, there were scores more traditional masqueraders who were over 50 years old, several over 60. This is the type of mas where you won’t spot a similar costume in a magazine showing Rio de Janiero’s parade. It is also the mas that is painstakingly and lovingly made, most times by the masquerader and perhaps a few mas making experts. No pre-fabricated boxes of sameness here. In the whirlwind that is carnival Friday (Canboulay, Kiddies Mas, traditional mas, King & Queen finals, Soca Monarch) I omitted to post this so you’ll get three today.
Oh and PS: Here’s a lagniappe.
*Update: This post was corrected to reflect the fact that the masquerader is Frank Smith and not Frank Morris, a fact that I was aware of and entered in the tags and meta data, but that eluded me in the wee hours of the morning when I scheduled the post. Thanks Morgana Beach for the heads up. You all should check out photos of her kiddies band Ask Granny ‘Bout, located on the Studio Lafoncette Facebook page.