My brother Jeffrey’s 9th angel anniversary is coming up on the 6th and it’s got me thinking of him and remembering.
When Jeffrey and I were growing up on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, we were on our own a lot. Our parents and Uncle Steve worked long hours at Sebastian’s on the Waterfront so we would fend for ourselves.
One memory I have is when Jeffrey and I used to do the laundry. Every Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I had to take the laundry to the Westinghouse laundromat on the waterfront near Palm Passage. My friend and classmate Joan Barbel’s family owned the laundromat and they knew my parents, so we had to be on our best behavior when we were there.
We lived on Norre Gade, a few doors down from the Moravian Church. Many people who knew our family would see us walking from our house on Norre Gade to Palm Passage along the waterfront.
Imagine if you will, you’re on an island paradise and everyone spoke with a Calypso accent. Now imagine people watching my brother and me walking with this huge sack on our backs (he’d be in front, and I’d be bringing up the rear), looking like Santa’s elves, and they would point and say; “Eh, Eh! There go de Black children with de laundry!”
Once we got the laundry started in the machines, we’d walk around Main Street and the waterfront, or stop at Sebastian’s to have something till it was done and then we’d head back home and hang up and put away the laundry.
Since Jeffrey was a vegetarian, tuna fish was one of the foods we ate with regularity. When we were home alone on Saturday, Jeffrey used to make us tuna melts. It’s not a fancy dish, and there are probably tons of ways to prepare it, but Jeff made it simply with English muffins, tuna and cheese.
Basically, he’d do the following:
- Toast a couple of English muffins
- mix tuna with mayo, onions and celery
- place the tuna on top of the toasted muffins
- Place a slice of American cheese on to of the tuna.
- Pop it in the oven at 350° and bake it for about 3-5 minutes until the cheese was melted.
** You could also add tomato to it if you so desired.
It was so satisfying – comfort food.
I think I’ll go to the grocery store and pick up some English muffins and make this tomorrow in honor of my brother.