Monday, April 22, 2024

SLICE OF LIFE: Celebrity hideout in Back Ivy


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LAST THURSDAY NIGHT a sizeable gathering in the area of the Blenheim sports pavilion in the Back Ivy, St Michael, attracted our attention.
The mix of young ladies and men and more mature people painted a picture of folks who were seeking pleasure and putting their cares behind them.
We soon realized that the centre of diversion was Sarge’s Place, operated by Leon Sargeant, who was assisted by his wife Cicely and family members, including sons Fabian, Adrian and Andre. Cicely, a nurse, offered assistance during her time off from work.
We met the family members and they advised that Fabian would be the spokesman for the establishment. He was careful to point out that he was not an employee but was happy to help his father with the business. The former Parish Ambassador and current Youth Commissioner for St Michael West pointed out that his father was following a family tradition since Leon’s mother Khatoon Sargeant ran a shop in the area for more than 30 years.
The family spirit at the establishment seemed to have overflowed all around the area and even beyond for there was evidently a coming together of a number of key personalities from across Barbados.
The first person of national profile to catch our eyes was the chairman of Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA) and former Chief Education Officer, Ralph Boyce. He was keeping close to the domino players. He told us he had an extended turn and had just given his seat to an eager player who had been waiting in the wings.
The pool players, males and females, were also enjoying their own world. One particular lady was clearly in her element and was undoubtedly a match for the men
in the game. We watched her in awe. At the end of one game a brief conversation with her revealed that she was indeed a champion. Sherri Shepherd said she was the number one female pool player under the Barbados Pool Development Organization and had represented Barbados as recently as last year
in Curacao, where she placed third in a regional competition.
The singers were also out in their numbers. Karaoke DJ AC, at the controls of an immaculate sound system and karaoke compact with thousands of songs to suit a wide range of musical tastes, was keeping Sarge’s Place alive.  Richard Stoute Teen Talent first runner-up in the gospel section in 2004, Ray Blackman, was one of the standouts in the rhythm and blues section. He spoke to us after his stellar performance. We soon learnt that he had a keen interest in the art form and was working on the release of three R&B singles.
Richard Stoute’s son, the talented Barbadian cricket all-rounder Kevin Stoute, was also there to witness one of his father’s protégés in action. He moved in almost unobtrusively but there were patrons who were so happy to see him that they quickly identified him as one of Sarge’s Place’s celebrities.
Former Olympian, six-time Caribbean Champion and former IBU welterweight boxing champion Christopher Shaka Henry was also enjoying the night out but was keeping a low profile with fellow boxing promoter Joblee Williams. Shaka, a karaoke lover and occasional singer himself, still relishes the thought of being the first world boxing champion in Barbadian history.
The biggest fanfare of the night surrounded the performance of calypsonian Stiffy of I Cah My Sheep In Town fame.
He started with the dub song Gimme The Light and, with occasional insertion of his own lyrics, drew the crowd closer. However, it was the performance of his hit that sent the crowd wild.
It was a night filled with activity, and all seemed to have a good time, including those who were imbibing drinks of varying strength or savouring the chicken, fish, spare ribs, macaroni pie and chips on sale


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