The Attack of The Giant Fronds
by Louis Barbier BHS 1957

In the height of the dry season when the winds would blow, One had to be extra watchful for the attack of the Giant Fronds!

Yes, mon these giant fronds would come from nowhere and Whoosh Wacky, You would just shutter at the thought of being a hit by one of these pesky giant fronds.

After being scared out of your daylights, and you coming back into your body You would continue on your trip up pass Gorgas Hospital. This where the Majestic Royal Palms overlooked the streets below This was the land of the Giant Fronds!

You would be awaken from your reverie by a loud ripping sound as you spotted an incoming Giant Frond! The people would dance a jig to get out of the way. You could almost here that Barbashian guttural sound of Harry Anselmo Wright calling out, “Look Out, Mom you gotta move it friend or you be in ER! “ And who wants to be in ER talking to them beautiful nurses about getting clobbered by a Giant Frond. Not me. And their questions would always be, “Ain’t you looking where you walk young man.” I would say, “Yes, I is but this thing come from the sky!”

So, living in the Old Canal Zone had its moments of sky watching, Until a car horn would sound and some big mouth would yell, “ Why don’t you watch where you are going, want a plot at Corozal? Just keep walking like that, and I guarantee you that!”

So, the trick was to walk on the sidewalk look up at the fronds bye and bye but keep your eyes and ears open for traffic. Yes, when a flock of parakeets would come buzzing into the Fronds way up in the sky, there was always be a scattering of pellet shape seeds. They would rain down like you were walking in a hail storm. Not pleasant if you were in your Sunday Best. Oh, no you would catch hell when you got home. After the first onslaught of seeds, if that long ripping sound came to your ears it was time to make tracks as if you were a member of the BHS Track Team at a meet on the Other side and the starter gun had fired.

Yes, mon, you were out of the blocks like a wild man with wintergreen ointment down his britches. People would stare to see you jump and run like if you had been bit by bees, mon. Everybody hoping and praying you would not be the next victim of the attack of the Giant Fronds! Yes, they could be deadly and yes, they could cause much pain!

Oh, mi o my a close encounter but a car, she has a cracked windshield my sweets! I better act like a tree and leave or somebody may think....I is the one who did that, mon!

Louis Barbier BHS 1957

Publisher's note:

This story hits home real good with me.  I used to park my '63 Corvair on the Prado while in BHS.  One day I came out and my whole rear windshield was in little tiny pieces.  I never parked any of my cars under a Royal Palm again.

Bill McLaughlin