The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica

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Keeping the Campus Connection Alive

Remembering "Shakey"

Chancellor Hall nurtured me into becoming a man. A man for all seasons. A man with self assurance yet without a hint of arrogance. A man rooted in principle. A humane man.


I could write about many events which happened on Chancellor Hall but I will pay tribute to a friend, a girl called Shernette Shakespeare who lived on Taylor Hall from 1994 to 1997.


It’s after 9 0’clock on a Saturday night. Campus is more boring than the West Indian segment of the Library. But wait, I hear laughter and music echoing from Taylor Hall’s Dining Room.


Restless on Runci (Block B, Chancellor Hall), I decide to check out what was going on. Emily, yes Emily, whatever – Ninjaman’s favourite friend – is the emcee for the night.
There’s a modeling segment and a dancing segment. Teppe, Knife and the crew looked on and as I rub shoulders with the elite “Manz” of Taylor. Gawking and ogling the lovely lassies, I smoke away. Then, I see Shakey and her friends watching the proceedings.


A call for an open dance contest and there was Shakey, she with her big self saying she going to dance. I smile and yell “Go Shakey”, “Go Shakey” and she bubbles on the double! Emily, spying me watching intently, invites me to join and I say NO!


Her glasses make her look very studious and she is, and I watch with amusement as Shakey makes her move. Well Shakey’s on the dance floor and she calls me up, “Dippy, come man” and I respond, “You mad, bad man no dance.” Shakey’s a big girl and I am a skinny midget. To heck with it I say, and I feel myself moving in her direction.


Then everyone begins to chant, “Go Dippy, Go Dippy” and nervously, I walk to where she moves and we begin to dance. Having two-left feet and being totally sober, I know that we would place last in this competition. So, without warning, I being the oily type and still is, I lift up Shakey – all several pounds of her- and we dance to some wicked 'chunes'.


Me, being 145 lbs, moved easily with Shakey as she pleaded, “Dippy no drop me”. Grabbing her firmly, we do our thing and the cheers are ringing in my ears as my knees buckle, but the fun is so good. Shakey’s beside herself, part in fear of me dropping her and surprise at my bold move.


You see, Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing had nothing on us as we whirled and twirled to the top!


The crowd goes wild with shouts as we daggered. Hockey sticks bang on benches, aluminum window panes rattle and reverberate from the slaps. Howls of laughter peal louder than Big Ben and I am beside myself. Had Cordell seen us, and ended it there, perhaps there never would have been a daggering controversy.


Suffice it to say, the crowd proclaimed us overwhelming winners of the dance contest much to the pleasure of everyone and that gal, Emily, with her facetious self, with a mock grin, handed me a roll-on for my prize. Damn! Thanks Emily!


From that day on, me and Shakey became good friends and whenever she 'renked' herself- well in a good way, cause she is so sweet-, I would threaten by lifting her up again to which she would protest, “No, no, no Dippy”. Every time, she walked past Runci, I would be there to shout her up, “Hey Shakey, gimme some a yuh 'phatness'” she would simply smile and shake her head. I liked her. She had no airs, she was a straight talker and you just had to like her.


I never had the opportunity of seeing her after I left campus and many years have passed. Thanks for the memories Shakey I will always let you lead in any dance. You danced with life, now you dance with death, but your life and memories will forever be dancing in the minds and hearts of everyone whose lives you touched. Bubble on mi FLUFFY FRIEND!


Deportee

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