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Greetings on-Line Family,

Unfortunately, it has been several months since we have “vibed” with you and for a very good reason.  After DC Carnival we took a little time off and slipped away on a small vacation to relax and get some needed rest.  We visited Chicago, California and ended up in Arizona (where my parents had moved only a week before our vacation).  Everything about this trip was great.  We had a chance to be tourists in Chicago, and once we arrived in Los Angeles the trip even got better.  The 4 star hotel in Marina Del Ray (thanks to Pat) was very nice, and the sunsets over the marina with the ocean in the background were breathtaking.  The walks on Zuma Beach, Malibu was fabulous as usual, and the great dinners and breakfast over meetings on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood was wonderful.  Actually, just hanging out with my sister, Susan and friends was real cool.  It’s unbelievable that we didn’t even have a chance to check out the reggae club "Dragonfly" located on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood as we had planned.  After leaving LA we flew to Phoenix, Arizona to spend a little time with my Father and Mother who was just settling into their new home, and our stay there was magnificent.  As most people are aware Arizona is known to be extremely hot, but for us despite the heat we had a great time.  The mountains were so beautiful and fascinating that we tried to explore all that was closely located to my parent’s home, and even took my parents on all our mountain expeditions.  The one mountain in particular that we enjoyed was Superstition mountain, we found ourselves dashing out of the car and running over rocks to see some of the best views, not even worrying that rattle snakes may be lurking on the hill sides.  We also even had a chance to explore a real ghost town in "Apache Junction" which was a lot of fun.  Despite the exploring and fun, what meant the most to me was spending time with my mom and dad and enjoying their new home. 

Our trip ended and Susan and I returned home and tried to adjust ourselves to our regular schedule, but soon thereafter we received bad news…my father was having heart trouble.  We got the dreaded call a few days later informing us that a massive heart attack had followed and he had pulled through, even though we had lost him for a little time.  It was very clear that he was not expected to make it.  Therefore, we were back on a plane heading for Arizona to be with my mom and sister at my father’s side.  Nothing in the world mattered at this time, work, e-mails, absolutely nothing, just the hope and longing for my father to recover, who seemed to be holding on for us.  Throughout the long week myself, Susan, my sister and mom were at my dad’s side and practically living in the hospital on coffee and periodic “hospital food”, our hopes were brought up and down.  One incident in particular that I will never forget was leaving the hospital with the intention of getting some rest after being there all day and most of the night, but an hour after arriving home we were summoned back to the hospital because my father was not doing well, his vitals were “completely off the board”.  Once we got back to my father’s side, through all the sedation my father was under, he obviously heard our voices and instantly all his vital signs went back to normal and a very nice smile came across his face.  This convinced us that he was pleased and he knew we were by his side, we too were convinced that he would get better from this point on and selfishly kept hanging on to him hoping and praying that he would recover, not only for my mom, but so we could spend some more time together taking him on explorations of Arizona and it’s beautiful mountains.  After many days, which seemed like weeks we had to return home because of the many things that is involved in our life.  Of course, we could not get back into our normal schedule or function properly, the worry of us leaving my mother, sister and dad (who was still holding on probably for us) kept “weighing” on our minds.  Just 2 short days after returning home, my dad seemed to be doing better, and was functioning on his own with no help from machinery and from the many tubes that were attached to him.  My mom and I even began making plans to bring him home, but sadly we lost him (and it was only five minutes after hanging up from talking to my mom and making definite plans for my dad’s return home).  Immediately, we were on a plane bound for Arizona again to make all the preparations to lay my father to rest. 

You know as much as we had spent time during the few weeks my father was in the hospital, we still were not prepared to lose him, and as you can imagine it was pretty difficult for all of us to accept.  I have lost members of my family, but it is the most difficult thing to lose a parent (your dad).  My mind runs on him everyday and no matter what conversation Susan and I have we somehow always end up talking about him.  I am really glad we had spent so much time with him on our vacation dragging him and my mom on all our excursions.

My father Emmanuel Mangatal was a very strong and hard working man.  He was born in Martinique (French Caribbean Island), and grew up there.  He lost his parents at an early age and after spending most of his young adult life in Martinique he migrated to the United States only speaking French and with very little, but he didn’t let anything deter or stop him from excelling in this country.  A few years later he met and married my mother, and hence brought myself and my sister into this world.  I remember him always working and providing everything for us, and made life for myself, my sister and my mom the happiest.  From all my memories of my father I can only remember one where he became angry with me as a child because I dismantled his job communications device/radio.  Hum, can you believe just once he became angry with me,  and I really don’t recall any in my adult life.  So you can just imagine how happy my childhood and life has been having such a wonderful person as a father.   In many ways I see so much of myself in him and in some ways are following his footsteps of being married for such a long period of time, this year would have been 43 years that he’s been married to my mother.   My father and mother’s happy marriage certainly impacted my life, because I am approaching my 21st year.  Now, it’s just about my mom trying to continue without him after having someone by her side for all these years.  I know it’s extremely difficult for her, and she must be missing him desperately especially in a new city and state.  To her I say…just hang in there, it takes some time to heal from this major loss, but it will get better soon.  For all of us, including Patrick and Christian in Martinique I know it will get better soon!!!!  To all the people who kept my family and I in your thoughts and prayers during this “trying” time, I thank you, and on behalf of the Mangatal family thanks for the many words of sympathy and wisdom and for the small gifts of flowers and donations.

As you are now aware, our lives were turned upside down for a bit these past few months, but we are in the process of “getting back on the saddle and moving along”.  During these months, we somehow couldn’t help but neglect everything, most importantly we discovered that our e-mail list had outgrown the limitations of our server.  We are now in the process of solving this minor setback.  As far as the music scene, in-between these months we did have an opportunity to check out some great concerts Maxi Priest and Third World, Freddie McGregor, Morgan Heritage, Bennie Man and most recently Capleton (which was a really great show), and Lady Saw (who was the same as usual, and did put on a nice show), actually all of these concerts were really cool.  

We intend to continue updating you on all the happenings in and around the Caribbean Community locally and around the US, but we need you to continue supporting us.  We intend to launch another website in the next month or so, which will just focus on the marketing of events, concerts, etc. and of course this service will be for a small fee…a very small fee.  So promoters, business owners, or anyone needing to promote or expose something, someone, an album, product or an event via our e-mail to our on-line family, please contact us!!!!!

Also, during this time I got a chance to tune in to a new and upcoming artist out of Trinidad – Marlon Asher who has a real nice hit reggae tune on the charts “Ganga Planter”.  Check this young man out, I think we will see big things from him.

Many folks have been sending me flyers and information regarding their functions and events, but please forgive us for not responding to your request/s.  We also missed attending many of the North America Carnivals (Boston, Toronto-Canada, New York, Virginia, and Baltimore).  Of course, we do not intend to miss Miami and I think Ft. Lauderdale is happening as well, so we intend to check out both. 

This upcoming weekend is all about Miami and it's Carnivals...the parties (fetes), the drinking, the eating, the beaches, and just plain chilling ("liming").  We are certainly just looking forward to the "liming" and relaxing our minds for a minute.  As you know, there are lots happening all over the city, many of the Carnival events are the same such as the big concert at the Convention Center, but this year a local promoter and his partners informed us about their event which will be taking place in Miami on Columbus Day, so you have to check them out.  Join Real Productions & Promotions, Inc. as they present their First Annual Original Soca Cow Boys and Cow Girls Breakfast Party on Monday, Morning October 10th.  It's an all day affair 6am-4pm, so check it out and make sure you wear your western gear.  See Flyer Below.

 

For the folks who will not be traveling to Miami, CeeC Promotions informed us that Ras Lidj and Deep Band will be performing at Club U-Turn at 11th & U-Streets, NW, DC on Friday, October 7th.  The rest of the weekend in this area looks like it will be quiet because no one has informed us about anything else happening.  So please check out Ras Lidj and Deep Band.  CeeC Promotions also indicated that if you print and bring the flyer below she will deduct $1.00 off the admission fee.  Check out our “Events” page for details.

 

On behalf of Susan and I, it's good to back talking, informing and sharing with you.  

Before, I log out I want wish our friend WPGC former DJ EZ Street all the best on his new job out West.  It has been a pleasure working and dealing with him for all these years.  He has certainly done a lot for our Caribbean Community as far as pushing the reggae and Caribbean music on his former station and we want to thank him for that, not to mention all the support he has given our community with all our events.  We will indeed miss  him and his saying “ Thanks for rolling with a brotha”.  Our lost is San Francisco's gain, so good luck to you our friend EZ Street and continue spreading the good reggae vibes out West!!!!

To the many who have suffered, endured and lost everything because of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, our prayers go out to you.  These "crazy" events and times are so unexplained and really strange, but we must try to stay strong.  Hold On...we pray that things will get better soon!!!

After we return from Miami we will link up, and get back on the "ball" sharing with you after we return.  Have a safe and enjoyable weekend and if you are heading to Miami, have a nice time and be safe!!!


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