I'd be going overboard if I said that without Jeanette Layne-Clarke there would be no Doan Mind Me but maybe without Jeanette Layne-Clarke I wouldn't be inspired to juk in a lil Bajan dialect in Doan Mind Me every now and again (read every blinking post!).
I think Ms Layne Clarke who died Monday morning in Barbados did for Bajan dialect what Ms Lou did for Jamaican dialect. Growing up in Bim, I saw her column Lickmout-Lou as a staple of the local newspapers in Barbados and it was probably in those columns that I saw Bajan dialect in print for the first time. Her Lickmout-Lou letters to the fictional Nesta over in away were always creative, good for a laff and looked at issues from the unique bajan perspective.
Ms Layne-Clarke along with the late Alfred Pragnell and Timothy Callender contributed heavily to the culture and storytelling genre in Barbados; writing, performing and introducing us to a slew of typical bajan characters like Lottie and Bruuggadown Boarhog in radio and theatre sketches. Sorry, but for some reason I cant separate the three as much of their work to me seemed so intertwined in terms of who wrote and who performed.
I've got an Alfred Pragnell CD at home with some of those sketches that all three of them created and it is downright hilarious and typically Bajan! I could almost see the characters when I hear their voices.
Consider this trio the Bajan equivalent to Trinidad's Paul Keen's Douglas with their keen sense of storytelling and social commentary.
Well Lou girl, many a fella cud give ya a better send off than me cause I din know ya an you din know me but I still feel like I shud say buhbye and thanks cause I think lil Buhbaydus loss a stalwart and a legend in the literary and cultural fields. Ya do nuff nuff nuff fa we dialect and culture as an outstanding playwright, author, broadcaster and storyteller. Ya really set de bar high in ya field. Outstanding girl real outstanding!
May ya rest in peace.