AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Steve Barran and I manage a fleet of vehicles for a private company.
I’m from Barataria. I was born “home” at my mother’s home. So I was actually a genuine “home boy.”
I have one brother, Simon, and one sister, Pearl, who live back and forth between Trinidad and away.
My both parents passed away a good while now.
My wife, Vanessa Barran, and I have been married 28 years. Not one day of regret.
We have one son, now 19. I was in my 30s when he was born and I’m in my 50s now, so he is a late bloomer for me.
But he’s something I always thank God for. Because I always wanted a kid and it was very difficult, but I was finally able to have one.
He’s a pretty good kid, doesn’t give any set of problem.
Most parents, at my age, would have a lot of problems trying to figure out kids at his age, where the transition of life is so different from (the parents’) own times.
I shame to say, I not too good at dates: I forget my wife’s birthday sometimes.
One birthday, when I reach home, my son says, “You get anything for Mummy’s birthday?”
I say, “Ay!”
He say, “Don’t worry, Daddy, I done organise. Here, just sign your name!”
A successful marriage is a lot of hard work. We’ve had difficult times, good times.
But due to how much we worked in the past, most of our times have been just bedtimes: sleeping times. So there was no time for quarrels.
Our, must be first ten years together, we only saw each other in the afternoons – and how much you could relate to each other in the afternoon when you tired? Let’s get the food on the fire, get something to eat, and is “Goodnight!”
If you can’t help make a profit for a company, then you are no use to the company.
I believe in business.
I’m a true Trini to my heart: I love my soca and my chutney soca.
But I also love pop music and classical.
I listen to almost every type of West Indian music and also the American music, as well, too.
I enjoy music but is not like the past, where you put on a CD, long-time stereo. Now, it’s all about your 57-inch state-of-the-art television, you get it solid on YouTube, you catch yourself boogieing.
I stay in Curepe to come to work and for my son to go to school, but my actual address is Las Lomas.
On weekends, we go up to the house we built in Las Lomas. Nice, fresh breeze. A lot of trees.
So I kinda live two places, city and country.
I’m in charge of a fleet of vehicles, a number of trucks, pickups, cars and high-end cars driven by managers.
I try my best to make sure all the vehicles are in working condition within the laws of TT.
At the same time, there are road safety regulations to be followed to be sure our drivers are always safe.
So the responsibility is BIG! Because you have to be on top of all the vehicles to be sure they are roadworthy.
We assign particular drivers to cars and pickups.
But we rotate the three-ton trucks, five-ton trucks, enclosed vehicles, open vehicles, between drivers. It all depends on the loads they have to carry on the day.
It is a much bigger headache when you have multiple drivers because you have to do a lot more inspection of the vehicle.
“How this vehicle get this scratch here?”
So you have to have an oversight for (each) day. The drivers say they will tell you, but, really and truly, nobody comes out and tells you.
The best part of the job is when you see your drivers come back safe with their vehicles intact.
The bad part is if they get any accident.
I’m not saying it could never happen but, so far, knock the table, I’ve never had a bad accident because all our drivers have defensive driving training. I have lectures with them how to be careful, especially on a wet day.
I wouldn’t blame any political party for the state of the crime.
This Carnival, we had fete tickets ranging from $300 to $1,200. Where could more than 50 per cent of the working population of TT earn that kind of money to go to that kind of fete? When you have a rent of $2,000 to pay and food to buy? How I going to Machel Monday if I don’t have $300?
Fetes and parties you only want certain people to enjoy, the others who seeing it, they want it, they want to look swanky in nice clothes, too.
So they tell themselves, the only way to get it is to pick up a gun. They not studying they might end up in prison or get shoot by police.
The crime keep on going up due to the lifestyle that is being exposed by the media.
Imagine a guy walking down your road and hear you, through your window, singing Christmas carols, and they see you cooking ham, and all the place decorate with Christmas trees and lights.
But where he lives, has nothing like that! And he has his kids, too. He will be watching all these things.
Unless we address the economy structure, to lift everybody up, we going to be in a lot of problems with crime. And I wouldn’t blame any one person for it.
People have to come together to solve it. It’s not about any one individual political party or group.
A Trini, in my mind, is somebody who loves the warmness of this beautiful, hot country, and our way of bringing things to the world.
The beaches, the culture of Carnival, the soca, the chutney, our beautiful national instrument, the pan.
TT is home to me. No matter what problems we encounter, the people here, at the end of the day, could come together and work it out.
They will have their differences. But play a football match against any country, and the whole stadium dressed in red!
Read the full version of this feature on Saturday at www.BCPires.com