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Harts: A Collection of Short Stories

Charming short-stories capturing the personalities of an extended family.

When Glenn approached us to work on his project, the challenge lay in condensing all his wonderful anecdotes into one beautiful, coherent book: Glenn is a true lover of stories and collects them with the same adventurous spirit he tackles life.

After over a dozen hours of interviews, we narrowed down this book to focus on the Harts, Glenn's mother's side of the family - a family supremely rich in personality. We transformed the colourful stories of his ancestors into a unique package that combines hilarious stories with fascinating historical context.

In designing the book, every aspect (colours, fonts, dimensions...) was customised to suit the family's personality, with Glenn providing gems of memorabilia, and complementing our illustrations with some of his very own lovely ones.

65 copies were printed on Conqueror Cream Wove, a paper that couples superb, high-contrast matt printing performance with the warm touch of an authentic wove. Younger generations were especially considered when creating this keepsake, so that they could continue to access their heritage.

REGIONS COVERED: Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago.

 “The impetus came when Uncle Edmond, the last surviving sibling of my mother's generation, celebrated his 90th birthday. It's not easy to come up with an appropriate birthday present for a ninety-year old, so I designed a glorified birthday card, based on stories and pictures of his, and the older generation. It was a hit, and everyone at the birthday party not only wanted a copy of it, but were encouraging me to do something more elaborate - a book. I had heard about Plantain and approached them. It was all new to me, and of course I was new to them. Over time, with the interviews and discussions, we forged a relationship that went beyond that of "just another client.” -  Glenn Wilkes

“The impetus came when Uncle Edmond, the last surviving sibling of my mother's generation, celebrated his 90th birthday. It's not easy to come up with an appropriate birthday present for a ninety-year old, so I designed a glorified birthday card, based on stories and pictures of his, and the older generation. It was a hit, and everyone at the birthday party not only wanted a copy of it, but were encouraging me to do something more elaborate - a book. I had heard about Plantain and approached them. It was all new to me, and of course I was new to them. Over time, with the interviews and discussions, we forged a relationship that went beyond that of "just another client.” - Glenn Wilkes

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  “The Harts, on the other hand, are kinda like a Carnival band...on J’ouvert morning…”

“The Harts, on the other hand, are kinda like a Carnival band...on J’ouvert morning…”

  “It was Daddy’s football skills, rather than his education, that got him a ‘good job’ with the Secretarial Department of United British Oilfields (UBOT). UBOT was proud of their football team, and they recruited him using the job itself as bait.”

“It was Daddy’s football skills, rather than his education, that got him a ‘good job’ with the Secretarial Department of United British Oilfields (UBOT). UBOT was proud of their football team, and they recruited him using the job itself as bait.”

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  “A Temple up the hill, a Mosque opposite us and a small Pentecostal-type Church next to it provided a distinctly ecumenical religious ambience amidst the commercial enterprises: Champ’s tailor shop, Uncle Eggie’s garage downstairs and Archer’s parlour at the corner. Instead of the pung-na-na of frogs, we heard the call to prayer of the Imam or his sons with such regularity that I came to know it by heart. And then there was the crying of a neighbour’s daughter whose husband abused her, the singing and hallelujahs from the Church, and the cussing of the woman who lived below the church!”

“A Temple up the hill, a Mosque opposite us and a small Pentecostal-type Church next to it provided a distinctly ecumenical religious ambience amidst the commercial enterprises: Champ’s tailor shop, Uncle Eggie’s garage downstairs and Archer’s parlour at the corner. Instead of the pung-na-na of frogs, we heard the call to prayer of the Imam or his sons with such regularity that I came to know it by heart. And then there was the crying of a neighbour’s daughter whose husband abused her, the singing and hallelujahs from the Church, and the cussing of the woman who lived below the church!”

  “When they moved from Prince Albert Street to Circular Road, Gramma was looking forward to being in a more socially-acceptable neighbourhood, but the very first day Grampa spoiled things. She had been looking for him, and she called out,  ‘Egbert, where are you?’ ‘Ah in de Shithouse!’”

“When they moved from Prince Albert Street to Circular Road, Gramma was looking forward to being in a more socially-acceptable neighbourhood, but the very first day Grampa spoiled things. She had been looking for him, and she called out,
‘Egbert, where are you?’
‘Ah in de Shithouse!’”

  “Grampa never told you the full extent of the task until you had started it. “Bring my alpagats” actually meant bringing them, taking off his shoes and socks, possibly massaging his toes and then putting his shoes and socks under his bed. You also had to be careful not to react to the smell of his feet!”

“Grampa never told you the full extent of the task until you had started it. “Bring my alpagats” actually meant bringing them, taking off his shoes and socks, possibly massaging his toes and then putting his shoes and socks under his bed. You also had to be careful not to react to the smell of his feet!”

  “The chorus of "Ba Moin En Ti Bo", a patois song that Gramma was very fond of…”

“The chorus of "Ba Moin En Ti Bo", a patois song that Gramma was very fond of…”

  “Grampa always insisted on being on time. Once when Rolph was goalkeeper for Juniors FC, they had an important match in Skinner Park that Grampa wanted to see. He told Rolph to get ready to leave at four o’clock. At four o’clock, Rolph heard Grampa give two toots on the horn, then Vrooom!”

“Grampa always insisted on being on time. Once when Rolph was goalkeeper for Juniors FC, they had an important match in Skinner Park that Grampa wanted to see. He told Rolph to get ready to leave at four o’clock. At four o’clock, Rolph heard Grampa give two toots on the horn, then Vrooom!”

  “The season started when Ray Sylvester came over to have his band rehearsals on Sundays. Ray did not have a band per se. He had the nucleus of a band, but he used a lot of musicians from the police brass band who managed to get time off. People would come with coolers or whatever else and, right there in the road, they would jump up…free party! You would be meeting people and slowly getting in tune with mas.”

“The season started when Ray Sylvester came over to have his band rehearsals on Sundays. Ray did not have a band per se. He had the nucleus of a band, but he used a lot of musicians from the police brass band who managed to get time off. People would come with coolers or whatever else and, right there in the road, they would jump up…free party! You would be meeting people and slowly getting in tune with mas.”

  Why the Harts have big noses…

Why the Harts have big noses…

  “The castellan, or joropo, was a dance all the older folks loved. There was one song, Clara, which was Gramma’s favourite. It had an interrupted beat:    “dum, dum, DUM!”    At ‘DUM!’ everybody would stamp the floor, and the whole house would rock. When Uncle Lio danced a castellan, all you could see was arms and legs.”

“The castellan, or joropo, was a dance all the older folks loved. There was one song, Clara, which was Gramma’s favourite. It had an interrupted beat:

“dum, dum, DUM!”

At ‘DUM!’ everybody would stamp the floor, and the whole house would rock. When Uncle Lio danced a castellan, all you could see was arms and legs.”

  “Even though she had asthma, Aunt Etta was a real chatterbox. She alternated between talking and spraying her throat,    ‘blah, blah, blah, psht, psht, psht, blah, blah’.”

“Even though she had asthma, Aunt Etta was a real chatterbox. She alternated between talking and spraying her throat,

‘blah, blah, blah, psht, psht, psht, blah, blah’.”

The End!

The End!