“Writing and publishing this little book: ‘Seven Years on Adventist Street’ is a milestone in my life. I have always wanted to pen my childhood experiences while growing up on Adventist Street in the town of Sangre Grande, Trinidad. It is now a reality! Outskirts Press has made my dream come true. The Outskirts Press personnel assigned to me in publishing this book were patient, kind, prompt, and effective. Their constant attention to the process gave me the assurance that they were working tirelessly to have my book on the shelves. I am working on another book as we speak, and Outskirts Press will have my contract for the production of this new book. I am so proud of my accomplishment. Thank you Tina and Lisa…and thank you Outskirts!”
Born and raised in the town of Sangre Grande, Trinidad and Tobago, Johnny Coomansingh received his education from Kansas State University (KSU), Fort Hays State University (FHSU) (Kansas), Andrews University (Michigan), The College of Teachers (London), The Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture, Forestry (ECIAF) and Northeastern College, Trinidad. He read for his doctoral and master’s degrees in Geography at KSU. At FHSU he graduated with a Master of Science in Communication with emphasis on Public Relations. During the course of his development, he served as a high school teacher at Bates Memorial High School, Sangre Grande (mathematics, geography, and human and social biology), an agricultural extension/communication agent in the Ministry of Agriculture, Trinidad, a corporate communications practitioner in the petroleum industry, and a university professor in the United States.
Have hope. Written especially for youth everywhere in any station of life, Seven Years on Adventist Street distills hope…hope for all; all who think that they are living under the worst of circumstances. Seven Years on Adventist Street dissects, analyses, and synthesizes the impact of cultural forms on a young boy’s mind during the period 1960-1966. The narrative provides a window into the societal structures that fashioned his belief, his positive outlook, and his anchor of hopefulness as he journeys through life. On any given street in Trinidad, an individual could find an array of cultural variables similar to that of Adventist Street. Despite this fact, Adventist Street is unique. His emic view of Adventist Street as place, establishes the great value he has ascribed to this street in directing his intellectual leanings and perception of the world. Part of his soul is everlastingly entwined in the noise of the street-scape. More than any other place, he identifies with Adventist Street, and sadly, could offer no explanation for the placelessness of the basin in the Guaico River where he used to fish; no one fishes there anymore. In such a cultural melee, he was able to find a compass, and subsequently, chart a course for life. Seven Years on Adventist Street characterizes the play and interplay of people and their roles, rituals, and religion in the creation of a community. In his poverty-stricken world during those early years, he became a literal forager of sorts in his immediate environment and was able to sometimes fend off his physical hunger. Nevertheless, the hunger for intellectual stimulation and development was ever present. Written on the wall of his elementary school was the proverb: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Taking this bit of biblical scripture as his guide, he purposed in his heart to keep focused on the goals that would emancipate him from the shackles of rebuff, ridicule, and want. Seven Years on Adventist Street reveals a fulfilling story of hope, prayer, perseverance, and providence.