The Tale of the Disappearing Pan yard - A Steelband Tale

Terror, terror, terror!

A Very Real Possibility - Sometime in the very near future...

Michael Bloomberg
New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Brooklyn, New York - “There was blood, carnage and gore everywhere.  The sound of the screeching tires and sirens coming from the ambulances were only momentarily silenced by the blood-curdling screams and howls of horrified parents bent over injured children, and others crying over the bodies of their parents, siblings and loved ones.” 

“The revolting smell of gun powder mixed with burnt flesh, smoking from red-hot bullets, still permeated the air.  And the macabre reflection of the revolving lights of the police cruisers, ambulances and other emergency vehicles as they bounced off the chrome pans of the steel orchestra, some instruments hanging from their racks by one hook, others with gaping holes of still smoldering metal after being shot through, and others totally destroyed - all completed a cruel caricature of the unbelievable tragedy that had just unfolded.”

“Among the carnage was a spilt giant pot of Corn Soup (a Caribbean menu favorite), scattered bags of nuts from the nuts’ man (peanuts vendor), a child’s cycle, a cane, portable beach chairs, and a copy of “The Divine Comedy (Dante’s Inferno).”  The book was owned by a now critically-injured student who had been trying to get a jump on her upcoming college freshman readings, between her music practice breaks in the orchestra; she who now clung tenuously to life by a thread.”

“The bodies of those too badly disfigured to be recognized from the billy clubs (batons), tasers and the hundreds of bullets fired, still remained uncovered.  And in a distance among the scores of young steelpan musicians in handcuffs, appeared to be none other than the President’s daughters. Remember the President’s daughters had been gifted with two tenor pans and had eagerly joined the steel orchestra for the Summer.  The terror of what had just happened was permanently etched on their faces like plaster casts.”

NYPD descends on New York Pan Yard back in 2010
NYPD descends on New York Pan Yard ‘back’ in 2010

“Later, the Mayor would stand at the podium and express his regret at the loss of life, but that the police department “had acted within the guidelines.””

“The steelbands had to be shut down - by force, and by any means necessary.  After all, it was the Friday night before Panorama, and - it was after 10:00 p.m.  Moreover, the Mayor would go on to say that the decision to mobilize and move against the steel orchestras and their musicians, was in the interest of ‘National Security.’ Or maybe he really meant to the new ‘pioneers’ of the  neighborhood?” 


The above - while disturbing to digest - is a very likely scenario that could come to pass, based on recent events at the pan yards of New York.

- Read the full story on the siege of NY Pan yards

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