It is with great sadness that I share my thoughts over this unimaginable loss of a close friend and brother.
He was a man blessed with tremendous courage who fought the battle with cancer to the end.
When I saw him last in the hospital, he greeted me with a smile. For me, it was a memorable moment of great sadness as I watched his withered body and saw him wrenched in pain. Never once did he complain or ask for pity. He promised that he would continue the fight; a fight he eventually lost.
Soca was a Vincie in every respect. He lived for the love and admiration of his people. His webpage and Message Boards attest to that. We loved him at SPOONY because he was always to be counted on. Even on the days I did not call, he would call and he would say in his made-up baritone voice, “Mr. John, I noticed I did not hear from you.”
I did not need to respond because he had already planned what he was going to do to promote whatever activities in which we were engaged. But would conclude with, “You can tell me whatever you want me to do.”
Soca was his own man.
He was politically astute and a man who knew the feel and the beat of New York. The many fans who attended his “stationary” boat rides at Sheepshead Bay or bus rides that did not reach their originally planned destinations, or even the basement and backyard “bacchanals” can tell you that there was only one Soca. He had the connections. He knew his game.
Soca was a calypso/soca historian. One of his most successful radio programs was one he did many years ago on Saturday mornings. It was a Saturday morning jam of Vincentian calypsonians from Lord Hawk, Sheller, Becket, Soso, Tyler, Lord Have Mercy to Jackie and Bob MC and others. They were all on his chart. He played them all and provided the historical backdrop too.
He was an intellectual. Politics was his second nature. There was nothing he enjoyed more that to be fully engaged in political discourse.
He shared with me some of the exchanges he had with our Prime Minister. As his former student, Soca had great respect for the Prime Minister but he also enjoyed engaging him politically, if only to show him that a former student is willing to engage in debate.
At times he declared that he was an independent but, “Mr. John, I have tremendous respect for you and would do anything to help SPOONY.”
His help was always far more than we were able to afford. His commitment was spot on. SPOONY appreciates everything he did to make us look better. His contributions to our Town Hall events would never be forgotten.
I will miss him greatly, SPOONY will miss him too. New York will struggle to fill his space. The world will never be the same without Soca Jones.
My prayer and hope is that he rest in peace knowing that he did all could and that his memory will remain with us forever.
Until we meet again.
Stephen H. Scombo John