Steve H: But Solomon, I think, in my personal opinion, you were wrong in that instance in the sense that you should have gone to the hospital with this young lady or you should have ask your wife to accompany this girl. Itís great the gesture of Winnicito, but we came up with these people; we need to be responsible for them. I can attest to a lot of things because I went with first selection leaving out of Bluefields to Chinandega. I went with you. But when we came up here, everything just changed. Itís like, you start hearing all this stuff. You could have asked Mrs. Mercedes, look no, just please go with Winnicito or you donít want your wife involved? You say well, whoever, Paquito was with the team, and say look no, I have to go with the girl and try to avoid certain things because you was sitting there and didnít say anything.
Rodney S: He said it to me, he said it to me.
Rodney S: He said, ďYou just take it cool because I know what Iím doing here, you just take it cool.Ē I said, ďOk brother.Ē And I stayed right there; I didnít go anywhere.
Steve H: We understand that. Iím just telling you my personal opinion. We should have had somebody that came up with the delegation go along with Winnicito and see what going on. It is truth that he knows the run around, but you are the person in charged.
Rodney S: Well, thatís why I didnít go because he tell me no. Iím going take care, and I must stay there with the team and thatís why I didnít go.
Gregory L: All right, one incident took place in the last tournament held in Washington which a lot of people remembered this particular incident in NY. Was the fact that the girl that was playing left-center was hurt, we donít know if she pulled a ligament in her knees in or whatever?
Rodney S: She came up hurt and is hurt all the time.
Gregory L: And it took you so long to take her out the game. She couldnít move and people were wondering why is it you conduct yourself like that. Why is it, you take so long to take care of her?
Rodney S: Because the other girls them tell me to leave her. Mireya, she is the leader. Solomon, let her play, let her play. She said, ďI can play.Ē You see I went out two times. Mireya said, ďNo Solomon, no take her out.Ē So ok, those are the girls that playing on the field right. Iím on the sideline, and I just come from a national where she played just like how she is. She didnít get hurt here you know. She is hurt from maybe the last ten years. She is one of my best players because she is national champion batter, national champion home runner in Esteli in July. They say let her play because the girls them like her so. Thatís the reason why I took so long.
Gregory L: In other words, you donít have full control of the team then?
To protect the identity of people mentioned in this part of the interview we will omit their names and what was said about them.
Gregory L: Did you know she was pregnant before she get in the game?
Rodney S: Yes!
Gregory L: Why would you allow her to play in that condition?
Rodney S: Like I said, she worked the whole while with us. She came up, but not to play but like I say, these woman them from Bluefields. I see them play seven months pregnant because they want to play. You tell them no, but they want to play. Thatís the heat of the game. They know their responsibility. They know the damage they are running. They know it! And I explained to XXXX, you going because you worked the whole while with us. You are a good player, but you are not going to go and play. Same time Francine Simmons got hurt. She got hurt in Washington also. I had three girls operated on in Bluefields in this year playing softball, Angela Allen, Francine Simmons and Rose Wilson. Why? They want to play, and they hurt. I donít force them, but in Bluefields when they playing, everybody want to play he game.
Gregory L: But Mr. Solomon, donít you think thatís poor judgment on your part, being the responsible person for the team especially when you travel to make somebody play in that state, especially when somebody is pregnant?
Rodney S: I wonít say poor you know, and we talk it from in Bluefields. You going but you not going play. When the girls them sit down together, what they talk is amongst them. XXXX came up pregnant, but they want to come on the trip because from Mireya invite us the first time. In í93, í94, two girls come pregnant straight back-to-back. XXXX came pregnant and played in Miami, and I tell them you canít play. We know better now. You see, in Nicaragua thatís how they do it in Nicaragua. Out here is far different, the law is different. In Nicaragua, the girls them no care. Look, this girl, XXXX, XXXXí daughter, she play seven months pregnancy and had baby the other day before we come out here. She played with Beholden team, and she on the bench.
Gregory L: Your personal opinion on that, thatís not smart, right?
Rodney S: I donít like it because you could go out there and dead on the field and then the softball going to hell. Itís me going catch it, but you tell them donít put them in.
Araia S: Wait, when you say donít put them in. Who has the power to do that. You are the manager. How does that work?
Rodney S: Iím the president of the federation. Each team has their manager and their owner. I wonít know unless they tell me that this girl is pregnant. When she go on the field then I would notice because I donít miss a game. I open the game and close the game. I donít leave that stadium until the last ball throw. Every Saturday, every Sunday, we play three games a day and from I leave my house eight oíclock, I donít go back home 'til ten in the night because I try to be responsible.
Steve H: Maybe Iím pushing the gun a little right now, but would it be more sensible that we have the league running and forget it now. You are the president of the league, you are the man with the scars; you are the man thatís going to be scorned; you are the man thatís going to be getting it. So letís forget about who is in charged or who is not in charged of the teams. In Bluefields, would it be sensible to ask, letís say doctor Haroldo and tell doctor Haroldo, can you give me a ball park figure that every three months we run a pregnancy test on these girls them. And then you tell them, if you are going to play in this league this is what you have to go through. This is just like if you going join a whorehouse, you have to go subject to an AIDS test every morning before. The damn thing is, you are the man whose name is going to be called. And now I going tell you, even who couldnít spell, could spell your name now because thatís the only name thatís been called since this damn Tri-State Tournament.
Rodney S: I agree with you.
Steve H: Now would it be also feasible that when the selection leaving, you subject them to that exam. If you are pregnant, you are off the team. You no need no more headaches and thatís a huge responsibility. What they say now. They never say she lose her baby on the field, right, they say Solomon kill the baby. No, no itís funny but when you look back, itís damn serious.
Gregory L: So Mr. Solomon based on the suggestion that Steve is making, would you be able to make a promise today, right here that this is something you are going to work on, once there, you are going to talk to doctor Haroldo and see if itís something that can be worked out for the safety of these kids?
Rodney S: I accept that because you are never to old to learn. You see, everybody has a different idea and they give suggestions. You should sit down and accept suggestions because you cannot do things alone. Everybody needs the help of somebody on the face of this earth. From you born, you need help of somebody until you die. You still need help when you die because somebody got to bury you. So you need help all the time. The more suggestion I get, the better. The first time from I coming up here that we sit down and talk like this which I going tell you, I love it. Like I told Steve, I wish this should happen every year and not once in a year. Like I said, I enjoy being with these girls them, and I see them glorified by winning national champion. I win it in Esteli, Rivas. I have been playing real softball in Nicaragua. We play real softball in Nicaragua, and I enjoy it.
Araia S: On the question of the Flor de CaŮa, you said each girl bring up two Flor de CaŮa. Is that a business, how does this work? If its twelve, girls thatís 24 Flor de CaŮa, who gets all this Flor de CaŮa?
Rodney S: I bring it to the organized tri-state tournament. Listen, when Iím in Bluefields, you ask Moya behind my back. Poyoy call Moya and he calls me. He says he wants one case of Centenario, one case of Reserva which come out to 200 and something dollars. Ok, I buy it in Managua, but I tell the girls them that from in Bluefields. I do not do things without tell them bout it. I say Poyoy ask me to do so. I beg you all. The only one didnít bring any liquor was Anasha Campbell because she is just 16 years old. He asked for ten pounds of cheese, and I bought the cheese. I put it in two box, and I said ok letís go. When I get Washington; I said Poyoy here is the rum. You ask Poyoy when you go back what he pay me. Just what the rum cost. I do not make money, but by we are supposed to pay our entrance fee in the tournament which is $300. By I bringing the rum, Poyoy donít charge me entrance fee, but he pay me what I spend. That cover my expense with the entrance fee for the tournament. I never paid in the tournament my entrance fee because itís me Rodney Solomon in the tournament. I never paid five cents yet. They always grant me that fee. And thatís why I bring it. Iím not telling no lie.
Gregory L: So in other words, instead of Poyoy giving you back the cash, he just pay your entrance fee to the tri-state tournament?
Rodney S: No, he give me the money what I spend, just what I spend.
Gregory L: And for you bringing the liquor, you donít pay an entrance fee.
Rodney S: Because they sell the liquor in the party, right, and itís three bucks a drink.
Steve H: But is it the liquor for the party or is it the liquor for Poyoy to sell.
Rodney S: Itís is for the party because I see them sell in the party. Everything gone for the party. All the rum they were selling in Washington I bring for them. Nobody else bring it. Geary (Gerhard Cash) them had money for their own. I sacrifice my $200, and I buy the rum.
Steve H: You see why this comes up now because itís important, and we donít want to be blaming anybody. We donít want to be dwelling in the past but look at the problem that we have in the sense that Poyoy would say that we waving Bluefields fee because them coming from Bluefields, they donít have no money and this and that. But Poyoy no say that we waving Bluefields fee because they are doing us a favor. The boy team bring up a case, Solomon bring up a case. Just set the record straight, but he no mention that. He just say well Bluefields no have no money so they no charge them.
Rodney S: But we still no have, laugh.
Gregory L: I also think that one of the problem it that now you have more than one team coming from Bluefields, and he was only doing it for you, and I guess the other teams didnít think that was fear.
Rodney S: But they donít pay either. No Bluefields team pay. No Bluefields team pay their fee because the struggle we got to go through to reach up here is very very hard. We do not have any help from the government again. They draw their backs to us. We do not get help. We have to struggle ourselves. Beg our families and relatives for help.
Araia S: Has any of the girls ever refuse to bring any of the liquor and if they have is there any repercussion against them?
Rodney S: We never have any problems. I explain to them from in Bluefields. Itís not all of them bring, maybe the most I bring is one case. I never have any problem with them before.
Austin L: Does Bluefields have two separate softball leagues?
Rodney S: We only have one official softball league in Bluefields. We have one federation recognized by Managua federation.
Austin L: And when you guys travel, you always make a selection, right?
Rodney S: I never travel without making a selection. We are national champion in Nicaragua.
Steve H: Is there another league unofficial or official, is there another league that you know about?
Rodney S: No. I know I have one official softball league in Bluefields which Iím the president and thatís the only league I know which represents Nicaragua and Bluefields. I have two girls from Pearl Lagoon, one from Karawala, one from Tabapauni, two from Corn Island to go to the nationals. I never go just Bluefields people yet. And Blood is from Tasbapauni and she come out champion batter and home runner. Blackie, she from Bluefields, she hit the most hits. Bertha Robleto come out the best effectivity; Lydia Taylor come out champion pitcher but she is pregnant, she couldnít come.
Austin L: Lillian Francis, does she play in that same league?
Rodney S: She started to play. She had a team in my league, but she never did pay the $100 inscription and she play the whole league, and the following year, instead come to my league again, she went and she form a slow pitch league. We always get all the expenses and she was supposed to pay me $100 and she played the whole league and never did pay me. Up to today, she still donít pay me yet and that in the record there. She had a team name Tropical Storm. And in order to not pay me; she start playing by her self but she is not recognize to go on no national.
Steve H: Back home you guys play fast pitch?
Rodney S: We play fast pitch back home. When we go national, we only play fast pitch and these girls them good in national; they can play national.
Gregory L: Mr. Solomon, can you tell us where all this controversy started and why? If you have any ideas as to why it is so many controversies about this traveling back and forth from Bluefields to the US to participate in this tournament which bring us together as a family. Where did all of this started and why?
Rodney S: This started like I said in 1997 when Eustace Wilcher beg Rene Brooks an invitation, and thatís where it started because they been going to the embassy before me all the time. I never go embassy before no team. Iím the last one to go. They go ahead of me, and they always bounce them and when I go, they donít bounce me. So they go ahead and say they got invitation just like me. But it started 1997 and it continue on, and I relax. I never write the embassy yet. I donít have any reason to write the embassy. I read everything in West Palm Beach when I saw Bluefieldspulse.com. I said, well, if the tri-state tournament want to run me. I donít mine. I can come Miami every year if I want.
Gregory L: So you think is something Wilcher or whoever giving these information. Is something they have against you?
Rodney S: Yes, I would say that.
Gregory L: Is personal?
Rodney S: I would say that because we donít have no problem otherwise.
Araia S: We have heard all kind of rumors. One is that you went to the embassy with turtle fin with intention to bribe.
Rodney S: Why should I do that? The embassy donít want no turtle fin (laugh!)
Gregory L: One of the information that was given to us is that you went up to the embassy with a forge letter from the assistant of the governor back then stating the fact that you were the official team and that there was nobody else.
Rodney S: I never in my life went to the embassy with no letter. I never write a letter against nobody up to today.
Gregory L: What happen that year in the embassy. That year it was in West Palm Beach. Corn Island and the other team got their visas late in the evening, so by the time they arrived, the tournament was almost over. What happened there at the embassy?
Rodney S: I donít know because I did not go with them. They went ahead off me, right. I do not know because I was not there.
Gregory L: Is it true that the governor had to get involved in whatever situation was going on there?
Rodney S: Not with me. I never did see him. I solved the problem, me Rodney Solomon. Their problem is that they went before, and they were denied. When I went to the embassy the morning to present my letter; the guy said to me ďoh, you are Mr. Solomon,Ē I said, ďYes sir.Ē He said ok see the list here. Check if you see your name on this list. Iím going to tell you something right now. When I check the list, my name is not on the list or none of my girls them. He said, ďSolomon.Ē They spoke to me personally. ďSince itís two teams and Corn Island is three,Ē He said, ďYou are going to take 15 girls. You accept 15 girls?Ē I said, ďI accept 15 girls,Ē because I want to come up ďand the other one going take 14.Ē I said well done for me. Thatís from Managua to Bluefields. I didnít see the governor again. I went to Managua. I sent the fax. I want to be there such a day. When I went there the morning with my girls them there was a list. The vice-consul said, ďMr. Solomon see if your name is here.Ē From I scan it, I see Gina Gadea and this and that. I said, ďMy name is not here sir.Ē He said, ďSomething is wrong.Ē He went in his office, and he called Bluefields. Randolph was in Managua, and they never answer the phone. He said to me, ďOk Mr. Solomon, pass your passport them. The other group supposed to be here at two oíclock this afternoon. You go and come back two oíclock.Ē Puerto Cabezas team was there with me, we went off and came back at two oíclock. Corn Island was along with Lillian team. I never did see the other girls them. All I see was Port team and Bluefields team. When we went in the embassy two oíclock the afternoon, we went inside. Port team on one side and my team on the other side. The vice-consul called me and start talk to me, then he called Port team. I tried to explain to him that Port have their governor and we have our governor. I show him the map. I said itís north and south. I talk and talk and he said ok. When we look a young man come in with a package. He went straight to the window and delivered it to the vice-consul. He opened it and the man called me. He said, ďSolomon, please come here.Ē I get up. I went to him. He said, ďHere is the list of the other team, please see if your name is here because your name has to be on this list.Ē I said, ďThe same list you showed me this morning.Ē Lillian stayed outside in the car, and she send Brenes son inside. We inside. She was supposed to go inside and facing the situation. I was inside with my girls them and Puerto Cabezas team inside with them. She stay in the car and sit down outside. I said, ďSir, Iím sorry but my name is not here.Ē He said, ďSomething is going on out the way, Solomon.Ē So I said, ďIt serves me sir, I do not know.Ē They made the list by Randolphís office and didnít include my name in it, nor my team in it.
Gregory L: So if anybody had an illegitimate letter it would have been the other team but not you?
Rodney S: Not me because I never write a letter against nobody, up to today. I donít have no necessity to do so because I feel Iím a free man. And why should I try to hurt somebody else. I cannot stop the embassy from giving no one visa. If you go by the embassy everyday you, see hundreds of Spaniards, and they walkout with their heads bend down. They never turn me down yet. Anytime I go there, I get my visa. But why should I write against anybody? I got my letter from January of this year. You know when I gone embassy? August the 27. Everybody gone before me. Look, Mireya invite me to a tournament in May. They say it was me gone embassy. I didnít go embassy! I went in January with my wife and my daughter, and they got their visa and went to NY, had a good time and came back down. I donít have to go embassy because I donít need a visa. I go when I need to bring the team. Iím responsible for them. Lillian went up in May, and they had big scandal in the embassy. There was security on some of them. This McElroy guy, security took him out the embassy. And I didnít know that, but they tell me. They took them out the embassy in May because they start to stamp their passport and they walk out. One girl was to come with we, Chester Coulsonís wife. Every year he give me the uniform. What they said to me, ďMr. Solomon, XXXX canít go because she has a problem with the embassy.Ē So I said, ďWhat kind of problem.Ē She was in there, and she walked out when they had the problem and never did interview. I didnít know these things took place until when it happened that day. But me Rodney Solomon never been to the embassy before and they turn me down yet. And I never write no letter. I donít have any right to do that. What can I tell the embassy to do?
Gregory L: Thatís the same question all of us ask ourselves because there is no way, me personally, think that the embassy would listen to a letter from you unless you work for the CIA. And thatís a different story. You donít work for the CIA, right?
Rodney S: No, Iím barely scrambling little accounting system making bout $400 a month in Bluefields. I just barely scrambling working my restaurant day and night, stick with my wife and do my little accounting system.
Steve H: Is the restaurant still active?
Rodney S: Incognita! Only God going close that down boy. That good.
Steve H: Is there a male league in Bluefields.
Rodney S: I handle the male league. Iím in charge of the federation.
Steve H: This team that come up. Are they part of the federation?
Rodney S: No way sir. They donít want to take part in nothing. I had a tournament in May. Panama, Costa Rica, they came up to play to Nicaragua. I had a tournament. I invited Geary them to play. They said they donít have money to waste. I invited them to take part in the league because right now we going national the 27 of September. I going with the boy team. They do not play in the league. That boy team what there; they go by invitation. They say the invitation is theirs; they do not participate in no league in Bluefields, no kind of way.
Gregory L: So, the invitation letter for the male team should be address to you also?
Rodney S: I do not say that, I do not wish for that.
Gregory L: Who would be the proper person in Bluefields for that letter to be address to so that we could have legitimate players coming up. Is not because of friendship because this is wrong?
Rodney S: For me it is wrong, but I cannot stop it because it goes by invitation. According to those guys, Moya and Geary itís by invitation. They only pickup players to come here, and they have mostly baseball players. They do not have softball players most of them. But like I say, it goes by invitation. They get their invitation, and I get mine and I work with my girls them. I cannot say who to send it to. I cannot say because I donít want to get into any more problems. In Bluefields league, Iím in charge of the boys and girls, fast pitch. Slow pitch if they want to play that is their good luck. I would give them the aval. Let me tell you something. In May, they had a tournament in Managua. Slow pitch, chimbo ahi con todo. The invitation came to me, and I addressed it to Lillian. For she to go Managua, I had to give the letter of aval. She didnít go to my house for nothing to get the letter. I meet with the federation, and we made the letter and she send a little boy to pick it up. And I give her 25 carnets, and she didnít go play nothing in Managua. Now they sorry she went to Managua because she canít go back anymore to no national because she is banned. She went Managua to talk bad about the softball league in Bluefields. We only going go fast pitch for the women and the men. I do not business with no slow pitch. Only out here I play slow pitch. In Bluefields league, we have six teams, and we get good players. Who want to say it, say it. If Mark want to say it but we have a good league in Bluefields. I play up to 87 games in a league.
Gregory L: Do you have any intention for future travel to say scour the rest of the South such as Pearl Lagoon, Tasbapauni, etc. to make an overall selection to represent the Coast to participate in the tri-state tournament?
Rodney S: You see the tri-state tournament they invite Corn Island, Puerto Cabezas, Bluefields. I always take out from Pearl Lagoon, Tasbapauni, Karawala to the national. I always bring people that play in my league.
Gregory L: What about to the tri-state. Do you have any intention of implementing that anytime because for instance the letter go to Corn Island, Puerto Cabezas and you. But what about the other communities up there?
Rodney S: You see what the embassy has said to us is that they respect one team from Bluefields because Bluefields is to small to have two and three teams. But I try to explain that Pearl Lagoon is a region by themselves but they say well they respect Bluefields, the accept Corn Island and Puerto Cabezas. They told me that personally. And I transmit and tell them the embassy respect one male, one female team from Port, one from Corn Island, one from Bluefields.
Gregory L: Do you again have any intention of including at least say three or four girl from the communities up there to be on your team?
Rodney S: I have. I always do that. I have Tasbapauni, Pearl Lagoon, Karawala; they always come with me. Right now, I have the best players. Blood is from Tabapauni. Catalina couldnít come nor Melisa because they couldnít come up with the $400.
Steve H: Sheís from Tasbapauni, but she plays in Bluefields?
Rodney S: Yes!
Steve H: Well she not from Tasbapauni.
Rodney S: She from Tasbapauni because she play against us in May.
Steve H: No, no, no. What Iím trying to say is that we trying to bring some people that donít even play in Bluefields and havenít got out yet. Now would this be feasible. If you donít want to answer the question right now, think about it, dream on it, sleep on it and let us know afterward. Would it be feasible that we say ok the next tri-state tournament which is not going name tri-state no more, it is going be in Miami. We going send a letter of invitation to Pearl Lagoon and the little areas. Is it Karawala, Brown Bank, Orinoco. They make one team. Pearl Lagoon, Halover, Cukra, they make one team. Bluefields not going be invited.
Rodney S: No problem!
Steve H: We just trying to see where can we go to give these people a chance to get out. But Bluefields no coming to this one. The next one Bluefields coming.
Rodney S: For me, if you all do that I have nothing to say.
Austin L: Do they have softball leagues up in the communities?
Rodney S: They do have a tournament but not a federation. Because we send Pearl Lagoon to a national one time, and they went to Managua and didnít win a game. We send Corn Island to a national, they didnít win a game. Then I said to them, Bluefields going now. I had two pitchers from Corn Island with me when I went this year, and they win. I had Tasbapauni, Pearl Lagoon, Karawala girls. I always invite them to come down Bluefields, and we have short tournaments. I make a selection. I do not have no special team. I play and take out a selection. I never have one team.
Gregory L: The same concept you used toward the tri-state. You have a mini tournament and you pick out the best players and you bring them?
Rodney S: I do invite them. I invite them to come down. I write a letter telling them, ďIím inviting you to come to Bluefields to take part in so, so, so, so.Ē If they say well they canít. I canít help them, but I always call them. For example, I hear Bones is trying to invite Tasbapauni next year. I donít know. For me, if they can come as a team ok. I glad Corn Island come now again. They been trying a long time fromí93, í94. Now, they come as a team.
Gregory L: Any other questions? Well Mr. Solomon on behalf of Bluefieldspulse we hoped that, we wish that you had approach us earlier to defend yourself against the accusations that was sent in to us. We only published what kind of news we gathered. I wish you had come earlier or complained earlier about the article to us, so that we can rectify and defend and tell us your side of the story so we can have two sides of the story because what we have here right now, of course, we cannot reveal the sources. What we have is what was given to us when the tournament was in West Palm Beach.
Rodney S: Yes, I know the sources them. I knew exactly from Bluefieldspulse came out who and who did it. I am not the guy to go fighting round the place. Iím not the guy because Iím looking to make love. Iím looking to add on. I have 60 years, but I still make love what happen to you (laughter). I donít make war, I donít make war.
Gregory L: Mark, I just have a few questions for you, right! This again is going to be published on Bluefieldspulse. Could you give me an explanation as to why Mr. Solomon was banned from playing from the Old Bank ballpark?
Mark N: Mark Narcisso here. Two years ago, we formed a youth group in Old Bank called Old Bank Youth Movement. The purpose of the group is to look for the welfare of the neighborhood, develop, clean in every sense. Mr. Solomon has always been the president of the softball league in Bluefields. He always played on Old Bank field. After we form the group, we took charge of the field. The field was in bad condition. We went around as a group, and we beg for help. We raised funds in whichever way we can going around begging people to do some repair on the field because the field was in bad condition. So we decided that because we is who looking to build the field, put back up the field to what it used to look like, then whoever going to be benefited off the field have to be the people of Old Bank and the Old Bank neighborhood. We have no problem with Mr. Solomon playing on the field as long as he can abide by the rules by the Old Bank commission. Which means that we would not allow anyone to go up there and sell nothing on the field or if you going to used the field you have to come under agreement as to maintenance. We have no problem with Mr. Solomon as long as he can come under the terms.
Rodney S: They never gave me a chance to have any discussion. I received a letter inviting me to a meeting, right! I stayed home good. I went to the meeting but there wasnít any dialogue. There were accusations directly. You canít use the field, and it done! They didnít say letís sit down and discuss the future of the field which I claimed that if you all called me and tell me I canít used the field, I think I have a right to discuss with you all and see what we can do toward the future. They never gave me a chance. They tell me directly no more, no more. So I said Iím sorry I didnít come Old Bank to fight nobody. I came up to talk with you all as humans as we are, but they never did give me a chance. I was mad. I went home. I said ok. and that same year Bluefields team came out national champion. We played somewhere else, and Bluefields team whip everybody from the Pacific just through that. And up to yet, the Old Bank field is there. Nobody is using the field; itís there abandon. The children them canít use it, and I canít use it. But then if I going have a softball league, I make this league. I canít sell a juice, a fresco, a beer, only them going sell it. I would be working for them. I organize the league. I go selection every year.
Gregory L: So then it was your choice then not to play on the field based on their bylaws?
Rodney S: They never did give me an opportunity or we never discuss anything. They just tell me you canít play here, and it done.
Gregory L: Mark, was Mr. Solomon aware of the bylaws?
Mark N: Gregory, after that happened, me personally told Mr. Solomon that we would always accept his invitation to used the field, and we would go over it. He sent me a letter asking to used the field. I replied sending him back a letter with the bylaws of what we would go under, and he never responded. So he canít say just because itís Rodney we didnít want him to get the field. He never got back and said ok we agree with this and that, not a problem.
Rodney S: But I never had no choice. I canít do no selling. They going do all the selling. I only can play, then why should I reply to that.
Gregory L: Did you have any intention from whatever you make from the sale to give a part to the Old Bank commission for the maintenance of the field?
Rodney S: When they invited me to the meeting, I expected to sit down and have a dialogue and look toward the future of the field, but I didnít have no choice; they never give me any choice. So Iím doing this tournament for what. I canít get nothing out of it.
Steve H: Rodney, the problem that we have home is that we believe that we know everybody. We believe that we can address everybody by first name and then sometimes we forget about professionalism. Is like what you say, the man send you a letter. In a sense as you say as you read the letter they telling you, you canít play. Just respond to him and say look no, thank you but I cannot accept these terms and conditions that you imply in this letter, but thanks anyway for responding to me, papapapapapa!!
Rodney S: I figure we going sit down and have chat, talk toward the future of the field, but it wasnít so. They directly told me get off the field. They never give me a chance to talk to them.
Gregory L: Mr. Solomon, this interview is over but I still have a few more questions. In your league, is it by barrio or is it by team?
Rodney S: Anybody want to make a team, they are welcome to do so. It goes over the radio that anybody that have any interest in putting a woman softball team in the league, there will be a meeting at such a place at such a time and if they have certain individual we have to send the letter to, we do so.
Gregory L: Ok, donít you think, again, this is just a suggestion. Donít you think it would be more feasible to have a barrio league whereas the advantage is taken away from fulano y tal put together a team with all the best players. So what happen to the other kids say from Old Bank or Cotton Tree that can only play the slow pitch. They donít have a pitcher, but they have three good girls that pitch the ball hard from Cotton Tree, however, and fulano y tal picked them out and have their team. So therefore the young girls them that can only play the slow pitch will never have a change to participate in your league.
Rodney S: They do. We have two leagues. We started the school league thatís why we have Anasha Campbell here. She came out the best player in the junior league. I cannot put it by barrio because who want to play, play! Itís an open league, itís free. If Old Bank wants to make a team or Beholden want to make a team; they have right to take part in it. The letter says categoria libre. As long as you can make a team, you have right to play.
Gregory L: Ok, you guys have plan to bury the hatchet and try get together and work in Bluefields toward the betterment of our community?
Rodney S: I am working all the time. I never did give up. Right now Iím looking balls. I have about ten balls already.
Gregory L: Are you going to approach Mark when you get home to try and get things working smooth and work together the way we should be?
Rodney S: I did not make any problem with no one, you know. I was playing all the time. Itís not me.
Mark N: For the record, me and Mr. Rodney have no personal problem. I am only looking out for the benefit of Old Bank neighborhood.
Gregory L: We are not talking about the personal problem of an individual but Mr. Rodney with the commission for the use of the field.
Mark N: Definitely, like I said, we are always open to anybody that would like to use the field. Thatís not the problem as long as we can come under some agreement that would help put back something to the field. Mr. Rodney has been using the field for the last ten years and the field has been real deteriorated, down to zero. Who has been benefited by him using the field all these years?
Rodney S: Bluefields! Ainít I always chop. I spend up to 1000 bucks to clean the field anytime Iím going to play.
Gregory L: All right, nice talking to you guys.
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