Funeral Procession

2/5/95 – Massive Dread’s funeral procession goes down Collie Smith Drive, the car carrying him to his final resting place is barely visible through the crowd of people. The funeral was very somber as an eerie breeze blew the dust from the dirty streets. The music of Bob Marley and Ras Michael  played loudly through big sound system speakers, nyabinghi drummers drumming and chanting and nuff, nuff police. I counted about 15 police cars as well as several unmarked cars, policemen watched with binoculars and were even taking pictures from a van with tinted windows. I had heard someone joke that you would think it was a police funeral. The crowd was pretty big, several hundred people. I was standing there talking to my friend Ziggy when this woman in her late 60’s comes up to me, takes my hand and says “so glad you could make it, thank you”, it was Massive’s mother. I had been invited to come because of all the work I had done there. The ceremony was not that long, they had two, one Christian and one Rastafarian. After the ceremony they drove around the streets of Trench town one last with Massive Dread. More Bob Marley and nyabinghi music played as they drove down past Boys town school on Collie Smith Drive (where this photo is) It was now around four o’clock and Ziggy said I should think about leaving some time, he said the Tivoli men said they were going to “shoot up di place” if they tried to bury him in May Penn cemetery, where he rest today. That’s why the heavy police presence also I heard they did not want any gun salutes either. I hung out a little while longer till dark and  had to head up the Bob Marley museum where they were getting ready for the sunrise service in honor of his 5oth birthday the following morning. Later that night I went to check out the Trench town benefit show at Club Mirage in New Kingston.

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