25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE BY ANGEL NUÑEZ
Tt is twenty dollars for you come in and dance," said the man at the ticket counter at the discotheque.
"What do you mean? I am not going in to dance, just to have a drink," exclaimed the young man who wanted to go in but only had twenty dollars, which he was planning to use for his drinks.
"Sorry, but you have to pay in order to come in. It is company policy," said the doorman apologetically.
Quite an inconvenience today, right? And we do sympathize with the young man who has to pay twenty dollars to simply go in. Twenty dollars is also charged to the young ladies and women in general. There is no such thing as ladies having special privileges over the man. NOT SO TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.
Twenty five years ago there were dances held at Marino's Bar and Dance Hall still in operation as Marino's on middle street. Then there were dances at Daddy's Club still in operation as Big Daddy's. Ladies and gentlemen used to go in without paying a cent. You could sit, or stand or go to the bar and pay for your drinks only. It was until a gentleman went to the dance floor and held the girls in his arms that a certain person would come to you and request your dance fees, which was usually five dollars. LADIES WERE NEVER CHARGED A PENNY.
Mr. Ernesto Gomez Sr., I remember, used to be the person to come and charge for many years. He would come in with a flashlight in his hand, request the legal fee of five dollars and you could continue dancing. Trust me, there were some guys who had spent their money and they would be escorted out of the dance hall. And there were those who were just stubborn and refused to pay, and they too would be escorted out. And don't you ever try to play smart and claim that you had paid. There were no police officers or security guards at the dance in those days, and everyone paid his fees and everything went well.
Did we like it? Of course we did. Was it embarrassing? Not unless you were "broke" and did not have any money to pay. Was it an effective system? We all paid and the owner of the establishment made his profit. How many persons did the doorman have to keep track of? I would say between 50 to 75 couples. But the big advantage twenty five years ago was that a patron could come in and spend his money on drinks if he did not want to dance. The big question is, "Can that system work today?" What do you think? I don't so for in those days you had to deal with Sanpedranos only who were raised in that system. Today you will have to deal with so many other people who will try to beat the system or beat the doorman who has to collect