Guy Pantin, James 'Jimmy' Lewis & Victor Kelly
Paying Respect to Lewicito 'Cito' Velasquez
Tributes at Wake
April 11, 2006
I knew Cito for about thirty years. I played Mas with him. I used to observe how they were bending wire and I tried to learn from him. I remember the first time I tried to make a Mas, I think we were playing "Nature's Note Book" at the time. I decided I would make a dragonfly at home, not here in the Mas Camp. It was the first time I was making Mas on my own. I was living on Fifth Street and Cito was living on the Avenue. I went ahead and I made the dragonfly. When I was finished, I brought it here for him to see what it was like. We used to call Cito Wang. I said, "Wang, look my Dragon Fly here". He said, "What is that all yuh come down the road, ah helicopter?" I remember getting vex because he called my dragonfly a helicopter. He never told me why he said that.
James 'Jimmy' Lewis
I knew Cito for a very long time. When I came into the Mas here by Cito, I was a young fella and now I am an old man. From that time till now, I have known no difference in him. It was only recently Cito and I got friendlier through doing certain things for him. I used to come and help him do some of the things he couldn't do for himself. I was really happy doing those things for him and he was thankful. The last time I really saw him and spoke to him was Monday gone. I spoke with him. He was lying down because he wasn't feeling too well. He was mostly using his ventilator. I said to him, "Wang, what happen boy? Like you eh feeling good". He told me he had to get some tablets. When I told him I will go for it, he told me not to bother, Shortpants will get them when he comes because he knows what to get. Eventually I left him and I went home and cooked. Wednesday I saw a friend of mine and he told me Cito was in the hospital. I was planning to visit him on Saturday. Another friend came and told me he passed away the Friday evening. I didn't get to see him at the hospital.
Cito was a man of all seasons. He was very genuine. Whenever he could have helped you, he did. A lot of young fellas learned a lot from him about wire-bending and how to make Mas. He was a very good man.
I am the older brother of David Rudder. As a young man growing up, I have always heard the name Cito Velasquez where good Mas was concerned. I got to know him during his masquerading days. I've always enjoyed his Mas. The people who knew him very well can confirm what I am saying. A lot of the discussions here tonight are about Mas, especially with Cito. Knowing the man and the kind of Mas he produced over the years, his name has now become a household word, especially in the community here and Trinidad at large. He will be missed in the Mas. I wish all the best to Cito Velasquez.
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