‘No one is supposed to live like that’
MILK RIVER, CLARENDON: JEREMIAH WATSON has no idea of his age. Reality seems to be something that has totally escaped him as he pushes his head through the makeshift door-window from the smelly shed he calls home.
He babbles incoherently while his two friends, Verona Douglas and Debby Donaldson, who also live in the community of Rest in Milk River, Clarendon, talk good-naturedly with him.
“He has been living in this community for the longest time and he has always been like this,” said Douglas, who said that Watson is reportedly a relative of “a famous singer in England who died recently ... .
“Yes, Millie Small!” she recalls. Commenting on the smelly room, Donaldson said he receives a regular change of clothing, but he often just dumps the dirty ones inside rather than washing them or throwing them out.
According to Douglas, she has never seen any family visiting Watson, and the community has been taking on the responsibility of ensuring that he gets meals and clothing. Now, the two friends said, the community’s primary goal is to secure a better dwelling for Watson.
“One day when the rain was falling really hard, I saw him lifting the mattress to put over his head. No one is supposed to live like that,” said Douglas.
Donaldson, while acknowledging that Watson is “not in his right mind”, agreed, adding that he, too, has a place in society and needs to be fed, taken care of, and have a good roof over his head.
Donaldson ruled out the May Pen Infirmary as a solution as he said that Watson “thinks he has a home, and from time to time, he will want to return”. She also believes that it would break his heart to leave the only place he has known for years.
It is for that reason, that she, along with other residents of Rest, are trying to erect a structure for Watson to live in.
“We would like help from Food For
The Poor to assist us, and when we are finished, to ensure he has a bed,” said Donaldson.
“He is not mad,” a passionate Douglas said. “Something slip, but people send him out on errands, and he does them. He cuts the yard, and they give him a stipend.”
“He might not be able to have a proper conversation, but you talk to him and he makes you laugh, and if somebody can make me laugh, I am gonna keep talking to him,” Donaldson added.
Jeremiah Watson emerging from his shack, which residents of Milk River are seeking help to replace in order to improve the senior citizen’s living conditions.
Jeremiah Watson, reputedly a relative of late Jamaican songbird Millie Small, inside his one-room shack in Rest, Milk River, Clarendon, on Wednesday.