I’ve been listening to a lot of Toots recently, after his recent passing, and thinking about him. I asked Toots once what Maytals meant, and he said “you know, Maytal, like ital” (I-tal was the Iyaric word for “vital” — as in the vegan sense). All three of them, Raleigh, Jerry, and Toots, grew up in May Pen Jamaica, out in the country. So, May-tals.

Even though as the years passed Jerry, and then Raleigh both retired, but Toots, energetic, passionate, inimitable, along with the original studio band from the 60s, Jackie Jackson on bass, Paul Douglas on drums, Radcliffe “Dougie” Bryan and Hux Brown (who moved to Oakland and passed away in June this year) on guitars, stayed with him to the last, over 50 years. Together they have given us an abundant and inspirational legacy. Food for the soul.

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