1974 … SPANISH WELLS and ABACO
In 1974 we were living in upstate New York and it seemed like the winter would never end. A friend in the Travel business recommended a trip to Spanish Wells, a small “out-island” in the Bahamas. He said it was remote and with few amenities, but it was within our budget and would be the perfect place to “veg” for a week and soak up the sun.
We agreed. A week later we flew in to Eleuthra and it was a short boat ride from there to Spanish Wells. We found ourselves in a picturesque fishing village. The people were very friendly and the island was so small that we were able to see it all on the first day.
It just happened that the fishermen were on shore that week so the local “watering hole” was really hopping when we made our appearance. They were thrilled to have a new set of ears to listen to their folklore. We also met the only other visitor to the island. He was a man in his 40’s, dressed in typical beach garb and he seemed to be a regular since everyone knew him.
We found that we had a mutual interest in cards and we spent the night playing penny-ante poker. The next day was more of the same except that Dick was starting to have a very hard time breathing. (He was an asthmatic as well as a diabetic.) Our new friend became quite concerned for him since there were no phones, no doctors and no way to get medications quickly. He told us that he had a good friend, a Scottish doctor, who worked on the Island of Abaco in the resort “Treasure Key”. He said he would make all the arrangements and that we could transfer our next 5 days in Spanish Wells to the resort in Abaco.
He was as good as his word and we soon found ourselves on a small plane leaving Eleuthra. There were 3 other couples on the plane and I overheard them discussing how long they had to wait to get reservations to the resort. When we landed they all rushed for the waiting bus and Dick and I started to follow. Just then a chauffeur stepped forward and, after checking our name, he ushered us into his car and whisked us off to our beach-front cabana at “Treasure Key”.
We were still in shock when Dr. Hameish Fraser arrived. He told us his friend (and ours) had contacted him and that he was at our disposal. It was such a comfort to have this friendly man welcome us and it was just in time. Dick was getting in trouble with his breathing again and the doctor put him to bed and started him on medication. It would be three days before he was able to get up and Dr Fraser visited every day.
During that time I wandered the beach and marveled at the white sand and the teal colored ocean that lapped the shore. It truly is a paradise on earth, I thought, but can we afford it? The day before we left I went to the office to settle our bill. “What bill?”, said the manager. I explained about the transfer of funds from Spanish Wells and she just smiled. It seems that our card-playing friend was a co-owner of “Treasure Key” and both he and Dr. Fraser refused payment.
I have thought of that so often over the years and marveled at their generosity. They were truly our “guardian angels”.