Monday, December 25, 2017

1974 … SPANISH WELLS and ABACO


The winter of 1974 my husband and I took a trip to a small “out-island” in the Bahamas. We knew it was remote and with few amenities but it was within our budget and we agreed that it would be good for Dick who's diabetes & asthma were acerbated by the cold weather.

After a flight to Eleuthra and a short boat ride we found ourselves in a picturesque fishing village on the island of Spanish Wells. The people were very friendly and the island was so small that we were able to see it all on the first day. The fishermen were on shore that week so the local “watering hole” was really hopping and 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, casually dressed in beach garb and we could tell he was a regular and very well liked.

We found that we had a mutual interest in cards and spent the night playing penny-ante poker and trading stories. The next day was raining and we took up the card playing again. It was fun at first but then we realized that Dick was starting to have a hard time breathing. 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 at “Treasure Cay”, a resort on the Island of Abaco. 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 private plane heading to Abaco. When we landed there was a chauffeur driver waiting for us and he whisked us off to our beach-front cabana at “Treasure Cay”. 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 Cay” and both he and Dr. Fraser refused payment. Of course I wrote a heartfelt letter to him but I never got an answer. I have thought of that so often over the years and still marvel at the generosity of those two amazing men.

8 Comments:

Blogger Marie Smith said...

What a wonderful story for Christmas, Ginnie. You’ve met such wonderful people!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

I agree. This is a great Christmas story. Thanks for sharing it. I hope you've had a very merry Christmas and wish you a wonderful new year.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

Ginnie, you left a comment on my blog: "I watched a wonderful author, Walter Isaacson, describe his writing Leonardo DaVinci I could have listened to him all night. He was fascinating and his take on DaVinci was amazing. Have you read any of his books?"

I didn't know if you would check back, so here's what I answered: "No, I haven't read any books by Walter Isaacson, so I looked up his book on Leonardo DaVinci, which was published in October 2017. Maybe we can find it in our libraries. (Umm, not right now for me. I looked, and all 15 copies of the new book in our system are out right now or in transit between libraries for some patron.)"

9:29 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Another amazing Ginnie anecdote.

5:15 AM  
Blogger possum said...

WOW!
You can tell it wasn't owned by, um, he-whose-name-will-not-be-spoken here.
How fortunate for you!

I have never been to those islands, but I always found the folks on Montserrat to be wonderful and beyond generous, like your friends. They no doubt saved Dick's life!
Great story!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What a wonderful story about a truly kind couple of men. That was really a fortunate meeting. Did you ever see him again?
When I lived in Fl we went to the islands a lot in fact, my multiple great grandfather came from Green Turtle Key to Key West in 1837. He had gone to the islands from N.Carolina in hopes of growing cotton. Not to be. The islands are truly a delight. They live by the credo, eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired and play all the rest of the time.

12:29 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Wonderful.... and in spite of the daily barrage of awful headlines from Washington D.C. and wartorn countries around the world there are more kind and generous people everywhere. You met two of them on a remote island.....:)

1:57 PM  
Blogger joared said...

Delightful Christmas story. Merry Christmas!

5:30 PM  

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