My buddy Dave and I had decided on a trip to some exotic Island Paradise. Kind of a do it yourself, looking for love in all the wrong places, vacation of a lifetime.
It was 1971, way before Trivago or Priceline and the like, so we drove to the ticket counter at United Air Lines at the Canton-Akron Airport. As it happened the clerk had pamphlets advertising a 6 day 5 night stay at the Island Beachcomber Lodge. It was the closest hotel to the St. Thomas International Airport, so naturally that is where all the stewardesses stay on their layovers. It just keeps getting better and betterer.
Round trip air fare from Miami, 6-day Hotel stay, complementary bottle of local island rum, and women flying in from all over the world daily. The package was $277.50. Sign us up!
Drove to Miami and stayed with a mutual friend of another buddy in Akron. Drove around South Beach in his 68 Malibu SS with Nantucket Sleigh Ride by Mountain blaring on his sound system, and he even drove us to the airport the next morning.
Bright, sunny, humid weather, perfect for a Caribbean getaway. We landed, got our little Toyota rental and literally drove around the corner to the motel. See picture showing airport right behind our little slice of heaven. It was before noon, too soon for the Flight attendants, so we checked in and took a safari to our cottage down the jungle. Dense palm trees, vary narrow path, secluded cottage, cant even see the beach because a dark thunderstorm cloud arrived at the same time we did. Now hunkered down in our isolated but lovely room, wondering if a local jungle bandit would barge through the door at any moment, a little wary of our predicament, until, that is we found the complimentary Rum. World travelers we were not, rum drinkers we were. The Rum settled us down, the storm passed, and we found the beach and our thatched roof breakfast bar. Island paradise.
The days passed quickly, sadly with no Stewardesses, but we did have some stories to bring home.
Out driving our island paradise we pulled into a drive up one of the mountain roads, stopped to take a picture, and a gentleman walked down the drive to see if we needed any help.
Greetings all around. "Hi, I'm Dave and this is Jeff", and then this friendly islander adds "I'm Mel". He invites us up to his porch for iced tea. His long front porch was attached to his house, the Governor’s Mansion. Yes. We. Did. Tea with the Governor, wonderfully civilized.
One night we had dinner at a French Restaurant off Creque’s Alley #3 in Charlotte Amalie. This was followed by a midnight swim in Lindbergh Bay. For those of you wondering, yes, this was 4 years before Jaws.
Lot’s of pictures, good food, good Rum even listened to Out in the Country by Three Dog Night on a mountain overlooking the ocean, under the stars, on a moonlit night and not a stewardess in sight. Drat!
We survived, the Stewardesses thrived, and memories of a lifetime remembered.
The purpose of this blog is to share important memories, to bring back all those warm, wonderful feelings, and remind us all that life is to be lived well and cherished.
I have been out of touch with friends from back in the day for far too long.
Sadly when I reached out to find Dave on Google I found he had passed years earlier. I hope he shared this memory often, and when he reads this, wherever he may be, he is smiling.
We had fun old friend.
Don't wait too long. Share your memories here and tell everybody they are remembered.
So you don't regret waiting.