Crazy Town, Crazy Island – Postscript (1) Tracing Greg

There was one little postscript to this story that personally affected me.  I was still dealing with Edsel’s untimely demise.  A few months after my return home I was trawling through my lists of contacts and I found a friend of mine who lived in Antigua, Greg.  Although a Trinidadian, he had lived in Antigua for many years and I had come across him at  a workshop when I was working in BVI.  He had invited me for a weekend in Antigua to lime and see the country.  I jumped at the chance at the time.  Antigua was a couple of hours flight from BVI (usually with only one quick stop in St Martin) and I spent several weekends over there; good to get a change of scene from my island.  This guy took me around sightseeing and we visited Nelson’s Dockyard and spent a night on Shirley Heights at the usual weekend party up there.  We got on very well – outsiders in someone else’s island  – and I found him perfect company.

Antigua was a good place for me.  When I got back to UK I started working in places like Montserrat and Anguilla.  And Antigua was the place I would pass through en route.  And it was good to meet up with Greg and even if I was only in Antigua a few hours, pop over to the Sticky Wicket pub next to the Airport and have a beer and a chat.

I’d not worked in the northern Caribbean for a few years.  I’d not seen Greg for a while.  I thought I would drop him a line, but I heard nothing back from the email addresses I had.  So I searched his name on Google.

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Nelson’s Dockyard

Crazy Town, Crazy Island – A terrible message

The second event touched me very personally.  The advent of good communications almost anywhere in the world means that I was in contact with so many friends through Facebook and the rest.  So many I do not hear from regularly but I got a message from a distant friend, Graeme,  on the island of St Kitts – only a few hundred kilometres to the east of me.  It simply said “Sorry to get in touch this way, but have you heard about Edsel?”

It’s never a good message to get, and I thought of all kind of reasons why he asked.  I said no.  I had talked with Edsel through Skype a few days before I left the UK.  He was heading to St Lucia to talk to some clients there about a sort of sat nav app he was looking at.  We were saying how we had not caught up in a while and were looking at a couple of options for new work together, as we often did.  I’d said I would follow up with him after I got back from Haiti and we were planning to meet up in Jamaica later on that year at a conference.

Graeme replied “I’m hearing that he has died.”

Of all the scenarios that had run through my mind this was the one I had dismissed as being the least likely.    Graeme himself had no confirmation but had heard something on the old familiar Caribbean grapevine.  I reached out to Eduardo who was living in St Kitts at the time.  After a couple more hours he came back and confirmed it to me.  Edsel had arrived in St Lucia OK but had suffered an almighty heart attack; he never recovered.

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Edsel in St Vincent