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Published: January 3rd 2010
Making a living on the beach
When I go to Barbados I stay in a small hotel, well, it’s really a small apartment house, with twelve studio apartments. It's on the south coast right across the street from Rockley beach.
Like most beaches in the Caribbean, Rockley Beach is home to a number of local vendors selling snacks, souvenirs, and handicrafts. The first time I ventured onto Rockley Beach there was one kind of tattered looking guy sitting close to the parking lot making bracelets and necklaces out of beads and selling them. His hips were twisted as if he may have had polio as a child, and he walked with difficulty.
My first thought was “Good for him. He could be on welfare, or on the street begging. Instead, he’s here trying to earn an honest living making jewelry on the beach.”
That afternoon, I walked across the street for a coffee, and on my way back to my beach chair, he called out “Hey Missy! Come over here an’ talk to me.” Skittish as I can be around people, I figured it was a public beach in broad daylight, with plenty of people around. Besides, as crippled up as he was, I figured I could outrun him if necessary.
He introduced himself as David. We chatted for a few moments; he tried to sell me jewelry that I didn’t buy, and that was that.
Later that afternoon, I was walking back along the main road from the grocery store. A gold Lexus drove past and honked at me, but I didn’t pay it any attention. I figured I didn’t know anybody in Barbados, and since the windows were all heavily tinted I couldn’t see inside even if I wanted.
The next day I go to the beach and David calls me over. “Hey, Missy! I beep at you yesterday, an’ you pay me no mind an’ keep walking.” I look over his shoulder, and, sure enough, the gold Lexus is there in the handicapped parking spot.
Turns out that David owns one of the better restaurants down in Saint Lawrence Gap (a popular tourist area) as well as a new guest house (to replace the guest house he tore down.) His wife, Darla Trotman, is a well-known artist in her own right.
But David likes to talk to people, and he likes the beach, and if he can make a dollar or two selling jewelry, well so much the better.
A couple of years ago he upgraded to a BMW 735i.
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