Visit to Gordon and Michael in Paradise California, and St. Lucia, West Indies from December 6th to March 14th 1995.

Getting away from the winter weather in Canada, I flew over to Paradise, where, instead of snow, there was rain, abundant rain, causing severe floods in the lower regions on the state of California.

Gordon's home on Yankee Hill was not affected. It was quite some distance from the areas which suffered from the floods. I was able to help with a lot of filing work at Gordon's clinic, and was able to bring him reasonably up to date in this respect. There was just one dance I attended at my favourite "Melody Club".

Just about a week before I was booked for St Lucia to visit Michael & Joan, I gave everyone a scare when I developed a condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia, - a very fast heart-beat. Gordon and Arna rushed me to his clinic, and gave me an E.K.G. It registered 153 beats instead of the normal 80, so he took me to the emergency department of the Feather River hospital. This was about 5.00 a.m. on January 20th 1995. There I was given another E.K.G., and the heartbeat of 153 was confirmed. I was kept there for one day and given every possible test. I.V's, more E.K.G.s, Blood test, Echo-Cardiogram, and finally a Tread-mill test. I was hooked up on my left side to a heart monitor machine, and on my right side to a blood pressure outfit, which came on automatically every half hour. Following all these tests, finishing with the Tread-mill, I was discharged after just one day. The Tread-mill test was particularly satisfactory. At no time did I have chest or other pains. I was given some medication to avoid a recurrence. In spite of all this, I decided not to cancel my trip to St. Lucia which is planned for February 1st 1995.

Following this scare, I therefore left for Michael leaving Sacramento for Miami via Minneapolis. At Miami I was met by friends of Arna where I over-nighted, and caught an American Airlines flight to San Juan in Puerto Rico, where I further transferred to an American Eagle to St. Lucia.


Michael met me at the airport and drove me to the Parrot Hotel where I spent the first night. The following morning he took me to his home on Mount "Conbaril". The road is quite rough to his house, but he will be removing to a much better locality in a couple of weeks. My impression of this island is that it is an ideal place especially for retired people. It is picturesque, beautiful, and with a delightful temperature. The people, mostly blacks, are in the majority, about 90%. But they are friendly and will go out of their way to help. The scenic possibilities are vast and I am doing my best to capture some of it on film. I have been promised some golf; but I am taking it easy and settling in gradually. M be here for about a couple of months.

Both Joan and Michael are working full-time. Joan is the music instructor at the Castries School of Music, and Michael is professor of Art and Drama at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. Both are good government jobs.

In two separate week-ends we did the beaches. The first was at the Spinnakers Beach Restaurant which is open on three sides with a clear view of the rolling Caribbean sea which is just a few yards from where we had our meal. Tropical drinks like "Mango", "Guava", and others were offered, and the meal was an attractive arrangement of local vegetables like eddies, squash, cassava, plantains etc., with locally caught fish. It was quite enjoyable. A three-piece band comprising piano, guitar, and a male singer entertained us, singing well known songs like 'Bossy Nova", and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon on the Old Oak Tree". Prices were quite reasonable.

The island is made up of numerous little bays, and at many of them one can see yachts of various countries berthed there. There was one large craft at one of these bays showing the Maple Leaf flag of Canada, which goes to show from how far distant tourists come to visit this lovely island. The new home into which Michael and Joan removed after my second week in St. Lucia was both much nicer and in a far more delightful location. The building was truly majestic and overlooked Castries. Built on a hill, it commanded a grand view of the blue Caribbean Sea and harbour. At night it was quite a sight to behold. The house was built to be hurricane-proof; and the grounds around it were loaded with shrubs and trees of many kinds. Croton of many shades and colours, tall coconut palms, banana trees, large mango trees of the Julie type, guavas, sapodillas, breadfruit and bread nut trees, grapefruit and cherries all full grown and bearing. The house being on a hill, the magnificent growth was terraced all the way almost down to the road and two or three short stone steps made it easy to go from one level to another. What a pleasure to enjoy fresh coconut-water with soft jelly, picked from your own yard!!

The main industries of St. Lucia are banana export and of course, tourism. There is a strong French influence here, and many reminders still exist in the form of old fortifications, names etc. We once visited "Pigeon Island" now linked to the mainland by a causeway, where once could see evidence of French occupation.

Michael and I had planned to visit Guyana, the land in which we were both born, but unfortunately this did not materialize as both he and I developed a type of bronchial infection just when we were planning to fly over there.

So, after a very rewarding holiday of three and a half months, I returned to Brandon, Canada to continue my life with Marsha and family on March 14th 1995. And now, on this the 21St day of April 1995, I conclude the third instalment of my memoirs hoping it will be of some use to future generations.

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