Ron Rozewski on Carriacou.
Ron wrote to me recounting his days in Carriacou and added some interesting photos which I felt needed to be shared with you. Ron wrote:
“Sorry for the delay had to dig up the photos. Sorry for their poor quality were Polaroid shots taken back in the days when you had to coat them. They haven’t stood the test of time as well as conventional photos.
Besides the Madonnas there were also some Peace Corps folks from Canada that were doing work locally. The Madonnas had just opened a craft studio where they had some locally produced art projects.
Did you get to know some of the Islanders while you were there? Perhaps we even met at the Mermaid Tavern if you were around post 68?
I’ll send a few more photos when I find them.
(I still hold a vague hope that I might get back there some day.)
Note: The grainy color photo is a Polaroid taken from a window in Prospect House, up the road from Bogles. In the luncheon photo from right to left are, Shirley McKinstry’s profile, the head Benedictine Abbot, Mrs. Cynthia Pearce, and an unknown female who might have been with the Madonnas?
The guy with the beard is Mr. Mac, Shirley Mckinstry’s husband. The photo doesn’t do him justice. He was a wiry guy that looked like the Schweppes man. He kept a little sail boat below the house which was on Prospect Hill above Bogles. Shirley was a writer of children’s books and was originally from Australia. Mr. Mac was originally from Barbados. The two had retired to the island although I don’t know which year. As far as I know they moved to the States in the 80’s when the political situation made living on Carriacou untenable for them. Unfortunately I’ve lost touch with them and am not even totally sure that they did end up in the States.
The McKinstrys were friends with the Kents who had a lime plantation outside of Hillsborough. The Kent’s home was memorable for its extensive use of purple heart in its construction and detailing.
Their son was a pilot for some small airline. I don’t now if the “airport” has been developed since I used to go down there. It was a cow pasture and the road going through it had to be closed when a plane came in, usually a small 12 seater out of Grenada. Sometimes I would get there by boat. tight through “Kick em Jenny”.
Another of the people I remember from the Island was Captain McQuillkin who told great stories about digging the subways in New York city when he was a young man. Apparently there are quite a few Carriacouans in NYC.
The Mermaid Inn had been sold to a couple when I was there. The wife was from Cleveland also my home town so I got to know her a little bit. They had built themselves a fantastic dream house up in the hills of Carriacou. It was quite surprising and saddening to learn that the husband had killed himself. Sort of unbelievable since on the surface he seemed to have an ideal life.
Do you visit the island annually? Some of my most memorable times have been visits to Carriacou.
Well we do have some old friends in common. Last I heard they were considering moving to the States, somewhere like Wisconsin. Now that would be a dramatic change from Carriacou.
You’re welcome to use the photos as you wish, I some sorry about their quality and that’s even with some restoration on my part. I’ll have a few others for you.
Perhaps you may have an answer for me regarding a painting from the Baptist Church Carriacou. It was a ninteenth century copy of a Raphael Maddona & Child, it had been eaten though by parasites. Looked like someone blasted it with a shotgun! I brought the painting back to Philadelphia and restored it. I was just wondering if it was still hanging there and how its faring.
Attached is another Polaroid I dug up, it’s at a boat launching ceremony at Windward. The entire ship was built using only hand tools.
Folks in the photo l to r: Nadia Hernandez, David Hays, both New Yorkers, McKinstry, Rina another New Yorker, and Shirley.
Do they have electricity available in Carriacou these days? We used to use kerosene and the English version of Coleman lanterns called the Tilley lamp. They had a warmer kinder light than the harsh Coleman’s.
Thanks for the photo especially of the patio. It was really a splendid view of the bay from their back yard and was also an excellent vantage for watching sunsets or shooting stars.
I think the photo was in the early seventies, if I can find my old passport I’ll know it.”