After reading the story about the death of young Jamie in your paper, I would like to tell you what I think and what I feel about St. John.
My very first visit to your tropical paradise was just after my divorce in 1994 and I was visiting a friend in St. Thomas who took me to spend an afternoon at the beach at Trunk Bay. I was in love!
Not only with the wonderful feeling of being in the USVI and St. Thomas, but especially with the wonder of St. John. At that time I was truly spellbound. It was, to me, the perfect paradise. Even though I was only 25 at the time and life for me was wide open, I had finally found a place — a brand new beginning, I had found my dream.
Now many years later and after having had so many dreams of being in the “island state of mind,” my husband and I bought two weeks of a timeshare for our annual vacation at the Westin in 2002 and looked forward to many glorious years of being on “island time” together.
The first year, we were still in the honeymoon period with the island and could find no faults whatsoever with the beauty and rhythm of the island. Then we bought even more weeks so that we could soak up the island flavor and just “breathe” so we could come back to reality and make a living. The thought of returning to St. John every year is what gave us hope and kept us moving forward on the mainland.
However, after owning our timeshare over the course of several years we became aware of not only just how fast the population was growing but the growing hatred of the locals toward us — the interlopers, the tourists, the “crackers.” Eventually, St. John became a chore for us.
Who in their right mind would spend not only the money it takes to enjoy a five-star island, but valuable time as well to be treated with the disrespect or apathy that we had been subjected to on St. John for several years by the locals? Not us, that’s for damn sure. Although we couldn’t sell our timeshares at the Westin, we have been able to rent them successfully every year.
So, what did we do? We went to St. Croix and bought a beautiful condo on the beach where not only do the locals love us, they actually want us there!
Take that St. John! Boo-hoo, land rich cash poor is what we hear from the natives of St. John, but how many of us have a home paid for by a maid that works during “season only” that is worth upwards of a million dollars! I say sell it and go live the good life on St. Croix.