Johnny in an Air France flight headed to
Port-Au-Prince, Haïti.  Talk about rude flight
attendants!  We had a good laugh.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral, Port-Au-Prince.  The
photo at left are two photos I "stitched" together.  




From Haïti,
we
flew
to
San
Juan
and
then
to
St. Maarten
and
St. Martin
The hotel we stayed at in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, was new. It was located on Front Street with part of the
hotel across the street on the beach. We had a room overlooking the beach.   The hotel entertained the
guests one evening.  

The photo to the left shows the steelband that played for the guests.  

Johnny came down with a beautiful new shirt that he thought no one  else owned.  He thought that  a shirt
bought in Macy's, NYC would be one-of-a-kind and definitely not found in the Caribbean.  He came down
only to find the entire band wearing the same shirt!    Johnny ran back to the room and changed.    
The shirt was  never to be seen again!

To the right is the limbo dancer.    As she went lower & lower, her hair got closer & closer to the flames.  
She got so close that her hair caught on fire!  Luckily, she was not hurt.  

One of many fun stories on St. Maarten:  Johnny and I were on the beach.  An older American couple came
down, stopped and looked our way and said, "Beach boy, bring me a chair."   No response from Johnny.  
The lady then said, "Beach boy, you didn't hear me?  I said I need a chair."  We looked at each other.  I told
Johnny I knew they were not referring to me as a "beach boy".  We had to explain to the couple, in a not too
nice manner that we, too, were guests.   The real beach boys were hidden from the couple's view laughing!  
We still recall this incident and laugh!
The Front Street I got to know and liked.   Today it no longer looks like this.  
Think the "new" Times Square, with smaller buildings, and you will get
an idea.  This is a postcard, photographed by Bob Glander.
04/16/06, 05/10/20
Haiti & St. Maarten/St. Martin, 1980

Did you ever get to eat at  the West Indian Tavern?  
It was located on Front Street, Philipsburg.  It was the "in"
place at the time.  The food was great and the atmosphere
even better.  They even sold guavaberry liqueur.  
The guavaberry liqueur was not as good as the one on
St. Croix.  The model in the picture is holding a Caribbean
lobster, though it is technically known as a crayfish.  
The Maine lobster tastes different than the Caribbean lobster.  
The Caribbean lobster is larger. Can't say which I prefer.  This is
the front of a menu.  I don't know if this restaurant still exists!
Johnny, St. Maarten
Sandy Point as seen from plane.
Views from our hotel, the Ibo Lélé.  We'd get up every morning and find clouds covering the hill side (left photo)
making it hard to see the valley.  Right is a view of the valley from our hotel.
Left photo - A view from the balcony of our hotel room.  Cannot remember the hotel name but a few years later
I flew to St. Maarten and the hotel was no longer in business.  The island on the left side is Saba.  
The cruise ship could be the Britanis, which was part of the Chandris Line.  Celebrity Cruise Line now uses
the X on its smoke stacks.  At right, a beautiful St. Maarten sunset.

On January 12, 2010, a little before 5 p.m., a 7.0 earthquake hit Haïti.  Most of the homes and buildings were
destroyed, including the Palace and Cathedral.   The quake took many lives.  Help was immediately sent to the
island but due to many logistic problems (airport, roads, waterfront) the help was unable to get to the people
right away.  After shocks, as high as 6.0, were still being felt a week after the original quake!
Another view of the Palace
The Presidential Palace as seen from a taxi.
Inside the Cathedral.
The Iron Market
The structures on the hill between the palm trees are
homes, a shanty town.

I am adding this now due to the 2011 incident in Puerto Rico.  You can go to 2011 F to read that story.

This trip took Johnny and I from St. Croix (STX) to San Juan (SJU), San Juan to Haiti and then Haiti (PAP) to
San Juan, and San Juan to St. Maarten(SXM).  From St. Maarten, we flew directly to St. Croix.

When we got to SJU from Haiti, we had to go through Customs and Immigration.  We were on a line for
American Citizens.  We were third and fourth on the line.  While waiting the agents began to talk to each other
in Spanish.  I listened attentively.  The male agent (white looking Puerto Rican) apparently was training the
Black female agent.  The male agent began to tell the female agent that they needed to do a thorough review
of the Black man on line that was standing behind me.  He described me to the female agent so she knew
which Black man he was referring to.  The person in front of me placed his suitcase on the counter.  The male
agent began to search the suitcase as he explained to the female agent what he was doing.  The agent went
through everything.  The contents were no longer neatly folded.  He put everything back in the suitcase and
told the passenger to go to one of the rooms on the side.  I didn't hear the explanation given as to why the guy
had to go to the room.   I told Johnny not to say a word if things got out of hand.  When it was my turn I placed
my luggage on the counter.  In almost a whisper I asked the agent, "What Black man were you talking about?"  
His face turned red.  He asked me where had I learned Spanish.  I told him my parents were from Vieques.  
He asked me for my passport.  I gave it to him.  He then said, "But you were born in the Virgin Islands."  
I told him that I was born there and that my mother made sure I learned Spanish.  He asked me what I did for
a  living and I told him I worked for the federal government.  He gave me back my passport and told me I was
cleared to leave.  I told him he'd also have to clear the Black man that was next in line because we were together.  
He did.   I knew the agent was embarrassed.  Strangely enough, many Haitians also speak Spanish!  Though
Johnny kept asking me what had transpired I told him I'd explain it to him on the flight to St. Maarten.  I did not
want Johnny to make a scene and end up missing our flight.
 

We almost did not leave St. Maarten on the day scheduled.  The flight to St. Croix was overbooked due to a
band flying from Antigua to St. Croix for the festival.  When asked for volunteers to stay back, I told Johnny to
let me do the talking.  (I didn't need to see/hear him "perform" because I wanted to leave St. Maarten as planned.)
I told the agent I'd stay another day only if we were given a rental car and allowed to stay in the same hotel.  
The agent did not look too happy.  I reminded the agent that we were the first ones at the airport. He told me
he'd make a decision and make an announcement.  When he did, our names were called.  The other
passengers were not too happy.  I think it pays to get to the airport early or ask for things the airline will not
be able to give????!!!!!

As you can see, we had a lot of fun.  There was also an incident when I lost my American Express Travelers'
Cheques but I don't think it's a story worth repeating here.
St. Croix, December 26, 1980 - Alexander Hamilton Airport.   Johnny and I flew Prinair from St. Croix to Haiti
via San Juan and later to St. Maarten.  Left - At the time, Gloria was working with one of the airlines.
Right - View of St. Croix from plane.
The Presidential Palace, Haïti.  There was a ceremony going on.  We were stopped from taking photos by armed men.
Left - One of the streets in Port-Au-Prince.  Right - An outdoor market.

April 19, 2020 - I began cleaning out my closets a while back since I decided to rent the small room of my apartment  
to a friend.  I had to shift things around which had been stored in the closets to make space.  In so doing, I decided
to get rid of the many photo albums I had stored in the foyer closet.  Damn, I did not know I had that many photo
albums.  Before shredding the photos/postcards and souvenirs, I looked at them and decided to keep a few.
I will post what I saved and scanned on various pages.   Some photos and postcards may be posted on other
pages.  Everything posted will be as scanned without adjusting the photo for color, clarity, etc.  
What you see is what you get.  Watermark will not be added.  No kallaloo here, just simplicity.

Below are the photos/postcards/souvenirs being added.  Keep in mind, some may be duplicates.  

Enjoy!!!

Paradis Terrestre by Wilson
Bigaud.  Permanent Collection.
Le Musée d'Art de College St.
Pierre.  (c)  Photo by Lucinda
Bunnen.

Wilson Bigaud was born in
Port-au-Prince in 1932 and
won important international
prizes in his youth.  It took
him five and a half months to
complete this painting, famous
for it's marvelous effects of
luminous color and plastic
depth.  His mural in the
Episcopal cathedral is greatly
admired.
Aerial view of the "chic" Ibo-Lele  Hotel in its lush tropical setting and its
famous 100 mile view.  Port-au-Prince.(c) International Graphics
Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Northern Side view.  (Vue d'une parti nord.)
(c) Paul Couba
Below - Photo of a painting.
Right - The Roman Cathedral.
(c) Paul Couba
Le Nègre Marron
(c) Messageries de presse Franco-Haitiennes
Photo of various art objects most probably seen in a
Haitian museum.
St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
St. Martin, Antilles Françaises.
Two lands, one island
(c) Dist. by Lord & Hunter.
Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St. Maarten is the island's port of call for
visiting cruise ships.  (c) Published & distributed by M&M postcards.

The Border Monument,
indicating over 300 years of
peace (and no customs) of
half Dutch and half French.  
(c)  Dist.  by Reinier Heere.