All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. – the Joker, The Killing Joke.
No – it wasn’t that bad. I was mad though. I got up Monday and everything was rubbing me the wrong way. I had to go do some field reconnaissance for this job so I hopped a ferry to St John. We needed a staging ground for the addressing project. These jobs go better if you can find electricity and Internet access and a central location. We had used a place on St John before, so I stomped up the hill to St Ursula’s church. I hurried to the back door – I had a plan and needed to get in and out. I walked into a bingo game.
Judy, the director for the multi use center came up to me “Can I help you?”
“Well – I’m with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and we were wondering if we could use your facility for this addr….”
“Yes” she responded.
“I didn’t finish….the addressing project for the Cruz…” I replied.
“Yes. Do you want some lunch?”
She smiled “We have lunches already prepared. Please leave a donation is all we ask. If that’s too much then please just eat”.
The island of St John is a bit deceptive. It’s full of vacationing people. You can walk the streets while drinking. Tourists pile out of the boats in various stages of undress. All are good looking. All are happy. There are others though – those that actually live and work and raise families here.
Judy explained that this center served the residents of St John. The grandparents. The widows. Those who need an outlet. There are at least 6000 permanent people on the island. I was seeing at least 20 of them. They serve lunches to many many more.
They provide a place for people. Even a place where people on parole can work off their community service hours if needed. Play bingo. Have devotionals. Talk. Listen to music.
I was taken to the back and shown their old computer room. We were gleefully given that plus Internet access.
One lady was gluing shells to a small star shaped board.
“Can I help?” I asked.
“No. You’ll mess it up” she responded.
The next day I had a small star shaped board waiting on me.
I walked back to her carrying my board “I don’t have time to do this – I’ve got to work….”
She looked back and said “You’ll make time during lunch. I will show you. Just don’t mess it up”.
I suppose I’ll have to glue shells to a board now. That and do complicated GIS type things on a computer.
Not bad at all.