It was just about eight months ago that I wrote my first post for News of St. John. In that time, I have learned so much more about our community, hunting for the stories here, the writing styles that work (and the ones that don’t!) and that a journalism major completed in the early 2000’s can still be (somewhat) effective 20 years later! When I first started this, I had a vision to capture the lives and histories of various and inspirational St. John residents in a weekly series called “Local Livin.”
As time went on, COVID and travel updates and the opening and closing of businesses and the territory took center stage. The series took a back burner for a while. But I would like to revisit and re-share the three profiles I did complete and also introduce a new spin on the Local Livin’ series! I hope that you enjoy reading, or re-reading, the following stories of Ital Delroy Anthony, Doreen Callwood and Nisha Jones.
The first interview I conducted was with Ital Delroy Anthony. A seventh generation St. Johnian, Ital offers a vast knowledge of local fauna and some introspective ideals about a lack of representation of the ancient culture of his people on St. John.
“We are from an ancient people of the past. We are in the present. And we are stepping into the future.” – Ital
Ital has been actively doing work with Friends VINP in their “Friday with Friends” seminar series. The first Friday of each month, you can sign up to take a walk on the Cinnamon Bay Loop trail with Ital and absorb some of his incredible knowledge about the island of St. John. Read the original story from my interviews with Ital as published on June 5,2020.
Later that month, we published one of my favorite stories to date. Doreen Callwood came to St. John from Jost van Dyke in 1960 and tells us her story of feeling the “love” in Love City upon her arrival here as a young and vibrant woman. A true inspiration, she successfully made her way here on St. John, eventually obtaining a coveted taxi medallion and buying her own home in which she would raise her children.
I tell my son, “Don’t give up. Just keep on pushin’.’”
She also contemplates the hands of trials and tribulations that Hurricane Irma and the Corona virus have dealt to St. Johnians. Take a moment to walk down memory lane with Doreen in the original story from June 12, 2020.
In my final Local Livin post to date, I spoke with Nisha Jones who was born and raised between St. Thomas and St. John. In our chats, this remarkable woman recalls her childhood between the two islands, her journey to higher education and her return to the island she calls home with a mission to inspire and heal mental wounds left abandoned from trauma and strife.
“There were enough good people along the way that kept me in line,” she remembers. “I had potential, but it was untapped.“
Nisha has been actively developing and promoting her Buoyant Living practice in Mongoose Junction that offers a variety of ways to heal emotional wounds and go on to thrive. Read the full re-cap of my conversation with this motivated and talented woman as published on June 26, 2020.
Beginning next week, I will be revisiting the Local Livin’ series with a slight twist. Each week, we will feature a different spot where you can SUPPORT local while you are here visiting. I will cover many stops where you can enjoy some local flavors on St. John and I’ll tell a bit of the story behind them as well….
I hope you all have enjoyed this little recap of some of my favorite pieces. There is nothing quite like sitting quietly with an incredible person and just listening to their perspectives and the stories they have to tell. I’m very excited to dive back into this and share more stories from Love City. Have a great weekend!