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!
10 thoughts on “Local Livin- Revisited”
Happy New Year! This recap was terrific. I love that you are focusing on local people and their stories. They are truly the people that make Love City what it is.
Keep the stories coming!
Can’t wait to hear about more the amazing people of St. John
I love the Local Livin articles Hillary. Thank you!
I’m really looking forward to this! I’ve much enjoyed your past articles of the residents!
Looking forward to the next series and being able to utilize some of it in May when we are (hopefully) returning for a very long awaited vacation – hope to see you soon.
Thank you for sharing a deeper knowledge of the wonderful people that are the core fabric of St. John. I look forward to more profiles and interviews. Quick note: the word “revisited” is misspelled in your headline.
Love the series on the history of St John. Having found respite and peace on this beautiful little island for nearly twenty years, I know how deeply its roots affect the culture of it’s many life long residents. If visitors really took the time to pursue the heritage, they would find fascinating stories from the past.
Nice job on your series. Looking forward to the next one!
Please keep this series going. Although tourist and business opportunities are the life blood of the island, it is the PEOPLE who are the flesh and bone of St. John. In nearly 40 years of visiting STJ it has always been the local people who have made my time there so enjoyable. Knowing more about local life is far more interesting (to me) than the latest bar that has opened up.
People like Doreen Callwood are what make STJ so special.
Keep up the good work.
I really enjoyed this Miss Hillary.
I have seen Ital’s presentation and he is the heart and soul of STJ.
Keep writing, the journalism major lives deep within you.