Everyone knows that classic ‘Slim Man’ smile when you’re spinning around the block in Cruz Bay, looking for that miracle spot to park and chances are good the miracle spot doesn’t exist. So just pull right into Slim Man’s parking lot, he will take good care of you. We caught up with Slim to check in on how he was doing, and there he was, sprinting around the lot, like the good ole’ days, jumping into his white F-250, sliding a four-door jeep gracefully by the large tree, out to the road, off you go, “have a good night!”
“Business is getting better,” he says, being one of the only lots in town helps, but, hey, who doesn’t want to support that smile? Slim, like everyone on St. John, has been busy since the storm. He lost his limos from Slimos Limos, his house was severely damaged, and since the storm he has been busy with his ‘day job’ at the National Park.
Irma was a serious challenge for him, he says. But, ‘Irma Strong’ is a thing and residents of St. John were witness to Slim and his family’s resilience, visible through their incredible Christmas display. This annual tradition full of thousands of lights, reindeer, and Santa, lights up the entire corner as you head out of town towards Coral Bay on Centerline (Route 10). Slim tells us his sister Carmen wanted to do it. “She said we needed it this year.” While covering their bashed and broken house they assembled the happiest of things, with the help of generators and a vision, to make St. John a little brighter when it needed it the most.
In addition to lifting spirits, Slim has been lifting tree branches, committed to the hard work that comes with getting our beautiful National Park back to its former beauty. The National Park makes up approximately two-thirds of St. John’s breathtaking landscape. Through jungles and bush, over mountains, and low into the reef, the fine men and women of the National Park put the pieces back together. In the wake of the storm, several groups (public and private) whose expertise lie in the rebuild of National Parks, hustled to help. Slim and his colleagues were so grateful for these people and incredibly impressed by their hard work. And while Slim tells us there is plenty to be done, he also notes the swift rate at which we’ve gotten to where we are.
Between the creation of Slim Man’s Car Rental, a bustling parking lot, and St. John’s beloved nature reserve to put back together, we can be happy knowing that Slim’s smile will continue to greet friends from near and far for years to come.
Chelsea Baranowski is a lifelong St .John resident. She owns the popular Lime Inn restaurant in Cruz Bay with her husband Richard. The couple has two adorable young boys.