The Island Owner

It was year 2007. My husband and I were looking forward to a special holiday on Petit St. Vincent in the Caribbean. It was this island`s unusual atmosphere that first attracted me, the fact that the villas do not lock as there are no keys, and to ensure privacy you just need to raise a red flag outside your room to not be disturbed all day; if, on the other hand, you wanted to get a service-cocktail of your choice for example, or a pick-up by a golf buggy for a tour around the island for lazy bums, you would raise a yellow flag. The island was magical-empty beaches, hammocks around the island, boat trips , lobster dinners and breakfasts, a small sandbank called Petit St. Richardson for a Robinson Crusoe experience; but above all there was a privacy. You would only run into other guests at dinner. However, for a true celebrity experience, it was possible to have dinners in your villa. Ours was on the hill, and had breath-taking views that was inspiring me to write a film script starting with “ a rich powerful magnate was having lobster omelette on the terrace of his secluded villa with the view of the Caribbean …” . There was nothing else that we would have wanted there as we were having out of this world experience, until one day we have received an invite for cocktails at the owner`s villa. Owner and island manager Haze Richardson and his wife lived on the island, that’s all we knew from a brochure sent to us at the time of booking.
We arrived that evening expecting nothing more than a couple of cocktails and a chat with a few other guests. However, something extra ordinary happened. I wanted to know how Haze bought his island, and asked him. We ended up having a conversation that run well into the night, and feeling like best friends that have just met again after a long break. Haze was so easy to talk to, just an ordinary American man, he told us about his youth, how he had a girlfriend from Kent in England while he was in the US air force, and how he was so lucky in cards he could afford to buy a boat to travel. And as luck would have it , one day his boat was hired by a millionaire who was thinking about buying an island, and was looking for someone to turn it into a resort. Haze had no experience in building or plumbing but he said yes. That`s how the boat captain has become the island manager. He managed to build the entire resort, and turned it into something that all celebrities seek but now ordinary people can also have -secluded private holiday island at a reasonable affordable price. In the end the millionaire was so impressed he sold this island to Haze , and Haze has become the owner as well as manager . We were talking and talking, and I asked Haze to write his memoirs as his story was just as powerful as the stories of famous entrepreneurs like Richard Branson. When it was time to say good-bye I even wanted to write about my travel experience . I never did, and then, a few years later, there was an article I happened to see, mentioning that Haze Richardson died while on holiday in Costa Rica and the island was sold. He has never written the memoirs.
I will never go back to Petit St.Vincent as the creator of the exclusive secluded island won`t be there
That evening was one moment in history that will never be repeated by anyone. Ever.
And we are just two ordinary people who had an extraordinary experience that we will never forget.

J Hancock

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