Daily Archives: July 3, 2011

Come to Barbados “Where progress has not destroyed paradise.”

“Ray Charles and Barbados together, but not as I expected”

Dear Barbados Free Press

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There’s good and bad in almost everything. Lately you’ve been dwelling on a bad part of the internet with good cause, but today I stumbled across one of those hidden treasures on the web and I thought I’d share it with you.

I was searching for “Ray Charles” and “Barbados”, looking for some photos of the master playing at the Barbados Jazz Festival when I came across a page of the New York Magazine from September 17, 1979. It was Ray Charles and Barbados together, but not in the way I was looking for.

On the left we have an advertisement by “The Barbados Tourist Board” that makes for some interesting reading. “Just 21 miles long and a smile wide.” is how we were marketing our country thirty years ago. When I saw the ad a smile came to my face, but as another old musical friend long passed once said, “It was a sad smile, just the same.”

Can we still fulfill the promises of that advertisement? I know that we once did, but I’m less sure about where we are inviting our tourists today. Some of the smiles have faded I think. Not all, but enough to make a difference in the mood of the place.

Then my eyes went to “Ray Charles” on the same page. In 1979 he was playing Radio City Music Hall and I suppose you could have seen him for twenty dollars. Shirley Bassy, Gilda Radner, Beatlemania and Liza Minnelli were available too. New York: what a city!

That was my smile for the day and I hope you enjoyed it as I did.

You have to love the internet for the special little gifts it brings into your life if you let it. Can some “internet addictions” be positive? I think so. Like everything else in our lives it is up to us to choose what we allow into our homes and on our computer screens.

Here is a present for you for July 4th. Enjoy!

(Editor’s note: We’ve saved our friend’s present and we’ll put it up tomorrow.)

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