Re: To Concerned Guana Citizens Read this if you dare!
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Posted by Tami Siewruk on June 06, 2000 at 16:38:41:
In Reply to: To Concerned Guana Citizens posted by AbacoNancy on June 05, 2000 at 21:49:13:
To the “Guana Cay Locals” :
I wasn't going to get involved in all this hoopla about Nippers, because in my experience, disputes like this one frequently work themselves out to everyone’s satisfaction. Obviously, something changed my mind about not getting involved, and it’s that the further I delved into the board’s postings, the more upset I became that the whole issue is simply being stirred, rather than positively resolved. It strikes me as ironic that in a “dialogue” (if I may call it that) where rules of behavior are at issue, the Abaco’s Message Board’s “NO dising” rule wasn’t enough to stop its inappropriate use.
My family and I began to spend time on Guana Cay a couple of years ago, over the period of which we’ve taken our three sons, aged four, five, and eight, to Nippers literally hundreds of times. We eventually fell so in love with the place that we decided to purchase land on Guana and make it a second home. Perhaps the “Guana Cay Locals” wouldn’t consider me one of them, but at heart, I am, no small thanks to Johnny Roberts and his family. Nowhere in the tirade posted here against Johnny and his family is it mentioned that without them, this island would be a very different and difficult place to live.
I have personally witnessed Johnny bending over backwards to ensure the well being and comfort of certain people on Guana Cay, from arranging power when the power was out, providing a fan to keep them cool, providing water for empty cisterns, even sending a boat to Marsh Harbor at his own expense to retrieve medication for a local neighbor whose own family didn’t care enough to go to the trouble. He gainfully employs people who would otherwise not be able to work because of physical or mental handicaps. He is quite simply a remarkably good man, in an age when remarkably good men are not easily found – even among the rest of the concerned citizenry of Guana Cay! He and his family CARE.
When I say all of these things about Johnny, I’m not separating the man from his establishment. As a result of Johnny’s moral standards, and in my own experience, Nippers is a wonderful place for children to swim in the ocean or the pool and have lunch with their parents. In all the times I have been to Nippers with my children nothing “out of control” has happened. If fact my children love it there. We recognize that as parents, it is up to us to decide what environments are appropriate for our children to experience, and that’s why we consciously do not allow our sons to go to Nippers on Sundays or after eight on weekdays when the environment changes from that of a family establishment to an adult one. I wouldn’t take my sons to a bar in the states, and I have enough sense not to take them to bars in other countries. I am, of course, not condoning the poor behavior of people who should certainly know better, but I recognize what is and isn’t within the realm of reasonable control.
I was PRESENT at Nippers on the Sunday in question, having just arrived from taking eleven children to Baker’s Bay for the day (and no, I wasn’t drinking). I personally witnessed four grown women exercise their own free will to behave abominably, and I can promise you that being in Nippers didn’t magically turn them into idiots. Had they been standing in CoCo Paradise, Floyd’s or Dolphin Beach, the result would have been the same or even worse – and while I’m on the subject, it strikes me as odd that none of these establishments have fallen under the same scrutiny that the “Guana Cay Locals” are turning on Nippers. I was there to witness the unfortunate event, but I was also there to see the Roberts family and Nippers staff step in immediately upon realizing what was happening to put a quick end to it. They did what was within their control to do and handled the situation as any of us would have.
Now, for all of you who are so concerned with the quality of life on Guana Cay, here’s a reality check. I bring my children to this Island to learn from all how wonderful life can really be. The lessons they learn here can never be learned in any environment, no matter how similar, in the states. My children are aware here that they live without the presence of police, without the confining presence of gates or fences, in a place where we don’t have to lock the doors and everyone helps each other. They learn social responsibility in contributing to the church and schools, they learn to communicate well with others in an environment where people relate to each other with friendship and compassion, and they learn that a community relies upon the positive contributions of all of its members.
Now finally, If even half of the crap spouted in that original posting were true, I would NEVER have brought my children here. I live life with my eyes wide open and a realization that I’m very fortunate to be able to afford to provide my family with such a remarkable experience. People, really, drunken idiocy won’t be the downfall of morality on Guana Cay. I’ll tell you what will – a bunch of self-righteous, ungrateful, socially irresponsible braying asses who feel it’s their duty to conduct a running commentary on the behavior of adult human beings who were stupid enough to behave badly long before they ever arrived at our beaches or bars.
I’ll leave you all with one final question. Which is worse: (1) getting drunk and behaving badly, or (2) disrespecting the righteous efforts and livelihood of a man who would do ANYTHING for a fellow member of his community – including addressing a problem with another person face to face -- before the thought would even occur to him to post a childish tantrum on an Internet message board.
In short, the next time you find yourself wrestling with a moral dilemma about the state of Johnny’s place, may I humbly suggest that you first get a grip, and then talk to Johnny.