From the Editor:

    Peter O'Keefe first visited St. Barths in 1968, and has been a permanent resident since 1978. He lives with his Franco-American family on a hillside overlooking Lorient from which he gazes fascinated by the unfolding panorama of a halcyon and unique way of life.

    April 2004
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    Keeping the Golden Goose Alive
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    Everyone I meet tells me that the scene of their childhood is now less agreeable that it was when they were a kid.
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    The older they are, the more emphatic they are about it.
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    There is a temptation to remember the past as being a simpler time, a time of ethical certainties, a time when one ambled - rather than scrambled - forward towards the future.
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    For the last twenty years, much of the unique appeal that St. Barths offered to its visitors was the degree to which it resembled the lost world of their youth.
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    Things here moved slowly. Choices were few. Local life appeared to be straightforward and uncomplicated.
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    In St. Barths, however briefly, one could escape from the traffic jams, the insurance requirements, and the specter of growing crime statistics.
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    Most of all, visitors embraced a community where people had figured out how to live happily in peace, prosperity, and beauty: a community reminiscent of the past.
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    This remains true today, but the handwriting on the wall is not encouraging.
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    The treadmill of tourism is expanding exponentially, and the French government, awakened by the prosperity of the place, is sticking its nose into places previously undisturbed.
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    Can the languid spirit that has endeared St. Barths to so many be preserved?
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    Probably, but we can no longer rely upon the accident of circumstances.
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    It will have to be done deliberately.
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    And the upcoming change of political status is a golden opportunity to begin.

    More to come,
    Peter O'Keefe
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