From the Editor:   Your editor first came to St. Barths in 1968, and has been a permanent resident for more than twenty years. 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.
  December 2001
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  THELMA BYRE
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    In a neglected part of town, there was a small, family operated restaurant whose owners managed to squeeze a modest living from a local clientele. The food was substantial, unpretentious, and reflected the ethnic origins of the proprietors. The decor hadn't been changed in a very long time, and was of a style so out of date that the place had the feeling of a movie set.
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    One day, the restaurant was discovered by the beautiful people. They found it charming, eccentric and genuine.
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    Business boomed. After many long agonizing discussions, the owners timidly raised their prices. Business still boomed, and they boldly raised their prices again. Now they were making a lot of money, and they decided to modernize the kitchen, expand the menu, hire a more sophisticated staff, and redecorate the place.
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    When the work was done, the beautiful people didn't like the new place at all. It wasn't charming and genuine anymore; it was just like everywhere else, and gradually they stopped coming.
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    Finally the restaurant - it was called Thelma Byre - went out of business. The owners blamed their failure on the state of the economy, inflation, taxes, the fickleness of the public, unfair competition, dishonest politicians, and El Niño.
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    It never occurred to them to wonder what had brought the rich and beautiful people to their restaurant in the first place. They thought it was simply good luck.

    More to come,

    Peter O'Keefe


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