The View
from Here:
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barthélemy film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
    August '02
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    KEEP ON SMILIN' . . .
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    There have been a lot of meetings in town lately. One of them was called by the local Lion's Club, a well-intentioned group ready to launch a new campaign to get everybody to start smiling a little more around here. The idea is that people aren't always too civil towards one another any more. They are driving too fast and there is beginning to be what city dwellers know as road rage. So plans are afoot to design a new logo featuring the island's perpetual mascot, the pelican. In fact, there will be two smiling pelicans. They will appear on posters designed by children (to get them to start smiling at a young age), public service announcements, and bumper stickers. I guess the thinking is that if you get stuck behind a car with two smiling pelicans on the back bumper you can't help but smile yourself. Actually the Lion's Club intentions are good, very good. I think they actually just want people to mellow out a little, which is why a lot of us came here in the first place.
    Another meeting was held at the new town hall last week. On this occasion the mayor lent an ear to the young people of the island who are concerned about their future activities and employment opportunities. But it seems to me like the kids around here have come up with some original ideas of their own. At this year's Gustavia Day festivities, for example, there will be the first organized competition to see whose car has the loudest stereo system or the wickedest paint job, (at least there's no place on the island for drag racing). But with the Lion's new campaign for a smiling island (which I quickly dubbed the Isle of Smiles), and the Mayor's new initiatives to keep kids off the streets, and on the volleyball courts or the beach, the island should continue to roll along as peacefully as it always has.
    Things have been pretty peaceful around my house, that's for sure, until the other morning when we looked out and saw one of the cats in crouching tiger position, eyeing a large white duck with a bright red beak. The duck seemed rather unconcerned by it all as it flitted on and off of a low stone wall in front of the house. After being amused by its presence for a while and fetching it a bit of bread and water, my husband decided to escort it home to the neighbor's house. So he walked it down the driveway toward the street, at which point it flew off toward the salt ponds and the beach (could this be a salt-water duck). But it soon turned around and walked obediently next to Rosemond, who stopped traffic to make sure the duck got home safely. Now that's a scene that would give those smiling pelicans something to grin about.
    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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