The View
from Here:
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the new editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine, and when she's not organizing the St. Barth Film Festival, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
    August '05

    As I have often said, summer isn't always the busiest time of the year around here. But this summer flew by so fast I can hardly believe it. And it's been an odd one to say the least. Hot and rainy, first of all, and more humid than usual, making me wonder why I ever thought the Caribbean was the perfect place to spend the dog days of August. But then I remember the wide empty beaches and cool trade winds. But this year even the trade winds were sweating from the heat! And in the midst of a 90-degree week our car decided to not start. I had driven it into town and parked without any sign of a problem, but when I came back, nothing happened when I turned the key. Nothing! Which struck me as odd since my brother in law had the same exact problem the other night, and in a scene worthy of the Marx Brothers, my husband and his brother took the dead battery out of one car, and the good battery out of the other. They used the good battery to get the dead car started, run it down the driveway and back up again, turning around in the garage so that the car now had its nose pointing downhill in our driveway. Then they put the batteries back where they belonged and in the time-honored tradition of jump-starting a car, got the formerly dead one back to life by rolling forward and quickly shifting into gear (thanks to the manual transmission!) So I was a little surprised when two days later my car, the formerly live one, was showing signs of a premature death. But the "Marx Brothers" once again came to the rescue, lifted up the hood, and using the tried and true Saint Barth method of car repair (temporary at best) tapped pretty hard on the starter with a piece of wood (my problem was not the battery it turned out). Lo and behold, the car started! But after a few times of tapping with the wood (especially in someone else's yard at 10:00pm) we gave in and left the car at the garage. There they have a resident cat that sits on the front of a car whose hood is up, looking every bit as if he's checking out the motor (talk about a cat scan!). In the meantime we got an email invitation to a gallery opening at the To-B.Art Gallery in Gustavia. It arrived in my husband's email box, not just once, but twice, ten times, thirty times, fifty times, two thousand times perhaps. Somebody on the mailing list either had a virus or some nasty soul decided to bring down the entire email system on the island. I have spent the last 24 hours deleting these messages and they are still arriving. They are also the talk of the island. With everyone asking "did you get them?" as if you were left out of something important if you didn't. In spite of the heat we went in town to the gallery opening, which was actually very nice. I mean, after having been invited two or three thousand times, I figured the least we could do was go...

    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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