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You're Not From Around Here Are You?

by Tyrone Hodge

For the last three or four years I've been making the trek back home for the Summer festival.

This year however, I was unable to make the journey.

I missed the boat races, the fun times on the beach, getting some home cooked food, the folks over at English Rose and everything that that entails, but the thing I missed most of all is seeing my relatives, some of whom I haven't seen in years. It's always good to see family. I missed seeing all those places that I read about on Nori's site.

I guess you're wondering about the title of my story, well, let me explain.

I'm a native born Anguillian who went away at a very young age and stayed away for quite some time. So I decided to do something abut the situation. I realized that I didn't know anything about the island in which I was born, when I had to ask directions of how to get to Blowing Point (it's the honest truth). I'm embarrassed to admit to any of this.

In short order I decided I needed to remedy the situation. With the help of Island Car Rental, I set out map in hand. Somewhere at the western end of the island, I got lost, so I did what I always do, find the nearest gas station. I got out of the car and approached the station attendant. "Hi there, can you tell me how to get to Blanchards?" The lady eyed me with a canted head. I thought maybe she thought I was pulling her leg then I smiled as if to say really how do I find it. She smiled back and said "You're not from around here, are you?" I reluctantly told her the reader's digest version of my plight. With renewed confidence and map in hand, I took off and soon found the place.

I had read the Blanchards book and I was curious to see it. Though it was off season a skeleton crew maintained the restaurant. They were gracious enough to give me a tour of the restaurant. I saw all of the autographed photos of all the celebrities that I'd read about.

After that I decided to just drive around with reckless abandon. This reminded me of when I first went to New York. I'd never know which train to take, ergo,I kept getting lost until I finally figured it out for myself. Having come up with a plan,I must say, it was quite enlightening, whether it was getting a freshly cooked snapper with fungi and plaintains at Johnno's, driving up to Captain's Ridge to see family, swinging around Palm Grove to see Nat, having a friendly game of dominoes out in the Forest with Felix and company, stopping by the roadside to get roast corn, hanging out after hours at English Rose where you can get into really heated debates with the locals (of which I'm one) about any and everything from what's going on in the US to what's happening in our little island. I can tell you there's never a dull moment.

I really missed all of that this year. Thank you Nori for keeping me up to date with the going's on.

Tyrone Hodge.

Nori's Reply: A touching story, Tyrone. I can tell you long for Anguilla… and I understand why. I'm glad I can bring a piece of Anguilla to you when you are far away in California. I hope you make it here next year. :-) Thank you so much for sharing.

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