Hello Everyone

07 Dec

   Dear fellow Errol enthusiasts, I want to say I'm honored to be one of your authors. I have traveled to Jamaica off and on since 1978 and like Errol, My favorite place is the stunningly beautiful Port Antonio area. In my two dozen or so trips, I have accumulated a fair amount of knowledge and insight on both Errol and the area by way of first hand experience and interviews with surviving friends and acquaintances of Errol. On my last trip, I was fortunate enough to attend Errol's 100th centennial, and have a good long chat with Patrice Wymore Flynn. I was at once struck by her approachability and charm. I must say that her mind is sharp as a tack and seemingly untouched by her 83 years.

    I was introduced to Patrice by Robert Golding, the son of Jamaica's Prime Minister and a close friend of Patrice. The conversation at the table started on the subject of whether or no Errol had ever built a house on Navy Island. Pat said that as long as she and Errol owned the property, there was only a caretaker's shack that was crudely knocked together. I asked about the probability of commercial development on Navy Island, and she replied that due to a large depression in the middle of the Island, she was advised that developers would have a difficult time building a large structure there. We also talked about the ZACA, which was lovingly restored and currently resides in the Monaco marina basin. “Damn, Errol loved that boat and we would get into some of the worst fights over it” she said. “Every time the shipwrights wanted to replace a board, Errol wanted to double the size of it for 'safety's sake', as he put it”. I had a number of old enlarged photos of her and Errol, and one was of her, Errol and Sean. In that photo she had glasses on and Robert remarked about it. “I was born with glasses on”. she laughed.

   The party itself was a virtual “Who's Who” of the Jamaican upper crust with a majority of guests driving over from Kingston, but the local regulars were in attendance also. Margeurite Guarone was a feature and I estimate that there were well over 500 guests. The heads of Jamaica's Government were there in force also. In fact, I shared a table with the head of Transportation Ministry and his family. Everyone was pleasant and friendly. I also notice a large number of thinly disguised bodyguards roaming about, although there were no incidents I could see.

   After 30 minutes or so, Pat, Robert, and some other ladies took there place at their table in the front of the dance floor and Pat gave a short speech and lead the first dance. The band was fabulous and belted out those old classic songs like they invented them. When not dancing, Pat kept company at her table while enjoying a rum and coke, and a cigarette or two. I only got to dance with her once but she proved to be the better dancer, although I did not step on her feet. She was dressed in a red long sleeve blouse, black pants and high-heels. I was surprised at how tall she was. I am 6'1″ and she could almost look me in the eye when dancing. One other thing. Pat has the most beautiful, liquid blue eyes I've ever seen. Even though the lighting was very low at the party, Her eyes were the first thing I noticed about her. Errol sure knew how to pick em!

    I stayed on for about 3 hr.s and had a great time. The weather was warm and humid and I was surprised at how most of the guests, while dressed to the nines in suit and tie could dance away in never seem to break a sweat, while I, in my “tropical whites”, was trying remain un-soggy. Acclimatization will tell I guess. The next morning, I ventured down to the Marina beach again for my morning swim and as I passed the pier, nothing remained but a few wind blown scraps of paper and my memories of a once in a lifetime experience for this old Errol fan.   Jon 

— john


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  1. Anonymous

    December 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Dear readers, Sorry for the mis-spelled words, etc. I thought I had run the spell check upon it. How embarrasing! It was my first attempt however. I'll do better next time. Jon

  2. Anonymous

    December 8, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    John! Thanks for these great pictures and a wonderful narrative that makes your experiences come alive! Thanks, too, for privately explaining the origin of Errol's Titchfield Hotel – a mystery I had never solved on my own…

  3. Anonymous

    December 10, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Welcome John, to the 'EF' blog and many thanx for letting us in on the 'Port Antonio' bash…It's always
    manna from heaven to hear of the minutes of Errol's short but furious adventure …ie, conversations about 'ZACA'…so dont hold back…it's the little stories that make up the bigger picture.
    Very enjoyable reading and thanx again!
    Kind regards, Chris D

  4. Anonymous

    December 10, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Hi John;
    Your article is wonderful and we hope to hear a lot more in the near future, in particular about the Titchfield Hotel. I am sure David made us all curious with his remark “a mystery I had never solved on my own”. What mystery is there? We hope to hear it!
    Best regards,

  5. Anonymous

    December 12, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Don't worry, I've made mistakes too! You can always go back and edit your articles, even after they are published.

  6. Anonymous

    December 12, 2009 at 4:21 am

    A true once in a lifetime experience. Will you be going in 2010? Why did Patrice wait so long to do something like this–one can only wonder. She looks wonderful and it is good to see these ladies [Olivia de Havilland posted by Rory) as they are currently. Your descriptive comments make great reading, thanks Jon.