Thursday, February 27, 2014

With the utmost respect, the Sir Viv commercial doesn't do it for me.

Here is the new Tourism commercial that has just been released to promote the island's sports tourism sector in an industry which is getting more competitive all the time according to this article in Caribbean Journal.
I kinda get what they were trying to do but I'm a 41 year old Antiguan who's never seen Sir Viv play cricket. I know about him and to me his incredible feats are accomplishments I learned about from essentially historical accounts. He's one of our greatest sportsmen for sure, but many here and across the Caribbean don't really relate and for sure hardly any potential visitors from the US have ever heard of him. The golf angle is totally weird and I feel that it's seriously time we market tourism and especially the segment many here are overly obsessed with, Sport Tourism, using younger more dynamic characters. If we are going to use a "star" to market our tourism or sport tourism, then I think we need a rethink. Antigua's America's Cup winner, Shannon Falcone or Antigua's international Kitesurfing sensation, Andre Phillip would be a thousand times more appealing showing off Antigua in my opinion. I mean, think about sailing and how many come to Antigua because of it? Imagine how much trickle down happens in this economy because of sailing. Compare that to golf or even cricket. We really need to examine these sectors carefully and do some very good market research in the future if we want to be competitive. I mean if we had direct flights from India then I would say lets push this all the way, but for now our markets are not all cricket hotspots. Our successful competitors who were cutting cane a few year ago have done the research.
It's time to think outside the box!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nick Fuller Sr, one of the first of Antigua's Tourism Investors and my grandfather.

My grandfather was a very interesting man. As kids we feared him and from the stories we heard growing up, it was probably for good reason. Anyway, a few years ago we found this online and I think I would like to republish it here just in case the website we found goes down.

Nicholas A. Fuller 1944

1944 Class Crest

Cullum No. 14392 • Mar 4, 1998 • Died in Antigua, West Indies

Interred in Antigua and Barbuda

Nicholas Anthony Fuller was born in Toledo, OH, in 1919. He attended Central Catholic and Waite High Schools in Toledo and the West Point Preparatory School at Ft. Harrison, IN. Before attending West Point, he served in several Army units.
He received an appointment to USMA from Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin of the 1st Congressional District of Montana and joined his future classmates on 4 Jul 1941.
A classmate wrote in the ’44 Howitzer: “The fantastic mind with a body to match. Consistently inconsistent, tough but great-hearted, ‘The Ace’ has been ‘gettin’ knuckles’ from The Fates for too long. With inconceivably little formal education, he proved that common sense is the real essential. His repulsive but conclusive wit and earthy sense of values go to the Air Corps. I’m making book on you, Nick.”
Unfortunately, because of poor eyesight, Nick was not commissioned with his classmates in June 1944. While his eyesight was being evaluated at Walter Reed, he sat for the Foreign Service examinations. Given a disability discharge, he joined Willys-Overland as a research engineer to await the results of the exam. While he was working on a jeep project at Aberdeen Proving Ground, a classmate introduced him to Adele “Del” Marie Wilkens.
After acceptance by the State Department and a “crash course on the basics of life in the foreign service,” he was placed in charge of the American Consulate in Antigua. Following a transfer to Columbia, Nick decided that that revolution-torn country was no place to raise a family, left the foreign service, and joined an advertising firm in New York City.
By this time, he and Adele had married, but, as he later put it, “The leisurely life in the tropics had taken it’s toll, I could not tolerate the white heat of the New York pace for the infernal commuting between Nyack and New York. Hence, I packed my carpet bag and returned to lovely Antigua. I have built a little hotel right on the beach and also own a theater.”
The little hotel, The Lord Nelson, was the first commercial lodging on Antigua. Nick operated it successfully until around 1980, when he went across the island and built “Callaloo” next to Curtain Bluff, the most expensive resort on the island. As a classmate put it, “Nick entertained his friends at Callaloo while Del operated a strictly-for-profit Lord Nelson.” Unfortunately, Lord Nelson was badly damaged in a hurricane in September 1998.
Nick became a legend in the Caribbean. He was known on every island. He and a big Pole named Stash (nobody could spell or pronounce his name, Stanislaw Vishinski), became partners in building fuel depots around the islands for yachts and other private vessels. Nick did the politicking and Stash did the construction.
Nick loved to travel, but he didn’t own a suitcase or a wallet. He carried a sport coat and an open canvas shopping bag containing changes of underwear, several bottles of Glenlivet Scotch, and a box of Cuban cigars (gifts for his hosts, he said). Close inspection would reveal a tie around a polo shirt and one pair of khaki trousers. Otherwise, he was immaculate and dignified.
He didn’t trust wallets. He carried a thick roll of $100 bills crammed into his pocket. He never had a credit card. His only card was an Antiguan driver’s license with a picture of him holding a glass of Scotch. Late in life, he finally got a social security number.
Nick was a character among characters—a star among lesser lights. And Del let him shine. There are legends about Nick’s eccentric behavior. A match for the likes of Hemingway, Nick was surprisingly well read and had a thorough knowledge of world affairs.
Nick never missed a class reunion at West Point. He was extremely proud of his classmates and the West Point tradition. His friends varied from the Mellons of Philadelphia and New York to the nearby goatherd.
Nick and Del had three handsome sons—Nick, Johnny, and Jimmy; and four beautiful daughters—Mary, Jill “Jelly Bean,” Katherine, and Elizabeth “Dee Dee.” Sadly, Mary and Dee Dee preceded him in death. Nick, Jr., became a very respected doctor in Antigua, and John became a prominent and influential lawyer.

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