THE EDITOR, Sir:
Jamaican music, cuisine, coffee, beer and rum drinks - there is much that has proudly represented 'Jamaica' culture here in Southwest Florida, as it also has in so many parts of the US, Canada, and England, as well as in other countries around the world.
The truth is, I am homesick for a place that was - a country that 'used to be, but is no more'. A place where you could walk alone at night in Kingston without fear; a place where every woman and man was every child's parent; a place where teachers were held higher in regard than the biggest 'big man' and politician; and where the beauty of the landscape, rivers, and mountains was revered, respected. They were then unscarred, unspoiled, and unblemished by the careless, selfish works of greed and exploitation.
From time to time these days, I go to a little place on Pondella Road in North Fort Myers called 'Jamaican Sunrise'. It calls itself a "Jamaican Take Out Restaurant/ Grocery". It is an old, remodeled convenience store on an almost forgotten street in an ageing suburb. There, I chat with the employees and bemoan the loss of our "once was" Jamaica, a place where "walk good" meant much more than "goodbye". It was hope, promise, and a blessing.
Thinking of her today, my heart is breaking and, like so many others, I long for what once was Jamaica.