and Jost Van Dyke is a delightful tale about a very Colorful Caribbean Character
and his unique island paradise. Foxy is an entertainer, entrepreneur, philosopher,
community activist, world traveler, conservationist, musician, storyteller,
cultural historian, fisherman, comedian, sailor – a true West Indian Renaissance
Man of the 1990’s.
Foxy is proud of where he was born, who he is, how his family lives, and his sun-splashed cultural perspective. Can Foxy and Jost escape being crushed by the great god of ‘progress’? Can the "World’s Happiest Man" stay happy? Will Jost remain a lush tropical Eden, or become yet another paved over concrete subdivision of St. Thomas and Tortola? 114 pages.
It’s no wonder the Virgin Islands are the world’s most popular chartering destination. The weather is usually perfect, the sea calm, and the islands - like greens emeralds spewn upon a turquoise sea - are exquisite. What is amazing, however, is how many people charter in the Virgins year after year after year. When questioned, many of these repeat visitors point to the same little island and the same unique man as the reason for their return. "We came back to sail to Jost Van Dyke again, and see Foxy."
Foxy Callwood is a living legend, a real-life Caribbean myth, a wonderful waterfront wacko. He’s one of the few native West Indian gentleman whose fame has spread far afield of his small palm-fronded world. You can mention Foxy’s name in almost any port on the planet - in the sleazy sailor’s bars of the Azores, or the crowded dinghy dock of a Brazilian whorehouse - just mention the Fox, and you’ll soon be swapping sea stories about the Virgin Islands with a new friend.
Foxy is famous, and deservedly so. The question is: exactly what is Foxy famous for? For owning an island beach bar? For billing himself as the ‘laziest man in the world’? For being the world’s most laid-back stand-up comedian? For singing for his supper? For having the widest smile?
The answer is not easy. The answer is as varied as his many friends.
"Foxy is a master storyteller,” says Lenora Stannciauskas who recently visited the island of Jost aboard a 36 foot ketch from Dutch Sint Maarten. “He tells of large truths in small simple ways. Each of his tales are multi-faceted jewels, with many levels. He captivates you with his island yarns, until you’re hanging on his every word. He’s what so many performers wish to be; and so few are. He’s spell binding!"
Another visitor doesn’t even mention Foxy the Storyteller. “I love his music,” says Lawrence Best as he relaxes in the cockpit of a 52 foot blue ketch which charters out of St. Thomas. "Sure, his songs are funny and they make me laugh - but they also make me think. Foxy has a unique talent to delight and disturb at the same time. On one level, they’re just simple little tunes; on another, they’re stories of universal human folly."
Other guests on the island ignore Foxy’s singing and storytelling abilities, and concentrate on business.
"Foxy’s Beach Bar has a sand floor, a leaky roof, and not much else," says Captain Mark Rabinowitz of the popular 65 foot charter vessel ‘Endless Summer II’. In spite of that - or possibly because of it - it’s the site of many of the best parties in the Caribbean. I bring my charter guests to Jost, and a visit to Foxy’s is the highlight of many of their vacations.”
Patrick McGee, off the British racing sloop ‘Silly McGee’, has another viewpoint entirely. "Foxy is not just another ‘Turd’ World philosopher. He’s a Caribbean entertainer in the finest tradition. He doesn’t ask for respect, his mere presence demands it. He is blessed with a huge talent, and is driven to share it. He was born to make people smile!"
The island of Jost Van Dyke - whose population is barely a hundred West Indian souls - is only a few hours sail from Tortola, St. Thomas, or St. John. Yet it is a "million miles from reality". There was a clock on the island once, but it broke. There is no electricity, no post office, no phone booth, no policeman, and no gift shop. The biggest local news last year? One of the goats got pregnant…
The island is solely dependant on passing cruising and charter vessels for its income. Nowhere in the Caribbean is the waterborne traveler welcomed more wholeheartedly. Foxy sponsers numerous special events each year to lure vacationers to Jost. His annual Wooden Boat Regatta is one of the most popular events in the Virgins, and his traditional New Year’s Eve Party is a world class blow-out not to be missed. In January 1988, he’ll be having his 20th anniversery in business, and already the locals are hatching plans to make it to the party of the decade.
Copyright by Peter Farrell. All rights reserved.