A long 2 weeks

13076871_1012531292173947_6991698614228400295_n05/14/2016  My sweet friend Ann and I were discussing twitisms on FB messenger and she started sending me jokes from a “Broomstick” FB page. This photo: Ride it Like You Stole it, resonated. Thank you Ann, you saved me countless hours searching for what I wanted to convey.

Ann and I were obviously meant to be friends, we seem to share the same humor, we speak on FB often. We have secrets. We make plans, cheer each either on. We drink wine together, virtually, because you see, we have never met. The power of FB. I know when we meet it will be like planets aligning. Things may even be momentarily right in the universe. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Dammit Ann, see what you did?

I’m amazed that it has been this long since my last blather blog. I haven’t been busy, have I? Maybe I have and it’s all been a giant blur.

Well, except we had sweet boy Barrio neutered on Wed. That kept me busy for a good week.

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So stoned…..

He did not do as well as his brothers and ended up with an infected incision, (probably from licking it every time I looked away). He also got a cone. He was a cone klutz. I have had many dogs wearing cones before but none at clutzy as Barrio. I don’t know if he is mentally capable of “getting even” but he did. He would ram the back of my calves and lower thighs with the damn cone. It was like jet propulsion except there were no rockets shooting up my ass. Damn. Anyhow. It hurt like a mother. He was capable of moving me along at the speed of light, I have scars on the backs of my knees to prove it.

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Barrio AKA Conehead with his bone from Linda and Mike.

Doc always gives Cephalexin and says use iodine, for everything, but it is really not a broad spectrum drug and in the case of Barrio’s oozing incision, it was the wrong medicine. And Iodine, well, I won’t even go there. I contacted a vet friend and she concurred with me and said to put him on Clavamox (dog amoxicillin) for 10 days and to use antibacterial cream. She said it probably got infected by him licking it and introducing dirt into the incision. Two days on that medicine and he was a new dog, except for the &%$*#@^ cone of shame. He slept with us for a week, I would wake up with his conehead laying by my pillow. I felt so bad he had to wear it and am so happy we are done with it.

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Bananas out the wazoo. Too bad I’m too lazy to bake.

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Yes, Gringo slept like this.

For those of you familiar with my Orca shoes. They died. These were the coolest shoes, the left one fit my foot perfectly and it was very comfortable, the right one, not so much. I spent the 10 years I owned them trying to alter my right foot so that shoe felt good and I could wear them. (My opinion is they were seconds when I bought them at Ross). I recently cleaned out my closet, 2 garbage bags later, it was down to the final shoes, this was one pair I decided to just wear. After about 2 hours with them on my feet {remember I’ve only worn flip-flops since Nov. 2012} I took them off. It was then I noticed that they were disintegrating before my very eyes. I was devastated but I tossed them in the trash.

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The elements here are nasty

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Rot took over

Last week I dog sat while Bill ran countless errands acquiring things for the myriad of shit we have going on. Construction on the garage, patio, deck. it’s everywhere. Construction=DIRT. Obviously I am too stubborn (stupid) to admit defeat. I don’t remember a thing from that week except binge watching Project Runway while I kept the dogs from eating the workers outside. So much fun, I kid. Really, I do. It was sheer hell.

Awhile ago I met Marcy on FB (I was determining whether to admit her to a closed Roatan group that I am an admin on). She was coming to Roatan and arrived this past Saturday. The rest is, well, as they say, history. We are friends. Friends enough that she stayed with us this past week in the guest condo. She owns a doggie day care in Mass. so she was very comfy with the dogs. She looked at properties and decided on a piece of land not far from here and made an offer on it. While she was looking at property all day Tuesday with Alex, I worked at BJ’s with Marilyn and the crew. Then Marcy came with me on Wed. and Thurs. to work at the bar.

The day after Marcy arrived we went to Mega Paca and met Pam who needed some ground rules for shopping there. After we were done shopping we met my friend Melissa and drove down in to Juticalpa. I had 2 giant bags of clothes for her and Marcy had coloring books, crayons and shoes for the kids.

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Cutie

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New shoes

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Shoes for both the girls

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She brought her little sister

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I love this photo

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And then there was this pup, starving.

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Marcy feeding another one

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The cat was so hungry it was eating the dog food.

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We had no more pink shoes in her size, she didn’t care, she loved her black Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crocs.

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Passing out the last of the books

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Keon, my friend Melissa’s son. He is well cared for and a real sweetheart.

We actually put food out for a few dogs who were starving and they ignored it, which is a bad sign. They are past the point of being able to eat and are waiting to die. What they need is to have IV’s with fluid and stuff pumped in to them, but this is Roatan and that doesn’t happen. Very sad and depressing not to be able to help.

As you know (if you read my blog or saw me in the last week or so) that we, as a community, lost a good friend. I am still dealing with that. I did not know them as well as others did but that doesn’t mean I didn’t care a great deal about the two of them. A small group (10) worked this past week in the bar, cleaning up, sorting, re-arranging, recovering bar stools, painting, just little things, and we did it for BJ, so she would have a place to come home to after what she went through losing Carmen. I only helped 3 days but I worked really hard. So hard that I couldn’t stand up straight, my back was protesting. Even my house guest helped 2 days and she busted it, painting, scrubbing, cutting contact paper, hard work. Thanks Marcy! There were only a few others and those few individuals worked their asses off, they did the majority of the blood sweat and tears to revamp BJ’s. It’s still BJ’s, it always will be, only better!

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The new bodega, we moved the freezers and extra frig in there. We also had shelves added and put pots and pans on them. The floor was painted, as were the walls and the shutters.

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We cleaned and cleaned. We scrubbed refrigerators, thawed freezers and cleaned them.

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Marilyn, passed out. Really, she was giving her back a break, it was hard work!

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New bar stool covers, we tacked them all down. The old brown ones can be seen laying on the bar.

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Me holding them down while Marilyn staple gunned them.

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Yep, it’s how we roll. It was a labor of love and for the nay-sayers and people who are bitching because we did it, go away, find something constructive to do instead of finding fault with everything. Dig a hole and crawl in it.

After working 3 straight days at BJ’s we decided Friday was fun day so we set off for the Reef House at around 1. When we got to BJ’s a few people were still busting butt, finishing up the place so it would be presentable when BJ arrived. Jimmy picked us up in the boat and took us over. There was a small crowd but some of the usual suspects were there so it was a good day.

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The Banditos minus Alex were playing

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Marcy and me

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It was Larry’s birthday

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So pretty there

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I found this in the water, there was nothing living in it.

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The Reef House Rockettes, Charlene, me, Marcy, Marilyn and Pam

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Pam and Marcy

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Me and Charlene, who was swimming in her bra

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Charlene, Pam and me

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Keri

We had a great time there, wandered home around 4’ish. Marcy and I both ate there but Bill threw something together for dinner anyhow. It was an early to bed evening for us all.

I had airport duty in the morning and Marcy was moving to the Calabash Bight Resort for the second week. Bill took her to meet Pam, who was boating Marcy to CBR and I met Kim at the bottom of the driveway and we went and did our thing at the airport.

Sunday morning is my Mega Paca day and this past Sunday was no different. I got there at 9 AM and noticed the generators were running in the mall, meaning, no power. Our power had gone out but it came back on very quickly. I went in the store and the power was on, then it went off. I’ve been there before when this happens and it usually comes right back on once they get the generator working. Well, it didn’t. So I did what any normal obsessed shopper would do, I used the flashlight on my cell phone and shopped. Soon after I turned my flashlight on, others did too. Soon the store was lit by cell phones. The power came off and on many times, mostly off. I had a few dresses I wanted to try on so I did and an islander shined her cell phone on me and said yes or no to the dress. I did the same for her.

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The light you see is the light from outside and a small light from someone’s cell phone. Total darkness. It was fun.

I bought 2 beach towels, 2 bath towels, a nice red bucket, a Banana Republic dress for $2.30 and an awesome skull shirt, along with a few other things. It was a good day shopping in the dark.

My cleaning gal came today and is coming back tomorrow to do the downstairs. The garage will soon be ready for the roof and windows, the huge concrete patio is poured out front and more exciting news to come out back.

Everyday is an adventure, and I’m trying to live it to the fullest. Tomorrow we are setting up for the senior luncheon that happens on Wednesday @ Turquoise Bay Resort. We expect about 300+ seniors for lunch. I’m looking forward to it and will take lots of photos for my next post.

On Thursday one of my BFF’s from WA is coming for 2 weeks and while she is here another BFF from Maryland is joining us. Lots going on in the next few weeks.

The excitement never ends…

 

 

 

 

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In the blink of an eye

 

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05/01/2016 This is an old post that I hid for almost a year due to a request from someone. I’m not hiding it any longer. Sometimes the  truth hurts.

Fridays the gang usually meets at BJ’s Backyard but BJ is in the hospital on the mainland so the festivities were held at The Reef House.  The Reef House is just a short boat ride away from BJ’s. Dave and Trish came to our house and we rode to BJ’s together. From there Jimmy picked us up and took us to The Reef House. My friends Davey and Dilcia own The Reef House but they were in Atlanta, returning the next day. They missed the fun!

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Just beautiful

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My own private pool

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crystal clear and super warm

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Playing cornhole

All the usual suspects were there and then some. The Reef House is situated right on the water and unlike the water at BJ’s, this is nice and clean and swimmable. We ladies got in the water and floated around, it was fabulous, felt like it was 90 degrees. I just wore a swimsuit and a cover up, I was amongst friends, who cares. Trish and I were in the water for quite awhile, just hanging out and chatting.

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Trish and I enjoying the water. Photo by Melanie Wood.

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In heaven

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Trish and me

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Awaiting Marilyn. She was slow because she had precious wine in the glass..

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Marilyn, me and Trish

After 1 too many glasses of wine I gathered the ladies for an epic plank on the concrete dock.

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Bill is the picture taker

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Then we got more people to join us. I think this photo is Melanie’s too

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People thought we were looking for fish

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For a moment we considered a pyramid but then we remembered we were drinking and we were on a concrete pier. Thanks Melanie for the photo!

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My friend Kelly, he so rocks this hat!!

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Bill and Terry talking.

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Dave, Grizzly the dog and Bill.

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Marilyn and me, photo by Gail.

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Keri and I, maybe we were dancing, not sure. Photo by Gail.

I am pretty sure I had a blast there. We left around 3:30-4, came back here, Trish and I showered off the salt water and we went to Cal’s for dinner. Mr. John, our neighbor was there eating alone so I drug him over to our table and then my friend Mitch came, so he joined us. We had a great meal at our favorite food hang out on the island.

Saturday was airport day and I had a fabulous group of ladies working with me. Marilyn and Cindy rode in with me and Laine, Kimberly and Jill all worked too. We got 539 PAX in and out of immigration in 2.5 hours. It was super smooth. I came home and fell asleep on the couch. Woke up, ate something, and went to bed.

Sunday is my Mega Paca day, I was there at 9 AM. My new friends Erik and Jan (they went to Guanaja with us) were meeting me there. We shopped until after 11 and then went to my house to grab some onions before we went to La Sirena for lunch. I really wanted to show them more of the island since they so graciously give their time volunteering here, doing whatever they can to benefit Roatan. Bill decided he wanted to go with us, he’ll never turn down a meal at La Sirena.

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It’s a good thing I took onions because when I went inside to hug Jimmy, the owner, he said, we’re out of onions. I said, no worries, I brought 2. No way was I NOT having onion rings.

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Love this place

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While we were sitting there Betty and Joe and Llyn and John and Lucy came for lunch too. Plus there were friends inside when we got there.

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Diego. We first met him when he was a little pup (July of 2012).

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Bill, Llyn and Jan

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We stopped at our Mondays Don’t Suck beach so Jan and Erik could see it. There were a lot of locals and a considerable amount of trash.

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So gorgeous!

We dropped Jan and Erik off at the mall and they got a taxi back to Sandy Bay. The dogs were happy to see us when we returned, it’s like we’ve been gone for years! Of course, we had “other” dogs smells on us so we were in trouble for that.

This past week has been a slow hot week. Monday Bill and I ran some errands but didn’t really do too much. The temps keep creeping up and the humidity is a killer. Once again, I cleaned, then let the dogs in. I don’t know why I even bother, if I allowed the dog hair to accumulate we could be transported back to the 70’s with a shag rug look! It’s never ending.

On Tuesday we  took Alexi home, armed with new soccer uniforms for the guys he plays soccer with. They play on the beach right next to the water in Politilly. He was so proud to be able to be the one handing out the uniforms, it made him feel important.

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Alexi, first row, right

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The guys were happy with matching jerseys and shorts, the other teams don’t have them.

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Their field

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Guys kitesurfing! Pretty awesome to watch.

Thanks again to Dave and Trish Symons for bringing all of these uniforms from Canada. There are still a whole teams worth to take to the school down the road from us @ the Froylan Turcios school. There is a soccer field right across from the school and Bill already spoke to the director, she would love to have them.

Wednesday was snip snip day for my baby Max. I normally would have had him neutered a long time ago but shit happens and I was busy many Wednesdays. I am super protective of these pups so I wanted him to be done when I could spend time with him and keep an eye on him to make sure he was eating drinking, peeing, AND, not licking. Of course, my vet didn’t have any cones to discourage that.

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I hated watching this but wouldn’t/couldn’t step away.

We had taken Gringo with us because he has two lumps on his chest. I was afraid they were hematomas like the one he had before but Doc said he is fat, and they are fat deposits. Gringo is on a diet. Bill took Gringo home while Doc removed Max’s family jewels and then came back to get us, poor little guy was wiped out.

I sat with him all day and kept him in front of and under a fan. I fed him ice chips and kept rousing him to wake up but he wouldn’t. Finally, later in the day he began to come to. Bill carried him downstairs and he wobbled around, {looked like me last Friday at the Reef House}, and then he peed. We brought him back upstairs and let the rest of the crew inside with him.

We wanted him inside with us at night so he got the luxury of sleeping with us. I spent most of the night awake making sure he wasn’t chewing his stitches out. The next morning he had an appetite so I gave him some eggs and yogurt. He was still either stoned or felt the loss of the testosterone, he was just off. I had a hell of a time keeping him from licking. I did find a place that has cones so I’ll get one for Barrio for next week when he gets snipped. The real feel temperature yesterday was 108. Hot as hell.

We have guys here working in the backyard so the dogs can’t be out there running loose and Bill is pouring concrete out front. This means I am running a poorly funded, barely functioning version of Deb’s Doggie Daycare for Dysfunctional Dogs. And I wonder where all the dog hair comes from.

Last evening we had just finished dinner and the power went out. It was weird. We have 2 feeder lines coming in here, don’t ask. First one went out, which meant part of the lights, then the other one did. I am so thankful my new laptop battery works and we have battery backup for the internet. I posted on the electric company page that our power was out and saw that friends from one end of the island to the other also lost power. It was island wide. One whole island in the Caribbean sea was dark. I laid on the couch and aimed a flashlight at Max’s man parts so I knew what was going on there and dozed off and on. Very grateful we live where we do and that we usually always have a breeze because last night and all day yesterday I was sweating uncontrollably and I did NOTHING. I couldn’t, I was too damn hot. With no fans when the power was out the breeze was appreciated.

While I was on Guanaja I saw a dog that was hurt, sick and bleeding. When I took Max to my vet on Wed. I talked to him about the vet there and he gave me her phone number. Bethany, Doc’s assistant told me, “you know who she is Deb.” I said nope, I don’t. Bethany said she is the lady who was caught with 63K in cash traveling to Belize. Turns out the $$ was properly accounted for and she was charged with nothing, however the government, being as crooked as all others, kept 1/3 of her $$. She does a lot for the island of Guanaja, which is more primitive than Roatan is. I called her on Wednesday and explained the situation to her. I told her I had a photo of the school and the dog so I posted them on her vet clinic FB page. She owns the clinic and said she would have the vet go get the dog and they would take care of it. Aside from being a dog rescuer, she has a very distinguished past, she is uber famous. While alone in South Dakota she discovered the largest T-Rex skeleton in history, it is named after her. Read her article hereclick on Highlights at the top of her page for the T-Rex story.

I spent almost 30 minutes chatting with this lady on the phone. I’m telling you, this island life is so freaking amazing. I love my rock!

I made the dogs some new treats, no bake because who can bake when your boobs are melting off?

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Peanut butter oatmeal balls

3/4 c peanut butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 water
Mix well, add 1 1/4 c oats, 1/4 c at a time.
Shape into balls, freeze on cookie sheet w/ wax paper on it. Once frozen store in ziploc in freezer. My dogs prefer them slightly thawed when eating them and they LOVE them. Well, Highway won’t eat them because he thinks there is a pill in them. He’ll eat the pumpkin ones though. And he thinks he’s so smart!

Friday is my day to misbehave with my friends, however, I spent it at home, dogsitting. Bill poured 1/3 of the concrete garage floor and his back was killing him, he was done for the day.

Friday afternoon Nidia called me. She had been in Oak Ridge at the school when she heard a shot. Not thinking too much about it, she went to BJ’s to see if I was there. She realized when she got there that the party must have been at The Reef House again because none of the usual misfits were there and BJ’s was closed. She saw the lady who sells pineapple cookies every Friday and she told Nidia that Carmen, BJ’s husband, had shot himself. He was dead. Nobody is really sure what went down other than the week before, on my way to the Reef House, I went in and hugged Carmen and asked about BJ. He was upset, saying he didn’t know how BJ was and he was told he had to move out. He was 78 years old and he felt he had nowhere to go. (My friend recently told me that three different people offered him options. She also said, most suicides in elderly are successful because it’s not a cry for help, it is their choice of a solution.) She’s right. What happened was Carmen’s choice. Knowing that helps, but it doesn’t make me any less sad.

A week later (Friday) the lawyer and the cops came to evict him and he got a gun and killed himself. We are all in shock, profoundly hurt, not sure why someone didn’t recognize that he was desperate. There is a big black cloud of anguish hanging over the east end of Roatan. Oak Ridge and BJ’s will never be the same. BJ is out of the hospital but none of us have seen her, she is in Sandy Bay, hasn’t returned to Oak Ridge yet. She is doing much better, the internal bleeding has stopped. I hope she makes it through this. I hope we all do and that at some point we can accept what happened. Blink, and your life changes.

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BJ and Carmen at the Pirate Party Feb 4th. He was pointing his finger at me (I was in the pool) and saying, “girl, you better behave.”

RIP my sweet friend Carmen, you will never be forgotten. Oct 2, 1938 to April 29, 2016.

Carmen’s obit was just shared on FB so I am sharing it here so that those of you who never knew him have an idea of what the man was like. This is the best written obit I’ve ever read, it’s like Carmen wrote it himself.

He was born Feb. 12, 1938, in Pascagoula to Floyd and Ava Byrd, passed away in Roatan, Honduras on April 29, 2016. Carmen was a graduate of Pascagoula High School Class of 1955 and University of Southern Mississippi. He was a beloved brother, a prodigal son, a well-intentioned father and probably a better husband in theory than in practice. Carmen loved women–probably too many–and was loved by them in equal measure. As a young man, he dove from the Pascagoula Bridge at midnight and swam home to Gautier, was rumored to be the first to waterski jump barefoot, and taught Elvis how to waterski. His career spanned days as a proud Marine in Oki Nawa, where he once played a trumpet solo for the Emperor of Japan; as an orderly in the psych ward of a hospital in California; ups and downs as an elevator repairman in his then father-in-law’s business; a successful general contractor in New Orleans (until he wasn’t); an owner of a dive resort and marina in Roatan, and most recently, as the chief entertainer at his wife’s restaurant, BJ’s Backyard in Roatan. His suspected career was imagined by some to include stints as CIA operative, DEA agent, drug smuggler, jungle guide and exotic fish consultant. We may never know which were true and which were someone’s fantasy, but we do know Carmen thoroughly enjoyed the speculation. Hearing issues caused by firing deafening artillery in the Marine Corps led to the title of his as-yet unwritten biography, “Consonants and Context Clues; the Life of Carmen Byrd.” And when that book is written, it will tell the story of an adventurous spirit, a teller of tales that seemed tall but always rang true, a debonair rake, and a lovable scoundrel. His ego was large, his heart was larger and he could strike just the right pose for any occasion. He has left a throng of heartbroken survivors, including his wife, BJ Ebanks of Roatan; his devoted sister, Carolyn Byrd Norton of Washington, DC; his children, Kimberly Erwin of Louisiana, Ashton Byrd of Phoenix, AZ, Shannon Byrd of Roatan, and step-daughter Tracy Ebanks of Roatan; his nieces Amanda Norton Miller of Alexandria, VA, and Julia Norton of Washington, DC; his grandchildren Amy Harris Schwendimann and JJ Harris, James and Maegan Byrd and his great-nephew Ryan Miller. –