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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The "The Tides Have Changed In St. Martin" Story

The new look of Orient Beach after the storm.
It was an ordinary day.  Strolling along the shoreline of Orient Beach, trying to remember the exact location of Andy  Cheryl's Baywatch Beach Bar.  Carol and I have been visiting the island since the early 2000s and have many fond memories of having lunch in the brightly blue painted beach shack with yellow trim.  
The Original Baywatch on Orient Beach.
Spent many a noontime talking to Cheryl as well as watching Andy wander around the restaurant in his stained white apron.  Many an early morning, while walking the beach, I would stop in to see Andy as he helped prepare breakfast for his patrons.  I never had the chance to know him as many did, but suspect my impressions of him are very similar to most.  
Andy's first beach bar, Surf Club South, in Grand Case.
His rough and abrasive exterior was just a front with his big smile and interesting stories his true personality.  We talked a few mornings when he wasn't real busy and I found him to be a very interesting man with a very interesting background.  I suspect that not many knew that he, as well as Cheryl, were originally from New Jersey.  
A makeover of Baywatch a few 
When he first came to St. Martin he opened his original beach bar, known as the Surf Club South, on Grand Case Beach.  At the time it was voted one of the top ten beach bars in the world by various travel magazines.  And then ... well, Hurricane Luis arrived in 1995 and Surf Club South was just a memory on the beachfront of Grand Case.  He then opened Baywatch on World Famous Orient Beach and the rest is history as they say.  That was until two years ago when another hurricane did severe damage to the beachfront and the government decided to tear all the beach bars and shops down and rebuild.  
A license plate from Carol and I was on the roof of Baywatch.
Pennsylvania plate CAW-LWW.
The spring of 2016, when Carol and I arrived for our annual vacation on the St. Tropez of the Caribbean, we were greeted with the all-new construc- tion.  They are OK, but they can never replace what once stood there.  Andy died a few years ago and Cheryl has decided not to reopen in one of the new buildings, so our memories of Baywatch will have to come from our scrapbooks and mementos we have around the house.  So sad at times to see the past wash away. There will no longer be Mussels ala Andy. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.



Cheryl was always ready with a hug and kiss.
Andy and Cheryl in times past. 
Click on photo to enlarge.

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