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“Memories Live On Fletcher Beach!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Walter Fletcher Beach

A TripAdvisor Member
“Memories Live On Fletcher Beach!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2004

Is what I found 20 years ago still true today? I hope so; because in November 1982, in MoBay 3 weeks for the innaugural tribute festival for the new Bob Marley Memmorial Centre(at the time still just a dirt landfill) it was a natural mystic. My lady and I stayed at old Harmony House (funky but affecting) across Glouchester from Fletcher Beach. Most of our visit, we were among the few "tourists" in town; the over-attention was both annoying and rewarding. (We got to see things the usual tourist would never see back then -- maybe not even now: mountaintop dub parties; woodshop recording sessions; roving 'demo-makers' with portable recording services for rent; neighborhood 'jerk' cookouts at the Far Bar; 'insider trading' at the St. James Straw Market; being exclusively guided and hustled by one Johnny Dollar; living with locals and even helping them sell wares to tourists! -- Fun! And real funny. Revealing, of BOTH cultures.) After each far-flung excursion, Fletcher Beach was the respite. No high-budget booze-all-you-want, fortress-oasis-amid-the-chaos type place... just warm, breezy and free white sands -- the sanctum sanctorum of blue-collar MoBay. Peace and tranquility rules under the sun, and some things never change: broad white beach with ample chaises; clear (and I mean CLEAR!) warm water, easy-floating wand at walking-depth several hundred yards out; quiet weekdays, busier with local folks & families on weekends; local guitarists serenading along under the palms; fruit-bearing women 'higglers', their baskets on head or in hand, ready with mock-sarcasm and endearing manners, to renegotiate every bit and morsel . . . of her fruit OR her social opinions. (Reading of int'l news seems to answer a cultural delight and passion to know everyt'ing going on everyWHERE! -- a crucial facet of their canny survival system). Especial fun at Fletcher's appeared out of nowhere, under an isolated waterside almond tree: a young fellow sighted up my cassette recorder (audio notes for my friends), began recording himself, and ended up performing a whole "toasting" concert right there, with no one around but me and him. (If you ever hear of a toaster called Tacky, this is him: "What a Bam Bam!...My name itta Tacky at de microphone stand/Me come from Clarendon an' Wes'moreland/ Holla Jamaica, mon, a fi mi born land!/Me don't fight de she-goat only de ram/ Some taxi door mark 'Please Don't Slam'...") Then there was the moonlit night we fell asleep on our chaises, and around midnight a shadow fell and we awoke to a towering fellow with a baseball bat. When he realized we were tourist, he muttered only, "Okay, mon," and quickly disappeared -- and we suddenly realized we had our own private, guarded beach! For the night, if we wanted! FREE! Ya mon -- REALLY no problem! Fletcher Beach was simply special. And the urchins and coral are too far out to be of concern (unlike Negril, where I stepped on one, and the watersport renter Rasta advise me to urinate on it: "Bes' medicine fe de body is de OWN BODY, mon, yunno see?") That's what Fletcher Beach is: a place for just people; medicine for the people's body and soul. So, soul rebel, I hope you have as much fun there today as I'n'I did then. Give Thanks & Be Upful...

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