Meet Ol' Jamaica Jim !!
I was born right here in South Carolina - where the first shots of the Civil War (otherwise known to most Southerners as "The War of Yankee Aggression" or "The Late, Great Unpleasantness") were fired. In fact, I was raised just two blocks behind my great grandmother Lewis's house - and a feistier ol' Scot you never met! As a lad, I even tried my hand at pickin' cotton - for bout 2 hours - my hands were blistered and I was plumb tuckered out, but I was only five years old! (I learned that cotton pickin' just wasn't my bag - no pun intended!)
I attended school in Greenville, South Carolina. First I went to Augusta Circle School, then to Greenville Junior High School (no "middle" school back in those years!) and finally Greenville Senior High School. But, I was even then looking for "something else." And I found that something else at Sewanee Military Academy in Sewanee, Tennessee. I probably wasn't the sharpest cadet - militarily - but my very first day at SMA an upper class man told me to go get "the key to the flagpole!" Not to be outdone, I hunted up the janitor (what we now call a maintenance engineer, but back in them days, in them parts, they called 'em "janitors"!) and got him to give me a stray key from his ring. This was promptly delivered to the upper clansman - and I had no more problems from upperclassmen for as long as I was at the academy.
Being pig-headed, I got it in what tiny bit of mind I then possessed, that I wanted to join the Army! Nothing would do but that I dropped out of school mid-year of my senior year and enlisted in the Ewe Ess Army! BIG MISTAKE! But, it was a mistake that probably contributed a helluva lot toward the man I eventually became! I took my basic training at Camp (now Fort) Gordon, Georgia, and then went to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for advanced armor training (that means I learned how to drive an M-47 tank - and to pull maintenance on it, which amounted to working ON the tank for eight hours for every hour is was out on the road and in the field!). Fort Knox - where you can walk in mud up to your ass - and breathe in dust at the same time!
I eventually ended up as a Staff Sergeant in a reconnaissance platoon of a tank battalion - which meant I rode in jeeps and didn't have anything else to do with those damn tanks! My unit, the 709th Medium Tank Battalion - part of the 3rd Armored Division - shipped over to Germany in 1956, where I spent two of the most interesting years of my life.
(When I left Germany two years later, I didn't return for thirty-six years! When I did return, the place had really changed! Where I'd always remembered a couple of gasthauses being on the corners of the square in the nearby village, there was now a Burger King on one corner - and a Pizza Hut on the other!)
I had a number of various and varied jobs, all of which I feel enabled me to become the consummate generalist - a "Jack of All Trades." (Unfortunately, bout the time I reached that position, it was the "Age of Specialization" - and everybody wanted to hire specialists! So much for being a generalist!)
I worked for sixteen years for a "major general contractor" and worked my way slowly up the proverbial corporate ladder. I was eventually pretty high up, only to be caught by a corporate layoff - at age forty-nine and a half! (So much for corporate ladder climbing!) I searched for a job - ANY job - and finally found one with a regional bank as Assistant Vice President - Regional Real Estate Manager, with responsibility for overseeing construction of new buildings and maintaining the bank's occupied facilities in South Carolina.
After seven years, I figured work just
wasn't for me and I wanted to quit the rat race! (Hell, the damn
rats were winning!) I was working at a job I hated and I despised
what it was doing to me. I guess really I just realized that work
wasn't fun anymore - so I quit! (I'm really serious - now
to me, "work" is a four letter word!) I luckily I had
a small outside income which enabled me get out when I did. That
was back in 1993 - and I haven't regretted leaving the work force for one
I'm a sysop for the Caribbean Section
Travel Forum on CompuServe, where I get all kinds of questions
from people all over the world asking about the Caribbean, Jamaica and
Hedonism II in Negril. (You can also jump over to The Travel
Forum's link on the Links Page of this web site.) I also have
some "content" pages on the web site of the travel agency I use for all
my traveling -- Go
Classy Tours - where they maintained a "column" of e-mails I've received
and my responses - sorta like a Caribbean "Dear Abby"-- which is called
"Ask Jamaica Jim." There is an e-mail link there to
an e-mail server where I get countless e-mails all the time asking questions
bout The Caribbean.
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© 1995 - 2011 by Jamaica Jim Jordan.
Material may not be republished without permission.