One of my favorite memories of John was last year we were out with our children and their friends when I spotted a large turtle. We were moving slowly past Maho beach and I told John to stop, I wanted to go visit the turtle. By the time he turned around I had leaped in the water, followed by Lisa and our son. The turtle was much faster than us, and all we saw was a blur, but it was fun. Upon getting back into the boat John was shaking his head and muttered to me, "Lisa is right, you really are a goof.....wait until i stop the damn boat next time." To this day I take this as high praise as John has pulled a number of his own stunts.
Anyone who went out with John realizes he loves photography. His favorite topic to shoot are the new ships cruising around our little rock. I remember cruising back from White Bay nearing Cruz Bay and all the sudden we are being whipped to one side.....a large sailing vessel was moving past and John needed to get a picture of it....so our little boat needed to circle it to get the correct shot. He has a Facebook page Captain John's iPhotography which shows his love for the islands and quite a few of the sailing ships he found. I enjoy looking through it while stuck in Pennsylvania between trips to Villa Tesori.
On every trip we took with John, we learned something new about our little piece of the planet. John loves history and how it relates to our little rock called St. John. To say he is knowledgable about St. John is an understatement. Here is a "shot of Brandi."
We managed to get involved in one of John's surprises for Sue last year. John and Sue love Italian food. While St. John is the most beautiful place we know of tomatoes are not native to the islands and must be imported. Which means most are hydroponic and tend to taste like cardboard. We were able to bring down some local grown tomatoes for John last year.
We had just gotten off a boat at the national park dock, John was waiting...as we settled up with Dohm's and John was staring at our suitcases. We immediately open up a suitcase with John watching like a hawk. Finally we get to the tupperware containing the tomatoes, hand them to John....he hugs Lisa and darts off while telling us he needs to get home so he can surprise Sue.........in retrospect it seemed like some drug deal or spy hand off.
Later that week while walking to the Westin Beach Bar for lunch we found ourselves being hugged from behind. We heard "thank you so much". When we turned around we found Sue, who explained that she came home to the most wonderful smell the other night. John had surprised her with home made red sauce.
Visiting with John and Sue at a restaurant or bar on St. John is an event. Every few minutes someone will stop by and visit to say hello or share a story with him. There is the constant shout of "hey John". Sue just shakes her head as John starts one story or another.
There is a belief in certain religions that you will be judged by the number of people you helped in life, that your positive influence on each person will determine your fate. If that is the case, John has enough good Karma to go to heaven thousands of times. Thank you again John for all your friendship and the wonderful memories.