May 21 2007

A Caribbean Soul: Greater Antilles (Jamaica)


Head for Kingston, mon. Jamaica has the third-largest English-speaking population in the Americas, after the U.S. and Canada. And of course you can’t beat the music. But take Air Jamaica, or make sure your plane is well-marked. Otherwise, you just might find yourself mistaken for a drug runner. It happened to Jimmy.

In 1996 Jimmy was flying to Jamaica in his Grumman HU-16 Albatross “Hemisphere Dancer.” The plane was shot at by Jamaican police, who suspected it was smuggling drugs. No one was hurt, although the plane suffered a few bullet holes. You can see for yourself: the plane is now on view at his Margaritaville restaurant in Orlando.

Based on these lyrics from “Jamaica Mistaica” (on the album “Banana Wind”), all is now forgiven:

Come back, come back, back to Jamaica.
Don’t chu know we made a big mistaica.
We’d be so sad if you told us goodbye,
And we promise not to shoot you out of the sky

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