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Meet Ol' Jamaica Jim !!

 
Hello, fellow Internet surfer and a warm welcome to my web site.  As my home page says, "Jamaica Jim is the name and Caribbean traveling is the game!"  I'm glad that you made it this far -- and I hope that you'll stick around long enough to get to know just a little bit more about me, my background, my interests and my life.  After all, in these days and times, acquaintances that begin in cyberspace are often some of the most real, vivid, and long lasting of all - and maybe that will be true of Thee and Mee!

My Background

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!)
When I was discharged, I returned to my native South Carolina and entered Clemson College (now, Clemson University) as a veteran-freshman - which meant I wasn't hazed by upper class men. That was fine with me, since I had served my time and gotten my fill of hazing in military school and the Army!

I renewed my courtship of my pre-army girlfriend - Nina - and lo and behold, she ended up becoming my "first wife" - and she STILL is!  We subsequently had two beautiful daughters (I know - everybody says that THEIR children are beautiful, but ours really and truly were -- and are!) - Alston and Sarah.

Our two daughters each have two daughters, so you can readily realize that I've always lived in a matriarchy!  (And, I have loved every minute of it, too!)  The girls and their families live nearby - sometimes too near by!

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 shinny minute.
 

 Now, I don't work at all!   However, I do travel as often as I can - and spend the rest of the time seated in front of one of my seven (that's right - seven) computers! I utilize the computers for most everything in my daily life, from maintaining all my myriad bank accounts, writing loads of letters, printing envelopes (for those damn bills that come without a return envelope!), sending e-mails all over the world, maintaining my address books, sysoping and posting messages and replies on The Travel Forum on CompuServe (and I also managed to manage The Caribbean Travel Forum on CompuServe for five and a half years until CompuServe closed it down!) ... well, you kind of get the picture!   (I also manage to work in a few games of computer Solitaire sometimes while I'm downloading files, etc.!   Nina uses her computer - exclusively - to play Solitaire!)

(For a picture of me at the computers, click here or on the picture at left.) 
 

I did live in a nice, neat, two story white house with six white columns (sorta "Southern colonial mansion" style) located in Easley, South Carolina, with Nina - my original "first wife"- of forty-four years!  However, in October, 2000, after nearly twenty-five years in the same house, we finally bought what is our "retirement home" - in, of all places, Greenville, South Carolina, where I was raised!!  And, it's just four blocks from the house that I lived in as a boy! 

Our new house is situated at 110 Wren Way in Swansgate, a delightful , quiet, gated "seniors" community - and the land that it now occupies was part of our neighborhood, where I played as a young boy!  Talk about going back to one's roots!!  (If you'd like to see exactly where my house is located, click here or on the picture at left to access a separate map page!)

I'm a sysop for the Caribbean Section on The 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.
 

Jamaica Departure Tax Receipt
Jamaica Departure Tax Receipt
My Love Of The Caribbean

Well, first and foremost, I love anywhere that has sun and sand and sea!  I've made more than a hundred trips to the Caribbean, been to Jamaica more than forty times and to Hedonism II thirty times, as of this coming May, 2003!   I haven't yet been to all the various islands in and around the Caribbean ("So many islands ... and so little time to see 'em all!") and I don't pretend to be an expert ... on anything!   But, I do have some good insights into the various island nations that are there and I have a pretty extensive reference library of more than a hundred travel books ... every one of them about the Caribbean!  (Nina, my "first wife" ... of forty-two years ... says I read travel books the way other folks read novels!)

Ask me about my favorite beaches, anything related to your upcoming trip!   I'll be happy to have for you to post me any questions you might have on the Caribbean.   And, I do "try" to reply to each and every e-mail I get.

So, there you have it!   That's about all there is to know about Yours Truly!   I hope I didn't cause your computer to crash, what with all the tripe I type!   Suffice it to say that I have lived a full and happy life - and I plan on keeping on doing that for a helluva long time to come!!  Much love -- and maximum respect!

Jamaica Jim Jordan ("The PRIME Minister of Hedonism" -- and a LIVING legend in his own MIND!)

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