Jack and Jill and Selena and John…and Mr. Katoot… On a Journey in the Caribbean

IMG_9115 2Mary Jane and I have just returned from two week journey to the Caribbean.

Although we have been there previously, I do not recall meeting so many lovely people before.

Before leaving on our cruise, we met Jack and Jill, at a cocktail party at a resort that we were staying at, the night before sailing away.

We were sitting at a table for four when, Jack and Jill, joined us.  I agree, their names are easy to remember.

We were discussing our various travels and Mary Jane mentioned that we had taken a private Vatican Tour a few years ago.

Jack began to tell us of entering St. Peter’s Basilica, just after the war, and there not being anyone in it.  Also, he noted that the same experience occurred in the Sistine Chapel.


When we returned to our room, I remarked that he must have been speaking of WWII…but that he certainly did not look old enough to have been in that War.

The next evening we had dinner with Jack and Jill and he asked me how old did I think that he was and then told me that he was eighty-nine years old.  I exclaimed that he did not look nearly that old but that by my calculations he must have been to have participated in the Second World War.

Jack held his head high with pride and told me that the events that he had been referring to happened in 1946.

We spoke of politics and faith, they are Jewish, and I was wearing my Star of David ring that was made in Israel.  They were a delightful couple and we were privileged to enjoy dinner with them on a couple of additional evenings.

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As we were boarding the bus that was to take us to the cruise ship, Selena told me that she liked my hat.  Selena was checking our names off of a list, as we were traveling with a group.

Selena had that rare combination of talent and ability combined with a wonderful personality…that made each person that she encountered both comfortable and the warm feeling that they were an integral part of the group.

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John conducted the events that we were part of on the ship.  Having been in meetings that he conducted at a previous event…I pondered his unique ability to facilitate such a smooth and interesting meeting.

I told him at the conclusion of the cruise that I believed that he, ‘had a good heart…a heart for people…and that it was no mystery to me why he was so successful.’

Each stop and each day brought us beauty and a richness of visual stimulation…but it was the connection with other human beings…that made lasting memories.

IMG_9181I watched with amazement as Mr. Katoot led his team in the massive labor of producing an excellent event for the attendees.  His herculean efforts along with his team of four extremely hard working individuals…made for a flawless smooth journey through our activities.

I told Mr. Katoot what an appreciation I had for his efforts and abilities, having come from a career in University support services…myself.

Have you ever been on a cruise?  If you have I am certain that you have noticed the hard work and long hours that are spent by the ship’s staff.  The Cruise Industry would not exist without these dedicated professionals.


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