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The Sage of Cherokee

Left to right: Peter Bradley, Mike Lightbourne, "The Sage" Patrick Bethel, Peggy and Lionel Albury and Elmer Bethel.  Just a few of the persons who came to The Long Dock on Sat. Aug. 27th for a Gab-Fest.
Left to right: Peter Bradley, Mike Lightbourne, “The Sage” Patrick Bethel, Peggy and Lionel Albury and Elmer Bethel. Just a few of the persons who came
to The Long Dock on Sat. Aug. 27th for a Gab-Fest.

It was not just another Saturday afternoon as a small group gathered at the Cabana near the Long Dock in Cherokee to hear “The Sage of Cherokee” (Patrick Bethel) tell just a few of his fascinating stories about “Old Cherokee.”

While some were still glued to their T.V’s. and another weekly football game or The Weather Channel waiting to hear what “90L” was going to do, others were sitting by the ocean, enjoying a beautiful afternoon with a moderate temperature in the low 80’s and a brisk breeze between 10 and 15 knots to hear a little bit about our history, an opportunity we are not afforded every day.

On the horizon was “90L”, (this is the official U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida’s identifying letters that they use before a storm develops and is named) and the question of whether it would turn into a tropical wave, a tropical storm or a full-blown hurricane.

One thing people in The Bahamas do is pay attention when a possible storm is brewing.  Probably because most of our ancestors were fishermen, and we all know they pay keen attention to the barometer and the weather as their livelihood depends on it.

We do our best to prepare for the worst.  We’ve been through them many times, but often they pass us by and this was one of those times.  If you’ve ever been in a hurricane you know about the eye of the storm.  It’s a calm quiet lull in the middle of a sometimes deadly and disastrous catastrophe.  Saturday’s weather at The Long Dock in Cherokee was almost like the eye of the storm.  Here in the tropics we are more fortunate than some as over the years we automatically know what to do.  We know what’s needed to survive, how to protect our families, our house, our boat, our belongings and we try to get prepared early.

This past Saturday some of us seemed to sense, that this one too, would pass us by and it did.

However, in the meantime, a little get-together had been planned and some of us were not ready to give up on what we knew would be an enjoyable afternoon.  A “Gab-Fest,” or a time of nostalgia and reminiscing, was in the works and “The Sage of Cherokee” delivered.

We don’t spend enough time talking to or learning from those who lived through those, what some call, magical years.  Now there are other things occupy the younger generation’s idle time such as Facebook and Twitter where the newest generation gets its news and information. These social media sites weren’t around in the old days and soon, though many do not realize it, as the older generation passes on, there will be no more “Sages” to bring back that wonderful part of our lives, or reminisce and laugh about the stories that have been handed down over the years.

The afternoon was a huge success and everyone went home with another entertaining story about their childhood and some unknown facts about some of their ancestors that they didn’t know before they came.

I don’t guess you could call the little gathering “breaking news” and probably not of much interest to some,  but I always find it amazing how many Abaconian’s know each other – especially family history. And Patrick, along with other deep-rooted Abaconians, always have lots of stories to tell. Ones you will never find in books.

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