Long John Gone

We knew him only as Long John.

For years, he would be stationed by a boulder on Orient Beach in St. Martin, book in hand, available for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

Women looked at him in awe, and maybe a little fear.

Men looked at him in envy, and then, with even more envy.

He apparently made his living by letting gawkers pose for a picture with him.  For a price.


Orient is a 1.3-mile stretch of clothing-optional Caribbean delight.   There was an unwritten rule that cameras of any kind were verboten on the beach.  (Except for John’s.)

But in the five years since I was last there, that has sadly changed.  Last week, it seemed every third person had a camera or a smartphone in their hands.  Orient Beach, which had been romanticized, has now been digitized.

And what of Long John?

My suspicion is, that with the onslaught of the digital age, his business simply shriveled up.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Digital World, Noticed, People, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Long John Gone

  1. Linda says:

    Oh Gerry…………. Nice to have you back!

    • Gerry says:

      Thanks Linda. As you can probably tell, I’m using the blog to write mostly about travel these days. In the future, I hope that will expand.

      • Linda says:

        Looking forward to the future! But your travel pictures and stories are wonderful and I enjoy reading about your trips.

  2. amyparmenter says:

    Gerry!! We saw ‘long john’ when we were there…but were unaware of his celebrity status…except of the obvious. i’m not sure if it’s sad that he’s gone…he was a bit freaky….and not even one little part of me was tempted to snap a photo, even if i did have a wide-angle lens. yikes!!

  3. amyparmenter says:

    except ‘for’ the obvious…

  4. The shrinking economy is everywhere I guess.

  5. Meany, John D. says:

    I hate when that happens. Usually when cold water is near by.

    The Brooks Fi

  6. Jim says:

    Gerry; As you know I’ve been to St. Maartin also. And the other great legend at Orient is
    “Scary Gerry”…..true, look it up! Makes Long John look like a rookie….just sayin’
    Miss ya Bud !!

  7. Gerry,Jeff and I used to vacay in St. Maarten.Orient Beach was where we were told to visit. So…we went! We found out after that it was a “Naturalist community’ No pictures etc. I think we saw the man you referred to, but we had a different name for him! Our surprise when we went back the following year to see him again!

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