We had dinner at Abe’s By The Sea last night. There wasn’t anything particularly unusual about it, it was a traditional Caribbean lobster dinner. What was unusual was that Abe’s has a brand new building after his old building was wiped out in the hurricane. The new building is in fact better in every way — when it’s truly finished there will be a bar out front with a full restaurant behind.
Ron, my father in law (pictured below with wife Claire), first visited Abe’s we think in 1975. The famous story is that his partner Dean ordered a scotch on the rocks. Abe, behind the bar, got out a 12-ounce glass and poured it almost full of whatever scotch they had, then reached down behind the bar with tongs, pulled one ice cube out of a cooler, and dropped it into the scotch. “We a little low on ice, man,” he said…
Abe’s may not have the best lobster in the Caribbean, but it is a special place and I’m very happy he is coming out of the disaster. Saba Rock, too, up at North Gorda Sound, appears to be recovering well. The Bitter End, by contrast — maybe the most famous resort in the BVI and possibly the oldest — is now more or less an empty beach. All the old structures have been demolished and cleared away and there seems to be no motion towards rebuilding.
One is tempted to see some good in all of this — in the insurance-driven rebuilding and resetting of things, opening up new opportunities and unleashing new energy. War can be thought of similarly. Would the great post-Civil-War boom that built New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago have happened without the Civil War? Not at the same rate, probably. On the other hand, the South did not rebuild at anything like the same rate, and it was hit far harder. So no, I reject this idea — some good may come out of disaster, but it’s rare that it equals the good that is lost.
In the end, though, humanity seems to recover, by some means.