I don't know what it is about things that we are connected to that makes up enlarge them in our minds, but like reticular activation syndrome (when you seem to see often something you desire, such as a yellow Porsche), it happens. I was talking to my first born about the economic downturn, and how it's affecting tourism. I explained that the Four Seasons chain had just announced the closure of its hotel in Exuma, part of The Bahamas archipelago. "It's a small island...." But before the "is" could land, I heard my wife say, "It's not so small." Well, sugar, I've been there with you and I stayed at the Four Seasons and figure that if we call Barbados small (166 square miles and a population of about 285,000), then as we say in Jamaica "Exuma likkle bit." I checked because I can see that this may come back. Sure, Exuma in total is reported to have over 360 islands (or cays, aka rocks), and the largest, Great Exuma, is 37 miles long and joined to another island, Little Exuma, by a small bridge. But the whole island chain is 27 square miles in area. So, how is that not little?
Anyway, the other part of the distended reality is the population. True enough, I have only met a few Exumans (pronounced "ex humans"), and they were all named Rolle. In typical post-colonial Caribbean/Atlantic style, all of the people who are descended from African slaves carry names that relate to former masters or overseers. In this case, a bunch of American loyalists running off from the Revolutionary Wars in the 1780s, settled in Exuma and started planting cotton. Out of their cotton picking minds? Lord John Rolle, was a big man among the settlers of the Exumas. When he died in 1835, he bestowed all of his significant lands to his former slaves. So, when you see that everyone in Exuma is a Rolle, and proud of it, you have to remember that Lord John rolled them up in one big naming ceremony and the rest is history. But to hear an Exuman say "I is a Rolle," you would think that the blood line runs back to Adam.
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”
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