August 10, 2012
Mission accomplished – Simon meets Simon

by Gerelyn John Fri, Aug 10, 2012

At precisely 12:50 p.m., the two gentlemen embraced; they were evidently emotional. Tears of joy, empowered by a sense of accomplishment, welled up in my eyes and subsequently overran the corners, trickling down to wet my cheeks. This feeling of elation was tempered however by the sad reality that, in the absence of a camera, I was missing out on capturing million dollar footage which was unfolding before my husband Keith and me.{{more}} Mr Joseph Scott-Simon of Arnos Vale and Mr Cardinal Simon of Mustique had finally met each other. Now, why did I say finally? It was something which until this moment had remained in the back of my mind, as yet unaccomplished.

A few years ago in conversation with Joseph Scott-Simon, I had mentioned that I knew a Mr Simon who lives in Mustique and who used to be on the mainland and who, I felt, looked somewhat like him. Then and there Joseph declared that he would really like to meet “that man”. I then inquired of my father from whom I secured Cardinal’s name. From then on, with a mission to accomplish, I was ever cognizant of the fact that this meeting of men would have to be coordinated when Cardinal was going to be on the mainland, and those times I did not know.

Therefore, I remained alert to the presence of Cardinal on the streets of Kingstown. Then, from one of our chance meetings, I secured Cardinal’s reciprocated enthusiasm for a meeting with Joseph. I then found out from him the area where he stays while on the mainland and did at one point go looking, unsuccessfully, only to meet him returning home by taxi. I then got into the taxi with him, so I would know, for Joseph’s benefit, the exact house where he would be found when on the mainland. I even once had Joseph dressed and waiting with me at the Grenadines wharf, hoping for a meeting with Cardinal, whom I had thought, then, would have been leaving the mainland by the two o’clock boat, the M.V. Endeavour. I had felt badly at my futile attempt, but Joseph assured me that he had nevertheless enjoyed the outing.

Then today, Wednesday, March 7, 2012, it happened, just like that. I was passing under the SVG Postal Corporation, on a mission, when I spotted Cardinal Simon. I stopped him and we chatted briefly. He had no need to be reminded of who I was, as we had that existing common understanding. He agreed, as suggested by me, to sit and wait for me at the First Caribbean International Bank while I fulfilled my previous mission. That mission accomplished, the ultimate mission was now at hand. I uplifted Cardinal from the bank. I recalled my husband Keith who was to provide reinforcement in the form of transportation on our quest now to find Joseph Scott-Simon who we were trying desperately to reach by telephone at his home.

With Cardinal aboard, we headed first to Kingstown Preparatory School to give Susan, a teacher there, a glimpse of her father’s lookalike. We made a stop at Layne’s Hardware, Arnos Vale where, while waiting on Keith, I took the opportunity to interact with Cardinal, while intermittently calling for Joseph. From there, we continued in the direction of Joseph’s home. And find him we did at the roundabout, not far from his home, which explains why I had received no answer to my frantic calls to his telephone, with the deal so near to the hit off. He was well dressed, as usual, which served to dignify the occasion. We stopped and I went out to greet him with the exciting news that his friend was aboard. He refused to get in the vehicle with us at the roundabout or even to look at Cardinal. He wanted to meet him anew on home turf. We obligingly drove off to await him at the desired meeting point, at Joseph’s porch steps.

This first brief initial meeting of both men revealed how much they had in common. This fact explains why when on meeting Joseph persons would often remark “Simon when you going back down?” Joseph, some time ago, had related that to me with a chuckle. Apart from being slim, dark, handsome, and almost of equal age, they, in these few moments, discovered that they both liked to sing, that they were both chatterboxes and that they were both in the process of perfecting a bald head. In fact, with both hats off, the heads appeared almost identical in shape and hair texture.

In those brief moments, Cardinal shared a song which he entitled “Endurance” and Joseph sang “I see you in my dream”, preluded by a humming and a smacking of the lips to set the tempo. Both songs, in turn, needless to say, being sung quite melodiously. During their exchange it was revealed that they had been in close proximity at C.K. Greaves Supermarket that very morning! In fact, Cardinal had looked at Joseph and had remarked to himself, that that man was as slim as he himself was. So, amid hugs and laughter in these initial moments, much was indeed revealed. Joseph was given a glimpse of the safely guarded Medal of Honour which had been presented to Cardinal following the occasion when he would have cooked for the Queen and Cardinal was given a glimpse of Joseph’s tickets for the upcoming cricket match which he had gone out to acquire that very morning.

This chance meeting was brief, and understandably so, as Cardinal had another engagement. Joseph’s invitation, therefore, to “step up into the house” could not be then fulfilled. No need to worry; this was only the beginning; the best may be yet to come!