Washington’s Caribbean Phase

We all know of George Washington as the steadfast, brilliant general who led a nation to independence. He was a fair outdoorsman, sure, doing a little cold water paddling across the Delaware, chopping cherry tree wood to pass the time. But did you know old Georgie kicked it old school down in the islands? Yup, our first President spent several months down in Barbados when he was young to sniff the fresh air, get a sun tan and likely to sip a few tasty Daiquiris (rum being, of course, a key export).

Washington came to Barbados at age 19 with his older half-brother Lawrence (aka: “L Dubya”), who had TB. Larry Washington’s doc said that the islands would be good for him, and George figured he’d tag along. George (known in the islands as “Da Wash”) spent two months riding his horse around the islands, apparently he caught his first fireworks shows and he hung out a bit with the governor and some generals. He also caught smallpox, and thus became immune to the disease for the rest of his life.

I guess the long and the short of it is that all this now gives history buffs a good reason to head down to the Caribbean. And to do so quickly, because February 22 is Da Wash’s birthday, and admission to the new Washington museum will be half-price. They will also have birthday cake and songs may be sung, especially when the rum gets broken out, as you know it will.

I cannot tell a lie, that sounds like a pretty good time.