Well, laugh at me. I have kept a “little black book” of North Caicos numbers for years, and I consider it among my most valuable island possessions.
It didn’t start out as a phone book. When I began working at Pelican Beach Hotel in 2003, the memory of Susie Gardiner (“boss lady”) served as the phone book. I could name almost anyone on island, and she’d rattle off the number. But sometimes Susie was out shopping or (rarely) having a life, so I began keeping a resource book of hotel info, go-to people and numbers. I kept that book when my work permit expired and eventually transferred the numbers to a little gift book I’d been given. It was lavender, had cat prints on it, and I kept a rubber band around it to hold it together and keep the business cards I’d added from falling out.
By that time, I’d cut off my landline and learned how to put contacts into my cell phone, but I kept the cat book so I could find those people I sometimes needed but didn’t call regularly … people who could fix things, who sold stuff I needed, who worked for government offices where the landline was rarely answered.
Eventually, the cat book fell apart and I replaced it with the Moleskine NC black book, leaving out those who’d died or moved off the island. There are still some outdated things in there (does that PTV guy still work for PTV?), but it remains a valuable resource, heavy on the Gardiners, Handfields and Missicks, yet layered enough that I list peoples’ mothers as a contingency for not being able to reach them otherwise.
The book has proved its value often, most dramatically when my cell phone got swept up by the sea and I needed to re-create my contacts list.
Yeah, go head and laugh at me. But when you need a plumber, want to know if a certain bar is open or need the Kew Clinic number, who ya gonna call?