Although we are just 4 years apart in age and were neighbors about five houses away and students at Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary School, Arnold and I did not know each other very well until now that we are retired and I have returned to our common home. So, let's learn together what Arnold has to say about his life as a child growing up on St. Thomas.
"I was born at Easter-time 1950 on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – a 32 square mile island in the middle of the chain of islands that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. Sixty-three years later, I'm still living on the same island. But I've had a lifetime of experiences and adventures – some of them positive and exciting, others terrifying and heartbreaking, and still others that were, quite frankly, very embarrassing. I invite you to travel with me down memory lane as I share with you what it was like growing up on this little island that its residents affectionately call 'The Rock'."
Some might think it is somewhat egotistical that I'm writing my life story. After all, why would anyone be interested in reading it? I guess in a way, that's true. However, I'm writing this mainly for my daughter, granddaughter, and their future descendants. It wasn't until very recently that I became interested in family history and, by that time, my grandparents, my father, and most of my aunts and uncles had already passed away. My wife, Helena Elvira Perkins, is in the same situation because her parents and other ancestors are also now gone. Unfortunately, we didn't think of asking them about their life stories when they were alive and now it's too late. Hopefully, this biography will serve that purpose and, at the same time, be of interest to anyone who has ever lived on St. Thomas.