Thierry Lamare thinks back on a memorable encounter on Long Island, The Bahamas

A reflection by artist Thierry Lamare

Thierry Lamare, “Mr. Louis Taylor”, N.d. Egg tempura on wood panel. 48″ by 24″.

During one of my many adventures in search of subjects, I was walking down the street in Seymours, Long Island, when my attention drifted toward a little blue cottage, typically Bahamian, and also, as often is in the Out Islands, very run down.

This was a witness of the past and living proof of the many decades of rough Out Island life. Brutal sun, hurricane force winds, and salt air were the culprits that led to the condition of this lovely cottage. This was enough to trigger my interest in this place and so I ventured onto the property.

Suddenly, Mr. Louis Taylor appeared. He was wearing a blue striped shirt and on his head a little white hat, which seemed to have been through the same rough weather as the cottage. My interest suddenly switched from that run down home to the man before me.

He was easy to talk to with a big generous smile. Humility and pride were pouring out of his eyes and face. While he was talking, I couldn’t help being distracted by his shirt that matched the blue horizontal stripes of the cottage siding. His strong hands told no lies about the hard working life that the Out Islands provide.

We spoke for a while and before we parted I took photos of him to help me remember that moment. I promised that I would be back to visit.

The following year I returned to Seymours. To my disappointment, the cottage was boarded up. No one was in sight.

I never saw Mr. Taylor again and even today I still wonder what became of him.