50 years ago: Before we had taxis

In the Nov. 24, 1965 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a predecessor of the Cayman Compass, West Bay correspondent Leila Yates wrote about what is was like getting from place to place on Grand Cayman before there were taxis: 

“‘How are you going to town tomorrow?’ 

“‘I’m going on Uncle Feetie canoe,’ would be the answer. That meant he was walking it. 

“These were the days before we had our first taxi service pioneered by the late Hermon Jackson and John Smith, followed by the late Hopkin Ebanks in 1923. 

“The present generation knows nothing of the difficulty experienced in those days as they sit in their cars and drive into town on an asphalted road in a few minutes. 

“We had only a narrow path infested with burs that would so often get into our feet. It was usual to walk without shoes to avoid sand getting in and blistering our feet. Feet were washed and shoes put on at Mr. Gratson Parsons’ home which stood where the Pageant Beach Hotel is now built. If the tide was low it would be fine walking along the beach as the sand would be hard, almost like marl road. 

“A crowd would get together and appoint a day to go into town. The journey would not seem tiresome as we would chat and pick cocoplums along they way. No one feared being knocked down by a car – cats and rabbits were the only things to be seen on the road. 

“There were times when a passage could be obtained on a boat and this would be a very enjoyable trip if the sea was not rough. 

“I do not think anybody walks these days and I don’t blame them. Thanks goodness for better days.”