One of the best things about being a journalist isn’t necessarily the stories you do, nor is it the differences you’re supposed make. It’s not about educating, entertaining and informing the wider public and it’s not really about righting wrongs.
For me, the best thing about being a journalist is the people you get to meet.
And over the years, and boy there has been lots of years, I’ve met some really cool people.
Samuel L. Jackson oozes cool. I met him in Liverpool when he was filming a movie in the city that sadly wasn’t that cool.
Sir Paul McCartney is very cool too, albeit in an “old man” kinda way. Yoko Ono, widow of the late, great John Lennon is also super cool and I’ve been lucky enough to interview her many times.
More recently, I met former Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard who, very coolly, spent most of the time talking to me about teachers we both knew, as we went to the same school.
Here in Cayman I’ve also met plenty of cool people. Guardians of the Galaxy actress Zoe Saldana springs to mind as being very, very cool, although I’m still waiting for her to call. No idea what she sees in her hunky Italian artist husband.
But I think after a career spanning almost three decades, the coolest person I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting is Usain Bolt.
I’ve tried to work out exactly why he is so cool. It’s not because he’s the fastest man in the world, or because he’s won more gold medals than any other.
It’s not even because after winning he relaxes by partying with a bevy of beauties in his hotel room. It’s not because he’s such a nice bloke and it’s not because he’s so down to earth.
The reason, I think, Usain Bolt is so cool is simple. He’s Jamaican.
Since moving to Cayman I’ve met and I’m lucky enough to call them my friends, plenty of Jamaican people. They are all cool. Like the bus driver Akeem, who’s not only cool, he has a cool bus.
Or the barbers who work on Eastern Avenue, or two young women I know called Monia Forbes and Nicole Vassel who are both very cool. I’ve friends called Mitzy and Megan, both Jamaican, both cool.
Radio Cayman’s Andrel Harris has Jamaican heritage. He is also, as the saying goes, too cool for school.
I’m mates with a security guard who works at a bank, he’s cool, and he’s Jamaican. And there’s a friend Niki who works check-out at Foster’s, she’s also very cool and no surprise, Jamaican.
But now it’s time for a confession. I’ve never been to Jamaica. But I will, soon I hope. And when I do I’ll be blown away by the country I’m sure. I’m told its beautiful, has amazing countryside, breath taking beaches and picture postcard scenery.
But what I’m really looking forward to about going to Jamaica is meeting the people. And I’ve no doubt whatsoever, they’ll all be really cool.