Marsh Harbor and The New World


“Marsh Harbor will take you in his runabout, sir.”

The skinny boy looked no more than twelve, and made younger by the eagerness of expression.

“I don’t want to be a bother,” I said.

“I am an excellent driver, sir,” said the boy. “The best on the Cay.”

The car was a right-hand drive Austin Moke of considerable antiquity. I wedged myself into the passenger seat. The boy gunned it, spraying a fantail of sand behind us.

“Your name is Marsh Harbor?” I said, trying to keep my voice steady.  “Like the town?”

“I was named after it, sir. You are from Miami?”

“No. I’ve been there, though”

He grinned. “All my life, I have longed to go to Miami.  I have never left Green Turtle Cay.”

“Not even to Nassau?”

“No sir. My grandmother forbids it. She says Nassau is a place of sin.”

“But not Miami.”

“No sir. Miami is the New World.”


What Pegman Saw: Bahamas



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    • J Hardy Carroll

      Thanks, Dale. This conversation actually took place with a young guy who drove me in a golf cart to the bar you see in the picture. This was pre-social media, but the one boy he’d known who had been to Miami became a local celebrity. They called him “Elvis.”

  1. k rawson

    Love his naive perspective. So many wonderful turns of phrase from the “fantail of sand” to his “eagerness of expression”. I could see it all!

  2. EagleAye

    Miami isn’t a place of sin? It’s amazing what people from distant lands think of us. I’ve met folks from the Philippines who believe that all Americans are honest. Wow. I didn’t know where to begin with that.

    Nice piece about perspectives.

  3. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    This story and the ensuing comments made me smile. Ah the stuff dreams are made of. I visited Miami in the 60’s with my parents during the off season. At the time Yiddish was heard almost as much as English. Fast forward 40 years and it’s Spanish. ;) Sorry…I strayed to the side of the road. I meant to say good story…well written as always.



  4. prior..

    enjoyed being in this social exchange – and really reminds me of the people we meet on vacation – or here and there – and laughing at the Miami is a sin… wonder if he saw Miami Vice…

Don't just stand there.