A match made at the Beacon

Beaconites wish two former Beacon reporters — Conor King Devitt and Amanda Ulrich — a happy marriage! The couple survived Hurricane Irma while working at the Beacon, and they have been on numerous adventures across the globe since then. While they now reside in California, their time in the Virgin Islands is what created a foundation of friendship and solidified their relationship. A current Beaconite attended their wedding this weekend in Palm Springs, where she was surrounded by writers, journalists, artists and other creatives. Palm Springs itself reminded her of Tortola: The quaint desert resort town had a laid-back and calm ambiance. Its local airport sported toy planes that took off every now and then against a mountainous backdrop. She was also reminded of the good times she had with the bride: exploring the Bat Cave at sunset, tag-teaming coverage of the 2019 elections, taking selfies at The Dove with drinks in hand, and having patties from a food truck while staking out courthouses for stories. At the wedding, the bride joked that she was practising various “cool” poses for photos. So she and the Beaconite put their heads together and figured out the difference between an “I Love You” in sign language and a rock-n-roll hand gesture. Incidentally, the bride also made fun of the Beaconite’s “sleeping baby” pose. Anyways, they decided together on the photo above.



Book club camaraderie

As a former student of journalism and creative writing, a Beaconite is delighted to see how the BVI Literary Festival has grown since its inception in 2021. Quite an extensive programme is being offered in the coming days, with much of it free and open to the public. The reporter hopes the community takes full advantage. While assembling the Beacon’s preview guide, she was impressed by the breadth of experience the featured guests are bringing to the table. They specialise in everything from history to finance to performing arts, and many have received high praise and awards in their areas of speciality. The Beaconite’s book club read Eleanor Shearer’s book River Sing Me Home just a few months ago, and the members are all excited to attend her panel, among others. It’s exciting to think about what creative power can be unleashed by such an event, and the reporter looks forward to attending.



Department of Motor Struggles

In very few places does the local department of motor vehicles have a great reputation. That is not news, as readers will know. Despite many improvements in recent years, the Virgin Islands’ Department of Motor Vehicles may not have risen above the unfeeling bureaucracy that is so common in other countries as well, a Beaconite was forced to conclude recently. It is unknown why, exactly, the DMV is so stigmatised, and the reporter often forgets that people are not necessarily supposed to enjoy their experience. However, he remembered just why people dread the department when his rental scooter turned out to have passed its date of legal registration, keeping him from even attempting to complete his cone test. He can’t fault the DMV for that: It was the rental agency’s fault. But upon swapping one rental for another and getting through the cone course just in time, he was then forced to endure the failure of the DMV’s computer system, delaying the printing of his licence. “It is what it is,” he said, and settled down to wait a little longer. The process had taken over a month. Another day, he reasoned, wouldn’t hurt.