Elbert grew up in Memphis, Tennessee "Elvis Country" and studied Photo Journalism at Memphis State University. After a few years of taking photos, he would like to forget, he became a Vocational Educator for the state. Elbert enjoyed it for many years. "Teaching vocational education is rewarding, but like so many, when age 40 rolled up, I had a re-evaluation of what life is about. So in 1987 I resigned after deciding to semi-retire on a Caribbean island," said Elbert. He spent about a year looking for the right island, armed with a list of wants like: Democracy, English speaking, right to own land, permit to work, has water. He visited prospective country after country. Between visits he would come back to Belize to rest. "Call me a slow learner but after a while the "Big Picture" struck me. I settled on Ambergris Caye with my Labrador companion named Bubba," he commented. The irony of this selection process was that his list did not contain the most important consideration·.what kind of people would he be living with on the island? He got lucky! Not just with the people but also with his choice of vocation - teaching scuba diving. Tourism in San Pedro at the time was young, growing rapidly and Ambergris was in possession of some of the most pristine dive sites on the planet.
In the course of his instruction, he's done over 4,000 dives, and as fun as it seems, he needed a diversion from sand, saltwater and coconut trees so he began bird watching in the jungle. Also, as you may have noticed, writing a bird watching column in the San Pedro Sun with his usual and sometimes confused bird dog friend.
Elbert continued, "He and I have written 186 articles together, and arranged them with a few short stories of our adventures in a book titled "Bird watching with Bubba" soon to be published (as soon as we find a publisher that thinks we're funny)."
Elbert's scuba diving instruction classes and bird watching expertise along with his great team surely has been an asset to the everyday life for visitors and locals in "Our Community."