Ramon Badillo, 1980's
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Friday March 30, 2012

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Ramon Badillo, 1980's


Don Ramon! A true icon of the Island. May he rest in Peace!

Mr. Badillo, right? He took me on my first snorkeling trip to the reef in about '87. Nice man - RIP

Mr. Badillo used Vicks Vapour Rub to put my baby toe back in place for me and believe me that was something I have never forgotten...bless him...

We have an Iguana Jack print on the wall at the house which features Don Ramon on the glass bottom boat.

The original ďGlass Bottom BoatĒ (1986)

by Jayson Forman

ď12 piers north and if you donít see him there, look to your left and walk straight up the alley directly to his house!Ē

Uncle Alan Forman was known as a very jovial person who was always flashing a deep dimpled smile. Which is why it was noteworthy that, after having given those instructions to a couple young tourists, he turned around and, with a very serious look on his face, told us to make sure that any time anyone asks for the glass bottom boat give them precise directions where to go and do not try to siphon those tourists away from Mr. Badillo. His face was very stern, his words were very short and direct. He left no room for misunderstanding.

I observed that trend in almost every dive shop up and down the beach. Everyone had their unique way of giving directions but when it came to potential customers for Mr. Badillo, they all treated his business with complete respect.

Thatís the type of legacy he had on the tourism industry. He was the only guide with the glass bottom boatís unique and quite genius experience.

I had yet to hear even one complaint about that trip from anyone in all my years of living there. I myself got to live that adventure when my aunt was visiting from New Jersey and took a boatload of nieces and nephews on that trip.

Mr. Badillo travelled at the right speed to allow your eyes to catch every stingray, school of needlefish or dolphins that played around or under the boat.

His unmistakable boat could be seen twice a day like clockwork going to and from his snorkel destination with him navigating with his signature captainís hat.

He stood apart from all other snorkel excursions and was as unique to the island as his boat. He and his wife never failed to wave to me on my way to or from high school.

Itís no wonder that his entire family were so well liked. The apple doesnít fall far from the well respected tree.

Whenever I think about my childhood, itís people like him who make me smile and appreciate the life I had. We didnít talk much but it was not necessary. His smile and friendly wave was all that I needed to make my childhood feel filled with warmth and safety from the community. He was deeply respected by my family and everyone I knew.

(Mr. Badilloís image inspired by Kay Scottís original photo).

Drawing by Jayson Forman

Malena Badillo: Thanks for the drawing of my Dad's picture. Looks amazing. Love it. I have beautiful memories with him on the "Sinbad" glass bottom boat. Jayson, he was the husband of your dad's cousin. My mom is the daughter of your dad's aunt Carmela Henkis. Sister of your grandma Martha Henkis Forman.

Michel Pineda: Grandpa Ramon, a pioneer in the Tourism Industry and Tacio's Dad!! We're so proud of both of them!!

Gerry Badillo: Love this, my grandfather and his amazing glass bottom boat. Miss him....

Martha Elena Badillo Iversen: Life has never been the same without him in our life. I miss him dearly. I miss his long wise, loving and funny conversations.... There is not a moment that my Papi Ramon is not in my mind and soul. With the passing of my beloved brother Wilfredo whom I will miss soooo much, makes me think and miss all my family and friends even more. Thanks for all the kind words and thank you for being there.

Angel Nunez: San Pedro misses this man who used to fix dislocations. He was known as el sobandero.

Top photograph by Kay Scott

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