We have been staying in a cute cottage overlooking the south cut between Norman’s Cay and Wax Cay. There is a beautiful little stretch of white sandy beach just a few hundred yards away, but the access had been overgrown with native bush.
One Saturday afternoon we arranged for some of the construction crew to help clear the bush to make a pathway to the beach. We were ecstatic about having quick access to the beach so I was impatient about being able to use it. Once the pathway was cleared, I grabbed the dogs and a beach towel and bounded down my path.
I must have been going slow enough to take in my surroundings because upon my inaugural walk, I looked down and was intrigued by a Pepsi can half buried in the leaves and dirt. I stopped to pick it up and examined the faded can. Based on the pop top and unrecognized Pepsi logo, I deducted that it must be somewhat old, so I decided to do some detective work. On the side of the can was an almost illegible slogan saying ‘…that Pepsi spirit.’ A quick Google search let me to Pepsi’s slogans throughout the years. ‘Catch that Pepsi spirit’ was slotted into their advertising campaigns between 1980-1981.
Now, a 35 year old can is a neat bit of nostalgia, however, the most interesting part about it was that between 1978-1981 Colombian drug lord Carlos Ledher had taken over this island, with the blessings of the Bahamian government. It was used as a stopping point for transporting massive amounts of cocaine from Colombia to the US specifically because it was one of the few sparsely populated islands with an airstrip. Homeowners were not allowed on-island during his reign, but he was known locally for throwing some pretty crazy parties if you made it onto his inner-circle guest list. The movie ‘Blow’ with Johnny Depp somewhat portrays that drug-running era in a very Hollywood-esque manner. Or read ‘Turning the Tide’ by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick for a more accurate glimpse.
So there’s a good chance whoever consumed this can of Pepsi was directly involved with Carlos Ledher and the drug running days. Although a friend made a point that Ledher was probably more of a ‘Coke’ guy….