A story from St. John.

I thought this story was worth telling and taking time as you’re likely sipping your morning coffee while dreaming of St. John.


Back in 2009, I was sitting on a cushy Tommy Bahama chair at Maho Bay Beach with several empty Heineken bottles close at hand in the sand. This was the old days prior to the National Park Service enforcing the glass container beach ban.

Just minding my business in a half comatose state enjoying the sun beating down on my now tanned body. Dreaming about Villa Sopra Mare that was almost completely built and ready for guests. Frankly, I was pretty anxious to hear guest reactions to this unique villa directly on the water facing St. Croix. Only thing lacking was paint and arranging all furniture and accessories. Like all building owners on St. John, I had clearly expected the entire villa completed earlier. Hence for the last thirty days construction guys had been making lunch in my brand new microwave, putting power tools on the furniture and their dirty shoes on the tables.

Alas, now there was one final obstacle to complete before arranging everything. My painter I hired had just canceled due to off island family emergency leaving me “high and dry.” Like most “dopey” owners that build on St. John I had already taken my first guest reservation arriving in twelve days!

I sat there - warm water splashing over my feet and little fishes defoliating my toes. When suddenly I thought I must be dreaming! Something touched my shoulder - cold and wet! I opened my eyes to what must have been a mirage – it had to be a mirage?

Before me stood the most perfect proportionally atomically correct blond female I had ever laid eyes upon. A living, breathing, live Barbie! In a thong bathing suit no less, holding a frosty, cold dripping Heineken in my direction! If this wasn't heaven it damn sure was the next best thing!

Well, we struck up a conversation and I learned she was an artist on St. John and had recognized my Jeep parked across the road from Maho and knew me. Her boyfriend and she, saw the car and decided to say “Hello.” Of course, with the admission of a boyfriend my libido was quickly back in check and testosterone level dropping by the second.

I asked drooling at this goddess me, “What do you paint?”

She responded, “My name is “A” and I paint island scenes.”

“And, have you ever painted a villa?”

She stated, “Yes, my boyfriend who's in maintenance, and I are constantly painting villas.”

“Would you like to paint mine?”

The next day we struck a bargain and have to say with her short shorts and a tall ladder it was really difficult keeping guys in check to finish punch list items to be done. Nearly had one guy lose a thumb to a power saw...

She was almost finished when I had a brain thought. (Not anticipated by many of my friends and those that do are often utterly amazed).

See, I had this damn window in Sopra Mare guest shower that looked right out on the road and had no idea what to do. During the daytime it was fine but at night anyone could, if they tried, peak through the landscape directly into the shower. Fine for men no good for women. I had considered putting on frosted glass or a blind but to me that was tacky – but what to do?

To “A” I proposed, “Paint me an island scene with sand, water and palm trees on the shower window!” She loved the idea, and for the next eight years guests enjoyed privacy and the opportunity to see a tranquil ocean scene as they showered. Hikers and walkers simultaneously on the road at night enjoyed a great ocean scene back-lite by the shower light. Problem solved!


As Paul Harvey famously use to say...

IRMA did major destruction to both my villas. One of the first communications after nearly eight years of silence was from “A.” Who said, “Did my window survive the storm?”

Sadly, I had to respond, “No, can you come back and replace it?”

She responded that she was now living in Wales and such a trip was not practical.

I'd been after my Villa Manager – Jared Warren since January to replace the shower window art. Asked him to get a local artist,  I didn't care who, but I wanted the shower painted as soon as possible.

Jared, who runs and owns “Unique Island Assets Management Company,” is a real estate broker, President of St. John Board of Realtors, a Ship's Captain and now “ARTIST!” Completed the job last month.

“A”, I hope you approve of your replacement?


I believe it's beautiful and just waiting for walkers at night and guests to appreciate. Let me know what you readers think?


You know I really don't have much to say about rentals right now. Thanks to all of you I'm pretty much fully booked for August and again, thanks to you “Crazy People” ignoring potential hurricanes I have a good share of September also booked.

But October up to Christmas week is wide open and this will be your last chance to get either Sopra Mare at Bordo Mare at post IRMA Hurricane discounts. Regular rates will commence January, 2019 with of course 10% discounts to returning customer. So, I suggest you get on the ball, contact me and let’s see what we can work out for a week or two at these once again new villas.

Hope you enjoyed the little story above and for September I promise you a “Kick Ass” very special newsletter! Enjoy your remaining Summer!

Mike Mullen

But you can just call me “Mulley”