Mr. Whinstanley felt he could find a teacher but this proved challenging because it was discovered that many of the persons who played music could not read music. Consequently, Dr. Grimes found herself in Montego Bay twice in that year doing the teaching.
A new dimension was added to the programme in 1979 when she brought her jazz band and did a performance at the Montego Bay Boys' Club. By this time Mr. Whinstanley had become convinced of the need for a trained music teacher and Dr. Grimes said she would be glad to do that. Consequently, in the fall of '79 when she was entitled to a semester off with pay as sabbatical, she took her family to Montego Bay and devoted that time to teaching the Herbert Morrison Band.
Two weeks before leaving Illinois, she got a call from Pops Lawrence of the Boys' Club asking for help in securing a band tour bus. Dr. Grimes had no idea where she would get one at an affordable cost, but as fate would have it, two days later "I got a call from a distant relative saying, 'Judy I have a school bus, do you know of anybody who need one'?"
So she "borrowed the money from my credit union to buy the bus" at a significantly reduced price to its value, and had it shipped to Montego Bay. And since she needed some cash while here, she was reimbursed in Jamaican dollars.
Rode into school
Dr. Grimes had never ridden a motorcycle before but she had packed one into the bus and learned to ride it on the streets of Montego Bay. "As I would ride on the road, people would say, 'stop and let a man take you'," but soon she had mastered the bike and as she rode into the school the students would cheer her on.
Sam Sharpe Teachers' College was added to her list of schools in 1979 when she was wooed there at the end of her sabbatical and "for years following, up to 1991, I sent teachers here".
Dr. Grimes had found other Jamaican friends, among them Sam Sharpe's principal, Dr. Cecile Walden CD JP OJ ; music professor, the late Rev. Billy Cooke and Mount Alvernia Vice principal, Mrs. Margaret Vernon LRSM FTCL ACTL
Looking back, Dr. Grimes recalls that, "the beautiful thing about this whole thing is that I would bring my students down twice a year." In June her band would join forces with Mount Alvernia, Herbert Morrison and Sam Sharpe for a music festival and in November when the Elmhurst students had a whole week off for Thanksgiving, Sam Sharpe students would go to Illinois (the first batch of which went in the fall of 1999 -
Vinton Haughton, (Music Teacher @ Mt. Alvernia High School)
Dwayne Haughton, (Music Teacher @ Herbert Morrison High School)
Samuel Nelson (Vice-Principal @ Hasting Primary School)
Kadri-Dale Campbell (Elementary Teacher @ Sudbury All-Age School)
Carlingtom Hyman (Music Teacher @ St. James High School)
But for Dr. Grimes, "I have been coming down every year, at least twice a year since 1979." Sometimes she would be here three times in one year. She declares loyalty to the children whom she taught but admits that her love for Jamaica was fostered by "the relationship I developed with Billy Cooke and later Dr. Cecile Walden. I made honest friends; people that I enjoy sitting down and talking with."
Also, "my students always learn so much coming to Jamaica and they leave something. I think we're very similar in our backgrounds". She also found that the link developed at Herbert Morrison and Mount Alvernia High School continued at Sam Sharpe in that young students whom she had taught music at the high school were now adults attending Sam Sharpe becoming trained specialist in music education.
The link with the Montego Bay Boys' Club has also been very rewarding. For instance, while there Dr. Grimes met a young man named Carl Mathews who was very skilled in music. She talked him into taking on the job of music teacher at Herbert Morrison, something he was very reluctant to do as he did not want to become a teacher. But today, Mr. Mathews and his band have become the toast of school bands in western Jamaica and have won national medals in the JCDC Festival.
Looking at some other interesting developments during her time here so far, Dr. Grimes observed that, "everything seems so criss-crossed in Jamaica. I did not intend to come back for 25 years; I don't know, sometimes you're led into a direction and you don't know why."