Montserrat legend David Edgecombe shared story of compassion just months before his passing

David Edgecombe was a playwright, actor, journalist, professor, among other roles. He died November 19 at age 69.

Editor’s note: This past summer David Edgecombe traveled to a Wellness Center in Alabama to address his ongoing kidney issues. His trip was plagued by a myriad of setbacks but had a happy ending. He shared his story with Montserrat Spotlight editor Edwin L. Martin via text on June 7. Here it is:

My recent travel from St. Thomas to Alabama was some trip. When I made the booking the agent told me I didn’t need a negative COVID test to travel. But when I tried checking in for the flight the agent told me I did. She checked and double-checked and insisted I did. People in STT weren’t particularly helpful. Some said I needed the test, others said I didn’t. Out of an abundance of caution I decided to get one, but by now it’s Saturday afternoon and where am I going to get it?

I called every physician and nurse and lab technician I know. My flight leaves at 2 the next day, Sunday, and I needed proof of the test before that. The conclusive result was it couldn’t happen. The best that could be done was go to a lab Monday, get the results back Tuesday, and travel Wednesday. I already had my ticket and decided to try checking in for the flight online. Lo and behold, they issued me a boarding pass! I said, in for a penny, in for a pound, picked up my two carry-ons and turned up at the gates with my boarding pass. It was like j’ouvert morning the amount of people trying to get on a plane. I muddled through the long tedious lines, eventually getting before an agent who examined my pass, looked at my passport, asked me a few questions and wished me a pleasant flight.

We had to fly west to Dallas/Fort Worth to catch the flight to Huntsville, Ala., where I was to be met. I was due to spend time at INHOM Wellness Center and folks from the Center were picking me up. It seemed simple enough but turned out to be otherwise. The captain said floods were expected at DFW Airport so he had to make quick time and he did. He cut the 5-hour flight to 4 hours. But the rain was quick upon us and delayed our departure [to Alabama] by over an hour. That meant getting in after midnight rather than at 11, and still having to drive another hour and a half to get to the Center. I called and asked the Center to book me into the Four Points at Sheraton for the night and pick me up there the next day.

I literally walked off the plane into that hotel, it’s so close, only to be told they had no reservation for me. I said, how could that be? Please check again. They checked and said sorry, Sir, we don’t have a reservation for you. I said, then just book me a room for the night. They said they were booked solid and had no available rooms.

That’s when I saw the text from [the lady] who was supposed to pick me up. She said the hotel was charging for a late check-in and she was not about to pay that. So she booked me into the Holiday Inn that was just ten minutes away. What! At this point, of course, what’s a few bucks saved compared to the luxury of being able to toss my weary bones into a warm, cozy bed? I was furious! But there was no point to that, so I resolved to grab a taxi and end the night, only to soon learn there were no taxis, no Uber, no Lyft, and my phone was dying.

In the distance I spotted a man and woman talking at a National Car Rental booth. I explained to them my problems and they were sympathetic. The man started helping me but soon packed up and left. The woman took over, and what an angel she was. She put my phone to charge and used hers to call the Holiday Inn, who told her I had a reservation, yes, but their shuttle service stopped running hours ago. I started looking for the most comfortable make-shift bed I could find to bunk till morning. The woman, Yolanda, who never got tired or impatient, continued working the phone. In a little while she told me she had called her boss John, and he was coming to take me to the hotel! Can you believe it? I couldn’t. But come he did and took me to that nice, warm, cozy bed. This much I’m left assure of. Southern hospitality is alive and well. At least it is in Huntsville.

Read David Edgecombe’s obituary from the Virgin Islands Daily News

David Edgecombe discusses his life during interview Under The Tamarind Tree

David Edgecombe talks about his battle with kidney disease and his desire to visit Montserrat this past summer.


  1. Very good read Edwin. It was good to hear David’s voice again. He was a great influence to me professionally. His passing was a shocker. Condolences to Lenore and the rest of his family.


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