Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Up Close with Castro

For those of you who have visited us at The Reef, you will know Castro (the cockatoo, not Fidel)

Anyway, a leading publication recently interviewed him for a personal profile. I had no idea how fluent a cockatoo could be, especially as English is his second language !

I think there may have been some ghostwriting in there myself, I leave it to you to work out which strange mind may have assisted in that area !


Up Close with Castro

Federico Campos Villanueva del Castro is the most famous character at The Reef Resort in East End – with apologies to the Barefoot Man – where he lords it over Castro’s Hideaway, the beach bar named in his honor.

Originally from Cuba, Castro was for many years a professional stowaway, smuggling himself aboard ship and aircraft to seek adventure, fame and fortune. One day, while sunning himself on the deck of a tanker, he spotted the eastern tip of Grand Cayman. Driven by his natural sense of curiosity he jumped ship and headed for our sandy shores, where he has remained ever since. The rest, as they say, is history.

Our feathered friend is something of a cunning linguist and can tell the same joke in seven different languages. (Those who know him well say he could probably use some new material.)

Favorite Movie The Birdman of Alcatraz

Favorite TV Show Wings

Favorite Athlete Larry Bird

Favorite Group The Eagles

Favorite Actor Walter Pidgeon

Favorite Comedian Robin Williams.

Hobbies Budgie-jumping and parrot-gliding

Favorite Saying You can lead a horse to water – but a pencil must be lead.

Any Famous Relatives? None more famous than me, compadre, but I will admit that Barry Manilow is a second cousin of mine. If we both turn sideways you can really see the resemblance

What Trait Do You Most Admire? Generosity. I’ve always been willing to facilitate those who believe it is better to give than to receive.

What Trait Do You Most Dislike? I dislike people who respond in detail when asked how they’re doing. I mean, give it a break pal, the fact that I’m being polite does NOT mean I’m interested, geddit? Getta life!

What Else Annoys You? Lack of due recognition. For example, people are always saying that my boss, Kel Thompson, is one of the best pilots on the island. I’ll tell you something for nothing pal – he’ll never be the flyer I am.

Most Embarrassing Moment? The last time I met up with my old sparring partner Mohammad Ali. We were sitting at a sidewalk café in South Beach when some fans walked by and one of them said – quite loudly in fact – “Who’s the old geezer with Castro?” I really felt bad for him.

Immediate Ambition? I’m going to stand for election next time around. Too many politicians are content to recite parrot-like statements that are totally devoid of meaning , and at the end of the day it must be said that six of one is not worth a dime a dozen. That’s not my style, compadre. I always say the more there is the less the better.

Biggest Regret Never settling down and starting a family. Don’t get me wrong, amigo, it’s not that I never had the opportunity, I came close on more than one occasion. But at the end of the day it was always the same old story – we were just two ships that passed water under the bridge. Maybe someday I’ll meet a nice girl who’s not afraid of taking a chance with a cockatoo.

How Would You Sum Up Your Philosophy On Life? Simple really, muchacho – the world is your lobster, unless you’ve been burning the midnight oil at both ends, in which case you’re probably sailing too close to thin ice. I also believe that once you’ve buttered your bread you’ve got to lie on it. I really can’t say it any clearer than that.

Parting Thoughts I’ve always been known for my forthright opinions, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say to anyone I may have inadvertently offended over the years — Kiss my tail feathers.

Federico Campos Villanueva del Castro can be seen in person at the Reef Resort in East End. He occasionally grants private audiences and says that although he is very fond of children he wouldn’t eat a whole one. And his bite is definitely worse than his bark.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Party On Castro!

    I talked to you, I feed you, and you bit me, and and took it as a kiss.

    Be well and I hope to see you soon.

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