77.8 F
Cruz Bay
Monday, July 22, 2024


June 15, 2003 – Frenchtown has always had a bit of magic about it, but now it's official. The Joseph Aubain Ballpark was transformed into "Magicsville" on Friday night, honoring Teddy "Magic" Danet, possibly the most well-known ambassador of the French village.
Danet was not the only star. He shared honors with Miss Carenage of 2003, Jennifer Louise Greaux, whose family has a history of Frenchtown pageantry.
Stepping delicately over the grass field in her finery, Greaux was resplendent, her gown backed by a long, shimmering red velvet cape to go with her tiara, as she greeted friends and admirers.
She is a Charlotte Amalie High School graduate and early admissions student at the University of the Virgin Islands, where she plans to major in chemistry with an eye toward a career in forensic science.
The stage was filled with island notables, as Irvin "Brownie" Brown kept things moving. Senate President David Jones; Commissioner of Housing, Parks and Recreation Ira Hobson, a regular at these ceremonies; James O 'Bryan, St. Thomas-Water Island administrator; and Jean Greaux, president of the Committee for the Betterment of Carenage, which sponsors the event, all had words for Danet, most of them in a humorous vein, noting his varied presence on the island over the years.
Danet was one of the founders of the Father's Day celebration. "It's really different now," Danet said, recalling the time when he got together with Louis Greaux, Pete Ledee, Alan Richardson, the late Gus Aubain, and a few others and decided to make something of Father's Day, with a little fishing, a little food, a little drink and sometimes a ragtag parade past the late Bar Normandie.
There is no parade this year, but there is some trucking around, albeit in a more athletic form. A two-mile run was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
Otherwise, things are pretty much the same, if a little more varied. A plastic bubble booth lets kids bounce around, and the music is more sophisticated with amplification, but there is the same chicken legs, pates, fried fish, roti and ice cream. And familiar crowds are greeting old friends and, perhaps, reminiscing over a cup of rum or so.
Danet was modest as he accepted his award with few words and a big smile Friday night, standing about 100 feet from where he was born almost 73 years ago. It's been an interesting journey.
An avid sportsman and baseball player, he told the audience an abbreviated tale of his connection to Coopers Town, N.Y., where he is in the record book. In 1989, Danet's St. Thomas baseball team won the 50-year old and over championship in Melder, La. Lots of retired major league players were there, Danet said, and they asked two players from his team and a St. Croix team to join them in a game, the first ever for 50 and over ex-major leaguers. Danet pinch-hit in the game, and got his name in the official records.
But sports has hardly been all for Danet. He is a father of three children, a privilege he takes seriously. He lamented the lack of fathering he sees now. On the stage he implored fathers to "know what your children are doing." He said St. Anne's church on a hill in Frenchtown "is almost bare" on Sundays.
"I beg you, as fathers, to come to church, to bring your children. Get them on the right path."
Honors aren't new to the venerable Danet, who has been involved in more community activities than you can shake tricolor at. He has been honored by the Legislature, inducted to the V.I. Sports Hall of Fame, and has been an active member of the Rotary Club, American Red Cross, USO Council, V.I. Parole Board, Knights of Columbus, the V.I. Game Fishing Club, and is one of the few extant members of the late, alas, Royal Frenchtown Yacht Club.
Professionally, Danet is best known out of Frenchtown for the many years he spent as manager of Kresto-Denia Co., Milwaukee Beer distributors.
Danet will celebrate not only his 73rd birthday, but his wedding anniversary to Lillian Ann Greaux, on June 21. They have one son, Theodore "Tippy" Danet III, 27, who is married and lives in Milwaukee where he manages Walgreen Drugstores. You seldom see Danet without Lillian strolling around Frenchtown, and for many years, with "Tippy." Danet has two daughters by a former marriage.
Being father of the year was a "big surprise," Danet, who has helped stage the festivities over the many years, said. "I really didn't know anything about it. Then, about a week ago, I saw them unrolling a banner. I thought it was the fishing tournament banner, but when I began to see 'M-A-G,' I knew something was up."
The celebration continues with the Just So and Seabreeze bands on Sunday night when they award the fishing tournament prizes.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.