Jan. 9, 2006 Henry Boyd of Henry's Trucking and Water Delivery loves his job. "I love meeting the different people. I get a story from every one," he said.
Boyd has three trucks a water tanker, a dump truck and a flatbed to provide a range of options when it comes to doing business. He said he often moves dirt for construction excavations, as well as trucks stone to home sites.
Get him talking about delivering water, though, and he's talking about the subject closest to his heart. He said he does deliver water to local residents, but the bulk of his business comes from vacation villas.
"Most of the time, they're happy to see me," he said.
He said the guests often want to know where he's from. When he tells them Dominica, they want to know about that island. They also want to learn more about St. John, a place Boyd calls Love City.
"I tell them it's where people of all colors come together," he said.
The job has lots of frustrations, however. Come March, Boyd and other water haulers expect to face the annual V.I. Water and Power Authority water shortage that happens when the villas are filled with shower-loving guests, homeowners are watering their gardens and the rains have lessened.
"They keep promising," he said, referring to WAPA's plan to improve the situation.
Boyd said the only time the truckers have enough water is when the island has few visitors.
However, Boyd said he keeps 45,000 gallons in a cistern "at my place" to supply his customers when WAPA runs dry.
He also said he likes owning his own company, even though he has to "do it all," including truck maintenance.
"Of course, you work harder," he said.
Boyd, now 52, moved to St. John from his native Dominica when he was 19 to help his father, Power Boyd. The elder Boyd developed privately-owned, lower-income housing on St. John, an endeavor that remains in use and bears his name.
"What kept me here was my father. He needed me," Boyd said.
He went back to Dominica once and spent a year in Tortola before moving permanently to St. John. He said that he finally decided he would stay on St. John and make something of himself.
"I grew to love it," he said.
A dozen years ago, he opened Henry's Trucking and Water Delivery.
Laughing, he said St. John certainly isn't what it was when he first moved here.
"It was all bushy," Boyd said.
Watching the steady stream of traffic pass by the WAPA standpipe, he said that St. John now has too many cars.
He's married to Rosie, a woman he calls the most beautiful woman on St. John, and has eight children ranging in age from 13 to 28. Only the youngest, Kendra, 13, is on St. John.
His daughter ,Heather, 22, is in Baltimore. Karen, 27, lives in Orlando and Heska, 28, is in Dominica.
All his boys Bryan, 23; Brandon, 21; Hyghner, 25; and Curvin, 25 are in Texas. Bryan is in the U.S. Air Force.
"All are mechanics," he said proudly, noting that they learned their skill from him.
Call Henry's Trucking and Water Delivery at 779-4977 or 998-7464.
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