On-StJohn.com signing off!

Today marks 10 years since the first On-StJohn.com post, and that’s pretty remarkable for a blog.

How did 10 years fly by?

Starting this blog was like catching lightning in a bottle, and it has been an honor for us to showcase this island and all the characters that fill up its stage.

We’ve told you the stories of chefs and bartenders, shop owners and artists. You’ve met life-long St. Johnians and expatriates making a new life on St. John, and the entrepreneurs who’ve tapped into the St. John vibe to turn ideas into success.

We’ve talked to kids right off the boat – some who made it and some who did not – and the visionaries who knew decades ago how important balancing St. John’s growth with its special past would be.

We’ve taken you in the air and under the water, and to some awesome neighboring islands.

And we’ve also said good-bye to a dozen people, four dogs, a fawn, a duck and a one-eyed rooster.

You’ve spent time watching the waves at almost every beach, and taken a Jeep ride on St. John’s roads. And you’ve soaked in the views at some of the island’s prettiest villas.

You’ve helped us raise a little money for many good causes on St. John, and you’ve shared your vote on many of your favorite things.

And some of you old-timer On-StJohners have the tee-shirt to show for all of it. (Maybe two if you’re part of the Riff-Raff.)

By design, the one thing we’ve never given you is any of the bad news. Or, actual news at all for that matter. There have always been other places for you to find that.

More than 3,100 posts, 650 videos and more than 28,000 comments. (And 776,000 spams.)

Many, many thanks to all of you for somehow liking the story-telling we have done, and many thanks to our advertisers who helped us pay off the 13 credit cards that finished Bongo Bongo – a milestone recently achieved!

St. John is the most wonderful place on earth, but it is also a bit like playing with fire.

If you decide to make St. John more than just the best vacation you have every year, I offer this: St. John is a welcoming community full of people who want to help you succeed. Listen to them. There is a rhythm and a way things are done.

This island chews up and spits out the ones who fail to get that. We were slow on the uptake and lost a limb or two ourselves.

And “good morning” is more than just a pleasantry on St. John. It’s part of the rhythm.

So, Good Morning On-StJojhn.com followers.Thank you for every single memory!

-Jeff and Russ. 01/01/2017

(We’d run out of room on the Internet to thank everyone who has been kind to us and helped us with this blog from the early days and on, but here’s a start: Cindy and Mo, Gail and Peter, Gretchen and Margie, Boo and Todd, Cheech and Kevin, Sue Brandi and God love him the late John Brandi, Jim and Kelly, Mike H., Steve and Lisa, Jerry and Tish, Miles, Christie and Abby, Hugo and Josephine, Cheryl, Annie, Kim and Joe, Lonnie, Radha, Jane K., Karye and Bob, and last but not least…a special thanks to Ruth and Ron, who kept us going!)

109 Replies to “On-StJohn.com signing off!”

  1. Happy New Year to you both! Thank you for all of your posts. I visit your site every day and have always enjoyed your up beat and off beat posts. Best to you both!

  2. Don’t give up the ship. Your creation is too good to let die even though it is a little work. We all appreciate it more than you know. Thanks!

  3. God Bless you both, and thank you for introducing St. John to our family with all the good and bad experiences you had. Your humor made your blog very unique and the most entertaining too. Your villa was the first we ever stayed in on island, and because of you, we built our island home. Hopefully one day we will meet. Happy New Year and thanks for all you did to help our island.

  4. From one of the T-shirt owners (not sure why it fits so tight these days), thanks guys! My love for St. John started in September 2005 when we spent our first week there. I immediately caught the fever! On returning home I found the Bongo Bongo construction blog and have been a fan ever since. We’ve been fortunate to return 8 times since, the last in October 2016 when we stayed at Bongo Bongo. Since that first trip your blog helped fill the void I felt not being there. Thanks! All the best to you both. Cheers!

  5. It’s been a while since I’ve said hello, but I want to sincerely thank both of you, and your contributors over the years, for keeping this going and keeping me motivated. I’ve been on St. John for a little over 8 months now and I love my new home and it’s community. You guys were more help than you could know. Take care and I hope to see you around!
    Best wishes,
    THAT Shannon. 🙂

  6. Wow!! Has it really been 10 years? Thanks, guys, for all the fun! The Bongo Bongo construction blog was how I found you, and it’s still the best!! Wishing you all the best of everything!!

  7. Wow! 10 years. Thanks for all the great posts and sharing your love of the island.
    You will be missed….now I have to find another site to open every morning looking for my daily dose of boozy undertones.

    Thanks for the ride…..it’s been a good one

  8. Oh, no! Are there any inpatient rehabs to detox from losing my daily am fix with you?

    I have shared your site with so many I’ve run into over the years. You have brought such joy and positive energy to us all. In this age of social media negativity, it has always been so wonderful to find someone who still finds the good to share with the world.

    All of the best in whatever road you take moving forward. May 2017 bring you good health, joy, laughter and strength to face whatever speed bumps life may put in your way.

    With much fondness…….

  9. Thanks for maintaining the great website over the years, I’ve really enjoyed it. Best wishes to you both.

  10. Will miss waking up to your blog every morning. It was a great ride and will cherish all the memories of fun and laughter. Villa vitals, filming shot of Brandi, Jeep cams, beach breaks, boating, parties, and your daily dose of humor. All the best to you in 2017!

  11. Truly this marks the end of an era. You helped Marcia and I along with some sage advice when we first met over chips and dip and a little cheap wine. You taught us that it was essential to approach the building process with a sense of humor (and twice as much money as we thought we’d need). You gave us some free plugs and encouraged us to start our own blog and we had so much fun doing so.

    Thank you for all of that, but thank you most for the (almost) daily smiles over the years…

    Best wishes to both of you, and we hope to see you On-StJohn sometime soon…

    – Randy & Marcia

  12. Thanks for bringing a bit of St. John to my desert home in Tucson. Our annual two-week visit is not enough of the island to sustain us through our long, hot summers. We’ve enjoyed your stories, especially about the wonderful people on the island. Our best wishes to the two of you and your lives in D.C. and St. John. Thanks. Richard and Dennis

  13. Have really enjoyed On-St. John for many years
    and share your love for this special place, our favorite
    place on this planet. Sorry that you’re closing up but thanks
    for the many many stories, videos etc. that have kept us in touch and made us feel like St Johnians : )

  14. Best wishes guys! Thank you for providing so much entertainment these last few years! Hope to see you around next time we are on island.

    Michelle & Jason Kreth, Sayville, Long Island, NY

  15. Thank you so much for everything over the past 10 years. We visited your blog every Sunday morning with our coffee and enjoyed every story. We love St John and all it’s personality, and you guys really understood it’s unique charm. Best of luck in your next adventures!

  16. A heartfelt thank you Jeff and Russ, your posts will be sorely missed by all of us. But as we all know when one door closes another one opens. May your next door open to wonderful possibilities for both of you.Q and I will be on island the first two weeks in May, if the fates allow our paths will cross one more time. Happy New Year

  17. We will miss you. Luckily, hubs grabbed the jeep cam music, so we can play it while driving.

  18. Don’t go! Please just segue this into something new, like you did when you started this site after the building blog came to the end of its usefulness. Just don’t go!

    I’ve laughed, cried and reminisced while reading/listening to/viewing your posts…the worst days were the ones waiting and waiting for a new one to get put up. “I hope they are okay! It’s been 8 days since the last post!”

    Thank you for all of it. And, most of all, thank you for never clogging this site with pop up ads that make reading/viewing so horribly unpleasant (like another STJ site that I frequent).

    Be well, Bongo Boys. You will be greatly missed!!!!

  19. Thanks for all of the great posts over the years. We’ve been faithful readers since you started with the Bongo Bongo building blog. We’ll miss starting our days with your site.

    Be well, Pete

  20. Thank you Jeff and Russ for devoting so much of your time and energies to OnSTJ. It was like reading a letter from home with each new post. Also, thank you for Bongo Bongo !!CWF4

  21. Farewell to the guys who taught me that there are actually fads in the color of new Jeeps! And SO many other hilarious and interesting things. The construction tale alone was equivalent to great literature…we laughed, we cried, we laughed UNTIL we cried! Your lovely interview with Glen will stay up on the Caravan Gallery website for many to enjoy and learn. Wishing you health, happiness, and loads of laughs. ?

  22. Wow. My New Year’s Day hangover just got exponentially worse. Selfishly sad about this, but grateful for the virtual, island fix. Best to you.

  23. Been with you since that dude was balancing his check book in your (soon-to-be) pool. Has it really been 10 yrs?? Thanks for the great run… there’s just something about that place.

  24. It’s been great fun! Thanks for everything. Hope to bump into you guys one day on island, but meanwhile– all the best! Happy New Year.

  25. Thanks for all the cool stuff you did. I read your building blog in the beginning. Been going to St John for many years now and it is a second home for us now. Hope to see you on Island but I get to hear your cool voice still on WTOP.

  26. Russ and Jeff: Thanks so much for the delightful and humorous window onto St. John that your blog gave us over these past ten years. Your original building blog helped us decide to buy rather than build, or as you called it at the time, “cheating”. Congratulations on retiring the Bongo Bongo debt! We wish you the very best, on island and off.

    Kevin and Danielle

  27. Thanks guys for all your effort. We hope to see you somewhere when we are there as I’m sure I owe you at least one drink, maybe even with the Riff-Raff.

    Thanks again, good luck, and have fun.


  28. From reading your entire Bongo Bongo blog in one weekend (hyper-extended my neck), to coming up for air at a beach and seeing Jeff and feeling like it was the President, to the Christmas morning feeling opening up my computer every morning, EVERY MORNING, going to on-St. John first, THANK YOU from the Mele Family! You will be missed so much!

  29. Awe!!,
    Thank you so much for your lovely support over the years and motivating me to do the ” Annie’s Animals” video clips.I really enjoyed your Blog. I hope to run into you somewhere,sometime.
    All the best for your next adventure!
    Annie Caswell

  30. You guys were one of the first places I looked every morning for so many years now I guess I somehow thought it would never end. I loved seeing what you could come up with to show us a little of the “inside” of STJ. You will be so missed by me. I hope life has dealt you a better hand and that you play it to the max. Live on and live it up and know that you brought a lot of fun to lots of people all over the place. Best of luck guys. Thanks.

  31. All the best for you guys! I’ve really enjoyed your blog these ten years! Nice way to start each morning. (And appreciated the sharp knives in the Bongo kitchen when we stayed there!)


  32. I’ve enjoyed reading this blog almost since it was started. Loved your humor and all the interesting stories, videos and facts. Thanks for helping me to enjoy the feel of St. John when I had to be away from paradise.
    God speed gentlemen!

  33. Part of my volunteer job for SRV is a morning web crawl for news and views that might effect us up on the hill. On St. John has always been my first stop. I’ve appreciated your sense of humor and your love of our favorite place. I know it isn’t easy coming up with content every stinking day but you’ve done a wonderful job of it, even mentioning us on an occasion or two. By the way, we furnish grocery bags also. So you will be missed. I hate having my morning routine changed. Good luck to you both, we have all appreciated your efforts. Have I used the word appreciate too often?

  34. A big thanks to both of you for all the fun you have provided. I think my husband and I were the first to stay at Bongo Bongo and loved it. You came by to pick up a laptop and we got to meet you.Maybe we will still see you on island again.
    Will miss your post but best of luck.

  35. Had to say thanks for all the informative and fun stuff you’ve done. Be well and Godspeed!
    And now one blatant plug for my book: “Letters From My Uncles: The Story of a Family During WWII as Told Through Letters From Servicemen” available in print and kindle on Amazon!
    Also, contact Islandia real estate about an awesome 1/2 acre I’m selling overlooking Coral Bay. Ask Merry about the Palasek lot.
    Okay, thanks and stay well both of you and all of you other readers over the years. Peace and rum!

  36. Sad to see you “retire” the site!
    I first visited St. John in 1971(?) with a youth orchestra, ferrying over from St. Thomas to play a concert in the square by the dock. Got to swim at Trunk Bay before we went back.
    Since then I’ve been back several times discovering Coral Bay and loving the island.
    I’ll miss visiting it through your posts!

  37. I have checked on-stjohn.com virtually every day of those 10 years you were “on the air” and enjoyed the tremendous insight you brought to the living community that is St John.
    Our visits to St John over the years have and introducing our family and children have been a highlight of our lives. We must say we are somewhat sad the St John is not a well kept secret and the growth has taken some of its unique lustre.

    But we will keep coming back and will always think of the Bongo Bongo boys. Hopefully we will see you one of the flights from Dulles!

    Tom and Melisa

  38. You guys rock – 10 great years.

    It puts you in good company… the Beatles had a 10 year run also 🙂

    Enjoy your free time!

  39. I am really going to miss you guys. This blog has been so much fun for us. We check in every morning. We wish you all the best.

  40. Thank you for the many interesting posts – it was a daily read for me and thoroughly enjoyable. I was honored to be a contributor of items from my collection at times and will miss the blog for sure.
    Good luck in the next project or retirement.
    Happy New Year!!

  41. First Day back to work after the holidays and this is the first favorite I clicked on….I hate having to break a habit

  42. Thank you guys for 10 great years. We remember our dinner at Bethesda Country Club when we first met. Thanks for all the fantastic and nice coverage of the Soggy Dollar. We loved it.
    CJ was one of your biggest fans. We started our day together talking about your posts!!!!
    Wishing you all the best. See you in Jost.
    Good Luck in your next adventure!!!!

  43. You’ve always been part of my morning routine, and I’m going to miss you terribly. As a blogger who did over 1000 posts before losing steam, I understand your decision, but it still makes me very sad. You’ve been my connection to one of my favorite places in the world, and I’ll miss that too. Best of luck to you, and thank you so much for all your hard work.


  44. Thank you guys for the past 10 years! I have been following you both from the day you broke ground at bongo bongo. It was a great run and even though we have never met, I feel you are family members. Sad to see you go, but thank you so for making everyday a bit better catching us up on the best place on earth!! Peace, Love and happiness!!

  45. Thanks for everything, Russ and Jeff! I discovered your blog after our first trip to STJ in 2005, and you have been a bookmark on my web browser ever since. I enjoyed being “in-the-know” on all our subsequent visits. Between trips, I looked forward to the momentary “mini-vacation” every morning as I read the latest post before starting my work day. You blog will be greatly missed! Best of luck…

  46. coffee, power on, favorites, on-stjohn…..everyday since the beginning. we will all miss you guys, thanks for helping to start our days off in the right direction all these years and good luck as you move on.

  47. Thanks for the updates over the years. You guys have been a great link to the island for those times we couldn’t be there. Time to kick up your heels, grab a frosty libation & relax.
    Best wishes

  48. First off, thank you so much for publishing this blog. It’s wonderful. It keeps me connected to STJ. My wife and I recently returned from our 10th trip, and now that we’ve hit double digits, I think I want to move there. But it’s a little pricey, as you know.

    Oh, and my wife says, “No.”

    Now for my pitch: I’m a full-time Editor of a corporate blog, so I understand how much work goes into publishing a quality blog. But take a look at how many responses you received to this post.

    Why not enlist these people to write blog posts for you? Divide the work and conquer it! I’m sure a lot of these people would be more than willing to write a blog post based on their most recent adventures on STJ – the places they went and the people they met.

    Hell, I’ll go first.

    Something to think about. I mean, you do realize you’re our lifeline to Shangri-La, right?

    Regardless, thanks again for the work you put in over the years. Clearly, people enjoy it. And best of luck in the future!

  49. Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts!….so many great memories! I will miss this greatly ?

  50. Well, shoot!

    I remember when you started the Bongo Bongo construction blog, and I remember when you started the On-St. John blog, and I remember back when googling “On St. John” didn’t even bring up your site (when I was too lazy to find my bookmark).

    Good luck to y’all!

  51. Wow, 10 years. Must seem like 70 in Dog years to you guys at times. Thanks for all the content, humor and passion you shared with your devoted addicts. You are certainly the leader of that STJ Vibe and your takes will be missed.

    Cheers and enjoy the Journey

  52. Cheers! My first visit to the island was in 2010. I fell in love, of course – so when I came home I spent a lot of time Googling St. John. I quickly found your blog and have been following you since. The random observations capture the laid-back spirit, and bring me back. I guess now I’ll have to buy a plane ticket! Thanks!

  53. Thanks for the good run!

    I started with you back in the Bongo construction days. Saw you on island a couple of times and would grab my husband’s arm and hiss “its Russ and Jeff!” Never said hi because that would have been weird.

    Best of luck in the future.

  54. Thanks Jeff and Russ for sharing your St. John experience. I’ve enjoyed it all, nearly everyday, from you guys breaking ground at Bongo Bongo, to your last hilarious video. Enjoy your “retirement,” and I hope to one day buy you a round on St. John!

    Minneapolis, MN

  55. We were on St. John just before Christmas and realized it had been 12 years since our last time on the island. since then my two girls have grown, married and grandkids. we made the journey to introduce our son-in-laws and grandkids to the island. our daughters knew how they would react and planning for the next trip is in the works. During the last 10 years your blog has been an inspiration to us as we worked hard to get to a place where we could return. As life moves on, we push some of our dreams forward to give us something to work towards. Thanks for helping keep our dream alive.

    Been following since the building blog. Good luck in your endeavors.

  56. Thanks for 10 years of interesting, creative posts, guys. Your humor and insights will be missed.

  57. Happy New Year and wishing you both as fun, quirky and amazing future as you provided on a daily basis with your On-St. John blog. I have been an avid reader since the breaking of ground on Bongo Bongo and will miss the Jeep cam and all the witty posts, gorgeous videos you have produced, the many interesting and varied St. John characters I’ve met on here over the years and your wonderful gift of seeing and sharing the spirit and magic that is St. John!! Godspeed gentlemen and THANK YOU!!!

  58. Russ and Jeff: Thanks for 10 years of great STJ reads and videos and a perspective on island building and life! Thanks for shining a flashlight on my recent villa endeavor! UROCK! Like others, I’m feeling a bit like the last day of Summer Camp is here. Saying goodbye … until next summer ; )

  59. I guess I’m addicted. I’m still reading this, now for the comments. It’s 12 degrees in Chicago, and I need my island fix. Maybe you could just do re-runs like Gilligan’s Island?

  60. I am addicted too. It’s 24 degrees in NJ and I just read through all 85 comments. Re-runs are a great idea!

  61. I’m with Mike and Amy, just can’t stay away. I keep coming back for more. Maybe I am hoping the retirement is another of your classic April fools but this time it is three months early.

  62. Guys. Thank you for your gifts of sharing your life,passion,spills,thrills and smiles. We are some of the lucky ones that met you. May our paths cross again. God bless…Bill and Sandie

  63. A wonderful ride Gents. Loved it all. We relied on you for trip hints and tips over the years. Thanks for the Jeep rides down our favorite haunts. We will be back and when we do we’ll wave as we drive by. Thanks for your labor of love.

  64. I really hate to see you go but I have loved pulling your postings up every day to see the new topics and catch a part of island life while being in single digit weather. Thank You and Happy New Year, may it be a blessed 2017 for you.

  65. I will miss this blog, and the connection to beloved STJ. I am looking forward to another visit to the island and Bongo Bongo in late 2017. Thank you, so much, Jeff and Russ, for generously sharing with all of us. Much love.

  66. Change is inevitable but still difficult to accept especially when it will disconnect you from a place your soul resides. Russ and Jeff keep you me in touch with a life on St. John that I continued to attempt as life goes on stateside until I can physically make the visits which began in 1992 as permanent, temporaray, permament, temporary, seasonal, occasional , annual, semi-annual, you get the picture. Anyway I am always there in one form or another and one of those being vacariously through Russ and Jeff sharing in print and videos and blogs what has sustained me quite adequately and with interest. You will be missed. Thank you for the past 10 years. Trudy

  67. Well, Jeff and Russ

    What can I say. You inspired me to finish my first villa with Bongo Bongo blog. When things got pretty dark for me, I just thought of all the stuff you went through and that propelled me to finish – over budget of course!

    Then the daily blog! Amazing stories, great Jeep Cams and tidbits you always tossed in at the right moment to make me smile. You motivated me to start a newsletter of my own.



    Great fortune to you both in the future!

    Mike Mullen

  68. Wow-10 years! Congrats on a job well done…i have been a STJ lover for 15 years and became addicted to your blog after reading your journey building BongoBongo. The only thing that gets me through the cold CT winters is our annual April trip. I so much enjoy keeping up to date with island happenings through your writings and videos- your wit is unmatched and often makes me laugh out loud. Thanks so much for what you do! Cheers to another great 10 years!

  69. Jeff and Russ, Thank you for sharing 10 years of great St. John stories. I have learned about the restaurants, beaches, roads, villas, and (most importantly) the lives of the incredible people who live there. Your reporting shed a light on why the people make the island such a special place. Thank you!

  70. Well, must be inspiring and humbling to have touched so many folks. And I’m guessing the ratio of readers to those that leave a response are at least 20 to 1.

    Perhaps a scaled down version so we don’t have to go cold turkey. A once a week or once a month post. Bu alas, it wouldn’t be the same nor up to your vision of what this creature has become.

    See you on the Rock

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