Vol. 110 (2021)

One Hundred Words Project: 
Gerald Hausman On
Mystical Times at Noel Coward's 



In the 1980s, the award-winning author and storyteller Gerald Hausman and his wife, Lorry, conducted a creative writing school on the Northern coast of Jamaica at the home of the late Sir Noel Coward, the celebrated 20th century English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer. In 2020, Hausman wrote a memoir of his experiences entitled Mystical Times at Noel Coward's in which he recounts his exotic, supernatural, spiritual and mystical experiences surrounded by the spirits that haunted Coward's home. In September 2020, his memoir became an Amazon #1 Hot New Release.


Stay Thirsty Magazine invited Gerald Hausman to participate in our One Hundred Words project with topics drawn from his memoir and with his responses limited to precisely one hundred words per topic so that we could learn more about his extraordinary time in Jamaica.


STAY THIRSTY: Sir Noel Coward.


GERALD HAUSMAN: I met him not in the flesh but in spirit. He was a dignified man who had a passionate spirit, always under control. He wrote plays that were poetry, witty, funny and deeply spiritual. He questioned my being at Blue HarbourSo did I. It is hard to describe the meeting of a ghost, let alone one that was once famous. But he kept coming back to me. In some way I must have merited it. His influence on me was that I began to see things through his visionary eyes. Jamaica opened wide for me. And it still does.

STAY THIRSTY: Blue Harbour and Firefly.


GERALD HAUSMAN: Places of magic over the beautiful blue sea. Writers always love such places. Coward’s retreats were so unusual that people with very little imagination lit up and saw them through different eyes. I never met anyone who had stayed at Blue Harbour or Firefly who didn’t have psychic experiences there. Some, in fact, came away a little unhinged, perhaps even a bit bewitched. My students and various others began to write the most beautiful poetry and prose and sometimes wrote fantastical novels. One writer I know is writing the novel he started in 1987. Another artist is painting his memories.



STAY THIRSTY: Jamaican culture.


GERALD HAUSMAN: To describe a culture as vast as Jamaica, one needs to know it is a melting pot of cultures. Many of our experiences happened at night and involved meeting Rastafarians who spoke to me at length in settings that seemed to be out of a truly exceptional, surreal movie. We glided in and out of the lives of a select group of devoutly religious Rastas. These men and women defined their rites of passage as well as instructed me in the ways of holiness. We ate together and often dreamed together. We were brothers and sisters, still are years later.


STAY THIRSTY: The Kebra Nagast: The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom and Faith.


GERALD HAUSMAN: This is a holy book, the glory of kings. This Ethiopian sacred text is not like our Christian Bible because it has so many ancient influences from non-Christian cultures – Arabic, for instance, to name only one. It is a document of what might be termed folk culture from long, long ago. King Solomon is a living presence in the book and so is the so-called Queen of Sheba whose real name was Makeda. We attended spiritual gatherings in more or less secret places unknown to the public. There we heard reciters of The Kebra Nagast, preachers of the holy word.





GERALD HAUSMAN: Once you see one, or become influenced by one, you aren’t the same afterwards. I saw various incarnations of Erzulie, the ancient sea goddess, and once, Legba, the Keeper of the Gates. Were these duppy manifestations? I wasn’t sure, but I did see them and so did many students who stayed at Blue Harbour. There was one ghost, a little girl with floor-length hair. I heard that she was a child actress in a Coward play. Someone said she was a ghost whose living body was drowned off the coast during the sinking of a ship. So many mysteries here.



STAY THIRSTY: Dreamtime.


GERALD HAUSMAN: This is the place where duppies roam and dreamers dream and we all have experiences that we swear cannot be real, but once you are in the dreamtime, you never forget it. My belief is that it’s a real place in psychic reality, the world of dream. To explain – and it’s in the book, I once found myself in the body of another man. My Rasta mystic friend, Mackie, took me to where this man was in prison. Mackie knew him. He said he was a mystic man who could travel in the dreamtime and enter a sleeper’s unconscious body/mind.

Hausmans with their Rasta Friends in Jamaica

STAY THIRSTY: Henry Morgan.


GERALD HAUSMAN: Sir Henry Morgan, Governor Morgan, Pirate Morgan was of course a corporeal man who lived in the 17th century. He was called a Buccaneer and he was a hireling, in a sense, of Great Britain because he attacked Spanish ships and usually sacked them for the Brits who frequently fought against Spain. Morgan married his cousin and settled down to become Jamaica’s governor. However, his bolthole where he could see the North Coast, was at the top of the hill overlooking the bay at Blue Harbour. Morgan’s “backdoor” escape hatch is there today, a deep tunnel in the limestone rocks.



STAY THIRSTY: Ian Fleming.


GERALD HAUSMAN: His writing desk was in a corner of his house named "Goldeneye" in Oracabessa. He placed himself in a corner so that he wouldn’t be tempted to look out of one of the lovely windows while he was writing. Our daughter, Hannah, found an early 20th century novel in which Fleming had written a message to his friend, Noel Coward. I read the novel and was surprised to find it fascinating. Coward and Fleming were good friends. The Blue Harbour house was modeled after Fleming’s "Goldeneye." Both have unforgettable views, all the more reason for the desk in the corner.





GERALD HAUSMAN: His impact is moment by moment, second by second. I have been fortunate to know and work with Cedella Marley, Bob’s eldest daughter, now a writer of children’s books. The first book we did together was The Boy From Nine MilesCedella and I read the book to an audience at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC while being filmed by C-SPAN. Bob’s presence is in my translation of The Kebra Nagast. He is also in the new book about Blue Harbour. There is no question about Bob Marley’s importance in the struggle for freedom worldwide. His music stands alone.

Gerald and Lorry Hausman at Blue Harbour


STAY THIRSTY: The Blue Harbour School of Creative Writing.


GERALD HAUSMAN: A dream come true for this teacher of dreams. I had been a teacher for fifteen years when the opportunity came up to take summer students to Jamaica. Santa Fe Preparatory, where I was an English and gymnastics teacher, supplied the students and the accreditation. We did two-week seminars in creative writing and the students went on outward bound adventures on the island. We immersed ourselves in Jamaican “roots culture” and hired Jamaican teachers. Students still write to us about it thirty years later. A few learned to swim there. Others have said, “I was enlightened, I’ll not forget it.”



Gerald Hausman - Author & Storyteller   

Gerald Hausman    


All opinions expressed are solely those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.