Distinguished accountant publishes books on ‘Growing Up in Vincy’, ‘Vincy Lifestyle’

Vincentian author Niki Spring.
Photo courtesy Niki Spring

A distinguished Vincentian-born accountant has published two books on “Growing Up in Vincy” and “Vincy Lifestyle.”

Dr. Nicholette Spring – a Valley Stream, Long Island resident, who is the chief financial officer at an undisclosed private company in Manhattan – told Caribbean Life on Saturday that “Growing Up in Vincy” was published in Chicago, Ill. on Feb. 7, and that “A Collection of Poems – Vincy Lifestyle” was published on Feb. 17 in North Haven, Conn.

Dr. Spring, who is also an online tutor and professor at the Princeton Review, New York, said that “Growing Up in Vincy” is “a narrative” of her life experiences as a child growing up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the communities of Dickson, O’Brien’s Valley and Mangrove along the western coast of mainland St. Vincent.

“It speaks of my experiences as a school child having games in school, playing moonlight games, going to the beach during the long August school vacation, stories about jumbie (“Duppy” in Jamaica), customs back in the day,” said Dr. Spring, who is also chief executive officer of the Dr. Nicholette Spring Charitable Foundation, Inc., which sponsors educational activities for schools on the windward side of mainland St. Vincent.

Dr. Spring, who holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree, specializing in advance accounting, from Northcentral University, San Diego, CA, said the purpose of “Growing Up in Vincy” is “to leave a trail of the life we lived as children growing up in the 70s, 80s and 90s in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The onset and continuing development of technology make it difficult to continue the trends,” she said. “However, this book will give an idea of our activities, while we, who have experienced them, can look back and smile at the sweet memories.

“While my experiences are specific to Dickson, Langley Park and Mangrove/Byera areas, the experiences are like those who grew up in other parts of the island,” she added. “Therefore, everyone can relate.”

In “Growing Up in Vincy,” Dr. Spring, a former qualified assistant teacher in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, writes about, among other things, mountain, river, beach and roadside cooking; “liming” and drinking on the block; bathing of babies; bathing at the river’s mouth; and sea and waterfall “saps”.

“River cooking is the most popular,” she writes. “We take the animal and butcher it at the riverside to make a fresh boil. The head, feet and tripe are cooked in callaloo soup. Sometimes, the meat is curried and served with ground provisions. The food is served on banana leaves and is called the feast.

“The best is roast breadfruit and dove meat,” she adds. “Sweet fuh so!”

Dr. Spring writes that, while the origin of river cooking is not clear, “what is certain is the constituency of North Central Windward has been an area that can take bragging rights.

“These communities are Park Hill, South Rivers and Byera,” she adds, stating that river cooking was made popular by villagers such as, Dennis “Das” Da Silva, Allison Balcombe and “Uncle Toad.”

Dr. Spring laments that, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines has many traditions that may or may not be exclusively Vincentian – and were passed down from generation to generation – “slowly, they are dying.”

“People hardly bathe in the river because of pipe-borne water, inside showers and water heaters,” she writes. “Some people still take their saps and sea baths.

“I made it my business to take my children to St. Vincent (and the Grenadines) at six weeks old to be barked,” she added. “I also make it my business to get a good sea or river sap whenever I visit.

“Is it tradition, superstition or just because?” Dr. Spring asks. “I have no idea, but it surely makes the body feel good.”

She said “A Collection of Poems – Vincy Lifestyle” is a book of random poems on the lifestyle of Vincentians.

“The poems are based on all aspects of the Vincy lifestyle – from cookouts, school days, some villages to politics,” said Dr. Spring, disclosing that the poems are based on “random thoughts that came to my mind at different times of the day and night.

“I simply put pen to paper when this happened, and here we are with a book of poems,” she added. “Although the poems are based on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, others around the world can also relate. I hope you enjoy reading the poems as much as I enjoyed composing them.”

In one poem, “St. Vincent and the Grenadines”, Dr. Spring writes in part: “Home to the city of arches/With majestic waterfalls, serene beaches/Lush valleys with mountains surround/St Vincent & the Grenadines where love abounds/Farmers, fishermen, and men in suits/Mangoes, guavas, plums, passion fruits/Bananas, breadfruits, ground provisions/Are found in abundance all year round.”

Dr. Spring said she obtained an Associate of Applied Science degree in accounting from Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2002, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree from Brooklyn College in 2006.

She continued with a Master of Business Administration/Forensic Accounting degree in 2010 and a Master of Science degree in Accounting Management from DeVry University in 2013. Dr Spring obtained her DBA in 2022.

She said she began her accounting career in the US in 1999 at Lawrence Lapide, Inc. in Brooklyn.

Dr. Spring said she is a “down-to-earth, people-person,” who is “concerned about the well-being of others” and does her best “to ensure everyone is treated equally.”

She said her passion is to “speak up and out for the downtrodden and disadvantaged”; believes in “equal rights for all”; and is “against the practice of political victimization.”

Dr. Spring is married and has two children: daughter Tyla and son Tysen.

She said “Growing Up in Vincy” and “Vincy Lifestyle” are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and eight other platforms.

The books are also registered at the London Book Fair and the Los Angeles Book Fair.