“We have been married 41 years but have known each other since 1970. She was my next door neighbor and babysitter when I was a kid.”
“I was 18 and married. He was 14. His mom worked at night and she told me to keep an eye on her kids so they didn’t go outside. They came to my apartment to drink and smoke. I left Brooklyn and went to New Jersey. I had kids and a lot of things happened. I came back to Brooklyn. He was on leave from the Army, came back to the old neighborhood, and found me.”
“I had a crush on her when I first saw her and never had a steady relationship or girlfriend. I went to her house and we went back to the old days and we drank and we smoked and have been together ever since. I am proud we are still together. I am a product of a broken household. My dad left when I was five years old. I became the dad because I was the oldest. I had two brothers and a sister. My mom kicked my dad out and threw his clothes out the door. I learned how to cook and iron. I also taught them the bad things. If they were going to do something, I wanted to teach them about it and do it together. I got into a vocational high school but when I got there I couldn’t afford the books and kits. I would act like I was going to school and go to work instead. I was ashamed I didn’t finish high school but went into the military for all of my career.
She is a writer and I am proud of her for writing a book of her life and putting her story on paper. That released her from demons that were haunting her that I didn’t even know. I learned a lot about her from her book. I loved getting letters from her in the Army. She is so descriptive and I could picture everything. She finds stories in the birds, the wind, and the shadows and those letters took me home.”
“He did 41 years with the Army and he retired. We drove around on 98 looking for a where to move. We ended up in Fairhope and fell in love. It is a cool place and the people are nice. It is not really Alabama. We came for three years to soak it in and looked at real estate before we bought a house.”
“I told my friends that we were moving to Alabama and they all asked why. All of my retiree friends are in Orlando. I ask them why Orlando.”
“We love to travel. My dream is to go to Israel and see with my own eyes what Jesus saw and walk where he walked. I want to go for my birthday in October.”
“I told her to book it. Put me down for that. My dream is to one day move to Mexico. It is beautiful and cheaper there and the food is so fresh. We could live like a king and queen for $1000 a month.
Puerto Rico is different from when we grew up there. You could leave your windows open and people helped each other. Today everyone is just out for what they can get. The hurricane made it worse. Puerto Ricans have become dependent on the government and the US is to blame for that. The Jones Act has hurt Puerto Rico. Nothing can come to come to the island from any place but the US on an American ship. Import taxes hurt and makes everything cost more than it should. A lot of people have left to find better pay. The policemen, professionals, doctors teachers. People with masters degrees work at McDonalds and Burger King because they can’t get jobs. The majority of people in PR are well educated but they have no place to work.
Both of our families moved from Puerto Rico to the Bronx when we were young. It was the ghetto and we worked hard to get out of it. I don’t accept anyone’s excuse that they are stuck. BS, get up and get out, even if you have to leave home and be on your own. They told my mama we would never anything and be drug addicts and in jail. They were wrong and my mama is proud. God has always been in my life, carrying me and leaving the footsteps in the stand. I didn’t have an earthly father, but I have a heavenly father who was there in ways my earthly father never could be.”
“We thank God for everything that got us here.”