July 4th: Before the Barbecue Started


jungleJose left El Salvador in the jungle moon night after the Sandinistas killed his father defending a houseful of family. Because Jose was next on the list.

So he followed a dark river into Guatemala, then a trail of every dime saved from any job available, To Washington D.C. and finally to Chicago where on this July 4th he pulled his landscaping truck up under the tree lined street in front of my house.

Started unloading to do the triple lot a few doors down. Alone on the street I said, “Looks like you’re working today,” and we started to talk. He had a story being a baker’s assistant left to make bread without anyone telling him how that was punctuated by a laugh and smile with an untapped power that could make the world join hands.

I brought out some water and Gatorade but when my wife brought out the just baked blueberry crumble and ice cream, to which he nodded and smiled “Sure!” we were gifted again with his stories. I asked if he knew anyone looking for work. Told him the story of the day laborer recognizing the song and finding work from my book—then I gave him a copy and told him to give it to whoever needed it most. He said that would be his son.

We said goodbye, my wife and I went back into our house. A moment later we heard an engine start up and watched as he swept the grass, sticks and leaves clean from our yard and walk.

And that’s how we got to celebrate the 4th of July before the barbeque even got started.

Photo Credit http://www.hellotravel.com

5 Responses to “July 4th: Before the Barbecue Started”

  1. hcgagel Says:

    Wonderful reminder of what it’s all about

  2. toritto Says:

    Nice Roger. Really nice. Regards

  3. Paulhaider74 Says:

    Hey, Jose is taking away a “lucrative” job that any American, especially a Millennial from Generation Y, would be willing to do for the same amount of minimal pay! I’m only kidding, as my brain does not allow for me to actually think like a conservative Teabagger. This is a nice story about a hard-working American who does not mind working on a national holiday; he should be an inspiration to the lazy members of Congress who don’t do anything other than say the word “no.” Jose, can you see? Your type of work is industrious and admirable, whereas the Teabagger Congressman’s “work” is deplorable in spite of the six-figure salary that it receives from the same taxpayers who want Jose to be deported. It is high time to for Americans to focus their energy on the deportation of Republicans instead of Mexicans! Tuesday, November 4 will be a day of reckoning and redemption.

  4. chicagoguy12 Says:

    Sing it Paulie!!!!!

  5. chicagoguy12 Says:

    Thanks Frank and David!!!

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