Christian Pavia interviews Jose Morell - part 2
Bronx History
Bronx Senior Storytellers - Jose Morell - part 2 of 3

Jose: I lost my first wife when I was young because I loved the street better than my first son, better than her, I lost my freedom for a while, you know, and I lived a… a life that is… it wasn't worth it, you know, It was not worth it because I thought that I was… I was on. See, I was on because I went to jail and people was afraid of me, you know, nowadays I realize that I was stupid. The smart people was, and still is, had got a good education, never go to jail, and never get into trouble. See, that's the hip people, that's the smart people.

People like me when I was younger, I was a loser, but I didn't think I was a loser. You was a loser, you was a loser, and you was a loser… and you had a better education than me, you never got in trouble, and you still was a loser, but when you understand, and you change your life, I was the loser, not you. Now I wanna be like you, I wanna have a job… I can't, you know, I don’t wanna go back to school, I'm too old, but I could have a job and… and I wanna work hard, you know, my story is that I turned around so much that I moved to Middleton. I left the city for 20 something years, and I became very involved in politics, and I got to the point, that if you want to be a supervisor on my town, you had to go through me, and I didn't have the education but I had the smarts of how to do good, not for me, for anybody, so I got involved, very, very deep in Middleton. Matter of fact, what made me do that, it was my brother, Obama, because I saw something that I had never seen, in politics, a brother. I said “we gonna bring the boom box to the White House.” And I went and worked hard to get votes for him because I wanted a person that has lived and seen what we went through to become a president, and you know what, in all my...I'm just going back and forth to let you know and that's the only president that never had the respect of a president. You know why? Because the people wasn't together with him. Some people didn't want him to win, because he was not their color.

See listen, I got a daughter, I got two beautiful grand kids. My daughter is Italian and Spanish and has a husband. He's a brother. You should see how beautiful the kids came out, but I always lived with people, with different color, because Puerto Ricans are white, blue eyes, green eyes and people dark, because we have African blood, we got Spanish blood, we got Indian blood, but we got African blood, so we got a mix of different nationalities, you know, it's so beautiful when you understand that we all got the same blood. And I'm just going back and forth to make you understand that the best way is to understand another person, where he come from, not what he did, it's what he’s gonna do.

Everybody needs a chance, some people take a chance and then mess it up but, a lot of people have a chance and they live to that chance of a better person you know and it's so beautiful, you see I'm sitting here I wasn't able to do it but I have it I have, as I said I have a duty to let you guys know the most important thing in life is staying alive, doing good for you and your family. Forget about trying to be smart in the street it ain't worth it, the smartest people stay in school. That’s the people that makes it, thank god that god looked after me and I’m gonna be 70 now in August and I made it through, but if I would’ve had the same education that they be trying to get, I woulda have been a better person you know I would never have gone what I went through because I, in the street you just learn how to survive because you are an animal, excuse me (unintelligible), you live the life of an animal because you don't respect nothing you know, and the thing is that…. That when somebody comes to you and try to make you understand like I'm trying to make you understand that, to do well in school you know because you could be poor, you might have a plate of food in your house, but you stay in school and you stay like that you become a better person and you never will have one plate of food because like I said stay in school, get a good education, get a good job. Listen I got a lady I admire is a okay…. see I forget her name uuuuh, Latoya Joyner. She's a beautiful sister right, one day I saw her, I saw her, because when I go back to the city I didn't get involved like I am now in politics, I saw her and she wanted to become an assembly lady, and I said iIgot to help that lady that young lady because that lady was born in The Bronx, raised in The Bronx so she knows what we need and you know what, she won. But it was the effort that just not me, people that saw her like I saw, because who’s better to understand us than a person that had gone through, not her because she went through school she went to college, but her family, some of her family would be like me. Let’s say I don't know the story, but she's seen it she was born and raised in The Bronx, so she knows the need, not only from the people from The Bronx, of the whole world! And that’s a beautiful thing to do, and you know I just became, how you say, I just became a state committed man.
Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council, Grand Concourse
July 26, 2018
BASE CareerCLUE cohort - Summer 2018
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Created on 2019-03-27 at 23:27 and last updated on 2024-03-22 at 19:33.