By now ClockTowerTenants have heard the sad news, our neighbor and groundskeeper of the Maria Sola Garden lost his battle with dementia and had to be hospitalized.
I met José Rodriguez in late 2009, when I stopped to introduce myself while moving into the ClockTower.
If you didn’t know this interesting man I recommend you click the “Jose’s Garden” link to the right and read the posts about him.
If you read just one, read this one:
I would sometimes sit with José in Summer and in his Spanglish he’d tell me stories about the South Bronx in his hey-day, the 1950’s and early 60’s.
He was a GoldenGloves boxer of some renown while in his 20’s, winning several cash prizes and he boasted of pretty girls in the backseat of his new Cadillac.
He had a career in the Parks Department and Parks trucks would pull up in winter darkness and drop bales of peat moss and fertilizer off the back. José would drag the booty inside and lock the gate.
Last week the Highway Department cut the lock and scraped the lot clean.
José’s daughter told me on the phone she had to put him in Bronx Lebanon.
Recently I learned he is not getting better— doesn’t recognise her anymore— and he will live out his years in a facility way out on New Lots in Brooklyn.
For a Bronx guy through and through, I hope he’s okay with that.
He shared his ups and downs and he was my pal.
I will miss him.