Two days after we got married on July 12, 1980, we moved to our present home in the neighborhood of El Bosque. I recall we heard somebody knocking at the door the next day. “Who can that be?”, my wife asked. “Nobody knows us around here.”
We opened the door slowly, fearing it could be somebody wanting to do us harm. Nope, it was a strong man in his early forties, red-faced, and a bright smile. He said, “Buenas, mi nombre es Feliciano. Soy jardinero y puedo cortarles la hierba por $12.00 por corte.” (Hi, my name is Feliciano. I’m a gardener and I can trim your lawn for $12.00 a visit.) We thanked him and paid his services for many years. Now we have another gardener, but Feliciano is still around visiting the neighborhood and cutting the grass with his bright smile and his strong arms.
Feliciano is now 70, but still strong and with his friendly smile burned on his red face. He’s original of a place called La Pintada in the countryside. At day break you can see him walking down the neighborhood with his long weed cutter on his back. It doesn’t matter if it rains or shines, if it’s a Sunday or a National Holiday, if he’s sick or healthy. Like a Swiss clock, he walks down the streets of the neighborhood cutting grass and trimming lawns with his bright smile on his face.
Recently we had a friendly chat with him while he was trimming the lawn of our neighbor. He commented that he was recuperating from a sickness of high blood pressure and diabetes. I noticed he looked rather thin. Feliciano commented he has lost twenty pounds but was recovering and had gained three pounds during the last month.
While chatting, I excused myself, and darted to my home office to fetch my Birthday camera. Once again I wanted to capture this iconic character of El Bosque who has worked here for over thirty-nine years. That’s a long, long time.
This is the way he looked framed by the window of our house.