Oct 8, 2019
I haven’t discovered anything – I tried everything. I learned a lot of trade with my father. The first trade that he taught me, was carpentry, which I worked here in New York for five years at a company. I went to carpentry college for four years. I like working with my hands. My hands are my tools.
When I was younger, I was everything and nothing. I used to run, I was a runner, everything on the field. But I learned with my father a lot of things to do around the house. Sometimes I tell my kids, if you guys will do what I can do in half an hour, you don’t do it in a whole year, I do it in half an hour. I always wanted them to learn carpentry, to do things in the house, to hammer a nail in the wall. Nowadays, this generation they don’t do anything! They can’t even get the hammer straight.
I was a pioneer at the college because I was the first woman in that college. I was surrounded by all men. They asked, “What are you doing here, you’re a woman you’re not supposed to be here.” I said “Oh really?” The day of the test, they all laughed at me, they couldn’t saw straight. With a saw. They didn’t even know how to do it. I went and I showed them. That first one who told me that, he was the first one to come to me and ask me “How do you do that?” I said, “Oh I thought this wasn’t a woman’s job.” I took the test for the examination, I passed with 100. I did the physical and passed with 100. When they called me for a job, I had to deny it because I was taking care of my number five grandchild. I had 5 grandchildren that I was taking care of. Then they gave me number seven and he was less than a year and they had nobody to take care of him. So when they called me I had to deny the job. But I still have those tests, the papers, I still have it. But, I’m into everything, like I say, I’m the jack of all trades, master of nothing.
My son does wall design. They call it manage project, he designs the walls. They don’t paint it, they design it. The Macy’s here in Brooklyn, he did all that design. I guess one of them took my trade, finally. My grandchildren, they don’t, I try to teach them. One of my grandkids works at the airport. He’s a steward. That was one of the jobs I tried to take when I came from Puerto Rico. But I got the captain before I got on the plane – I got married.