We relish the early signs of Spring in this area, robins, crocuses to name a few. One indicator for myself, and a number of others was Jose’ Cordero in his motored cart, sitting in front of the Samuel Elliott Apartments in downtown Brattleboro. He would greet you with a smile, and depending on the day would engage you in sunny conversation, or take an opportunity to just get things off his chest, and either way always entertaining.
In the late seventies and early eighties you could view Jose’ leaning out of his apartment window observing the pulse of Main street. He also worked at Walkers Resturant and during his break you could find him out front leaning against the building taking in the moment, always in his starched white apron. He eventually moved into the S.E. Apartments and again he was often in view on his upper floor balcony enjoying the view.
As time went on Jose’s Muscular Dystrophy progressed, and for safety code reasons was moved to the ground level, toward the back of the apartment complex. This is when during the warmer months Jose’ became a marvelous Elliot St. fixture, sitting out front enjoying the Sun, and visiting. He was gregarious often using rye humor, with sometimes cancerously bold expression. He did (however) at times lift his metaphorical veil, and allow his thoughtful often touchingly intuitive side to reveal itself.
Years ago when he was on Main street I came by to visit, to my surprise and delight he shared with me his high school year book. Viewing his Senior photos for the first time I really came to realize the full impact of his Muscular Dystrophy. I always found his face handsome, upon seeing him as a young teenager he not only possessed an athlete’s body but with the amazing stature of a Greek God…..stunning was an understatement! I exclaimed in awe what an incredible specimen he was, and acknowledged what a major adjustment he must of had to go through! In one of those special times he lifted his veil of protection, and with humility, and the dignity of a King, elegantly expressed his choice to live his life, regardless, with the fortitude, and passion he so innately possessed.
Toward the end of this last Winter he kept coming to my mind, and it occurred to me more that once to drop by his place. Inaccurately I concluded that the warmer days would soon be here again, and as with tradition I would find him at his spot on 117 Elliot street, holding court, and as usual, with dignity and passion intact!
My special thanks and gratitude to all Joseph’s care givers and friends that attended to him in recent years. I especially want to acknowledge both Kate Theriault, and Karen Cribari who were able to see him to the other side.
Thank you Joseph for being you, and being a friend to myself, and many others. May you rest in PEACE!