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Liborio Feliciano

Sammy Feliciano
Born: New York City

Liborio Feliciano, his grandfather
Born: Lares, Puerto Rico

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He was a hardworking man too. My grandfather used to wake up around 5 o'clock in the morning and work on his farm and he used to come back around 7:30--8 o'clock at night. He was just too dedicated with his farm, that was his number one thing--to make sure his farm was in great shape. Back over there, in Puerto Rico, when my grandfather used to work on his farm, over there you're used to eating fresh food. Not like in New York. In New York, you have to buy your things. Now, these days, everything's chemical. But in his day, everything was fresh, everything from the ground.

[What did he teach you? You said he taught you a lot of stuff?]

How to raise the animals, like the pigs, chickens. I used to give the food to the pigs, clean their "corral"--they call it "corral" in Puerto Rico--and give corn to the chickens. When they used to lay their eggs, we used to take their eggs. If a chicken stays on her eggs too long, it makes them hot and they won't be no good no more. He taught me a lot. He taught me a whole lot. He taught me how to cut bananas down from the trees, how to get oranges. It was an experience. A lot of experience. There's a lot of people who are raised in New York--they don't get the opportunity the way I did. You learn a lot of things from when your mother was young, and when your grandfather was young--back in those days. But I learned a lot. People told me it was going to be boring, I'm going to suffer. I didn't suffer. I learned a lot. If I go over there next time, I'll know what to do. Not like some other people that go over there and don't know nothing about farms and all that.

[And do you often think of your grandfather?]

All the time I do. Everyday I think about him. I still say that he's alive even though he died. My grandfather's never been to New York--never, never been to New York. He told me that he'll come to New York when they build a bridge to cross..."

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