Javier (#580) 04-28-14

Mt wife and I spent a day in Tarpon Springs, FL. This is a town with a strong Greek heritage, with sponge diving being the economic staple. So naturally, I wanted to find a Greek stranger. Funny, with that mindset, anyone with dark hair suddenly looks Greek. When I saw a kiosk with a cigar maker, my quest for a Greek artisan appeared over.

Except that Javier is from Cuba. Oh yeah, they make cigars too. He left Cuba for America 11 years ago. I was surprised that a window for emigration was available then, but Javier was chosen in a lottery. I told him that his English was excellent (it was) and he smiled and shrugged. He is furious at Cubans and Latin Americans who live in the U.S., but do not learn to speak English well.

Javier became a U.S. Citizen five years ago. “I love everything about this country!” I told him that he probably knows some U.S. History that I do not. He smiled, shrugged and said, “Probably.”

The expression that Javier shows in this image accurately reflects his pride and confidence.