In the early 90’s I lived in New York City. During that period of my life I was trying to find myself, my voice and my place in this world. It was during this time that I met some amazing people.
There was Geoffrey Owens, of the Cosby Show. I was sitting outside the Lincoln Center one Thursday afternoon, and I met Geoffrey. We began talking, and over time we became friends.
There was the time I met John Cardinal O’Connor. I had been spending a few days at St. Patrick’s, thinking about my life, and writing. That’s when a priest, Fr. Nelson noticed me and asked me if I was doing alright. We began speaking, and I started meeting with him for counseling. It was during those meetings that I met Cardinal O’Connor.
Like Fr. Nelson, Cardinal O’Connor became a friend. As he would read my writings, he would share with me his journey of faith. Both Fr. Nelson and Cardinal O’Connor were amazing men.
Then, I met Doug Simmons, who was then the editor of the Village Voice. We spoke about my desire to be a writer. He gave me some wonderful advice.
“Everyone has a story,” he told me. “Your job is to find the story that people want to tell, that the world wants to ready.”
Shortly after that conversation, I began to look for those stories. In New York City, there is a saying which comes from an old television show, “There are eight million stories in the naked city.” For me, there was no shortage of stories.
I began with the local churches, Masjids, Temples, wherever anyone went to worship.
Where we worship tells a story. It tells a story of a community joined together in a common purpose, a common sense of self. Depending on how old the structure they worship in is, those stories can go back centuries. Communities of faith became one of my two favorite subjects to write about. I’ve gotten away from that, and I don’t know why.
Living in New York, for the longest time, I lived at 124th and Lexington. I was a block away from the famed 125th . In Harlem, there were latterly a million stories. On the weekends, all up and down 125th , people would set up shop on the sidewalks. They would like
sale whatever items they had made by hand.
These were items you would find in the countries they hailed from. Others would sale times they bought for sale to make a little extra cash for their families. It was there that I discovered that everyone has a story. It doesn’t matter who we are, where we are from, or where we’ve been, we all have a story. That is where my love for sharing the stories and experiences for others began.
Now, I want to tell your story. Writing here, for the Herald-Post. I have shared some interesting stories about some interesting people.
There was the story of Sister Maria, of Fr. Yermo School; I ran into her at Target and just had to talk to her. Then there was the week I spent with the El Paso County Search and Rescue. Theirs is a story of helping the community when called upon.
Don’t forget about Yvette Macias of Chewy’s Animal Rescue. It was with them that I say the second half of that bit of advice from Doug Simmons play out. “Always give the person you are interviewing the last word,” Doug said. “By doing that you may discover an entirely different story.” With Yevette, I did find another story.
One of my favorite stories was of Oscar J. Molinar, a local actor who had to overcome a stroke to fulfill his dreams. Oscar’s story has inspired me to no end!
Of course, I have also shared stories about some of our local churches!
There was the story of the first ever Mormon Chapel in Texas, and that is right here in El Paso. There was one story I did, El Paso’s Churches, Relics, and Faith, that told you about some amazing hidden treasures here in El Paso.
I want to share your story! I do. We have some much here in El Paso, Las Cruces, and Juarez. There is the history, the communities, the people and their personal stories and histories- all of it would fill volumes! I want to share it.
If you have a story you want to share- a personal story, history, family tradition- call me. If you know of someone who has an incredible story to tell, call me.
The El Paso Herald-Post is a local news outlet. We are not based in some far-off city with ninety percent of what we post written by a wire service. We are your hometown “paper.” I hope you will allow me to hear, and share your stores.
You can call/text me at 915-201- 0918, of if you would like to e-mail me, send me a message at Steven@StillGoingSomewhere.com