"I’d tell em to go back to school."- James Moore
I stopped for tacos. Ended up getting clean windows… and some wisdom.
As the sun set in East Oakland on a Saturday evening, I met James Moore, a neighborhood native who traveled the world; a serviceman who fought in the Korean War.
He was washing windows in front of the well-known Sinaloa Taco Truck on 22nd Ave. and International Blvd.
As he sprayed and wiped the front window of my car, I asked Mr. Moore the question I ask all elders I encounter: if you had the chance to tell young people any words of advice what would you tell them, Mr. Moore instantly replied: “I’d tell ‘em to go back to school”.
We continued to discuss the concept of work ethic, be it that of a window washer or that of a journalist; and how your work might help other people.
He ended with saying, “it might not seem like much, but the more I do it, the better I get.”
After I cut off the camera, I asked Mr. Moore about the work ethic of the women on International Blvd, a well-known hub for prostitution. “That profession is older than Christ,” Mr. Moore said as a young lady in short shorts walked through the intersection about 50 yards away from us. “It’s ok, if they’re are doing it for the right reason,” said Mr. Moore. He followed up with saying, “if she has a family and this is the only way they can eat, then it’s ok.”
As the school-age girl walked out of my peripheral, Mr. Moore finished wiping my passenger window. I got my order of three tacos and one large Orchata from the taco truck, and then shook Mr. Moore’s hand—giving him what spare change I had in my pocket.
“Have a blessed day,” Mr. Moore said, before I drove away.