A Stroke Gets My Attention
So what happened next?
It was 2010. We kept the mobile home but had moved back to a tiny two-room cottage in Rosemead, not far from Montebello where I had done so much business. Maravilla was working and bringing in some income. My good old truck was still running. I still maintained the habit of exercising daily in any way I could—walking, using a stationary bike, whatever.
One day, things were going along normally. My exercises for the day were done; I was getting ready for my shower. The phone rang. David, a good friend, called, “Ozzie, why don’t we get some lunch?”
“Hey, sounds pretty good. I’m just about to take a shower. Come over in the next
hour and I’ll be ready.”
He agreed. As I put the phone down, I started to have a strange feeling, like I was going to faint. As I sat on the edge of my bed, I started to feel like I was sliding down the side of the bed. By then, I knew for sure something was going on.
I said to myself, I’d better get my glucose meter. Maybe my blood sugar is way off. I started towards the kitchen where I keep all my paraphernalia. By then, I felt worse.
Now I was dragging my naked butt across the floor into the kitchen. I couldn’t find the glucose meter, so I decided to try my blood pressure cuff. I could just barely get it on. It told me my heartbeat was only 10 beats per minute. I said to myself, Oh, Ozzie. You know, this is it,
— Ozzie, vulnerable in body, strong in spirit—with support and devotion from Maravilla —
baby. I guess this is gonna be when you’ll be leaving.
I realized I should call my wife to say goodbye. I dragged myself towards the phone, reached for it, but it fell onto …
Bringing Healing to a Doctor in Colombia
Jaime said, “My father is getting old. I’ve got to go see him. You don’t have to see my dad, but we’d be going to Pereira where you’ve met people. Remember the pretty girl in Pereira? I know you really like her.”
— Ozzie, in Peru, near Machu Picchu —
This was when I was divorced. OK, now I had even more of a reason to be interested, so I agreed immediately.
Before we left I called some of our friends, a lady with a son and a daughter, and told them I was traveling with Jaime, and I would stop by to see them. When we landed in Pereira, Jaime said, “I’m taking the bus to visit my father. I’ll see you later.”
Our friends picked me up at the airport and took me to the hotel where I checked in. Then they took me to their house. When we arrived there, the phone rang. The daughter answered and told the other person, “Ozzie is here.” Then she turned to me and said, “Come to the phone. I want to introduce you to somebody.”
The guy on the phone told me his name and said, “Ozzie, I would like to see if it’s possible to talk to you personally.”
I said, “Of course, sure.”
“Could I stop by now?”
“Yeah. I’m not going anywhere. It’s still early. Stop by.”
He was a young man. He said, “Ozzie, nice to meet you. I’ve heard so many things about you and Jaime, and I wanted to meet you. I wanted to see if you could go with me to visit a really good friend who is in a clinic. He’s very ill. It’s not necessarily a sickness that can kill him; it’s more with his mind. His behavior is not normal. I’m hoping you could go with me and just see what’s going on.”
“Of course. No problem. Let’s do it.”
How Do You Create a Universe?
In the earlier years of our spiritual group, our teacher, John-Roger, had more time to spend with us personally. One time I asked, “J-R, how about we have dinner at your place, and I’ll take care of all the food?”
He said, “Hey, great! Talk to my staff and see when we can get that on the schedule. Sure, we’ll do it.”
I said, “Wonderful.” I checked with one of the fellows who took care of the appointments, “Hey, I talked to John-Roger, and he said ‘Yeah, let’s do the dinner.’”
The staff person said, “Oh, great, Ozzie. Good food?”
I said, “Yeah, good food.” My son Eric was with me most of the time, like a piece of
— Ozzie relaxing. Early 1970s —
chewing gum attached to me. He was about 14 at that time. I knew a real good Mexican cook. I told him, “Listen, I’m gonna need a dinner to go, for about 10 people. What do you suggest?”
“What about goat barbeque? You know, with Mexican people, it’s a big hit!”
“That’s great!” I said. Later, we picked it up and drove up to Mandeville Canyon, where John-Roger lived. We arrived with
a big stainless steel bucket, filled with food. We also had plenty of tortillas, chilies, and onions. It was everything that John-Roger doesn’t eat, but I didn’t know about that at the time. All of his staff was there. We warmed it up on the stove. Eric took care of the tortillas. I served the food and was watching John-Roger. I told him, “It’s goat barbeque.” I loved it! It had a great sauce. Delicious. It had everything you need for a hell of a good time.
I don’t know if J-R tasted it. He probably did taste it. I don’t know if he really went for it. The staff didn’t say anything. I know they ate some. And there was a lot of happiness, joy, and laughter. Eric helped to clean up afterwards. After that, I was sitting in the kitchen, and then John-Roger moved around behind …
Sir Del Realtors
Then, in 1963, my older brother, Sergio, and I opened our own office. By now we were calling him Del. He was quite sharp as well. We came in like gangbusters with new ideas. We soon had the whole industry against us, not just one office. People were griping, “How can they white shirt, and a blue tie. The men had really come in and do this?” How?
— Ozzie at his Sir Del Realtors Desk —
Because we could. It became a very successful office.
We came in with a new design for our signs. My brother suggested the name Sir Del Realtors. Our insignia was a shield with a castle. Our name, Sir Del Realtors, was in Old English lettering.
I told my brother, “Del, let’s face it, the salesmen don’t know how to dress as professionals. They don’t know how to look good. We’ll give them uniforms.” So we introduced uniforms: a navy blue blazer, beautiful gray flannel slacks, a nice vest, a white shirt, and a blue tie.
The men had really nice black boots. The women sales agents had the blazer and a nice skirt. The blazer had a gold emblem. There was probably only one other company in the United States with
uniforms at that time. The Century 21 uniform you have all seen came later.
Our personal tailors made the uniforms. Every salesman got the tie, the beautiful starched shirts, nice pants, and a nice vest. The whole city saw us in our uniforms and with our shield symbol. We looked incredible.
My brother and I had gorgeous personal clothes, mostly imported and custom tailored, but we decided we would wear the uniform, just like our salesmen.
We opened up our office and everybody was wowed. Our signs, with the gold shield on black, were all over the place. People wondered, “Who are these guys?”
I Dance With An Angel
When I was about 16 years old and back at my home, I heard there would be a Black and White Dance at a beautiful ballroom in Juárez. Well, I say, beautiful ballroom. Let’s just say it was a big ballroom, even if it didn’t compare with what they had in the United States. I had already been working in El Paso, Texas, and had acquired some sophistication in the ways of dressing. So, of course, I had my nice suit.
My brother Ronny was quite the dancer. He’s the one who taught me how to dance. I told him about the dance and asked him, “You wanna go?”
He said, “Sure, we’ll go to the dance.”
Then I invited Güero, who was a great friend, even though I was not such a good friend to him. I asked him, “Can
you go with us?”
He said, “Oh yeah, let’s go!”
I was really excited and soon enough it was time for the dance. We got all dressed up, and then around 7:00 we went to the ballroom. There I was at 16, maybe 16 and a half. I have to laugh when I say 16 and a half. It seems silly now, but, of course, that half was very important back then. We were full of piss and vinegar, trying to act like real big men, as if we knew what that was.
Ronny was supposed to take my madrina, my godmother, to the dance. She had taken me to my first communion, when I had the miracle of no longer peeing in the bed. She wanted to go with us to the dance. I didn’t want to take her. I told Ronny, “You take her,
OK? And by the way, when you take her, tell her we’re thinking about buying a car, and maybe she can help us out a little bit.” Ronny is younger than me, but he’s a wheeler-dealer and a great dancer.
This guy had girlfriends and more.
— Ozzie age 16 —
Uncle Manuel Rescues Me from Jail
Around the time I was 13, I had guns. I owned a pistol and a rifle. I believed in guns. I was brought up with them. I also had a guitar.
I was in the house at night, playing the guitar and singing. Of course, I didn’t know how to sing. And, for that matter, I didn’t know how to play the guitar. But it was no big deal. I could just try it anyway and make some noise. I was with my brother Ronny and a couple of other guys from the neighborhood. As I was singing, my brother mentioned that the police were coming. I piped up, “Screw the cops!” and I continued with my playing and singing. There was a knock on the door. Remember, I said I was always the one to go first. I went to the door and asked, “Yeah, who is it?”
A voice demanded, “Who is the big man
who said ‘Screw the cops?’”
— Ozzie walking in Juárez,
13 going on 14 —
I opened the door to see what was happening. It was dark. I couldn’t see it, but one of the policemen was pressed up against the wall. I was fearless. I didn’t even have my gun. I pushed the screen door open, went out, and replied, “I did.”
I said, “Yeah.”
He said, “OK.” Suddenly, POW! He took a blackjack and started to beat me on my back. With one hand, he had one of my arms behind my back in an arm lock, and with the other hand, he was using the blackjack, hitting me with passion. I was peeing in my pants. Every time he hit me, I peed. I couldn’t hold it. He continued to hit me. And now the other guy was laughing. They were fat. They had only a cap and a green shirt, no uniform. All they had was a big .45. I just looked at them. And now they were pushing me out into the middle of the street. He was having a real good time hitting me.
In the late 1940s, after the war, there was a lot of crime in Juárez.