Hussongs is an oldtime dive located in a small fishing village an hour south of the San Diego/Mexico border. It’s a 110 years old. A moosehead hangs from the wall and the regulars fling peanut shells on the floor. Legend has it that the margarita was invented here in 1941.
Jose Manuel Rodriguez Leon, 65, is the official shoe-shiner at Hussongs. We conducted an impromptu interview with him thanks to the help of Roberto Uriarte (pictured above), who kindly offered to translate from Spanish for us.
Jose Manuel Rodriguez Leon: Good evening.
SC: Is it true you’re the official shoe-shiner here?
SC: How did you get the job?
JMRL: The guy before me stabbed a customer so they kicked him out and I’ve been here ever since…that’s 39 years.
SC: It looks like you’ve seen a lot…
SC: So what has life taught you?
JMRL: To live… (He pauses and then smiles)… To live and let live.