“So they put a trigger on my head, and that's when my father got off.”
From Andrea Galeano High School for Arts and Business

One story I might tell about a significant person is my father. So this was a long time ago – we’re talking about 11 years ago. I was about 3 years old, in my country, Columbia. I remember my father used to work late at night. And he use to come to the house like really, really dirty, and with paint on his shirts, and his hands were oily and he had some black thing on his hands, he just was dirty and smelled bad. Even though he was tired I told him let’s go for a little ride on your motorcycle and he did.

So it was a normal night, and we took a ride on his green motorcycle. We drove like 4 blocks ahead then I remember a group of 5-6 guys with two motorcycles stopped my dad. They were dressed in some kind of army green coats. They told him to get off but my dad refused. My mom told me a part that I didn’t remember: when my dad refused they put an actual trigger on my head. But I didn’t notice. I didn’t know they put a trigger on my head. So they put a trigger on my head, and that’s when my father got off. I remember when he picked me up and carried me. Then, the white guy got on my father’s motorcycle and he drove it to the other side of the bridge, and you could hear it – the prrrrrrr, right – you hear the noise of the motorcycle, and he drove it to the other side and then he whistled, and the other guys just left and followed the guy. When we walked home I was so confused because I didn’t know what was going on. I was little. I didn’t know they robbed him.

When I got older my mom told me that those people were bad people. They were a gang, but a different kind of gang, they actually had weapons and they actually kill people because they’re bad. For no reason. They kill innocent people. And they rob from them. Those people, in Spanish, they’re called la guerrilla, the army, but bad army. But they didn’t kill my dad or me. I wouldn’t be here today, right.

Interview conducted in Queens, NY.


scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I was kind of getting scared…what if my potential is not as high as theirs?”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…you never know how it feels getting back up if you never fall down.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I never wanted this to happen.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… a whole lot of people in St. Louis haven't been to the Arch.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… after that I felt worthless, and like a coward.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “Some teenagers my age are not like me for one big and important reason…”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…it’s not all ice cream and cake.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “They just have to accept me for who I am.”
StoryCorpsU News & Updates

Attention class! We Are StoryCorps has an exciting announcement to make. (You might want to take notes on this one–it... Read more.

StoryCorpsU Resources

  • Major Funding Provided By

    CPB Logo
  • National Broadcast Sponsors

    CTCA Logo
  • National Partners

    NPR American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
  • Charity Navigator Logo