Ollie Cantos (OC), Leo Argel (LA), Nick Argel (NA), and Steven Argel (SA)
OC: I had a lot of trouble growing up because I didn’t have any friends really. I was made fun of a lot. There would be people who would put their hands in front of my face and say, ”How many fingers am I holding up?”
LA: Same thing.
OC: Same thing with you guys, right?
OC: So, what were things like growing up?
LA: Well, every day was like wake up, go to school, come back home, and then you stay there for the rest of the day. There were certain things that I wish I could do like go out and play in the snow like everyone else. ’Cause I’ve heard kids through the window—we could hear that they were having fun. The only thing I remember when I was seven, we went to McDonald’s, and we went to the park. We rarely went outside.
NA: It was getting so bad that I wanted to die. But it was one of the decisions I’m glad I did not make because I would have missed out on everything.
OC: Do you remember that night when I first arrived?
NA: Oh yeah, I do. Because I…I certainly didn’t know that there were other blind people except me and my brothers.
OC: You didn’t believe me that I’m really blind. So, I’m like, ”Well yeah, here’s my cane.” And then you left and came back with a book, and you put my hand on it, and it was the Bible. You couldn’t believe that I actually read Braille.
NA: It just made me feel like I had a person that I could trust, because I didn’t trust anyone.
OC: I took you guys individually to learn how to use your canes better, and we’d just go to the corner store, and I remember, Leo, one day the store clerk—she said, ”Is that your son?” And, you know, before I could answer, you put your arm around me, and you said, ”Yeah, it’ my dad.” And I said, ”Do you know what that means?” You said, ”Well, you take us places, you protect us, you help us with our homework. Sounds like a dad to me.” Whenever I hear you call me “Dad,” it’s the highest compliment to me. You three used to be in the same situation that I was, and to see you come out of that and to be the way you guys are now, it’s impossible to describe how grateful I am that I get to be your dad.