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A face in the crowd

image Adriana Mejia and Luis Rodriguez of Rodco Masonry.

SAN ANTONIO - Call it the hand of Fate. Maybe call it Kismet. Your Lucky Stars. Or Divine Providence. But twice in his life, Luis Rodriguez has been plucked out of a crowd, even against his will, to become the owner of Rodco Masonry and the person he is today.




    Rodriguez is from Mexico, but his father became a U.S. citizen in the 1980s and moved to New York City, leaving the rest of the family behind. His father did give Rodriguez and his sister passports, enabling them to come visit him in the States.
    When Rodriguez did just that when he was 15, his father turned him away and told him to return to Mexico. Not wanting to go back, Rodriguez stopped in San Antonio. With no place to stay or with no contacts, Rodriguez lived downtown, sleeping under a bridge.
    Enter Fate. Rodriguez was hanging out with the men where contractors come to find daily laborers. One particular contractor spotted the youth in the crowd and directed him to step forward. Rodriguez resisted, saying he wasn’t there to find work, but merely hanging out. The man insisted and ordered him into his truck. The man was a masonry contractor, and hired Rodriguez at $8 an hour to mix mortar.
    Rodriguez did this for a year, staying with the man at his house. Then the man said he was going to teach Rodriguez how to lay brick, using a brick mailbox as the object lesson. To the man’s surprise, Rodriguez built the mailbox perfectly, saying he had been watching the contractor lay bricks all this time. Rodriguez worked for this man as a mason until he was 21.
    The second time Divine Providence selected Rodriguez out of the crowd also happened downtown.
    A woman who worked at the Mexican Consulate, who used to talk to people as they mingled around, saw Rodriguez and asked him to share his story. He told her about his father in New York, etc. The woman told Rodriguez to report to her office. She also convinced his father to sign the necessary paperwork to make the minor son a U.S. citizen, virtually overnight, since the father was as well.
    When Rodriguez was 21, he left the first contractor as a master mason and worked for another man until he was 24. This man didn’t do Rodriguez right, so at the prompting of his wife Adriana, Rodriguez branched out on his own and started Rodco Masonry when he was 24 years old in 2006.
    Rodriguez met Adriana when he would take his vehicles to her auto dealership for State inspections and service. After a time of doing business there, their relationship grew. Now, Rodriguez uses her auto yard to stage his vehicles and equipment.
    Rodriguez currently has three other men working for him, but had to hire more when he got the job to work on the San Fernando Cathedral patio/porch area as part of its renovation.
    Currently, Rodco Masonry works an approximate 50-mile radius around San Antonio. Its main focus is residential projects, like outdoor ovens, patios, fireplaces, barbecue pits, etc., but works on commercial, industrial and public works projects as well. Rodriguez will hire more men if the job requires it.
     Whichever you call it, something or someone was smiling on the homeless youth from Mexico whose own father rejected him and sent him away. Now, Rodco Masonry will be there should you need some brick or stone work.
    Rodco Masonry is a mason contractor in San Antonio and surrounding areas. -dsz

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Author Info
Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net