Bluefieldspulse interview with Mr. Rodney Solomon on September 9, 2001.

Segment 2 - Continuation from segment 1

Rodney S: See what we spend here, the visa is $45, the pass is $298 come and go, airport tax is $25, $32 the girls them had from Bluefields-Managua, lodging and everything which come to $400.10 per girl. You could ask any of the girls what they spent to get here $400.10. All they give me is $400 in Bluefields and they donít pay anything in Managua. They donít pay nothing. We gone Washington. I paid $230 in gas. Poyoy gave me $30 in Washington. Heidi son, Julio got the van for me and give me the van for $600. Those girls didnít give five cents. No one help me buy the gas. I buy the gas. But as I say, the problem come from when I was accused in Bluefields of sending a letter. I never in my life send a letter to the embassy yet. I was in Bluefields the teams them always go ahead of me. When they star get the letter everybody go ahead of me. Corn Island team went one month ahead of me. I was called from Washington by Poyoy. He said I heard you gone embassy and they turn you down. I said me gone embassy. I donít have money to waste because these girls are not working. Their parents have to help them. I stop work with them for the same reason. I used to work and they end up owing 10,000 Cordobas, and they donít pay me back. I canít tell them give me back the money. It comes in because there is a fight, so what they say since you have for so long, let somebody else take it. But then I started it, and I donít see what Iím doing wrong. If you find any girl that come and say that they pay me $700 to come here let them prove it. But I sure me Rodney Solomon. If a girl want to come ok supposed you call and say you want a person to come here, but she not in the softball team she going pay her pass but you have to help the team with something because you getting the visa on the strength of the softball tournament. You donít play softball you got to help the girls them some way or the other which is $150. And that is what they used to pay.

 Steve H: Does that put her or he on the roster? Letís say it was a male, would he be coming as one of your coaches or if itís a female would she be coming as one of your players?

 Rodney S: Correct.

 Steve H: So she is on there, she doesnít play, she is on the roster.

 Rodney S: Yes.

 Steve H: So if she wants to come is that  $400 is going to put her here and back plus a fee that is going to go toward the team, so when you get here you have $150 in advance already to rent the van and buy the gas. So you do help somebody get a visa with a minimal charge of$150.

 Rodney S: Yes, but no male, I never deal with male all I bring is female because itís a woman team. Paquito came year before last because he won out the championship and he came with us. This year Paco couldnít come so I came along with the team. All they pay is $400 nobody else pay more money, so I donít know where $700 come in from. You could ask the other team, they paid $700 to come up here. You ask any girl. I never make any money off this team yet because I always spend money. I work and save my money. I buy the gas go Washington and come back. The team donít give me any money. The van they give me because is Rodney Solomon. Like I say, we Bluefields see as far as our hands go. But if you come down to the right trumps of it, you search me and you will find something deep within me which always thinking good.

 Gregory L: So Mr. Rodney, in other words it is true then that one of the accusation that they made against you was the fact that as long as someone had that $150 even though they are not players and if they pay $150 they can get on your roster to come to the US?

Rodney S: It all depends on who they are. It is a family out here that does always call and say my sister or my aunt want to go with you, right. I donít do it in Bluefields. Itís always someone from out here, I want to see my father. My father called me. He said go to Solomon. I say I cannot a carry you. I put it to the team. I have a meeting, and I say listen this person want to go. They going help out with the expense for the team. What you all say about it? They say welcome, but me personally charging money I money. I donít do that.

Gregory L: Is it true there has been instances where they may have been a couple of girls or three on the team but because of the lack of the money for them to put up in other to come whatever fee you charge the members of the team because they may not have it and that individual comes, for instance the call you get from the US, say can you bring my niece up or my daughter up. Is it true that you would drop those two girls in order to make space?

Rodney S: No sire, no, my preference is the selection girls them because I always have a selection. I never make a team without I have a league. You could see right now I had junior league. Anasha Campbell came out the best player and her reward was to go with team as your price because she was the best player. All she paid was $400. My selection couldnít come because of lack of the $400. So who could give the $400 are the ones that came up. I only bring 12 players because we donít have any money. I stopped working with them due to the fact that I donít get my money back.

Steve H: Well I have another question but since you brought that up, that was one of the accusation also that they work so hard that they tear their tails off and then they still have to come up and pay $400 or $500. They think, well maybe previous selections and that they have kermes that they have this and have that and they want to know where all this money went.

 Rodney S:  that money is theirs all the time, that is their pocket money. In í93, 94 the government gave us the pass to come and go, so they always have their money, see here this yours. I never never in my life help any girl. They used to come free. Why you think Carmela donít come? I donít have any money. You carry me free? If the government give the money, I agree, but the government they donít give us 5 cents. Mireya Bowie, she come the best player; they donít give her not even a 5 cents. The trophy she get because I buy it for her. They donít give us no money in Bluefields because this harassing, pulling against. They even run me from old bank stadium. Here is Mark Narcisso, they kicked me out. They tell me you canít play here anymore. I said for what. They kicked me out. I couldnít play Old Bank anymore and that same year I came out national champion. I came out national champion two years straight with my selection. I couldnít bring them because we donít have any money. 

Steve H: You have also been charged, accused, not charged, sorry! You been accused of bootlegging.

Rodney S:  What is bootlegging?

Steve H: Bootlegging is the illegal selling of liquor. This is something that every year, each girl has to come with a case of liquor or they canít come.

Rodney S: No two bottle, that is lie, that is lie.

Steve H: Well we trying to get this thing clear because after this what we going do while we in Nicaragua or if we have to make a special trip but we going pay a section of the radio but we going get on there and we going go public again, make everybody turn on their radio and hear the interview. This is SLC and who doesnít have a computer, we will print it out, but one thing we want to do is set this record straight. There is a lot of things that we can do here in the US for our fellowmen back home when these teams are coming up but because of all these accusations correct or false be done, everything just on hold, everybody say ďthey no going get my money, I no doing nothing Ē and though you still have people that are willing to help which you have seen. They always have people that offer, you have Julio. Now this can be huge, can be a bigger help. But unfortunately this situation need to be cleared up and we can throw this out in front of the people and say, ďlook manĒ all this stuff was a lie but we need to go straight to the stuff.

 Araia S: What is cover by the $400? The $400 does not include lodging or anything else once the players get here. So once the players get they are on their own.

Rodney S: I always talk to people from I down there and they always take in one or two three or four. This year I spoke to Heidi them and they say Julio says come up, I will rent the van for you, you going buy the gas and we going lodge them. The girls them stay by Heidi, by Luna, by Soveida; they host us this year. No girls had to go to no hotel, no girls had to buy no food. When we go to Washington, Poyoy put us in a room. Julio rent a room for we the men and they give us food on the field. But as I said, the $400 the girls them gave me, I show it to you here. The $32 from Bluefields to Managua which is 200 Cordobas, thatí more than $10,then we had three days in Managua, we eat three meals a day. It covers to Miami. Miami to Washington was something different. That was the Hinds, Obando that gave us that. I appreciate it because somebody still like us here in the US.

Gregory L: Mr. Solomon, you have also been accused of not taking care of the young girls them when they come up to play ball. There was a couple instances, I believe one of them was the last time the tournament was held in New York. One of the little girls got hit by a ball and your response was ďthat is what she get for whatever.Ē

Rodney S: No, no. I was there. We went to eat. I said to Rene Brooks. Rene Brooks was about munchies. He said Solomon you on your own. Same Chester Coulson came up what always patronize my uniforms. He said what wrong sir. I said, we need some food. He said letís go then. We went to Bam Bam to eat. We was sitting waiting till she share the food. The girl that get hit was Anita Allen. I was there when she got hit. This young man Winnicito, he was there with us. He said Solomon, this is NY. I going take care of this for you because you do not know the run in NY. We put her in the car and carry her and asked her name and I give her name and he said Solomon you stay here on the field and he took Anita to the hospital. He said to me, Solomon you relax because I am from NY and he took her to the hospital and I stayed on the field. But I was there when she get hit on her neckback. We wasnít playing softball. We were waiting to eat away down by the house, somebody was throwing ball and she got hit. It was a group of us waiting.

Gregory L: You didnít make that comment then?

Rodney S: No! You know where that come up from, you want I tell you who bring it up. It was Repe. I was cursed off in NY and I didnít know there were cursing me. So my wife said Rodney itís you they cursing and I said but for what, what I do here now. So I said you know something letís go. I didnít answer anybody. I never answer because I donít come out here to look for fight. I been up here so long, I donít want to fight with nobody and I walk off. I get in the bus and we drove by Jenny and we gone home. I didnít answer nobody.

 More to come


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