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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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