Fred Gonzalez, Alex Leguillow, and Jalylah Burrell
DescriptionFred Gonzalez, Jr., 27, and Alex Leguillow, 63, remember Alex’s nephew and Fred’s brother Nestor A. Cintron III, a Cantor Fitzgerald broker who was killed on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center attacks.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Fred Gonzalez
- Alex Leguillow
- Jalylah Burrell
Recording LocationStoryCorps Lower Manhattan Booth
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00:04 I am fretting Salas Jr. I am 27 years old today is May 14th 2009. We are located in the downtown Manhattan area of New York City and I am the brother of I mean, I am the nephew of my uncle across from me.
00:27 My name is Alex. Loquillo. I am 62 years of age. Today's date is May 14th. I'm located to an interview at Foley square and my relationship to the 911 victim was my nephew.
00:45 So I'm to begin. Can you tell me what brought you and this morning? The cancer families organization sent out like information and I'll be on through the mail emails and they were saying that the story corpse was an organization that basically honors and remembers and and in this case my brother. So I figured today will be a good day to come in and see him fully and make sure that his Spirit lives on forever.
01:14 So you're here to remember my brother my brother and me on the 3rd. He was a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald Tower 150 floor of the World Trade Center, and he was now he perish that day with over 700 of Cantor Fitzgerald workers that they
01:34 Little bit about Nestor was Nestor your older or younger brother was my oldest brother. He was a mentor to me. He was like a father figure, you know growing up. He was the one that took charge and basically but leadership. He was a leader to me and my older brother Chris and you know, he has a very smart very intelligent very wise he is there was so many things about him that you know, I'm here to remember him and honor him today how many years older was Sinister Minister I believe is about five to six years older than me about five to six years older. He was 26 when he passed away. I am 27 now, so it's been quite a while.
02:13 So what is your earliest memory of Nest? I mean like I say growing up and in Brooklyn, like I was like 2 years old. I remember like, you know him and my other brother Chris. I just come home from school and just always stay awake and I'm looking out the window and wait for them to come home from school cuz I was bored. I want to play with my brothers. I remember, you know birthdays. We should celebrate birthdays in with my grandmother and my uncle my other mother Uncle Tony and my mom and member him just being the bigger than us and just very strong and you know quiet and calm.
02:50 Could be on Big Brother song don't mess with him. That's one of those things though. He's very handsome medium build a short hair light complexion Latino Latino Puerto Rican descent very like about five 9 around there and not too tall and too short, but are built stocky Mary Alex. You probably have the earliest memories of your member of of Metairie was born. He was always a
03:32 Explain this like you could take a look in his eyes and saw that he was like
03:40 He was thinking he was like it was a focus kid that I mean he was quiet but but still know he was aware of everything that was going on around them.
03:51 And he was he was he was very loving being an uncle. You don't get to see him that often as the immediate family would but he always you know, what company or whatever you don't sit next to me and we talked things like that.
04:10 So what were some of the things he was involved in with the athletic? He loved baseball. He loved hockey. He was mostly into martial arts seed he left taking the Arts of ninjutsu and he used to go to class has he was a big Bruce Lee fan and heat the idolized Bruce Lee and me read it read about Bruce Lee write his books. And he was very athletic in the sense that he disciplined in the training in the news. Very good attitude. Very good at what he did and he even taught myself in my my my brother Chris and he's a teacher self-defense and he was very very athletic and physically and also love to train and read a lot and work on his mind and he's just so so smart and that's basically he pretty much worked out physically and mentally definitely is really smart. What school did he go to in Brooklyn when you're well, this was like Elementary like what he graduated from Martin Luther King High School, and then he went on to Colgate University. He graduated Corgi universe.
05:10 Business economics Bachelor I use a scholarship there and from high school and they won't they pay for his college and Colgate and he did it. You did a good job me very smart. Very wise. Well, he definitely wanted the best for my mom. He he and she wanted to get out of our neighborhood in a rough neighborhood. Like, you know what you were better than this. Let's see no one they have a house and then he wanted my mom to be happy that that that would have made him so happy and all of us to be happy and basically wanted us to be the best that we can be in life. You know, there's no limit you can do whatever you want and he he always back me up and you know Fred if you'd like this go for it and he never try to talk me out of it. Then we both fed off each other and I think that was the best thing about me and that's the Regis.
06:01 Try to push each other to do better and you know me and him used to talk about that a lot of a man you so smart you can't do anything and he would return the inspire me. He pretty much is fighting each other, but he was the man like in that sense. I like to add also that he was he was he was very focused is as if he knew and what direction he was going to go and like my nephew Fred said that his main concern was trying to get his family out of the environment and he was always pushing his two other brothers to to do follow his footsteps, and he knew that without an education and it's going to be very difficult to do.
06:42 So you said he was he was going to push you too, sir to pursue answer to work harder in what ways does Todd is boring but you know, you got up, you know, you got to be focused and finish school get ahead in life. And you know, you wanted me know what you want Mom to be proud. And you know, I'm going to be proud and you can work with me a lot of help me a lot in my academic career and I just stay focused I graduated cuz of him and I was he inspired me into this take to know his inspiration for me to keep going and just don't look back to school forward and just keep on keep pushing in as in all cuz of him of all of you together from summers are growing up or vacation.
07:35 Remember when we have all the the uncle's over at the apartment leases. It's off like to have good food in my mom used to cook good food and he said birthdays sometimes and just get together and have all the cousins and everyone there and now we should just get along and just have a great time laughing and you know that we would a joke about each other. Remember this remember that time and he was always it was always laughing and he wouldn't he would come up another thing. I have to say for him to be so young. And any time there was a like a family reunions. I know as one of his uncles when he spoke. I listen to what he had to say and most of my brother's also.
08:23 But he had he had a good head on his shoulders and he was able to control situations here.
08:34 Wandering Nestor what would his friends say about him? Well, they looked up to him. I mean from what I can recall so she liked his college friends. Like he He Turned some of his friends around like he just had that there's something about him that you know, as he got older he is very wise and his friends listen to him and I mean, they love them and they love them so much they mean they they weren't related to him, but they felt like, you know, this guy is a brother. He's like my brother then possibly up my other brother's. I mean, I can't really speak for them. But I can I can send from them that they really like the honor him and they love him as a brother and I mean if one of his friends today Amy became an FBI agent because of everything that happened. So in that sense, he he wants to pursue Justice for his good friend and you know, even another one of his friends had him as a best man at his wedding. I mean just he's somebody somebody important.
09:28 Very good, man. And I mean it did that finish at the same thing, but I can sense it from them if they love him so much amazing and they saw what we saw.
09:39 Now he always wanted to become a broker. He loved the business side of things. He like that. You know, I guess you wanted to do well be financially successful and especially where he was and what kind of fish are let me he was on his way up and he definitely knew that this is one of the ways to make, you know, make it big and I think he he done with South America. He was kind of waiting for like, you know, maybe something but you would have happened maybe Cube opens up and then the trading there and he was definitely focus on that. And yeah, he was straight and he could have been anything he wanted but he is good at it.
10:18 Do you ever dream about Nestor definitely have my dreams I see him and you know my dreams I tried to tell him, you know, I miss you. I love you. And I mean when I dream of him it it's a good thing because I know that he's okay and he's in the best place in yeah, I guess that's his way of saying hey, you know, it don't dwell on it. Just I'm here in spirit and I'll be watching you so
10:41 I think I'm pretty yes, very very the schools like you like we're hanging out like we used to and you know talkin and talkin about movies and computers and stuff. And yeah, it's pretty good.
10:56 Now, how do you both think that Nestor want to be remembered?
11:01 That he was he was loving he was carrying it was committed and he was very dedicated to friends and family.
11:10 And I did say that I don't think anybody would have a like complain about.
11:18 My I believe he wanted to be remembered as like, you know, like the man like hey, you know, this guy's hey, he's the man. I want to be like him. He's so cool very, you know, someone loving someone that cares for family a big-time family person. He will want to be remembered as you know, I'm very smart wise and very loving. I mean, that's definitely something that he he was heading to the top and he would have been at the top of his game right now. Let's go do something else go see Star Trek or something cuz it's a great movie. I know you would love it. You would pick time sci-fi and let's just say I love you. I miss you so much and Mom and I we all you all wish, you know, we love you and we definitely will see you again in just so much to say to him know I could talk to him for hours when it's just keep on but there's so much to say to him.
12:15 I would like to say thank you for all the good times that we shared. Thank you also for doing my taxes for me and especially thank you for not sending me to jail.
12:30 So what are the what are the most difficult times?
12:36 I for me I believe for me is just always being reminded made me out to the media seeing images from from that day on TV over and over reading the newspaper. And I mean not one day I can read a newspaper without seeing 911 in the newspaper, you know images of videos of the planes constantly hitting the building photos. I mean to be reminded is the most difficult thing and you know, it's thinking of him, you know, he's always on my mind every day and especially things that I do but I just stay focused and just try not to let it get to me in an awfully people understand that, you know, we all can get through this and and hopefully we can find some day peace, you know.
13:20 For me, I work for the borough of Manhattan Community College and it's located on Chambers Street and West Side Highway and September 11th. I remember coming into the building.
13:36 When I heard this big crash in the building shaking.
13:40 I thought it maybe is a big Convoy of big trucks going on a highway is taking the streets up.
13:48 And then I happened to the wall to the other side of the building on North Moore.
13:52 And West Street and when I looked up I saw a big hole in the North Tower in the silhouette of the plane that went in that's when reality sets setting for me and every time I go to that same place, I can't help but look back in and see that the image over and over again.
14:14 So it's always a constant reminder for you and Alex.
14:20 Why am I so had either he visited Nestor at his workplace in the same floor and I used to go all the time and I was like a part of the family. They love me up there. I used to go up there to see him. See my mom. They worked in the same floor steamer chair. That's the part. I mean like very close and it was they were all family-oriented up there. They were great bunch of people. I mean I got along with everyone they were all my friends. I mean I miss them dearly also I used to go there would like of angels hockey jersey and then there was a guy there who was a big Flyers fan. He used to like going to like the radio if you don't announce it like all what are you doing walking in here with that Rangers jersey and I was just, you know, smirking represent my team in my city in but he was a great guy and then just pee on us today love nest up there. He was like they never mess with him. He was quiet but they knew like hey this guy he gets the job done and don't don't mess with me.
15:20 Snapback and you know this is it was great. I used to go up there. They stayed love me. I could even got a job there. They wanted me to work. They wanted me to do stuff with computers and you know and everything else it wouldn't turn out different if I did so but it was great a great environment. I love I just love looking out the window looking down and seeing how small everything was from. I'm afraid of heights, but it was gorgeous. Gorgeous feeling great and kind of Fitzgerald's good family. Very nice. I miss those guys.
15:48 What what hour was it Tower one?
15:52 Hundred for my mother is in the same office. She worked. I just like to interject that when that happened on the September 11th. He had the the mindset to call his mother and he did he call and told him not to not to go there if you want to say what happened. They just don't come to work. Don't don't come in.
16:16 He kept beeping her on her Bieber. And and ironically he kept beeping heard. They had a cold because my mother started working there a little bit a year after the 93 attacks. So him and heard that developed the system like okay. I'm a beep you when I beat you up you my number 411 after that means information call me for information and God forbid 911 so that day he beeper 911 911 911 and how ironic that was and he be there for about 20 minutes. She voted that morning and had she not voted. She would not be here also, so he saved her life he wander and he was beating her for quite a bit before everything happened then so he is a big hero to all of us. He saved a life and
17:04 Going back to my mother. She was Administrative Assistant there and she she had her own. She had people that work for her. So she lost all her work. Is there also and you know, she was a big part of the company in and loved as well and she she's taking it rough still to this day and what I mean is he he's so he's happy that he and Away got her out and that's all he thought about like my uncle said to get her out. It's all about mom. And your dad said I was his focus and
17:37 So did anyone weather be in the family or friends get a chance to speak with Nestor on that day? No, I didn't I spoke to his fiance. She called me up and she was crying and I'm not 2 fluid in Spanish, but I was picking up some of the stuff she was telling me and she was like are you watching TV and I'm like half-asleep like no. I don't know what's going on and I tried calling his stats. I need a number by heart and I couldn't get through. It was just everyone is calling that date. It was crazy. And I remember the second plane like I was in bed and my window shut from the impact of the second plane hitting the second tower. I didn't know that then at the moment, but I feel like it's like wow that was and I also thought it was like a dump truck going by like my uncle said before I was like why I was like a big bouncing so I try to talk to him, but I did not speak to him that day. I haven't had to get a chance and I was going to run over there to get him and my mom not knowing what would have happened and as I was finished getting dressed.
18:37 I'm running out the door. I'm like about 5-10 minutes. I'll get there real quick to get to the buildings in my mother came in very shocked and and she was like all she kept saying was my baby my baby my baby and she said she was just talked about and I'm trying to call him and she said she was just in shock. He was just very panicked and I was like Mom going to go out. I'm going to go go over there and go get him. She's like no, I don't know I said, okay. Okay. I'm going to go downstairs and see what's going on and you know,
19:08 When was the last time that I'm either of you spoke to it after he had just gotten his apartment in the Bronx and says part of my job is doing handy working so bad that he had me go over to his new place and put a lock on the door for him, you know secured a little better and do a couple of other things around the house.
19:39 And the definite time I had a conversation with him tell you anything like he was a very warm person. I enjoy being with you. You're very funny how you make us laugh a lot. So it takes a lot to make you laugh and he used to make you laugh. And yeah, it's very funny. So me my last time I saw him was we it was a week before we went to the movies so very funny movie and I just remember us laughing and enjoying the movie was just crazy. I was crazy funny movie in. We don't remember the last moment. I remember is us going outside was a sunny day beautiful day. It was like fall in a sunny warm and just remember talking to him and like are we going to talk about the movie in like laughing about it? And I'm like, hey. Let's plan something and he always invited me and gave me keys to his house.
20:39 Anytime I want to go go off in and be with him, you know, I should have took advantage of that if I wouldn't, you know, if I would have known so pretty much I say about a week before a few days before I am that was the last time that I saw saw him.
20:54 And I'm for my brother. Chris was not here. He I think one of the last time she talked to Chris he told Chris cuz you're my brother. Chris is he went to his struggles? And he finally did so good and he became fessional sure if he's he is doing something you love to my brother called him and they used to have female little fights here and there are growing up there but they loved each other. And he told him I'm proud of you is like, you know what I'm so proud of you made it, you know you and that was the last time that the Chris spoke to master his be out there, but it was great for me. It was a happy moment. So that's the best way to do it is to honor Nestor.
21:37 Well for me.
21:42 Just wanted to have the memorials on September and those things are the way I love that way and his mother and goes to the cemetery and then the family goes and we call Allen. I called my sister and you know check up on her and see how she is dealing with it. But which is the reason I'm here today. I think this was a little bit too much for her to take so she sent me and hopefully so I did I get this it's it's funny that in the very beginning she was being strong for everybody and then towards the end now as it gets Time Goes By by is getting worse for her than she can you not like it like it's beginning to sink in Uno.
22:23 The first editions of I don't need to listen cuz I remember grandma in my heart and in my mind everyday, you know, it's like I said every time I go out and look towards the weather Towers one, I think about him and I was at 1
22:41 I wonder what station are like you would have been right now, you know, cuz I know that he was going to go places, you know.
22:46 Will never know.
22:49 Me every year, I mean pretty much my uncle coveted. We my mom myself that's his fiance. We because every year September 11th to go to the site wouldn't they read the names we go down. We lay flowers for him. Alright, that's like a like a circle if we will you throw the water in the flower in the water and then we can write something. So I'll write to Nestor my mama right to him and walking down that giant rampant mean it's just some every year is so tough for me. It's just to seeing other people who share the same pain that I have and it's just we are we honor him. I like Michael said we go to the cemetery you lay flowers for him and our other families and there would be no I lost Ones Grandma Uncle Grandpa and you know that are there with him and basically try to take it easy Cantor Fitzgerald. They have like they had their own moral and sometimes they do most of the time they hold it in Central Park will go there one year Hillary.
23:49 Osteria she spoke about you know, you know what happened and then we go to like a hotel if you sit down and just hang out and talk to other families and then I mean, I guess we share in that helps all of us like me we get together and we don't have to be sad or so, you know, we could just I was just seeing everyone else that also lost people on the can of families. And also I went off at Paso we we definitely every year we go we honor him and and like you said also we honor him everyday and every time you think about him and me, I'll talk about and I'll mention something about him or if I see something that I know he would love or he will react to my home and my brother. Oh, yeah, you would have see what I love this. And so then that sounds like
24:32 Anything big a big time movie that he would have loved that would that will come out I will go in his honor and this funny. I want to see you big movie last year the Dark Knight and it's I went to the first showing and if sold out aminos to biggest movie of the year is big and and it was so loud. Everyone theater is full and my role I went by myself. I sat down and watching a movie then like I noticed the left me like that to people next me and there was one chair empty out of the entire theater. I'm like, wow, that must be something I think that was him and
25:07 So it's like
25:10 Oh, yeah, so that's that's we all know. He's a great guy. He's the best.
25:18 Anything in particular you would ask him today if you would talk to him.
25:27 It's difficult. It was as me anything so that I mean if I see him today, I mean I won't have time to ask questions.
25:37 But I would wonder if
25:42 Or if he hold any animosity towards this event that happened if I could ask him that you know.
25:50 I wonder if he would be forgiving.
25:53 I think it would.
25:56 That's the only thing I would want to know perfectly right there. How's everything like him saying? I'm wonder what he feels about what happened and you know Justice we did he just meow obviously if we want Justice and I mean so many questions to ask but that's pipe one important one.
26:24 So I'm looking back on Esther's life earlier. Were there any particular obstacles or challenges that you know, he had overcome the most important and the one that stands out the is his environment. He was raised in the Lower East Side and you don't get too many.
26:51 People that you know what I want to be educated or whatever and you have a lot of peer pressure you and he overcame over that, you know, so he went to a lot of obstacles but he achieved his goal.
27:04 Well, at least part of his gold, you know, who's to say, you know, what he would have been through today. You know, that's me. I mean, he showed he showed me and pretty much just people in the neighborhood we grew up where he was like, you know, what you don't have to go into this rough life a meaning of it easily you could have went into it, but he sure they won't let you know what I can make it I can I can go to college I can graduate I can be somebody in and he's a huge example and he showed showed me and my brother Chris like, you know that could easily when it says the wrong wrong side of him wrong path. They show that we can take the right path and make it no matter what environment where and we can get out of it and we're going to better ourselves and educate ourselves and he definitely overcame that big time and also he he led by example, you know, if I can do it, I don't see no reason for any reason why you can't do it.
28:00 That's the type of person he was.
28:03 But he believed he didn't have it easy and intuitive what he did about that's a feat, you know, and he definitely he doesn't have to because my mom my mom just raising us all by herself and he saw what she struggled to do. What is growing up and that pushed him to be like, you know, what I'm going to do the best I can, push me and then my brothers and we're going to we're going to help Mom out. We're going to make sure that she's you know, she'd look what she did for us. And now we got to do for her and he was the first one to lead the charge and he's definitely big-time inspiration. He overcame an obstacle and it was all about my mom. She she's the best and my sister my sister would take a lot of his advice, you know a little up or would be final but she didn't cooperate what he said.
28:52 And it went up in the world.
28:56 Wise Beyond his years as wisdom is beyond belief ahead of his time. You saw it and I just fed off of it and even I like by example for him. I'd try to see if I see someone, you know, I try to do what he would do try to die and I'm like, hey, you know, you can do better and it works. It's it's a great thing in life how to make people do that. And he was the piece showed me how to do it. And if it's a Gesa keeps me going and makes me happy and not sure he smells like he asked me how go get him, bro.
29:30 Were there any any of them any conflicts that you had with my surgery complex at me for like I always have problems with mad surprisingly in you know, he can be used to study and use it to to me and I season play calm and so hard I can't get it. So we still had like a little complex like that. Other than that now we always got along. Well we were the best is my best friend in the whole universe. I mean, you know he eat if you're my eyes he can't do no wrong. So I always try to not do wrong you're forgetting that he told you the computer and then you did better than you show me the steps and then I kind of further didn't went went ahead with it. But he he was better at other things that you know, I couldn't do and like I said laughing a lot of reading you love reading and so we barely had conflicts but you know me and my brother is Christie's have conflicts. They loved each other death, but it was just
30:30 Pushing Chris on to the right. So he's to Chris would like to try to go to this road. And Chris's you know, now he's like, you know what Nestor for me and push me to the right path. And right now I am doing good cuz you're so annoying that says that those were great conflict that had to be done in half barely any but he responded Yes joke on him. Oh boy. He will have a comeback ready. So don't mess it up there.
31:05 Earlier you were talking about an extra sense of humor. And then Alex. Apparently you have a great sense of humor and it's a nice he would crack you up. Are there any particular jokes that you remember or know? It was more like I think this has you know, he's like if you would date him about his clothes or his weight exactly. It would find he will look at you observe you so well and he'll get you back. He look like a man that I just I just have started this cuz he's going to finish it and I mean, you know, you have other than his brother Kristen and then what would get into it? It was it was, because I think I think my entire family is should have been convenience. We all have a sense of humor and we know who you know, we know how to joke and everything, but I remember one particular incident with Nestor was jumping on Chris.
32:00 I think I have to do with sports or something like that about Christopher not being able to play baseball and that's the favorite sport was hockey so he told us so I don't know what you're talkin about. If you if you play hockey they will give you ice skate you going to need sleds just to give you a policy that was laughing. But but that's the type of you and it and it was all in fun. And I said if he had a very good imagination, so he was here his jokes you would imagine it's just the funniest thing in the world. And so we three fed off each other and yeah, we should have been comedians.
32:47 But you and he may have been pulling money, but he was rich in human. Yes.
32:59 Other people don't know that you want to share.
33:03 For me, it is hard to say because I said before he was he was gone too soon, but I'm sure that whoever he touched he would have been.
33:17 He was he was loyal you've committed he was dedicated to to family and friends. That's that's the way I remember him. Definitely agree with my uncle and also say that he just basically wanted to further Advance himself in life and and and actually make himself a better person and make the people around him the best that they can be and they just want people to know that maybe that don't know how much just know that he was very smart very wise and very educated and I mean, he he read books like 600 Pages like nothing and day in hours and he he was very very smart and you know, don't let up don't judge a book by it's cover mean so much to him you would you never know and pretty much and he's so far advanced.
34:05 So what's on Vanessa are religious or spiritual at all faith yet. So he did believe in God. He was raised Catholic.
34:24 And well, you know with all the things he had going on his life. He may have gone to church every Sunday, but he was religious. Yes, and definitely am never talk bad about any other religion. He was always cool. You know, he kept it all equal in.
34:43 I had a high spirit and very definitely doesn't believe in God definitely.
34:49 Set alarm.
34:51 What is there anything that you feel like Master could tell you that only he could tell you?
35:00 You can do better with where you're at now, you know.
35:04 You can make so much more you can get so much, you know the job you have now you can be much because I have a much better job and if I say, you know what just
35:15 Try to get try to get high on life size to try to get as far as you can.
35:19 And be the best. Make Mom proud make me proud.
35:24 Tell me I say only need something that's going to make sense to myself only is that at?
35:30 I'm glad you decided to turn around and take a real good look this time. That's that's what he was telling me. I'm sure.
35:40 What are the things about Nestor that you wanted to share as we come to a conclusion?
35:46 I think basically we've recovered everything and
35:51 I miss him and I wish you were here.
35:56 Importing me that's not going to be but
36:00 I just hope that he's in a better place. Hopefully he was so loved and it's not enough time to talk about me so much to say about him. It's just I wish people be able to see what we saw. I mean, do you know he was so unique and you know, he he he was a leader and he definitely could have been somebody. I mean he could have been Anything Could Happen president. I would have all the family. He's just so you know, he's for the people even though as well. This is this interview is finished and we'll work out. I'm sure we went to think all we should have said that we should have said that I forgot to mention that his mom loves him so much and she misses him dearly in our family. We are we are we love him and miss him in.
36:54 And we just want everyone to know that he was the best and he would have been somebody.
37:01 Thank you for sharing all thank you so much, and thank you.