Juan Jose Borda Leyva: He Kept to
Juan Jose Borda Leyva was stingy with words. "If
someone said good morning to him, he would say good
morning," said his mother, Ana Borda. "If someone said
good afternoon, that's what he would say, too. He
wouldn't say more. He wanted nothing to do with anyone,
he didn't want to get into their business."
Mr. Borda, 59, was born and raised in Colombia, and
came to this country with his widowed mother about 35
years ago, she said. He did odd jobs -- painting,
maintenance work, working in restaurants. They lived
together in a small apartment in the Bronx.
He helped her with the rent and with grocery money,
but both mother and son were independent and kept to
themselves, said Mrs. Borda, who is 81. When he came home
from work, she said, "He would say hello, bathe, eat his
dinner, watch a little TV and then go to bed &emdash;
Did he have many friends or a girlfriend? "I told you,
he kept to himself," she said. She does not have a
photograph of him. On Sept. 11, he told her he was going
to the trade center for a job interview. He did not tell
her what job, with whom, or what floor. Still, his mother
said, "He was my everything."