If you’ve walked downtown for your morning coffee at , or for an afternoon slice at , chances are that Jorge Valadez has helped you cross the street. Every morning and every afternoon Jorge drives from his home in San Rafael to help the kids, dog walkers, shoppers and other pedestrians safely across E. Blithedale. With his neon vest, stop sign and friendly smile, Jorge is hard to miss.
MVP: How long have you been a crossing guard?
JV: About three years.
MVP: Do you like it?
JV: Oh yes. Very much.
MVP: And you’re here every day?
JV: I’m here every morning, Monday through Friday, and every afternoon.
MVP: How did you get the job?
JV: My friend in San Rafael told me about it and I filled out an application.
MVP: Are the people nice to you?
JV: Oh yes, the people are really nice.
MVP: What about the drivers? Have you ever had anyone just ignore you and drive past?
JV: No, the drivers are respectful here. Not in San Rafael, but here, yes.
MVP: Have you ever spaced out and forgotten to put the sign up? You are so good – I can be coming from 20 yards away and you'll see me and walk out with that stop sign.
JV: No I don’t forget! Especially for the kids, it’s important to take care of them.
MVP: By now you must have gotten to know some of the kids. You’re watching them grow up.
JV: Oh yeah, I know the kids and the old people - everybody. They look like they are happy with me.
MVP: What do you do when you’re not working here?
JV: I am a painter.
MVP: Where are you from?
JV: Mexico, Guadalajara.
MVP: Do you have family here?
JV: Yes, my wife, my brother and my sister are all here.
MVP: There seems to be a nice community of Latinos working here in Mill Valley.
JV: Yes, it’s a nice place to work.
MVP: So you like Mill Valley?
JV: Yes, it’s a nice quiet place. Downtown is very nice. Very peaceful.
MVP: When you finish work here do you ever stick around for a cup of coffee or to hang out at the ?
JV: Oh no, I have to get going.
MVP: And it’s been three years. Have you ever had anyone make you mad?
JV: No, not really.
MVP: No one in three years? That’s pretty impressive.
JV: Not yet. The people here know what I am trying to do. They respect that.
MVP: I think people are pretty careful here, and I know they appreciate you.
JV: Yes, I guess they do.