Residents of 1425 Pennsylvania Avenue, Spring Creek Towers’ building G2, gathered in their lobby for a surprise retirement party for Eddie Corda, the building’s maintenance worker who always went above and beyond the call of duty.
Greatly surprised to see all of the tenants last Saturday, a teary eyed Corda humbly said, “This is beautiful, all I did was my best to keep the place nice.”
Corda’s friendly demeanor and genuine concern for all the occupants of G2 will be missed the most, they say. “He is like family,” said Lydia Ruggiero, long-time resident. “He remembers everyone’s name, greets us with a handshake and a smile, and is always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Small acts of kindness are what made Corda stand out for her. Ruggiero says she will not forget how he went the extra mile to make her and other residents happy to come home.
When she learned Corda was retiring, Ruggiero said she wanted to show her appreciation by giving him a farewell party. With the help of fellow tenant Maria Cruz, they reached out to others in the building for donations. So generous were the residents’ contributions, party goodie bags were created and raffled off.
During the lively gathering in the lobby, a toast was made to Corda to show their gratitude for his 30 years of service. Residents and his co-workers raised their glasses of apple cider and sang, “For he’s a jolly good fellow.” Ruggiero then expressed thoughts and sentiments shared by the building’s residents. “Eddie, we loved having you as our janitor for all of these years. You are not only a superb janitor, but a man who made everyone happy to see you,” she told the smiling retiree.
As she spoke, residents nodded in agreement. Joyfully, they talked about his caring ways that were extended to all and even the building he kept immaculate – as if it was his home too.
Born and raised in Spring Creek Towers, Frank Arroyo said knowing Corda has felt like having a second father. If he ever had a problem, the retired janitor would try his best to help him.
Both men are avid soccer fans. When the World Cup was being played this past summer, Arroyo invited him over to have breakfast and to watch Italy’s team play. He said it was a bonding experience he will always remember, and that it is only one of many they have had. Corda is famously known for his helpfulness. From holding doors for people with shopping carts to carrying groceries for the elderly, performing acts of kindness is just Corda’s nature. “I cannot say no to people, especially someone who needs help,” he said.
During a big snowstorm several years ago, Isaac Babayev’s car was buried under a heap of snow. Babayev recalled asking Corda for help, and “without a second thought, he grabbed a shovel and helped me dig it out.” Wanting to show his appreciation, Babayev offered Corda money for his assistance but “he turned it down and said his help came from the heart.”
“For the 13 years that I have known him, he has always been so giving,” said Frisno Comparcion, a maintenance department co-worker. On their days off, they have watched boxing on TV and had dinners together.
“Everyone will miss him here,” he added. Corda’s wife Rosalia was present to see and hear how well liked her husband is and the great job he did at work. “He is a good man, and I am happy he will be staying home,” she said with a smile.
By Amanda Moses
Photos: Amanda Moses
Edited by Agnes E. Green