Author: Jeffrey

The Oroscos’ Story of a Family in Florida

The Oroscos' Story of a Family in Florida

After Hurricane Ian, a low-lying Florida city starts to rebuild. Should it?

A long, dark hallway, with yellowing linoleum flooring, and a metal desk on it, lined in faded wallpaper, sat empty on a Friday in May. In the middle room was the only furniture: a large window, with the Florida sun shining down, with a white metal shutter.

It’s the apartment of Frank Orosco, a man with a long, dark beard, and skin so pale as to be translucent.

He was a construction worker, but his family owned a small grocery store.

His father, Tom Orosco, had lived in the Tampa area most of his life. Orosco and his mother moved there in the 1970s, when Tom got a second job at a bank in Clearwater.

The family had lived on a street called Dobbins Street, a four and a half block walk from the Orosco family grocery store.

In the fall of 2007, shortly after Tom Orosco died, his 11-year-old son, Frank, who lived a few blocks away, found his father’s stash of cash in a box in a closet, which was in Tom’s bedroom.

“My dad’s only thing he gave me was a couple hundred dollars in cash,” says Frank’s mother, Marilyn. “He also had some bonds that were in this box, too, and a couple of hundred dollars in Social Security. I’m going to get it, as soon as I get my life together.”

While Frank and his mother spent months scrambling to get the money, they were hit by another storm — Hurricane Rita. They lived in the Orosco house for about a month after Rita blew through.

The family got by for a time. Frank worked at the store. Marilyn, once again, worked at the bank.

Then Frank and Marilyn Orosco, both 45 years old, and three of Frank’s five adult children moved back into their family’s home, on Dobbins Street, just a few doors down from Tom Orosco’s grocery store.

It was a big step, for all of them.

In the fall of 2013, Marilyn Orosco enrolled Frank in a private college in Oklahoma, where he could pay for his education with his construction

Leave a Comment