This is the fourth in a series of short portraits by Clay Jones introduced on April 11. The stories of the men and women Jones has known and photographed over many years are told here in Jones’ words.
Mozacko is one of the people I have been photographing since the beginning like “Frenchy.”
He is also very difficult to communicate with. He repeats the same things: “I was a jockey; I rode horses. My mom is dead.”
He says he is 80 years old. He never gets sick; he just goes and goes. His story is that he raced horses on St. Thomas. When you look at the picture of him with the hard hat on, can’t you see it? It looks like a jockey’s helmet.
Over the years there have been several not very flattering anecdotes about him. And I have experienced them. He is known for stealing things from your car and then selling them back to you. He his known as a thief, and that is not unfounded. He once took a battery out of a car. He took a $300 pair of sunglasses out of my car. When I found him he was wearing them. I wasn’t happy, even though I can see the craziness of having a pair of $300 sunglasses… the idea that there should even be such a thing as a $300 pair of sunglasses. But other people get upset about personal property.
When he raced horses, it was on St. Thomas. I don’t know if he raced anywhere else. He gets a beatific look on his face when he talks about it. You can tell he really loves horses.
The way he expresses endearment is by kicking your foot. I think he has a little OCD. If I do something nice, he’ll come up to me and kick my foot four or five times.
*Addendum: Former University of the Virgin Island President LaVerne Ragster knew Mozacko as Moses when they were teenagers. She said he was one of the people she knew from the campus of Charlotte Amalie High School. That would place him in his late 60s, as opposed to his 80s as he believes. Ragster makes a point of saying hello to him when she sees him and told the Source she often shares a bit of money when it seems appropriate.
Editor’s note: Neither Jones, nor the Source suggest that everything Mozacko has shared over the years is entirely accurate. What we hope is to introduce him as a person in our community who we now recognize.
Jones has not been paid for this project; instead he asks that donations be made to Alternative Art Alliance, which is the 501(c)(3) charitable entity associated with sevenminusseven.