This is the eighth in a series of short portraits by Clay Jones. The stories of the men and women Jones has known and photographed over many years are told here in Jones’ words and aim to give a voice to the invisible.
The last school Jeffrey Quetel attended was Addelita Cancryn Middle School, which went through eighth grade at the time.
His family fished. In fact, he is part of the Quetel family that the fish house in Frenchtown is named for. (The Gustave Quetel Fish House). So, after he quit school after eighth grade, that’s what he did. He is 47.
Jeffrey is a diver, or was. He was shot in the leg one night in Western Cemetery when coming from the chicken fry. The leg got infected and was amputated.
Jeffrey really wants to work, but the only thing he knows is fishing and diving. He used to dive for conch and lobster. He can’t do that anymore, which has left him living in abandoned buildings.
I asked him what he needed, what people could do for him. He said, “We need places to stay that are safe and clean.”
He says he went to Bethlehem House but they told him they weren’t equipped to deal with people in wheel chairs.
He’s a bright guy. He would work if he could.
I asked him what he needed. “Socks.” He and I had a good laugh when I said I had a whole bunch of socks without mates, about 10 of them, which I am going to take to him. And toothpaste.
It’s the small things in our life that make such a difference.
Editor’s note: Neither Jones nor the Source suggest that everything Jeffrey has shared 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.