Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

“Right now, because of the change in weather, it’s important to have a little shot of whiskey or brandy to stave off any illness,” Leonel Ramirez said in Spanish as he discussed ways to fight a cold.

Ramirez, 71, works full time as a security guard at Twitter’s headquarters at 1355 Market St. and was getting over a cold. Yes, it’s important to dress warmly but having a small drink of liquor before going to bed also helps avoid colds, he said.

Ramirez is originally from Mexico has lived most of his adult life in the Mission District. Nowadays he’s focused on staying well and being able to provide food and gifts for his growing family of five children and eight grandchildren.

“This time of the year — like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year — we try to have the entire family and give them small gifts so everyone can be happy,” Ramirez said.

The holidays are his favorite time of the year. He loves going to get tamales, getting fruit punch at church gatherings, and looking at all the Christmas lights. Experiencing the holidays with his entire family makes all of his efforts worthwhile, he said. 

“It feels like an accomplishment in life. It’s never easy keeping kids and grandkids united and together, but the holidays help keep us together,” he said.

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