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Following in a great man’s footsteps


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Jeffrey Cabana moved to Roswell six years ago. Chances are good, he’ll be here for a long time to come.

“I just celebrated my sixth anniversary in Roswell,” he said. “I got here Jan. 6, 2013. When I got here, I couldn’t leave right away. It took a lot of resources to get here. My best friend and I were walking down the street. Out of the blue, a woman who was driving by herself pulled up to ask if we wanted a ride. We were carrying a couple of things. We said no, we were only going a couple of blocks. She said ‘OK, God bless’ and left. That was one of the moments for me. Where else in the world would a woman alone offer a ride to two guys? Roswell made me stay. The people here made me stay.”

When he arrived here, he had no idea he was following in a great man’s footsteps.

“I was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts,” Cabana said. “That’s also the birthplace of Robert H. Goddard. It’s funny we grew up learning about him. We never learned it was Roswell he went to. We were just told New Mexico. And if you ask most people here where he was born, they’d say Massachusetts, not Worcester. One of my kids went to the Robert H. Goddard School of Science and Technology, in Worcester. It’s a great school. I tell people he came to Roswell and became a great man, I’m working to do the same thing.”

Cabana cannot satiate his need to learn. His hunger goes back to situations well beyond his control from childhood.

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“I spent a great deal of my childhood in the hospital,” he said. “I was born with a club foot. My foot was literally 180 degrees out, while my knee was normal. I had multiple surgeries, spent a lot of time in the hospital. I did a lot of reading. I had a thirst for knowledge. The brain is like a stomach. It wants knowledge.”

Social media experience, along with a lot of time to think about the kind of man he wants to be led to some powerful decisions.

“I matured in my early 30s, he said. “I decided to live according to the non-aggression principle. I made the decision to translate that to the internet and my communications.”

Cabana was self-disciplined enough to teach himself the career he loves.

“I took online courses from MIT to become an audio engineer,” he said. “I did research to find the best textbooks used by audio institutes to teach, and I bought those books. I read them all and I practiced what they taught me and I got really good at it.”

He’s enjoyed being a part of Roswell’s growing music culture.

“I’m one half of Live and Amplified,” Cabana said. “It’s an online media group. We record and film musicians on location. Shortly after moving here, I met a couple of guys. We founded Dragon Rose music studio. I managed that place for close to three years. That’s how I got in touch with the Roswell music scene.”

He’s established himself quite happily in our town.

“I got involved with the music scene,” he said. “I met my wife here. My youngest child was born here. I also work for Chef Toddzilla’s. I love working for Kerry and Todd.”

Cabana is a politically oriented man who intends to serve.

“One of the best things about Roswell,” he said, “is when I ran for City Council, I heard about this economic divide. I’d never heard about that until the election. If I take my kids to the park, they’re going to be playing with kids from every neighborhood. There is no divide in Roswell. At any moment you could be having coffee with a councilman, a doctor and a construction worker. I’m going to continue to run for office. I like the way we run non-partisan in Roswell.”

He sees a need in our culture that he wants to help address.

“From age 15, I would read George Orwell’s 1984 once a year,” he said. “Then I’d give the copy to someone who I thought might get good use from it. When I look at what’s going on across the nation, people are getting kicked out of restaurants for their politics. That’s scary.”

Cabana hopes to encourage all of Roswell’s registered voters to get involved in the political process. Currently, a few people are always involved. There is no history to give them a reason to expect greater participation.

“Did you ever go to a small committee meeting here?” he asked. “They wonder what you’re doing there, and you can often be the only one there. I’ve left some meetings because it was too uncomfortable to stay.”

While running for City Council, he saw how painful change can be, especially for those in charge.

“When I was running for office,” he said, “we were asked how we felt about community-based policing vs. statistical-based policing. I said I was totally against statistical-based policing. I broke it down. I showed them how much more danger it puts them in as officers. I told them that I don’t think policing for the budget and overtime should be a thing, ever. I told them, ‘I don’t think you guys should be revenue collectors.’ The whole panel stopped and quickly changed the subject.”

Cabana understands how such disagreements can happen. It’s vital to a community for representatives to be able to work within that framework.

“Everyone has a truth,” he said. “They don’t always agree. The biggest motivator in the world is profit. You can’t force people to make changes that hurt their pocketbooks.”

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