You have seen him in his gold suit hat and mask for several years on east colonial drive,
Mr. Gold has become some what of a fixture in Orange county. But things are changing mostly for his good, wesh 2 news Gail Paschall-Brown tells us when this icon is coming to a short film near you.
You have seen the gold man wave his hand and tip his hat with much bends Jose Melendez, has been the human billboard for the diamond exchange for more than four and a half years.
But now his reign is coming to an end because the diamond exchange on east colonial drive in Orlando is closing. “This is where I started off. And they treat me like I’m their son. It is sad but I have new employment and I’m happy with it. And I’m never gonna forget this place.” said Melendez
Melendez is a 21 time felon he has been in state and federal prison for drugs,18 months after his release, he couldn’t find a job, Until Virginia and Jim Rodriguez gave him a second chance at the Diamond Exchange. “I just came to work and gave them 100%, and this is what happened if you give 100%.” Melendez added.“He is a kind of staple in Orlando, a local celebrity.
Everybody is talking like “I love him”.” Brian Carlson (Filmmaker) said Jose is so inspiring, Brian featured him in a documentary “Mr. Gold” it is a story of hope and second chances. “I want people to see that there is hope and redemption and, you know, a bad decision isn’t the end of your life.” Carlson added. The documentary featured in this week’s Florida Film Festival at the NCI.
“I think, the most memorable thing about being Mr. Gold is, was talking one day and this lady told me her son who never talks is going to therapy right now, everytime he sees me the first things he say is “Mom there goes Mr. Gold”. Melendez said. Jose hopes his story will inspire others, “They trusted him so much and in the morning he would come in and count diamonds and rubies and jewels for them and do inventory and set up tens of thousands.
If not, hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory.” Carlson added. “I wanted to open up a landscape business because I wanted to get the opportunity to ex-felons to give them a job. Just like they gave me opportunity.” Melendez added. in Orange county, Gail Paschall-Brown Wesh 2 news.