Residents bonded with beloved worker Greene during battle with cancer
After the Yankees won the pennant last October, Harlem resident James Greene III, 51, wore his favorite team’s hat and uniform. The Derek Jeter fan has worked at the Langston, at 68 Bradhurst Avenue, for the past five years, first as security during construction of the building, then for the last three years as the head doorman.
Greene is responsible for overseeing the condominiums’ computer system, handling mail, distributing and delivering packages and opening the door to greet the tenants.
“He genuinely seems to care about what happens in the building and to its residents,” said Nat Antman, one of those residents. “James is very proactive about anticipating problems. He is a warm and friendly person and makes living here more enjoyable and easier.”
In addition to his normal responsibilities, Greene coaches other staff members and serves as liaison when needed with management. But it is as doorman, in a busy building, that everyone knows Greene.
“James is awesome with our son Cooper. Cooper is 21 months old and James is his hero. He comes off the elevator and makes a beeline for him,” said Maria Milionis, another resident. Greene taught Cooper how to press the button on his walkie-talkie so that it beeps, which the young boy loves.
One of Greene’s favorite times of the year is when the building workers have their annual get-together with the tenants.
“I have a good time,” he said. “I find this work to be fulfilling because I’m a people person.”
The residents and Greene have bonded through, as Antman noted, “a challenging time.” This past January, they visited Greene at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was battling colon cancer. Greene finally overcame the disease and came back to the job that he loves.
Milionis remembers that was all that the tenants spoke about when they ran into each other in the hallways, lobby or elevators.
“We all had the greatest concern for James and many of us called his home or sent get-well gifts,” she said.
Greene speaks with pride about how he likes “interacting with my tenants and their families and pets.”
“He enjoys the interaction with all different types of people and ages,” Antman concurred.
Milionis pays him the most sincere compliment in saying that “James Greene is a gentleman.”
Greene calls his wife, Tracy, a social worker currently attending graduate school at Yeshiva University, a wonderful woman. The couple has been married for 10 years and has four children: Jakalah, Jakari, Ashley and James IV, who is in the United States Navy in Pakistan. Greene’s parents are retired and live in North Carolina. He has three siblings.
When Greene is not at work, he loves to cook and is part of the PTA board at his children’s charter school. And he is, of course, a die-hard Yankees fan.
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