Family Histories (60)

Monday, 31 July 2017 10:58

El Hermano, a novel by Carmen Baca

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I had the privilege of meeting Carmen Baca at Bookworks aqui en 'Burque.  Carmen was discussing her book "El Hermano."  It is a wonderful story about her father's coming of age in the 1920's as a future member of a Cofradia (Penitentes) in northern New Mexico.  The book features some of the folklore that we love in northern New Mexico including our mysterious La Llorona.  You can purchase the book on Amazon and many local bookstores.  Voces de Santa Fe has always been committed to supporting our local artists and authors.  They are instrumental in keeping our culture alive and vibrant.

 

 

 

Friday, 16 June 2017 09:36

My Father - By Gloria Mendoza

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It's hard for me to write about my parents. As soon as I think of them my tears flow. Tears of love and gratefulness. I want to share with you about a man who took his role as a father and husband very seriously.

My Dad was born in La Cienega, was one of 13 children born to Facundo Romero and Aurora Narvaiz Romero. My grandfather died when he and a son lost their way on the mesa as a blizzard hit and they lost direction...they froze to death. My grandmother abandoned her 13 children and my father came home from the service to raise his siblings. He married Lydia Romero from Santa Fe. She was 17 years old so he legally became her guardian in order to legally get married.

He only had a 3rd grade education and my mother an eighth grade education. My father did not go to school because he could not speak English and his teacher was physically and verbally abusive to him. So he stayed home helping his Dad work on the small ranch they had in La Cienega. They all lived in a two room house. I always wondered how they managed that. I got to see their small home, an acequia running next to their little home. Some of His siblings lived with him and my mom until they were old enough to go on their own. Most left during the depression to get married or go work in California.

My Father worked as a Milkman for Slade's Dairy which was located in the Pen Road area. He delivered milk all the way to Chama. He then went to work at the loading docks that were located where Dunkin' Donuts is. He worked at night. I remember my brother and I skating from one end of the dock to the other when Mom would go take Dad dinner. My Mom was just learning to drive so it was a little scary, because she was not that good at turning into the docks and would always bump into the dock. Needless to say, the car had a lot of dents.

Dad then went to work for Southern Union Gas Company. He retired from there. My Mom was deceased and wasn't there to celebrate his retirement...I took her place. My father was a wonderful husband. We all took care of Mom when she got real sick from Breast Cancer, her radiation treatments, her removal of her breast and her long road of pain and suffering. I quit working to care for her 24/7 until she succumbed to that horrible disease. My father, with my help, raised 3 young children left at home. My oldest brother and I were married. My siblings never got over losing their mother and all three died at very young ages. They all lived with me at some point of their lives. I tried my best to take my Moms place but it's not the same for them.

My Father taught my sons how to plant, to butcher, to learn survival skills with using the land. He was my rock as I was his. We leaned on each other. My love for him is eternal.he taught me the meaning of inner strength and importance of family. For that I will always be grateful. He was always there for me and my family. I miss hugging and kissing him. He lived with me and I slept on the floor at the hospital for two weeks until he died. Happy Fathers Day Dad! We will all meet again and be together, me you, mom, Geneva, Donald and Trudy. I so love you. Such an amazing man.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 14:11

New Year's Celebration in the 1950s - By Gloria Mendoza

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Thinking back to New Year's Eve when I was young. New Year's Eve in the morning my mother would wake everyone up to clean house. Once done her and her sister would start making food, finger foods, finger sandwiches, dips, Posole & chile, cakes and other goodies. Then they would send my Dad for beer, wine, whiskey and Champagne. My Mom had a little savings just for this occasion. We used to look for change in the couches and all over the house to help her "change" savings. Tonight was a very special night. We had to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. We had to rush and get everything done by then.....Why?......because people, mostly relatives and friends were coming to sing Las Mananitas to my Dad...after all it is the Feast Day of Los Manueles....my Dad's name was Manuel. They would come serenading at our doors and windows singing and playing guitars and violins. We would wake up, greet them, feed them and then the music, dancing and drinking began. My mother served a special drink to the women (her and my Aunt made it up) it was called greenie. Lime sherbert, ginger ale and vodka in a punch bowl. It was a house full of people, singing and they would stay until close to noon time on New Year's Day. All the kids slept on the floor of our bedrooms. Talk about celebrating. Now my family got used to coming over and playing board games for New Year's. We enjoy this better than any other type of celebration. My kids and grandkids are smart.....they don't drink and drive. Always a designated driver if they do drink. I wish you all a wonderful year and slow down on your drinking if you are going to drink. Be sociable.......don't get all locos and locas......lol. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!

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