This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
VOLUME XXXVIII Summer 2003
(The Women’s Issue)
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 1
5 7 40 43
Publisher’s Page El Grito Poesía de la gente Recetas
Hispanic Women Blazing New Trails by Elizabeth Catanach Hamm
20 Five Points Liquor Store Reunites Father, Daughter by Hazel Romero 21 Abelina Romero: Sacrifice for Education by Mela Lucero Leger 23 Hija de Juan Gallegos by Rosemary G. Armijo 24 Judge Román Benavídez: A Model of Integrity by Celeste Garduño 25 Nambé Valley’s Family Legacy by Corine Flores
13 Hispano Chamber a Driving Force for Latinos by Kathryn M. Córdova
On the Cover:
14 Grandma’s House by Michele Jácquez-Ortiz 17 Mi Nanita by Mari-Luci Jaramillo 18 Café con Leche by Irene Barraza Sánchez 19 When the Beans Run Out by Leeanna Torres
A Performance of Las Damitas in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1925. From left to right: unidentified, Lupita Ortiz, Alice Sanches, Josephine Gilbert, Mela Sedillo Koeber, Jennie Gonzales, Aurelia Tenorio and Luisa Toledo. Photo courtesy Emma Moya.
2 La Herencia / Summer 2003
26 Atarque Women Led Sheltered Lives by Pauline Chávez Bent 27 Ya Les Tocaba by Pauline Chávez Bent 29 Gifted Ana Chavira Tomé’s Shining Light by Emma Moya 31 Women Who Made a Difference by Emma Moya 32 Pitarrilla: An Old Hispanic Game by Dolores Valdez de Pong 33 Anthony, N.M.: Where the State Began Its Course by María del Pilar Muñoz 34 The Carmelites Come to Santa Fe by Connie Hernández
35 The Rosary by Jacqueline Orsini 36 The Traveler by Lorain Varela 39 La Mujer Cusca por Casimira Delgado 44 The Avon Lady Stirs Young Wives in Talpa by Bertha Quintana
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 3
THE MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY OF NEW MEXICO AND THE REGION A GRAN VIA PUBLICATION
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Editor/Publisher Ana Pacheco Managing Editor Walter K. López Associate Editors Ree Strange Sheck Nancy Zimmerman Spanish Editors A. Samuel Adelo Julián Josué Vigil Art Director Patrice Nightingale Webmasters David Hirschi Jennifer Martin Librarian Theresa Strottman Contributors Rosemary G. Armijo Irene Barraza Sánchez Elizabeth Catanach Hamm Pauline Chávez Bent Kathryn M. Córdova Casimira Delgado María T. Domínguez Corine Flores Celeste M. Garduño Susan Hazen-Hammond Connie Hernández Michele Jácquez-Ortiz Mari-Luci Jarmarillo Mela Lucero Leger Emma Moya María del Pilar Muñoz Jacqueline Orsini Nellie Pacheco Tafoya Bertha Quintana Hazel Romero Leeanna Torres Dolores Valdez de Pong Lorain Varela Photographers Mary Ellen Ipiotis Crystal Padilla Carmen M. Rodríguez Vangie Samora Illustrators Liz Martínez Padilla Francis Quintana Production Lesley North Circulation Francisco Yim López Orlando Ortiz
La Herencia strives to preserve the Hispanic culture of New Mexico and the region. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Entire contents copyrighted. Photo and story submissions must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Ode to San Narciso
They say the camera doesn’t lie, Yet as I gaze in the mirror, I cry. It is to you, San Narciso, that I pray, T preserve youth and beauty another day. o Could it be that my prayers have been heard? Not since the days of Ponce de León Have the hopes of so many T urned to the mystery that is DNA. I really want to believe what the experts say. I know that I’ m not alone In the quest for the perfect clone. San Narciso, I pray to you to provide guidance In mankind’s quest for the right genetic matter. For if they err, one might come back a drone. Let it be the first but not the latter. For eons man relied on the loins of passion For our brethren to be sown. T oday one wrong shake of the test tube And all our dreams could be blown. San Narciso, forgive me if my vanity forces me to moan. I realize that physical attributes are but a loan, But society’s obsession with youth and beauty Is all that I’ve ever known. With each new blemish I see the passing of time. I realize now that beauty is not the key For it is within that is truly me. Perhaps one day man will have perfected the clone, But for now it’s best to leave well enough alone.
LA HERENCIA (ISSN 1531-0442) is published quarterly by Gran Via, Inc., 535 Cerrillos Road, Ste. A2, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2694. Annual subscription rate is $19.99. Periodicals Postage paid at Santa Fe and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to La Herencia, PO Box 608, Rochelle, IL 61068-0608. Editorial and advertising inquiries call 505-474-2800, for subscription inquiries call 866-209-9354. Internet Address: http://www.herencia.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 5
More Southern N.M. Articles
My husband and I have been subscribers of La Herencia since it was first published. My husband, Anthony, has contributed many of the photos that have been used in several of your publications. The majority of his family has roots in the Santa Fe, N.M., area. My ancestors originated in the Manzanos but traveled south in the late 1800s and settled in Lincoln County. You don’t know how thankful I am for the article on “Community Restores San José Church” by Christina Chávez. I would like to see more articles covering the southern part of the state. For those of us who have roots in that part of the state, we greatly appreciate this type of publication. I was born in Capitán but was raised near the village of San Patricio, which is approximately 12 miles west of Picacho. Tengo orgullo que nací y me crié en esta parte de Nuevo México. Beatrice Sánchez Salazar Albuquerque, N.M. and for our culture. George C. de Baca Augusta, Ga. times I have wanted to write you in praise of La Herencia. I look forward to receiving each issue on a regular basis. Samuel R. Medina Henderson, Nev. Please send me your wonderful magazine ASAP as I look forward to reading and enjoying this part of our heritage that is not evident in any of the media or any other publication on the market today. Pablo Sánchez Penrose, Colo. I am so glad that you are still publishing. I can hardly wait to receive my copy of La Herencia. Thank you so much for keeping us connected to our culture and to each other. Miguel Rodríguez Rowe, N.M. I just finished reading the beautiful article my brother, Ray, wrote about our greatgrandfather and the photo in the story of my mother; what an honor for my family. I have just retired from American Airlines after 36 years. This article was a great send-off toward my retirement. Thanks for a super magazine and kudos to my brother for a beautiful article. Gloria Herrera Chicago, Ill. I was born and raised in New Mexico. Recently, my family gathered in Phoenix for a family reunion/birthday celebration. My oldest siter, who lives in Phoenix, and whose birthday we celebrated, shared with me your wonderful magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Stella Romero Rago Hayward, Calif.
‘Conejos’ Story Appreciated
I liked your latest issue, especially the article on the Conejos Land Grant. I read the tributes to Pedro and Sabine, it is such a loss of two great men. Ron Maestas Las Vegas, N.M.
CD Still Popular
The first CD we received from you was really popular for the people in our area. It was so well liked that someone took it from our shelf and left the empty case. Mary Ann Molinas Tucumcari Public Library Tucumcari, N.M.
Fine Tribute to Pedro, Sabine
I just finished reading your fine tribute to Pedro Ortega in the last issue of La Herencia. I first met Pete through El Rancho de las Golondrinas in the mid-1970s. I always admired his love of New Mexico and his desire to share his good knowledge with the rest of us, whether we were locals or recent llegados. Thank you very much for sharing your memories of Pete with us. He will always be a legend for us here in New Mexico. Michael Romero Taylor Santa Fe, N.M. What a beautiful tribute to Pedro Ribera Ortega in the last issue. Mil gracias. That issue also had the article on Sabine Ulibarrí, who was a classmate at the University of New Mexico. We both received a bachelor of arts in 1947. Father Angélico Chávez was there, too, receiving an honorary doctorate. He was “our speaker” and I do remember his telling us about his “Eleven Lady Lyrics,” which had then been recently published. I think that was one of the first things to spark my interest in La Conquistadora. Josephine Gutiérrez Roswell, N.M. I’m still enjoying La Herencia. Not only does it keep me in touch with our herencia but it also tells me the latest happenings, such as the passing away of two friends, Sabine Ulibarrí and Pedro Ribera Ortega, a great loss to us
La Herencia Always a Treasure
It seems so long that I read and enjoyed the winter issue of La Herencia. It’s been a long winter. I am anxiously awaiting the spring issue. In reading some of the very first issues I have found many interesting stories that I must have forgotten. I’ve realized, again, how entertaining and soothing and funny the old days truly were compared to the world today. We pray that things will change for the better, but I’m afraid that it won’t very soon. Everything seems to be in such turmoil. What do you think happened to the way of life of our ancestors? Corrine García Joyola Pico Rivera, Calif. For years I have thoroughly enjoyed your publication. It’s inspiring, captivating and, certainly, very close to the soul of who we are as a people. New Mexico has always been an amazing state to all of us at the National Hispanic Institute. It represents a last outpost of our cultural heritage, one that has not given in to the attractions of mainstream America, and a place that reminds us all as Latinos that we possess so much of our past and offer so much for the future. Ernesto Nieto Maxwell, Texas I’m originally from Chama, N.M., and many
Three Convenient Ways To Subscribe: • Call Toll Free 866-209-9354 • Send a Check or Money Order to: La Herencia PO Box 608 Rochelle, IL 61068-0608 • Order online at: www.herencia.com
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 7
CONTEMPORARY HISPANIC MARKET
Please join us for our annual Contemporary Hispanic Market July 26th & 27th
pre-show reception Saturday, July 5th • 5pm to 7pm
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe 1615-B Paseo de peralta Sante Fe, New Mexico 87501
Exhibition July 5th-July 18th Sponsor: El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe 505-992-0591
Sarita y Ismael, mis abuelos – Mercedes Velarde
8 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Hispanic Women Blazing New Trails
By Elizabeth Catanach Hamm
omen in New Mexico could not cast a vote until 1920. At the end of the Civil War, passage of the 15th Amendment allowed African-American men to vote, but not women. Suffragists turned their attention and began vigorous campaigns to fight for the right to vote. In 1869 Wyoming was the first state to grant suffrage to women, followed by 12 others. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson claimed that suffrage was needed as a “war measure,” given that many women were actively participating in the war effort. In addition, supporters picketed the White House and chained themselves to the fence. In 1919 Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote by a narrow margin. The amendment was ratified by the states, including New Mexico, in 1920. An early advocate of women’s suffrage in New Mexico was Adelina Nina Otero Warren. In 1917 she was the first woman appointed as superintendent of the Santa Fe County Schools. In 1922 she was the first woman to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and although she was defeated, she captured 80 percent of the Hispanic vote. Early pioneers blazed a trail for women to advocate and work within the system to advance issues. Today several women’s organizations passionately move forward the needs of women and Latinas in New Mexico. Though individual and unique in their programs and philosophies, the common thread is a grass-roots effort to promote the needs and progress of women. Las Mujeres de LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) was formed in 1982, and its mission, according to current president Diana Montoya, “is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the advancement of the Hispanic women and their families in the areas of education, employment, cultural awareness, human rights, community involvement and health.” The organization began when two Albuquerque teachers attended a conference in Colorado that inspired them to create the first Education and Leadership Conference locally. Several workshops were facilitated by a variety of
Adelina Nina Otero Warren. Photo courtesy Museum of New Mexico, Negative No. 89756 strong Hispana role models. More than 300 women participated and the organization took root. “Las Mujeres has supported legislation, attended committee hearings and testified on behalf of day care, domestic violence, stalking laws, education bills and other issues throughout the years,” Montoya says. Other accomplishments include the establishment of two annual major scholarships, working with Technical Vocational Institute to offer degree status, and it was instrumental in securing the Sambrano Agreement that focused on equity in the Albuquerque Public Schools. MANA de Albuquerque was founded in 1988 and currently has 60 members. “MANA is part of a national Latina organization that began in Washington, D.C., 25 years ago to promote and advocate Latina issues,” says president Evangeline Sandoval Trujillo. “At each meeting we select topics brought forward by members and partnering organizations. Speakers and presenters are experienced in a variety of issues, including diabetes and other health issues, drop-out rates of Hispanics and Latinas, teen-age pregnancy, domestic violence, workplace issues faced by members, national antiaffirmative action and César Chávez awareness and celebrations.” Depending on the topic, members may write letters, participate in meetings or design workshops. Over the past 10 years the organization has awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships and provided leadership workshops and
Elizabeth Catanach Hamm, a Santa Fe, N.M., native, is the Public Information Officer for Bernalillo County.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 9
Las Mujeres de LULAC from left to right, front row: Diana Montoya, president; María Gutiérrez, secretary; and Mary Molina Mescall, past president; In the back row: Marisa Saavedra, events chair; Tillie García, treasurer; Theresa Tórrez, employment opportunity liaison.
Hispanic Women’s Council, front row L-R: Elizabeth Cárdenas, Edna López, Carol Vigil, Theresa Cárdenas, Rosalee Montoya-Read and Patricia Chávez; back row, L-R: Rosa María Calles, Susan R. López, Michelle Rinaldi and Ofelia Rinaldi (missing from photo are Valerie J. Borrego and Dr. Joan C. Ludeke).
MANA del Norte’s 2003–2005 officers, from left to right, Theresa Sandlin, treasurer; Dolores E. Roybal, vice president for membership; Terry Ortega, vice president; and Dr. Sandra Rodríguez, president (missing from photo is Suzanne Johnston, secretary). Photo by Carmen M. Rodríguez.
experiences to young Latinas through the “Hermanitas Leadership Program.” MANA del Norte was established in 1989 by a small group of Latinas who, according to public relations director Carmen M. Rodríguez, “shared a common interest and goal, the desire to improve the quality of life in northern New Mexico and more importantly, the recognition of the importance of ensuring equal rights for Latinas in this area.” They serve as a voice and provide resources in the tri-county area of Los Alamos, Río Arriba and Santa Fe. “We have also supported local family crisis centers by contributing much-needed supplies such as toiletries, sheets and blankets, food and household goods. Additionally MANA del Norte members have participated in helping low-income northern New Mexicans renovate their homes.” The group also awards scholarships and since 1990, through aggressive fund-raising efforts, has presented $65,000 to Latinas in the area. “MANA del Norte has taken the lead in community-building efforts in order to strengthen ties among the varied cultural communities in northern New Mexico,” says Rodríguez. Members are especially proud that they have existed for 14 years. “We are a grassroots, volunteer organization,” Rodríguez continues, “and we could not run this type of organization without support from its executive board, its members and our financial supporters.” Cross-cultural communications expert Lillian Roybal-Rose recently conducted workshops for MANA del Norte on how to better understand the diverse communication dynamics across ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic lines. The Hispanic Women’s Council began in 1988 when founders felt there were not enough Hispanic women represented in leadership positions. “The goal of the organization is to act affirmatively and in unity to increase the participation of Hispanic women in high-level, decisionmaking positions,” past-president Vangie Samora says. In addition to several conferences and events that promote education, networking and preservation of cultural traditions, the members have produced book projects. “The HWC published the book Nuestras Mujeres in 1992 documenting the accomplishments of Hispanic women in New Mexico from 1582 to 1992. A second book project focusing on the membership of HWC in now under way.” The Las Primeras award was established to focus attention on women who have achieved a “first.” In 1996 an event was held to honor Patricia Madrid, Pamela Minzner, Teresa Leger de Fernández and Petra Maes. Another presentation is scheduled for November 2003. The main objective of the organization is to increase women in key positions. “Ever mindful of this goal, we work at many levels to make an impact,” Samora says. Women are encouraged to run for public office, are nominated for awards and appointments to boards and commissions and encouraged to apply for leadership opportunities. A unique feature of HWC is the multigenerational nature of its membership. It is comprised of mothers and daughters,
10 La Herencia / Summer 2003
New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women
— Commissioners —
Mary Ann Armijo Samuel Adelo Ellen Bernstein Aggie Choi Judy Cooper Karen Hamlin Pat Madera Theresa Martínez Marjorie Miller-Engel Mary Noskin Anita Pfeiffer Mary Lynn Roper Mary Torres Helen Wertheim
Mana de Albuquerque, top left, Vangie Samora (Hispanic Women’s Council), Bernice Montoya, Loretta Chávez, Rebecca Vigil Girón, Rebecca Rael (Hermanita); in the front row, left to right, Agnes Maldonado, Christine Trujillo, Petra Maes.
— Staff —
Lorraine Domínguez Susan Aragon Rozanna Bejarano Kathi Brown Kathy Chávez Katherine Hughes Fraitekh Becky Medina Mary Padilla
Las Adelitas, in the back row, left to right: Helen Dorado-Gray (Secretary), Jessie Lane Keefe, Karen Hopkins (Vice President), Maggie Toulouse (President), Carmie Lynn Toulouse; Sherry Sandlin. In the front row, left to right: Raul Avillar, Samantha Johnson, Candelaria Patterson. Not Pictured: Diane Albert, Marg Elliston, Ray Rivera, Kelly Smyer, Jill Riester (coordinator). In 2002 the organization helped elect seven out of nine endorsed candidates to office in New Mexico including the first female to become lieutenant governor, Diane D. Denish. “As well, we helped re-elect our secretary of state, Rebecca Vigil-Girón, and Attorney General Patricia Madrid, as well as stalwart pro-choice House member Mimi Stewart and State Board of Education member Christine Trujillo.” Members are already looking toward the 2004 election. “In this important election year, it will be crucial to recruit, develop and assist more pro-choice Democratic women for office,” Toulouse says. “Right now, only 34 of New Mexico’s 112 legislators are women. Of those 34, only 20 are Democrats. In order to have parity within our Legislature, we would need to elect 20 more women.” Collectively, these groups, with close to 500 members, are influencing the current opportunities and future of women. According to Evangeline Sandoval Trujillo, “As we involve more young women and model for them positive attributes and commitment to make a difference, we feel we are establishing something very positive for their future as well.”
aunts, nieces and sisters. “This creates a supportive, uplifting energy that I believe mentors the next generation of leadership,” Samora says. “A prime example of this is our current president: Michelle Rinaldi is the daughter of former president Ofelia Rinaldi, a founding member of HWC.” Las Adelitas was formed in 1994 and is a political action committee dedicated to the advancement of Democratic women in New Mexico. President Maggie Toulouse says, “This year we decided to change and clarify the mission and purpose of the organization to specifically focus on pro-choice Democratic women.”
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 11
BERNALILLO NEW MEXICO
❖ VISIT THE CITY OF CORONADO ❖
CALENDAR SUMMER EVENTS
16th Annual New Mexico Wine Festival Poster
SAN LORENZO 1693
August 9, 10 & 11 – 2003 SHERIFF’S POSSE RODEO August 8, 9 & 10, 2003 15th ANNUAL NEW MEXICO WINE FESTIVAL AT BERNALILLO August 31 – Sept. 1, 2003 Labor Day Weekend
For More Information: BERNALILLO MAINSTREET ASSOCIATION (505) 867-3311 Ext. 133 “Vines of the Times” – Joe Dowell
HISTORIC ❖ PROPERTIES ❖ MUSEUMS RESTAURANTS ❖ SHOPS ❖ GALLERIES
12 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Hispano Chamber a Driving Force for Latinos
Jimmy Trujillo works toward a continuation of creating opportunities for small businesses. An organization remains as ecent U.S. census figures effective as its leadership. reveal that Latinos remain CEO/President Loretta Armenta one of the fastest-growing includes work with government populations, and this trend greatly and private entities along with enhances business opportunities for this business partners as a large part ethnic group. When one considers such of her work. Castillo considers opportunities, the Albuquerque working on continuing services Hispano Chamber of Commerce comes and programs and designing new to mind as a driving economic force. Its ones as part of the chamber’s mission statement clearly states the mission. Chief Financial Officer main goal: “The Albuquerque Hispano The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce executive committee includes, Raymond García oversees the Chamber of Commerce is organized to front row, L-R: Jimmy Trujillo, chairman, and Loretta A. Armenta, president/CEO. financial needs, Ron Chávez promote economic development and to In the back row, L-R: Sherman McCorkle, treasurer, Jeanette Candelaria, secretary, serves as vice president of enhance economic opportunities for the John Salazar, vice chair, James Gallegos, chair elect, Mariá Griego-Raby, vice chair, business education and Hispanic community and for the small and Carol Ann Sánchez, vice chair, (not pictured is Julian Garza, past chair) workforce development, and and disadvantaged businesses in the Jeffrey Candelaria provides Albuquerque metropolitan area.” Month and their work. expertise as vice president of Phil Castillo, chief operations officer of the Special on-premises training at the membership/ marketing. Thirty employees Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, chamber’s 13,000-square-foot center at 1309 keep the organization running smoothly for expands on the idea: “We have money to Fourth St. helps members with their business business and tourism opportunities. Elected spend. We’re productive. We’ve contributed. needs. Through SCORE (Service Corps of positions include 21 board members, seven of We can be proud.” Retired Executives), the Small Business them officers, serving for staggered two-year Acceptance never came easily, however. Administration offers free counseling services terms. Eight ex-officio members round out the During the chamber’s inception 30 years ago, for new and existing business members. leadership. according to Castillo, the rest of the The Barelas Job Opportunity Training Center Armenta expresses pride and pleasure over community asked, “Why?” provides workforce development, business the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber’s “Our reply was that the Hispanic development and career opportunities. progress. “I think as an organization that community at the time was underserved,” The Central Area Career Center assists and focuses economic development with growth Castillo says. He admits that the fledgling develops workforce needs at no charge. Other of small business, we continue to look at chamber encountered hostility at first, onsite features include teleconferencing, global vehicles that create new opportunities,” she however, the organization’s growth remains communications services and business says. She cites tools such as technical courses, the best proof of the soundness of the move. education for members. tax seminars and access to capital as added Many volunteers contribute to the Discounts, access to competitive healthvalue to membership. “We are committed to chamber’s success. Nearly 2,000 members benefit rates and committee participation offer our members whatever they need to form the group, 40 percent of them nonmake joining the chamber advantageous, enhance their business position in the Hispanic businesses. Small businesses form along with possible qualification for community.” a large percentage of the membership, but a workers’ compensation discount. The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of corporate representation is visible as well: EMercadoNM.com hooks members up with Commerce remains one of the three largest PNM, Intel, Wells Fargo, AAA New Mexico large companies for exciting business Hispano chamber organizations in the country. and others. Service industry members include opportunities. Other membership benefits As such, it also assists fledgling Hispano retail stores, restaurants, hotels, entertainers, include seminars, workshops, trade fairs, chambers. To date, chambers have emerged in insurance agents and more. Accountants, a membership directory, a newsletter and communities such as Belén, Ratón and Taos. advertising agencies, airlines, attorneys, a Web site. Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce members of the construction industry, Special events combine business and social officials also visited Silver City for possible engineers, financial institutions, landscapers occasions. The Annual Hispanic Heritage future activity. The Albuquerque-based group and individuals represent only a few of the Luncheon, Year End Review Luncheon and views mentorship for members and fledgling chamber’s diverse groups. Annual Education Excellence Awards Hispano chambers as great assistance to By far, the organization’s activities serve Luncheon Program honor the spirit and promoting economic development and as a strong selling point for membership. The quality of community participation. By far, the opportunities. informational/membership packet reveals most visible program is La Noche Encantada, that the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of the gala membership banquet that brings to Commerce remains a part of more than 16 more than 200 guests an evening of highmillion national minority-owned businesses profile entertainment, dancing, gourmet meal that generate $3.7 trillion in sales. Sponsor and opportunities for recognition. partnerships allow for exposure and At a recent Taos County Hispano Chamber Kathryn M. Córdova is a development opportunities for members. of Commerce meeting, Castillo suggested to part-time communications In addition to networking opportunities, members of the new organization that they and journalism instructor mercados—after business exchanges—provide follow Albuquerque’s example and allow the at the University of New exhibit display opportunities six times a year. chairman of the chamber to select a theme for Mexico–Taos. Monthly El Cambio luncheons offer business his/her term. “During my term as chairman, exchange opportunities where members our organization worked on the building introduce themselves, their Employee of the project,” he explained. This term, chairman
By Kathryn M. Córdova
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 13
The heart of the family, Grandmother Reynalda Almeida. Photos courtesy Michele Jácquez-Ortiz.
By Michele Jácquez-Ortiz
randma’s house is being sold. How is it possible that this humble, brown adobe nestled in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, this house that holds our family’s spirit, can be sold to the highest bidder? I struggle to come to grips with this concept as my mom talks about the realtor they’ve chosen. My mind fixates on the fragrant lilacs clustered alongside the mud wall on the side of the house. I remember being nestled in the bushes as a child. I’d crawl underneath and close my eyes. I can still feel the branches as I pulled them forward to inhale the essence of this healing bush. Even today, anything lavender or smelling of lilac is an instant transport back to this sanctuary. The scent of tortillas and smoke permeates the warm structure. My grandpa, or “LoLo,” as we call him, rustles us out of bed to show us how to make his famous hotcakes on the griddle. We stumble into the kitchen with its dim, yellow-hued light and gather around the table with its vinyl and chrome chairs. He mixes the ingredients in a blue-and-whitespeckled tinware bowl and reminds us to pay extra-close attention. LoLo demonstrates what is just the right amount of vanilla. It’s dawn and we’re still groggy, but we try our best to concentrate on what he’s doing. We all know how ill and frail he is. My mom said the cancer is very advanced, but we have faith in both yerbas and miracles—the saints work overtime in our family. He’s been drinking his remedios, but lately he can’t keep down the atole. From his ashen coloring and bloodshot eyes, we know it will not be long. I wish we had taken notes that morning. My cousin claims she remembers the recipe, but it never comes out right. Meanwhile, I try to
remember the flavor of those sweet, fragrant pancakes we’ll never taste again. My mind wanders to Christmas. As we pull into the dirt driveway, my sisters and I are thrilled that our cousins have already arrived. I see the envelopes for my younger cousins and me taped along the archway wall leading from the living room. Some contain silver dollars and others have dollar bills. LoLo stands near the archway handing each of us our Christmas presents. What will we buy this year? King Kong is playing at the DeVargas Mall theater and we will go to the movie as a group this afternoon. Christmas is also LoLo’s birthday. One of my tías baked a cake for him and we will celebrate his birthday, but not now. We’ve all been eating for several hours—the adults in the kitchen and living room, the grandchildren in every room in the house. We’re full with too many servings of enchiladas, red chile, turkey and stuffing, guacamole and bizcochitos. Birthday cake will come later. The kitchen is filled with the hum of voices young and old, laughter and high-pitched phrases from those struggling to get a word in edgewise. My grandmother (Reynalda Almeida) sits in the middle of the gathering. She speaks only occasionally, but assertively, and always in Spanish. Later, the ladies of the house are lined up along the sink with their aprons on. One washes, one rinses and another dries and stacks each item on the exposed kitchen shelf. A collection of mismatched dishware lines the open cabinets. The men, meanwhile, are standing, sitting, chatting and watching television. Two tíos take turns giving us a ride. They jump us, swing us
and lift us so high it feels like we’re flying. Another tío plays his guitar for us. The boys are chasing animals in the dirt driveway. They’re in pursuit of bugs, cats, anything amusing. My cousin Stephen has drawn a crowd as he dissects an insect. To nobody’s surprise, he turned out to be the doctor in the family. My memory again shifts. I’m home sick from school and stand in Grandma’s living room while she and my mom talk in the kitchen. Santo Niño de Atocha, whose intercessions for our family are countless, is draped in rosaries and a new lace robe my grandma made for him. The adobe walls are white and cool to the touch. They are thick and solid. The paint on the wooden windowpanes is weathered and chipped, and outside I see the familiar contours of the nearby mountains. The cross on the top of the capilla up the hill is clearly visible through the front window. I can still remember my grandpa’s comment as he leaned toward the glass, just after construction of the two-story house across the street, “Ay, se terminó la vista de la montaña.” Photos of all of Grandma’s children, grandchildren and relatives hang on the wood-paneled wall in the living room. It’s fall and I wander out back to the apricot Michele Jácquez-Ortiz, a native of Santa Fe, N.M., is the state director for U.S. Rep. Tom Udall. She received a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University in Washington, D.C.
14 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Almeida family gatherings continue, although no longer at Grandma’s house. tree. Mouth dripping with nectar, I grimace to manage the tartness. This is what’s left after the rest were gathered for Grandma’s delicate apricot jam and pastelitos. I see a vision of my grandma years later, lying in a hospital bed located near her bedroom window. Her children insist that they will care for her at home, although not easily—the fatigue, the coordinating of schedules. Together, they provide round-theclock care over several years. This, they say, is a necessary sacrifice that only the most devoted children endure. During one of my visits, I share with her the pain—the stress—of my job, my latest disappointment. I don’t know how much she can hear or understand. As I’m holding her cool, soft hand, she squeezes it tightly. My grandma looks at me without blinking, her dark penetrating eyes speaking to my soul. She still teaches me, even without words. I see her widow’s peak, the same one I have on my forehead, and know that our bond goes deep. I feel the warmth of the room and tell her I’m looking forward to the lilacs blooming soon. I kiss her delicate hand and notice that she still exudes that same sweet scent. It’s early morning on Palm Sunday and Grandma dies in this room, just as LoLo did in the next. The following Sunday, on Easter, our entire family comes together to hold one last gathering at Grandma’s house as a way to celebrate her life. We tell stories, sing songs, eat endlessly and hug each other a lot. A few days later I act on my mom’s suggestion to spend some time alone in the house as a way to say goodbye. As I walk one last time through Grandma’s bedroom, I’m struck by the light streaming in through the window. I’m sure it’s my imagination, but I can’t deny how ethereal it appears. As I walk out of the house for the last time, I hear the wooden screen door shut firmly behind me. Driving away, I feel so empty.
Grandchildren at Grandma’s house on Easter, circa 1970. What will happen to this “prime” Santa Fe real estate? Who would have ever thought this neighborhood, once considered the barrio, or “dog patch” as they called it, would today be Santa Fe’s exclusive eastside? The next occupants of Grandma’s house will inherit its spirit. But how can they possibly appreciate what extraordinary light and energy the house has generated? How precious its memories? Will they feel the home’s presence or will the dim, yellow-hued light seem old and degenerate to them? Will they chuckle at the makeshift kitchen shelves? How many walls will they knock down to create their studio space? Will they nurture the lilac bush the way it has nurtured so many? As I say goodbye to this sweet, humble adobe, I know that I really don’t. This is where I will always wander when the world becomes complicated and simply too much. This is my mental retreat filled with light, innocence, purity of heart, warmth, laughter and love. I know I speak for others in my family when I say that Grandma’s house, like the spirits that reside there, will live forever in our hearts and minds.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 15
By Mari-Luci Jaramillo
anita was as pious as they come. God was in every aspect of her life. Upon rising every morning, she prayed the rosary; there was one before bedtime and many in between. I would see her lovingly caress each tiny rosary bead with her pretty, expressive, though work-hardened, hands, her lips moving slightly with each word, and know she was deep in prayer. My grandma was very pretty. Her fair skin had a healthy glow and her cheeks were rosy. Her prettiest features were her big, luscious brown eyes. She had a round face, tiny mouth, a cute, small nose and expressive eyebrows. They seemed to have a life of their own. If she was shocked, her eyebrows would shoot straight up her forehead; if angry, they came together tightly, almost forming one brow. Plowing a field led by two large workhorses and covered by tons of dust, Nanita's cotton dress and apron would be ironed and completely stiff with starch. She was stylish with neatness of dress that could not be matched. Even though she did hard physical labor, her shoes always sported a 1-inch heel. Shoes with no heels hurt her calves, she would claim. She just seemed so out of place chopping wood or plowing fields in her little heels. But I never saw her without them. Hats were a specialty of my nanita. Her head was always covered when she was outside. If she was working outdoors, she wore her heavily starched and beautifully ironed sunbonnet. But when she went to town to visit friends or church, she always wore a stylish hat. While she only owned four—one navy blue, one black, one in straw for summer and a felt one for the winter—her friends never knew her secret. They all thought she had several because they never looked the same as in the previous week. Nanita never wore the traditional black shawl or tápalo that women her age all wore. Maybe that was why she looked younger than her years. Or maybe it was the magic of her hats. Despite having only attended two years of elementary school, my nanita was clever. She was not book educated, but she read and wrote her native Spanish. She could pick up an English newspaper and read it out loud. Every word was pronounced phonetically in Spanish, but she understood what she read. She made herself understood in English, even though she massacred the language. Every word was mispronounced. Once we grandchildren learned enough English ourselves, we took it upon ourselves to correct her, but to no avail. She claimed she could not pronounce the words even when she was saying them correctly.
The Ruiz sisters, left to right, Juanita Ruiz Tafoya, Francisca Ruiz, María Ruiz Tafoya and Elvira Ruiz Tafoya, circa 1945. Photo courtesy Mari-Luci Jaramillo.
If she saw a robin, she would call it a “robinsón.” We would tell her, "No, Nanita. It is robin." She would answer, "I cannot say robin. Es un robinsón." The family who lived near us was named Groth, but she insisted on calling them Los Grutes. The neighbor child was Jimmy, but she called him Jimes. My grandpa became Rampo, and she made us call him that, too. When Nanita was not working, she would read prayer books written in Spanish. Some were about the lives of the saints. With these books she taught me to read in Spanish before I went to school. She had done the same for my sister years before. When she got a new book, she would always write her name on the first page. She signed them "Mrs. Juanita R. de Tafoya." She liked that "Mrs." I know she knew English. Pious as she was, Nanita was a northern New Mexico version of Annie Oakley. We children were terribly impressed with her shooting abilities. I often wonder where she got the lessons. She got a lot of practice protecting her chicken coop from the beautiful shiny black-and-white magpie devils that would steal the eggs she used to feed her family. When they would begin to get near the chicken coop, she would quickly run to get her .22 rifle. Standing at the edge of the porch, she would wait until the magpies were strutting around within her sights and take deadly aim. Hawks that frequented her farm were much more disliked then the magpies. She would shoot at those conniving birds whether they were in her sights or not. Early one particular morning, she spotted a hawk rodeando el gallinero. They always circled the chicken coop before coming down for the kill. She went for her gun in the house, came outside and stood in her favorite shooting spot to wait for a good
shot. A minute or two later she yelled, "Gavilán malvado," as a big hawk flew up into the big blue cloudless sky carrying her favorite black hen in its beak. My nanita didn't miss a beat though and took aim. Down fell the hawk and the chicken in the field directly across the arroyo. St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, was the day she renewed her baptismal vows every year. She would go for a bath in the cold river at four in the morning. While she was gone, Grandpa would get us kids out of bed and help us dress. When she would walk up the path and get close to the house after renewing her vows, we would belt out, "Qué linda está la mañana." We would sing the entire birthday song with much gusto. She would hug all of us and get us slightly wet with dripping hair. My grandma lived for her extended family, for her neighbors and for the Lord. Her nature was one of piousness, but she was a petite bundle of energy not quite 5-feet tall. She gardened and cooked, sewed and cleaned the house, helped her husband and took care of her extended family and neighbors who were in and out of her house all day long. Her heart was filled with the knowledge that the Lord would take care of everyone's problems.
Mari-Luci Jaramillo is professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico. Born and raised in Las Vegas, N.M., she currently resides in Albuquerque, N.M.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 17
Café con Leche
By Irene Barraza Sánchez
s Mary walked through the doors of the local coffee shop, she inhaled deeply and her nostrils were tantalized by the pungent aroma of fresh coffee beans. Her palate yearned for the first sip of that dark, steaming beverage. There was a long line ahead of her, and she anxiously awaited that first taza de café. Her mind drifted to the first time she had café con leche with her nana on the farm when she was 8 years old. Wandering between the past and present, Mary noted that the gentleman in the gray suit requested a double espresso. The line inched slowly ahead, but Mary now had a full view of that marvelous caloric display known as the pastry case. Her eyes widened as they scoured the case, row by row, searching for her favorites delicacies. She spied two cinnamonswirled Danish rolls, and her stomach growled in anticipation of a delightful treat. The server behind the counter removed one of the Danish rolls and placed it in a bag for a college student with a large backpack. The scent of canela filled the air near the counter, and Mary’s mind slipped back to her childhood at the old farmhouse with her nana. Mary became lost in time and escaped to the comforts of her loving abuelita. There was the smell of freshly cut pinewood as her nana stoked the old wood stove in preparation for homemade cinnamon rolls. Mary saw her nana as she measured flour and sugar and then added melted butter, warmed milk and yeast that filled the kitchen with wonderful smells of the pastelera’s delicacies. Mary’s stomach now churned with the thoughts of the rising dough in Nana’s warm kitchen. She swayed back and forth while she
waited in the seemingly endless line of java drinkers. She kept time as she envisioned her nana, who methodically rolled out the dough with a huge rolling pin and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over the buttery dough. Nana rolled up the dough in jellyroll fashion, sealed the ends and then sliced through the dough to make each roll. As the rolls baked in the old wood stove, Nana sent Mary outdoors to the well for water so she could make cafecito. Mary cranked the bucket upward and poured the cool water until it filled the old blue-speckled porcelain coffee pot. Nana placed four heaping spoons of dark brown coffee in the pot when the water boiled on the old stove. As the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls completely engulfed Mary, Nana made a rich butter-cream frosting and poured it over the hot rolls. Mary watched the coffeepot as it sputtered and perked, and with a potholder she pulled it to the side so Tía María Chávez Davis on her 80th birthday, circa 1985. the coffee would not boil over onto the Photo courtesy Irene Barraza Sánchez. stove. Nana nodded, smiled and said, “María, vamos a dar gracias a Dios y luego vamos a comer el pan dulce y beber el café con two shots of espresso, room for leche and one leche.” Mary sat down with her nana and Danish to go.” prayed before they enjoyed a strong cup of café The sales person responded, “What was con leche and a buttery rich cinnamon pastry. that—room for milk? And by the way, we’re The ring of a cell phone jarred Mary back to all out of Danish pastry. Anything else?” reality. As she faced the salesperson, Mary Mary disappointedly looked in the pastry looked at him blankly. The salesperson seemed case and settled for a slice of day-old pound irritated and cleared his throat and repeated cake and espresso with milk, but she yearned for a second time, “May I help you, miss?” for her nana’s warmth, love and pan dulce y Mary, somewhat embarrassed, quickly café con leche. licked her dry lips and said, “Tall Americano, 6 cups water 4 tablespoons strong coffee, freshly ground 3 ⁄4 cup milk Irene Barraza Sánchez lives in Tomé, N.M. She is the author of “Comida Sabrosa—Homestyle Southwestern Cooking,” published by University of New Mexico Press.
Café con Leche
Boil water in coffeepot on stove. Add coffee; reduce heat to low after coffee has boiled. Pour coffee through fine mesh strainer to remove coffee grounds; rinse pot and pour coffee back into pot; place over medium-low heat. Scald milk in separate pan until milk foams; be careful that milk does not boil over. Immediately add to hot coffee and let coffee and milk boil together for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with honey or sugar. Makes 4-6 cups.
18 La Herencia / Summer 2003
WHEN THE BEANS RUN OUT
By Leeanna Torres
oday is the day Nana ran out of beans. She gave me a hollow look, and I wasn’t sure if she was disappointed in herself or in the grocery list that got misplaced during an afternoon of light rain. She temporarily panicked and became silent. “Don’t worry, Nana,” I said, and I left before her response. I went home, scooped some beans into a brown paper bag that had clearly been used far too many times. I then dashed across the field with the heavy paper sack, passing the mulberry tree and Juanito’s house. I crossed the ditch and turned to see if the dog was still following. I scaled the fence, crossed the road and continued on to Nana’s house where she was waiting for the beans. Like many New Mexican families, running out of beans is like suddenly running short of air. You panic slightly, shocked that such a thing could happen. And like an asthmatic rushing for an inhaler, one might quickly phone a neighbor or prima or comadre down the road to borrow some beans, but I was there when it happened, and Nana didn’t have to make any calls. Now she waited for me as though I were carrying gold, medicine or a piece of jewelry that was borrowed for too long. When I arrived, Nana took the bag and held it to the sunlight. A pot of water was already warming on the stove. She was expecting me with the beans. “Gracias,” she said. “De nada,” I replied. Without beans Nana might have had to make macaroni, Sloppy Joes or just have butter on toast. And anyone who has ever grown up in this valley knows that will never do, because what is supper without beans? Without beans the tortillas would have felt naked. Without beans Nana may have skipped dinner altogether, leaving the table for the bedroom, leaving the stove for the couch or the chair or the porch.
Concepción Torres (Nana) and Martina Baca. And she would have sat there, wondering how true it is that food nourishes more than the body—it feeds the soul. Maybe Nana’s running out of beans means the world is changing. Or maybe it means that no matter how complicated or tragic life becomes, our dependence and trust in the small things is what keeps us intact. Like beans, like family, like faith. Nana knows this. It is what keeps her beautiful.
Leeanna Torres, a lifelong resident of Tomé, N.M., is a college student.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 19
Santa Fe’s popular Five Points Liquor Store from 1955-1969. Photo courtesy Museum of New Mexico. Negative No. 29171.
Five Points Liquor Store Reunites Father, Daughter
By Hazel Romero
ave you ever heard of a liquor store in Santa Fe that was located in the middle of a road? I had never heard of such a building, but this was the question I received from Rosemarie Sena of Greeley, Colo., when she visited the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library recently. I asked her why she needed this information, and she told me that she came to the library with hope of locating her father. Rosemarie told me that she was born in Santa Fe in 1955 and lived there for a short time when she was young until moving with her mother to Colorado. Now 48 years old, Rosemarie wanted to learn more about her father and find out if he was still alive. One small clue was that after all these years, she still remembered going to the liquor store with her father. This vision stayed with her and might be a link to finding her father. I called my husband, who in his heyday knew every bar in town, to ask him if he was familiar with a liquor store in the middle of the road. He knew instantly what I was talking about—the Five Points Liquor Store. He, too, remembers going there as a little boy with his father to buy six-packs of Falstaff. It was located at 212 Agua Fria St., where the road, Alameda Avenue, Jefferson Street and Hancock Street all intersected and made it look like it was in the middle of the road. Five Points Liquor Store was in operation from about 1955 to 1969. After finding out this piece of information. I showed Rosemarie and her husband, Ernest, how to use resources available at the Chávez History Library. I pointed them toward the old Santa Fe directories, which were continuously published since 1927.
After looking through a couple of directories unsuccessfully, Rosemarie was quickly getting discouraged. Assisting her in her search, I encouraged her to look through a few more. A short while later, she hit pay dirt. The Five Points Liquor Store was listed in the business section of the 1955 directory for Santa Fe along with the names of the proprietors and employees. One of the surnames listed among the manager and employees in the directory matched that of Rosemarie’s father. With this information, I asked her to turn to the residential section of the same directory and look up the respective names. She found all the addresses and phone numbers of the persons listed in 1955. Upon my recommendation, she then looked in a current Santa Fe telephone directory and found one of the names that were listed in the old directory, but unfortunately, the street address was different. Rosemarie and Ernest were disappointed, but I told them that I thought that this was the same street address and had just been renamed. The only way to find out was to call that phone number. Rosemarie was very emotional at this point and reluctant to make the call. Ernest volunteered to call and identified himself and Rosemarie as a couple trying to find his wife’s father. He asked if Rosemarie’s father had lived at this address. The voice at the other end gave Ernest a phone number to call, and Ernest called immediately and asked for Rosemarie’s father. This time the voice at the other end of the line was that of her father. Ernest explained that his wife, Rosemarie, had come to Santa Fe to learn more about her
Rosemarie Sena. Photo courtesy Hazel Romero. father and hopefully to meet him. With that introduction, Ernest handed the phone to Rosemarie, who, though nervous, managed to speak for the first time in more than four decades with her father and make arrangements to meet with him. Rosemarie and Ernest returned the next day to tell me that the reunion had gone well.
Hazel Romero, a longtime resident of Agua Fría Village near Santa Fe, N.M., works at the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library.
20 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Sacrifice for Education
By Mela Lucero Leger
y mother, Abelina Romero, made many personal sacrifices for the sake of education. She not only sent me to an out-of-state private college but, more importantly, demonstrated unwavering perseverance in earning her own college degree. It was by example that she instilled the love of learning and the importance of obtaining a higher education in me, her grandchildren, her adopted children and her many friends, whom she helped in their quest for college degrees. To better understand the nearly insurmountable obstacles my mother faced to acquire a college education, we need to go back to her birthplace and childhood in Colonias, a small village near Santa Rosa, N.M. She began school at age 8; soon thereafter it was discovered that she was almost legally blind. She was sent to the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped in Alamogordo for two years. Imagine the shock of being plucked from her home in the close-knit rural community of Colonias to attend a boarding school 175 miles away, where even the language was not what she had grown up speaking. For those two years, Mother was away from home for nine months. The only transportation available to her family was a team of horses and a covered wagon, so she traveled to school in September by bus and returned the same way at the end of the school year in May. At the school for the blind she was fitted with thick glasses, which she wore for the rest of her life. After two years she returned to elementary school in Colonias. In order for her to attend high school in Santa Rosa, my grandfather rented a home there. In the 1920s women who were not married by the time they were 18 had three options for a career outside of the home—teaching, nursing and clerking in certain stores. It was my mother's dream to become a nurse, but tuition and expenses were beyond her family's financial resources. However, in those days it was possible to obtain a temporary teaching
certificate with a high school diploma along with making a commitment to attend summer school to become fully certified to teach. My mother took advantage of the opportunity and began her 45-year teaching career right out of high school. Some students were her age, and often taller. Because she didn’t have a degree, my mother was sent to the most remote schools. That meant that she had to be driven to communities such as Guajolote and La Liendre on Sunday afternoons via a horse-drawn wagon and picked up on Friday afternoon. After her marriage to my father in 1925, it probably was easier for her to reach her teaching destinations, since my father had automobiles. Mother would board in the community in which she taught, making lifelong friends with all the families with whom she stayed. New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M., then known as New Mexico Normal School, was where my mother would spend every summer for the next 25 years of her life earning her degree. Mother took a full summer schedule of classes. The Normal School was a good four miles from the house, with a sharp incline at the very end of that trek. She made this walk four times a day because there was no money to eat lunch near the school. Counseling was not readily available, so it’s certain that when Mother finally received her degree, she had accumulated many more hours than those needed for a major in elementary education and a minor in home economics. After my parents divorced, my mother would often take me to classes with her so she would not have to leave me alone. I enjoyed her home economics class most. We would get to sample the yummy concoctions cooked in a white, almost sterile kitchen, a sharp contrast to our kitchen, which was dominated by a wood stove whose oven never maintained the same temperature during the baking process. While my mother earned her degree, she exposed me to university life. She always took
me to theater productions, which were free for students. I saw Shakespeare before I could really understand him. I was also enrolled in classes because the university needed elementary and high school students so the teachers at summer sessions could do their student teaching. Thus I earned extra high school credits and graduated in May 1944 at the tender age of 15. A momentous event took place that year. In August 1944 my mother, Abelina Romero, walked ever so proudly across the stage of Ilfeld Auditorium in her black cap and gown to receive her coveted bachelor’s degree in education. How I wish now that I had been able to throw a big party for her. I was only 16 and preparing myself to go to college. With the degree in hand, Mother was given teaching assignments within driving distance of her home in Las Vegas, and by car pooling with other teachers, she could go to her school and return on the same day. You would think that after attending summer school for so many years, my mother would take the next summer off. But there was a master’s degree to be pursued, and she began work on it immediately. She definitely influenced the education of me and my children. I became a teacher, which I swore I would never be because I had seen how hard my mother worked. I earned an advanced degree and four of my seven children also earned advanced degrees. All attended college.
Mela Lucero Leger was born in Colonias, N.M. She is a former educator, a pioneer in bilingual education and an educational consultant.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 21
Aurora Bernal Gallegos 1900–1944.
By Rosemary G. Armijo
Hija de Juan Gallegos
Juan Barreras Gallegos (1893–1958) with his children, standing Rosemary and Johnny, sitting are Raymond, Josito. Photo courtesy Rosemary G. Armijo. stop by my house to visit, and he found out what was happening to me. He immediately blurted out, “Dice mi tío Juan que ya le vino su tiempo a la Rosemary, por eso la mandó pacá.” I just about choked on a piece of tortilla as I felt everyone’s eyes on me. I held my head with my hand when it started to spin. Everyone was silent. Pushing the chair away from the table, mi tía Margarita got up and went to the stove. She came back with a cup of coffee, set it next to my plate and told me, “Bébete este café con canela.” I immediately felt her warmth along with this concoction she prepared for me that helped relieve my cramps. Even though my father was a great source of love, I continued to miss my mother terribly. My mother was very creative and brought me into a world of color. She sewed my dresses and dresses for bridesmaids. She made aprons with the scraps of material that were left over, shaping them into fruits and vegetables. She made colorful paper flowers sending my oldest brother, Anselmo, out to sell them throughout the neighborhood. For Christmas, my mother decorated an arch that was between the living room and the kitchen with garlands and huge red silk bows. As the years went by, I had dreams of her, sometimes nice, warm dreams and sometimes dreams where I almost hated her for leaving me. A recurring dream was my mother with her apron on, standing in front of our adobe house, which inspired me to write this poem.
y book, La Hija de Juan Gallegos: An Apron of Many Colors, was published in August 2000. It is a collection of narratives, poetry, watercolors and photography of my earliest recollections of my childhood. I chose this title for the book because I was raised by my father after my mother died when I was 11 years old, and he was a great influence in my life. I always had an itch to write but didn’t know what to write about, so I decided that writing in a journal would get me started until I found an avenue that I could follow. My son, Andrew, who was always interested in his ancestors and questioned me constantly about them, gave me an idea of what to write about. I began to think of the things my daddy did and said. My mind traveled through the neighborhood, remembering the funny things that happened there. My younger brothers, Josito and Raymond, helped me remember these things. It also made me realize how difficult it must have been for my father to raise me. The following is an excerpt from the story I wrote about my relationship with my father. Although we got on each other’s nerves, my daddy continued to be warm-hearted. Sometimes he just didn’t know how to treat me when it came to female problems. My period had started and I would get very bad cramps. I couldn’t tell him what was happening to me; he could only guess. One time he sent me to mi tía Margarita’s house. “Díle a tu tía lo que te está pasando,” he ordered. It was about six city blocks to her house. Holding onto my stomach, I made it to mi tía’s house. They were getting ready to have dinner, and I wasn’t about to say anything since mi tío Teofilo, along with my cousins, were seated at the table. Mi tía motioned me to an empty space at the table and said, “Arrímate a comer, Rosemary.” As I started to eat, my older cousin Herman entered the kitchen. He would occasionally
An Apron of Many Colors
I saw her standing In front of the house Wearing her apron of many colors The adobe smelled so fresh When wet I could almost taste it Her arms were crossed While wearing a big smile Along With her apron of many colors “¡Tú no eres mi mamá Eres el Diablo!” “No soy el Diablo El Diablo es el dolor Que tú Sientes por mí.” Then I saw the colors of the rainbow A promise That she would never leave me When she wore her Apron of many colors
Rosemary G. Armijo writes essays, poetry and autobiographical narratives. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico–Valencia campus.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 23
Judge Roman Benavidez
A Model of Integrity
Judge Román Benavídez at 82. Photos courtesy Celeste Garduño.
By Celeste Garduño
y grandfather Román Benavídez was born on Feb. 29, 1874, in El Gusano (now known as South San Isidro) in San Miguel County. He married Ignacia Archuleta and they raised five children and two granddaughters due to the death of their mothers. At age 25, Grandpa was appointed Justice of the Peace for the Rowe, N.M., community. The appointment lasted six years, three of which were when New Mexico was still a territory. Among his cases were horse rustling, domestic violence, trespassing and verbal assault. Bail was usually set at $100, a lot of money in those days. That would equate to $1,300 today. He was known for his fairness in dealing with all cases, and following his term in office, he was still sought after to settle disputes. Grandpa worked cutting and selling propes and postes, then worked as a laborer for the AT&SF Railroad until his retirement in the late 1930s. His main concern was his family and his milpas, where he planted maiz, alverjones and habas. Grandpa Román Benavídez died in January 1962.
One of Judge Román Benavídez’s court documents. Celeste Garduño lives in Albuquerque, N.M.
24 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Nambe Valley’s Family Legacy
Grandfather Merced Sandoval. my grandfather Merced, a gifted musician. Merced married Andreita Archuleta of Rowe, N.M., daughter of Antonio Archuleta and María Tomasa Salas. María Tomasa was the daughter of Marcos Salas and María de la Paz Ortiz, who was granddaughter of Gasper Ortiz and Francisca Josefa Martin. Antonia, mother of María de Altagracia, was the daughter of José Francisco Ortiz and María Josefa Miera y Pacheco, the daughter of Anacleto Miera y Pacheco and María Felipa Tafoya. Anacleto was the son of Bernardo Miera y Pacheco and Estefania Domínguez de Mendoza. Their other son was named Manuel. Bernardo was born in Burgos, Spain. His father was don Luis de Miera, who served under the Conde de Aguilar in the army of Philip V. His mother was Isabel Ana Pacheco, whose grandfather, don Antonio Pacheco, was governor of Navarra. Bernardo was mayor of Galisteo and Pecos. He was a mapmaker, army engineer, merchant, government agent, rancher and the first known Spanish artist in New Mexico. He carved the wooden statue of San Felipe still seen on the high altar of San Felipe Pueblo. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art features a retablo of San Rafael by don Bernardo carved in 1780. He accompanied Father Domínguez and Father Vélez de Escalante as guard commander and explorer on their famous tour of exploration. Bernardo died April 11, 1785, and lies buried beneath a military chapel in Santa Fe. Today the descendants of the Spanish colonists of New Mexico are found in every walk of life. These settlers who suffered untold hardships and isolation in a land remote beyond compare left us proof of where they came from. Churches retain records from the first Spanish settlements, which include nuptial investigation and testimonies and baptismal, burial and marriage books and records.
Great-Grandmother Eduvigen Romero. When asked by some reporters about his secret for long life, Agapito, who lived past his 100th birthday, told them atole, carne seca, chile, un vasito de vino, y fe en mi Tata Dios. He is buried in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery in Nambé near his wife, María Guadalupe. My paternal great-grandmother, Eduvigen Romero, was born about 1867 in Pojoaque, N.M., to José Rafael Romero and María Seferina Maestas. She married José Pablo Valdez, son of Juan Lorenzo Valdez and María Teodora Montoya, about 1884 at La Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Pojoaque. The family of José Pablo was among the founding settlers of La Villa Nueva de la Santa Cruz in 1695. His great-grandparents were Juan Domingo Valdez y Bustos II and María Andrea Lucero de Godoy. Eduvigen’ s greatgrandparents were Vicente Ferrer Romero and María Josefa Roybal. The Valdez family obtained land in Nambé near the mesas where some of their descendents still live. José Pablo was a farmer and owned a few cattle, sheep and other domestic animals. He worked hard to support his wife and 13 children, one of them my grandmother, María Manuela. Eduvigen was a petite woman with green eyes who, like other women of her time, struggled to make a living out of the land by preserving food from their gardens and fruit trees. She is buried in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church Cemetery of Nambé close to her husband, José Pablo. My maternal great-grandfather, Antonio, was born in Santa Fe about 1839 to José Pedro de Jesús Sandoval and María de Altagracia Ortiz. About 1867 he married María Florencia, daughter of Clemente Salazar and María Candelaria Romero, at La Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Pojoaque. Antonio was a soldier during the Civil War, a farmer and worked various jobs to support his wife and eight children. One of these was
Great-Grandfather Agapito Herrera. Photos courtesy Corine Flores.
By Corine Flores
grew up in the Nambé Valley, a farming community in northern New Mexico. My paternal great-grandfather, Agapito, was born in Sapello, San Miguel County, about 1845 to Jesús María Herrera and María Isabel Luján. His family moved to La Villa Nueva de la Santa Cruz a few years later. He married María Guadalupe Ortiz at La Misión de San Ildefonso about 1877. María Guadalupe was the daughter of Juan Estevan Ortiz and María Dolores Valdez. The young couple inherited land in Nambé from Juan Estevan, whose great-grandparents were Nicolás Bernardo Ortiz III and Gertrudis Paz Hurtado. Agapito was a vaquero who tamed wild horses. He also worked as an arriero, transporting goods throughout the Southwest, usually on mules and burros but also on horses. He farmed his land and worked as a shepherd to support his six children. One of them was my grandfather, David. Agapito was the great-grandfather of respected District Judge Steve Herrera, who tragically died in a car accident a few years ago. The judicial complex in Santa Fe is named after him. Agapito knew the Herrera brothers, Pablo, Juan, José and Nicanor, leaders of Las Gorras Blancas and El Movimiento del Pueblo, land-grant activists who organized in 1889 in Las Vegas.
Corine Flores was born in Nambé, N.M. She currently lives in Santa Fe and contributes articles to several newspapers in the West
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 25
Tía Fransciquita Chávez Campos. Margarita Contreras García.
Elisea Saavedra. Antonia Gutiérrez Chávez.
Atarque Women Led Sheltered Lives
By Pauline Chávez Bent
he life of the women and girls in the village of Atarque reflected the traditions Tía Agustina Chávez y that were common in 17th-century Spain, Chávez. especially in the generation of my parents, and also of my older cousins. The women in the village pretty much stayed in their homes, but in my mother’s generation, it was a custom to go visit their Nana Preciliana, in the morning pa’ darle los buenos días, and again in the evening, pa’ darle las buenas noches. My mother and some of her sisters kept that tradition with their mother long after Nana Preciliana died. I remember that my mother would send us to school, straighten up the house, put the beans on to cook, then go spend a half hour or so at my grandma’s house, chatting over a cup of coffee. Tía Viviana Chávez y No women in my grandmother’s generation, Chávez and Grandmother Juanita Padilla y Chávez. and very few in my mother’s generation, were seen in places of business. To my recollection, very few of my mother’s contemporaries were ever seen shopping at the store or doing business in the post office. These duties were delegated to their husbands and/ or older teen-age daughters or sons, usually a niece or nephew. The heavy shopping was done about twice a year by the man of the house, usually in Zuni or Gallup. During those trips to the store, large quantities of food and other provisions were bought and stored, as were provisions for the sheep and cattle camps. The women ordered clothes, yardage, thread and other household supplies from the Sears Tía Delfina Chávez and Montgomery Ward catalogs. But strangely García. enough, when the women went into Gallup, they shopped in the department stores as well as in the food markets with their husbands. Even though families were large and conveniences nonexistent (no indoor plumbing or electricity), many women still found time to do fine needlework such as embroidery, quilting and crocheting. Many homes in Atarque displayed their handiwork in the form of doilies, tea towels and pillowcases. In the earlier days, quilts were made out of necessity from recyclable material found in discarded clothes. But as the women became more Sisters-in-law Modesta proficient in quilting, they created pieces that García Ruiz and were like works of art. Margarita Contreras Sunday was visiting day in Atarque. García. Photos courtesy The custom I believe is unique, and it also Pauline Chávez Bent.
reflected the gentility of bygone days. On Sunday afternoon, after the noon meal, the visiting ritual would began. A lady alone, or sometimes with another woman, would go calling. The visit would not last more than 20 or 25 minutes. It was considered rude to stay more than a half hour. The woman of the house would receive her callers in the best room in the house, called el cuarto de recibo, where she would serve coffee and a pastry. It was amazing how no two callers arrived at the same house together, nor was it the norm to call frequently. It seems these visits took place about twice a year, in the early fall and late spring. It was so nice to see the women dressed in their Sunday best calling on the neighbors. Another beautiful custom that has gone by the wayside. The girls of prior generations lived a sheltered family life. No girl was seen alone in the village. Young girls were always with their mothers, grandmothers or aunts. The older girls were only allowed into the village in the company of older sisters and/or cousins or other girls of the same age. In our generation, the fact that we had to use the school bus to get to high school outside the village ended that custom. The younger girls spent endless hours playing “house” or with their dolls. The older girls played hopscotch, jacks and jump-rope. My sister Mary was the champion jacks player for her age group. We had a singsong that we sang when we played jump rope: My mother and your mother were out hanging clothes, My mother gave your mother a punch in the nose. Did she cry? Yes, no, maybe so, yes, no, maybe so. Then we would speed up the rope turning until we could jump no longer. In retrospect, even as enlightened as we thought we were as teen-age girls in the middle 1940s, we were fast becoming like our mothers. During the last Lenten season that I spent in Atarque, I remember that during Holy Week all the girls dressed in black, even wearing a black cobija (head scarf)—teen-age replicas of our mothers.
Mary Moore Baca.
Filomena Martínez and Rosarito Baca.
Great-Grandmother Espiridiana Saavedra Chávez.
26 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Ya Les Tocaba
By Pauline Chávez Bent
The Chávez siblings from Atarque are, from left to right, Joe, Pauline, center photo, Libby, Mary and Ray. Pauline is the last living sibling. Photos courtesy Pauline Chávez Bent.
a le tocaba" and "Dios sobre todo" were words we heard at velorios, entierros and rosarios as we grew up in Atarque, N.M. As I ponder those words in the winter of my life, I realize that "ya le tocaba" was used if the deceased was elderly and "Dios sobre todo" if death came for an infant, young adult or someone not yet 45 years old. Death has no respect and needs no appointment. It plays havoc with spring-break plans, business meetings, soccer games and other activities that we take for granted every day. In 1978 we lost my brother Ray, a young father of four boys. His bout with cancer was painful, and it was a blessing when God called him home. I clearly recall the condolences expressed to family members— "Dios sobre todo." My sister Mary died in 1999, missing the millenium by nine months. She truly believed that the world would end on Jan. 1, 2000. May she be enjoying eternal peace.
On Dec. 17, 2002, my brother Joe told his doctor, "Enough already, no more dialysis." He was told on that day that he would die before Christmas, however he hung on until Jan. 21, 2003. My sister Libby was devastated by Joe's death. Neither of them had married
and had lived all their lives in our family home, first in Atarque, then in Chambers, Ariz. Two years ago, due to their inability to fend for themselves, my niece moved them to her place of residence and became their primary caregiver. Libby was almost blind and her hearing was fast declining. My brother had chosen to be cremated, and it was difficult for her to understand the concept. Seven weeks to the day, she died peacefully in the arms of Linda, a family member. My only regret is that I was not there to comfort her. My brother and sister were both younger than me and it's scary to think that one of these days someone will be offering the traditional New Mexico condolences to my two daughters and son, "Ya le tocaba."
Pauline Chávez Bent was born in Atarque, N.M., and currently lives in California.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 27
28 La Herencia / Summer 2003
Gifted Ana Chavira Tomé’s Shining Light
By Emma Moya
Ana Chavira, 1948–1998. Ana also made time for work on her raku pottery. No two of her pieces were alike. Ana also learned to decipher symbols on broken Pueblo pottery shards and artifacts, and at night she researched her many works in her large library, studying world cultures and languages. She loved people from all walks of life, maintaining close relationships throughout her short life. Both Ana and her husband, Rick Huff, befriended and encouraged world-famous potter Juan Quezada from Casas Grandes, Mexico. During an exhibit of her work an immigration agent questioned her citizenship. According to the agent, her last name was not common in New Mexico. Ana very graciously informed the agent that her paternal family was of Mexican origin and that there are local Chavira families in Tomé, N.M. Ana played small movie roles and was a disc jockey for Belén's KARS radio. She enjoyed working with her drama coach and mentor at the University of Albuquerque, where she performed in several plays and almost always stole the show with her vivacious personality. Ana and her husband hosted the yearly Miss Indian America pageant. They produced commercials, riddles and other work that benefited the media. As office manager, Ana made sure every visitor entering her domain had something to munch on or drink. In 1998 Ana left for Houston for a bone marrow transplant. Her sister, Constance (Connie), was a perfect match, and Ana was in the top five of 100 transplant patients in the U.S. classified as successful. Several months later, she developed a blood infection and died on Dec. 12, 1998, on La Fiesta de la Guadalupana, a Saturday, which is also the Jewish Sabbath. A cousin had Ana’s name cast inside a local synagogue. Her opera and stage friends honored her on her March 4 birthday at Albuquerque's Hiland Theater with a stage and video show. Her funeral services were conducted separately by a rabbi, a medicine prayer man and a Catholic deacon, witness to her love and inclusion of the people she loved. Albuquerque Tribune writer Vincent Price, Jr. referred to Ana in one of his columns with the following words. "Christmas is not Christmas until Ana Chavira walks in the door with her arms loaded with gifts for everyone.”
direct descendant of La Villa de Alburquerque's first mayor, Capitán Martín Hurtado, Ana Chavira was born March 4, 1949, on the feast day of St. Casimir. Those present during her birth remarked on her beauty and the symmetry of her face. Ana, who helped raise six siblings, was friendly by nature. Tall for her age, she began singing at age 2, was known for making funny facial expressions to the delight of all and always impressed on her younger siblings a sense of unity. Gifted with many skills and talents, Ana educated herself via several academic degrees and through world travel. She also performed light opera, singing leading roles such as Golda in Fiddler on the Roof at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, the character Sally in Sally and Bloody Mary in South Pacific. Ana possessed a quality voice that was heard on radio and TV commercials. Her voice is still being heard on a TV commercial for the Amish Connection, and it still reminds us of our appointments at Lovelace Clinic.
Emma Moya is a poet, historian, writer and musician residing in Los Duranes, Albuquerque, N.M.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 29
Women Who Made a Difference
By Emma Moya
Filomena García Baca
Filomena García Baca was born in Jarales, N.M., a small village south of Belén. Adolfo Silva, Filomena’s abuelo, told her stories about New Mexico’s past. Both villages of Las Nutrias and Jarales were known for their annual drama of La Pastorela. Filomena In 1972 Filomena found a script of the García Baca. drama in Las Nutrias. It was handwritten in Photo courtesy the 1800s by Epifanio Chávez. The next year she Emma Moya. put together a cast and resurrected the ancient drama. Filomena is referred to as La Madrina de la Pastorela. Her group has performed in Los Alamos, Abiquiú, Alcalde, Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Grants, Belén and many other New Mexico towns. The National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the city of Amarillo, Texas, have invited her group to perform this year. Filomena received the 2002 Citizen of the Year Award from the Belén Chamber of Commerce. The year also marked the 30th anniversary of La Pastorela’s restoration.
Martha Davos was born in 1913 near Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. Her family moved to Albuquerque where she married Monroe Moya and gave birth to four daughters—Ruth, Vera, Martha and Gloria— and one son, Monroe Moya Jr. Widowed in 1939, Martha worked as Martha Davos, a maid and in a restaurant to support her 1912–2001. young family. She later established a day care for young working mothers in the early 1950s. Later Martha decided to meet the needs of the elderly. She established several homes for the elderly in Albuquerque. Working day and night shifts, Martha mortgaged her home many times in order to meet expenses. She catered services to middle class, indigent and rich patients. Successful in her investments, Martha became a world traveler and a multimillionaire. She was so stunningly beautiful that she often was mistaken for a movie star. Martha credited her second husband, Filimón Martínez, educator and past administrator at a Las Vegas, N.M., elder care home, as her business mentor. After her death, Martha’s estate consisted of several mansions and business places. Not relying on empty promises she remained a successful woman. Martha would always say, “Sí, se puede con fuerza, dedicación y mucho trabajo;” and, “¿Quién dijo miedo, muchachas?”
Dolly Sánchez de Rivera is a native of the Barelas community in Albuquerque. Known as a strong Dolly Sánchez community activist, de Rivera. Dolly has provided leadership in the beautification of Barelas and helped clean up problems that affect the area. A single mother of five, she survived breast cancer and worked for Bank of America in Los Angeles, where she spent most of her adult life. Returning to Albuquerque to care for her mother, Frances, and her blind uncle, Fred Tenorio, Dolly joined the local neighborhood association and chaired the city’s Crime Prevention Committee. Dolly was also commissioner for the city’s PoliceOversight Commission, an aerobics instructor at Barelas Senior Center, vice president of Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership and secretary of her church’s financial committee. Dolly boasts of children ages 45 to 51, 12 grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren. She is retired from KNME-TV at the University of New Mexico and Bank of America.
Bernardina Salas y Trujillo de Hurtado
The name Bernardina Salas y Trujillo de Hurtado was prominent in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The name of this founder of La Villa de Alburquerque was added to a list of 11 other founders who were men, including her son, Capitán Martín Hurtado, first alcalde of the villa. Bernardina left El Paso del Norte a widowed woman with five daughters and two sons and courageously returned with Gov. Rose Hunick Diego de Vargas in the 1693 reconquest of the kingdom of New Domínguez, who Mexico. died in 2002, Her husband, Capitán Andrés Hurtado, was born in Zacatecas in was the ninth1638 and lived there with Bernardina in the Sandía district. He died generation before the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Bernardina’s daughter, Lucía, married descendant of Bernardina Salas don Fernando Durán y Chávez, the recipient of the famous Atrisco Land Grant. Another daughter, Juana, was captured by Indians in y Trujillo de 1680 and later rescued by her brother Martín Hurtado in 1692. Hurtado. Historically the name of this particular son of doña Bernardina was mentioned in an 1880s court case dealing with justifying the incorporation of New Town Alburquerque. State archives mention that New Town Alburquerque incorporators legitimized the incorporation, accusing Capitán Hurtado of granting two illegal land grants. No proof was submitted to the court as to the validity of the accusations, and New Town Alburquerque won the approval of the court. Upon the death of her first husband, Bernardina married José de Salas twice because of questions surrounding the validity of the first marriage. Bernardina used the name Trujillo after her father.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 31
Pitarrilla: An Old Hispanic Game
By Dolores Valdez de Pong
ears ago when I was a child growing up in La Jara, Colo., my father, Bonifacio Valdez, made an old Hispanic board game called pitarrilla for my brother and me. He delighted in sharing with us this game that he had played as a child himself. As I recall, he told us about the many hours he and his 12 brothers and sisters had spent playing this game in their leisure time. They could also play the game outside. Indoors they used a special game board carved from a piece of weathered wood. If they happened to be playing outdoors, they would take a stick and draw the game board in the dirt. My father made our own pitarrilla game board out of a rectangular piece of lumber. The game pieces were small objects like beans and corn. My brother and I became very proficient playing this game at home. We would play it off and on all through our school years, and it did indeed bring us a lot of enjoyment, as our father had intended. Eventually the day came when we unknowingly played our last pitarrilla game at home. We went off to college, and the game was forgotten. Somehow as time passed, the game board disappeared. I began a career as an elementary schoolteacher in Santa Fe. As I saw my own students in the classroom enjoying board games from time to time, I remembered the board game I had played as a youngster. I yearned to play it again and to teach it to my students. Sadly, I couldn’t even remember the name of the game, but I did have a general sense of how the game board appeared. I described the game to several of my Hispanic friends, but none seemed to know anything about such a game. I was always disappointed. Then one fall day I was out for an afternoon jog around the downtown area. I happened to be running past the Palace of the Governors. As I rounded the corner onto Washington Street, I happened to notice a museum display window. And the current display at that time was none other than a big pitarrilla game board carved onto a piece of old weathered wood! I was absolutely thrilled to see it. I went inside to ask about the display. To my absolute
The pitarrilla board game. Illustration courtesy Dolores Valdez de Pong. delight, the woman there told me the name of the game was pitarrilla. I related to her my interest in the game and asked her for any information on it. She quickly pulled out a game rules sheet and very willingly gave it to me. I felt I had recovered a piece of my childhood. Within a short period of time I got a classroom parent to donate scraps of lumber to the class for a pitarrilla project. We used a wood burner to mark the appropriate lines on the game board. Before long I had every child in the class playing the game. At the end of the school year they all took their game boards home. Since then I have taught nearly every class I’ve had how to play this old Hispanic game. Some years we have made pitarrilla Christmas gifts for students’ families I have shared the game with many individuals over the years, and to my surprise, I have found very few people who are familiar with it. I have yet to find someone in my own age group who knows about it. The only people I’ve ever found who remembered the game are Hispanic senior citizens. I have since learned more about this old game. Pitarrilla is a board game that has been played since Spanish colonial settlers brought it to New Mexico in the 16th and 17th centuries. Boards have two popular variations, and they resemble game boards found carved on benches and pavements from ancient and medieval times. Game boards were carved on a board or drawn on the ground. The game is played by two people, each having chosen either seeds such as corn or beans for their markers (or two different items such as pebbles, coins, etc.) Players start out with 12 of their own pieces and draw lots to see who starts the game. The one who starts has to place one of his or her pieces on one of the points shown on the board. Players take turns placing one of their pieces on the intersecting points of the game board. This game is similar to a combination of tictac-toe and checkers. One may jump an opponent’s piece if the adjacent point is vacant. In so doing, one “kills” the opponent’s piece. It is placed in the center of the game board. A player on his or her turn may also move one of his or her pieces one space at a time on the line. One may jump more than once as long as there are empty points in between the opponent’s pieces. If one kills all of the pieces of one’s opponent, the game is won and the winner calls out, “Pitarrilla.” Another way that a player wins the game is when he or she has placed three pieces on three points in a row. With their winning move, they call out, “Pitarrilla.” This is a game of strategy, and a good player is always trying to anticipate the opponent’s next move. Hopefully the game of pitarrilla will not be forgotten.
Dolores Valdez de Pong is a bilingual teacher in Santa Fe, N.M. She composes Spanish songs for children and is a children’s playwright.
32 La Herencia / Summer 2003
WHERE THE STATE BEGAN ITS COURSE
By María del Pilar Muñoz
n the rosy glow of dawn, every other weekend between March and October, we traveled on the two-lane highway en route to Doña Ana, N.M. My thoughts laden with curiosity about the desert landscape, I would press my chin against the edge of the window, with the wind blowing through as creosotes and mesquite bushes whizzed by. The town of Anthony always stirred my excitement. Maybe because Texas was on one side of the street and on the other side was New Mexico, or perhaps because Anthony meant we were half way to tío’s ranch, or maybe because the trip was half over, marking half of the time left to listen to three brothers and four sisters ask, “¿Cuánto falta?” Nowadays Anthony still stirs excitement, because of what time has taught me. The route began as a Manso Indian trail—the whoosh of the winds once whipped thin layers of sand against those who traveled the prehistoric roadway. Ayer se marcharon para no volver. Perhaps many never returned to Anthony, but all left their mark along the stretches of rich farmland that would become part of the United States. As a southern gateway to New Mexico, Anthony looks astonishingly similar to other small towns in the state, and like every town, it has its own personality. Towns tell stories with their old main street buildings. Here the old-fashioned half block of a Western town, with splashes of color from plastered façades, reveals the experience of having one foot in Texas and the other in New Mexico, of being a stone’s throw away from the Río Grande, which is lined with tricolored cattails, and of being along a rail line linking East and West. Anthony, N.M., situated in southeastern Doña Ana County, and Anthony, Texas, just north of El Paso, Texas, lie now along busy Interstate 25. But this camino has witnessed the passage of many people of different cultures on journeys of pain and promise. Como camino nativo, it is a natural trail where a band of people settled in mud-chinked log and willow-reed shelters along the banks of the
Río Grande. Como El Camino Real, it is the trail Europeans followed in search of souls and geological treasures that brought an enormous legacy including language and religion. Como camino mexicano, it is the trail that sheltered many refugees of the Mexican Revolution. Como camino tejano, it is the trail west that brought pioneers and cowpokes that played a major role in the Wild West. Como camino histórico, countless travelers tromped through here and followed different paths in shaping the character of New Mexico. As time passed, this area came under Spanish rule, then became a part of Mexico until the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 clearly identified and established an international boundary with Mexico, and Anthony’s residents found themselves a part of the United States. They were faced with uncertainty as to the survival of their cultural roots. The mix there, as elsewhere, created the distinct Southwest culture. Clouds of dust along the dry edges of the river were raised by many gallant historical figures that became a part of Southwest folklore. The horse hoofs of a black infantry regiment, the Buffalo Soldiers, who proudly wore the name given to them by the Plains Indians, bravely rode to protect civilians.
Wooden wagon wheels of the Butterfield Stage Route mail service between San Francisco and St. Louis creaked through here. Billy the Kid, one infamous outlaw, traveled back and forth on horse-stealing excursions. Distinct cultures trod here, come to labor under the sun as they pounded nails into railroad ties linking East and West. As the dust settled from screeches of cart wheels, heels and scratching of horse, cattle, camel and oxen hooves from the parade of history, Anthony, N.M., with its traditional historic overlay, survives as a charming small town. In Anthony you find the only place in the world where you can be a part of the Worldwide Leap Year Birthday Club (call 915-886-3944 for information). It is the window to remaining open landscapes of ranch country beyond the Organ Mountain’s bluish peaks, which resemble organ pipes. Low, flat rooftops give way to clear New Mexico Western skies as the playful winds form ripples in the sand across the line of demarcation with Texas, where the two state signs stand beside each other.
María del Pilar Muñoz is a bilingual educator and historian with special interest in the land, stories and culture of the Southwest. She resides in El Paso, Texas.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 33
The Carmelites Come to Santa Fe
By Connie Hernández
n October 1945, when I was a young girl, I remember that my grandfather, Andrés Sena, returned home from a business trip to downtown Santa Fe; he had some wonderful news for my mother, Miguelita Sena Hernández, and my aunt Helen Sena. He announced that some Carmelite nuns had just arrived in Santa Fe and that they were staying at Cathedral Place. My grandfather asked us to go talk to them to see if we could help them in any way. I remember Mother Mary Teresa very well because she was very petite. All of the nuns had their faces covered with black veils. Mary Teresa was called Little Mother. They found a place to live on Mount Carmel Road, where they still live today. They needed to build a chapel, and Mother Mary Teresa contacted a contractor from Dallas who had done work for them on the convent. The chapel was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph. That’s when the foundation for the chapel was begun, and we became friends with the contractor and asked if we could help build the chapel. To our delight, he agreed to let us help. My mother told us that when we spread the cement mix, we should inscribe the initials of people we knew as we laid each brick. So every time people prayed in the chapel, they prayed for the people on each brick. My mother wrote the names of her deceased ancestors, parents and godparents. Some names that I remember very distinctly were of Mother Mary Teresa, Dennis Chávez and Manuel Luján Sr. We only laid the bricks as high as we could reach. When it came time to make the Holy Communion hosts, the nuns didn’t yet have a well and city water would not suffice, since the hosts would crumble. Little Mother asked
us if we knew someone who had a well, and we remembered that our neighbor doña Lola Escudero had one.” So we went and asked her if we could use her well, and she agreed to share her water. We gathered some glass gallon jugs, filled them with well water and off we went in an old Hudson that my dad had never used. My sister Marie, who had long red hair with curls, was on the lookout for oncoming traffic. It wasn’t so busy back then so my 11-year-old, sister, Mae, put the car in reverse and we all jumped in and off we went to make the delivery. We wanted to help raise money for a well for the nuns. Someone gave us a turkey to raffle. My dad, José Hernández, made a cage for the big turkey, and we began going around our neighborhood of College Street, Pino Road, Sánchez Street and Santa Fe Avenue selling tickets. After that, and with Mother’s permission, we went downtown to sell tickets. We went to Pfleuger’s and Kahn’s shoe stores, Capital Pharmacy, Central Pharmacy and Payless Drugstore, Art’s Drugstore and Don Romero’s Pharmacy. We also made stops at the Guarantee, Dressman’s, Moore’s, the Canton Café and Plaza Café, and all the other shops along San Francisco Street. We sold all the tickets, and not long after the sisters had their well. In April 1960, when Little Mother and five nuns went to start a new convent in Jefferson City, Mo., we all cried. We always kept in touch until Little Mother Mary Teresa died at 7:15 p.m. on July 15, 1997.
Mother Mary Teresa. Photo courtesy Connie Hernández.
Connie Hernández is the owner of the Old Santa Fe Trail Religious Shop in Santa Fe, N.M.
34 La Herencia / Summer 2003
By Jacqueline Orsini
orrectly defined, the rosary is a beads called malas. Marco Polo, in the special arrangement of prayers early 1300s, related a meeting with the celebrating the key moments in Raja of Malabar who clasped a string of the lives of Mary and Jesus. The term 104 (maybe four had been lost). Muslims also applies to a string of beads held in hold a rosary of 99 beads, called a wardija, the hand while reciting these prayers. or a “rose garden,” as they recite the 99 The most popular one used by Roman names of Allah. Catholics today is the Dominican rosary. The rosary in popular use today is Rosary beads can be of precious, directly related to St. Dominic (circa semiprecious or other materials ranging 1170–1221), born Dominic Guzmán in from rubies to glass to wood. The links Calahorra, Spain. He founded the can be made of precious metals, simple Dominican order. One legend involving wires, silk or string. The complete circle the saint’s tie to the rosary developed usually features a medallion with the face more than 200 years after his death. of Mary, below which hangs the bead for This story relates that the Virgin Mary the first mystery, three more beads upon appeared to him and gave him a rosary which Hail Marys are voiced, one more as he had a beatific vision in the church bead upon which the Lord’s Prayer, or of Santa Sabina in Rome. Another version Our Father, is said, and a pendant relates that while he was preaching to the crucifix, or a cross, upon which the Albigenses in southwestern France, the Apostles’ Creed is said. The medallion Virgin handed him a rosary. First papal and the cross can be of fine metals or mention of the rosary was by Pope more simple materials. Alexander IV in a proclaimed indulgence The beads are divided into five series dated 13 July 1495. By the 1500s, the of 10 beads each, called decades, which Dominican rosary approached its present are further separated by five single form. beads. Hail Marys recited while fingering The rosary was introduced to Mexico, the decades are focused on the Mysteries New Spain, in 1535 by the Dominican, St. Dominic of Calahorra, Spain, popularized today’s use of the of the Cross. Each decade is preceded by Father Tomás de San Juan, who eventually a Lord’s Prayer (a pater), and closed with rosary. Photo courtesy Jacqueline Orsini. became known as Tomás del Rosario. “Glory Be to the Father” (a gloria). In He established a confraternity of the common practice this recitation is often rosary in Puebla where, today, stands the from the impure world. Scholars see this said once. However, the complete repetition of famous Rosary Chapel, finished in 1571. enclosure as a theme from the Old Testament. the rosary prayers consists of 15 decades or In New Mexico, rosary beads are in In “The Song of Songs” by Solomon, 150 aves; this requires a full three recitations. widespread use. Inside the adobe-walled frequently cited in the 14th century, the Until recently there were three sets of five Santuario de Chimayó is a visual record: bridegroom says of the purity of his bride, traditional mysteries, a total of 15, upon which many devout have left a personal rosary chain “You are an enclosed garden” (New American the devoted centered their meditations. The behind after offering prayers for healing. Here, Bible, Song of Songs, 4:3). five Joyful Mysteries (Misterios de Gozo) are the sacred images in frames, or free-standing ones, The history of the rosary in the Catholic Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the are draped with countless rosaries. The tradition has obscure roots. There is still no Presentation and finding Jesus in the temple. Rosario Chapel, built in 1807, is set inside sure evidence yet discovered to indicate that The five Sorrowful Mysteries (Misterios del Rosario Cemetery on the north edge of Santa the earliest Christians ever recited a rosaryDolor de Jesús y María) are the agony of Jesus in Fe. However, Our Lady of the Rosary has type prayer or used rosary beads. But, St. the garden, his scourging, his crowning with frequently been confused with La Ambrose (A.D. 339–397) identified Mary as the thorns, his bearing of the cross and his Conquistadora. rosa pudoris, Latin for the “rose of modesty.” crucifixion. The third set, the five Glorious In October 2002 Pope John Paul II marked By the 11th century the custom of reciting the Mysteries (Misterios de Gloria) are the his 24 years as head of the Catholic Church. 150 Our Fathers was widespread, and the Resurrection of Jesus, the Ascension, the In an apostolic letter titled “The Rosary of the beads used to count these repetitions were Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption Virgin Mary” he added a new set of prayers called paternosters. In the early 1100s, in a of Mary into heaven and her crowning. called the Mysteries of Light; these prayers are German song genre called Marienlied, Mary is The word rosary comes from the Latin in to be said on Sundays. cited as the Rose of Jericho. The rosary became which a rosarium means a rose garden or a popular devotion first in Germany, not in garland of rosas (roses). Other plant symbols Latin-language countries. According to for Mary are the lily, the almond and the historians, devotion to Mary began to flower Jacqueline Orsini is the apple. The term rosarium is an important link about 800 years ago when the phrase author of “Guadalupe: to the word rosary because Mary was the “blessed art thou among women” was Our Lady of New Mexico,” symbolic womb garden from which Christ added to the Ave. “¡Viva Guadalupe!” and was born. After the Feast of the Immaculate Scholarship reveals that the rosary has non“The Mary Book.” Conception was instituted in A.D. 1140., many Christian parallels. For millennia, the Hindus, artists place Mary in an enclosed or walled and their derivative tradition of Buddhists, garden, standing for her pure state, sealed off have meditated by counting a cord of 108
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 35
By Lorain Varela
ummertime in East Pecos for George, Sadie, Trine and me was exciting and full of adventure. We were getting so good at choza building that I bet them all I would finish first. A choza was a variation of a house, a hut. Once we finished them, we would pretend each one of us had a house and we would visit each other like the three little pigs in the storybook. The woods behind my parents’ house provided us with hours of fun and games. We knew all the paths not to take, the pitfalls and dangers we had all encountered at one time or another, but even so we had never been all the way through the woods. As we gathered to play one hot summer day, a young traveler appeared. Staring into the darkness of overgrown weeds in front of him, the young man asked us, “Can you tell me the best way into the woods?” “I cannot,” I replied. “But haven’t you lived here forever?” he asked. “Surely you have been in and out of the woods many times.” “Yes,” I said, “and I can tell you lots of things about my woods, but I have never been all the way through them. You have to experience that for yourself.” The young traveler moved on and we continued with our choza building and other projects the woods demanded of us. A couple of days later the traveler appeared again, this time with a different question for us. “Can you tell me the way El Indio Calabazas takes when he visits your house? the stranger asked. I pointed eastward and told him we only knew he went toward La Mina de Lotto. Lotto’s mine had been mined by almost everyone we knew and was full of empty dreams. I didn’t know too much about Lotto other than that he was always searching for some
Lorain Varela, from Rowe, N.M., is a writer and a recording artist. Illustration by Liz Martínez Padilla.
36 La Herencia / Summer 2003
treasure that was buried by the Pecos Indians when they were forced to leave their pueblo because of smallpox. He was German and had been taken in by a local family in the community. He was a short man, almost bald. I had heard Dad describe him as being abstract. I told the young traveler exactly what Dad said about Lotto. “He was a man placed in space and time—molded by his river and his mountain, molded by his rhythm and his culture, his geography and his roots.” “What do you mean,” he asked. “Was Lotto different from all other people in the valley?” I continued talking about how Dad spoke of the surroundings becoming one’s music, dance and melody. I continued to inform the traveler that man takes not only from the earth his breath but also his form of speaking, of communicating, of extending his troubles, his joys, his sorrows and his loves, his hope and his anxiety. “You have to restore yourself so you can be in communion with all of nature,” I said. “So do we, so do you, so did Lotto.” “Just how old are you?” the traveler asked. “Can you take me to this Mina de Lotto; can you find your way there?” I agreed immediately. “I am 10 years old, and I will be here tomorrow early in the morning before it gets too hot.” Next day I hurried to meet him en el arroyo. I sat watching the shadows being cast by the sun against the juniper berries. I was about to give up when he appeared. “I’ve been watching you for a few moments trying to figure you out,” he said. “ I slept in your choza last night.” We walked in silence for the first 15 minutes, and finally he broke this silence by asking me if Lotto was really all I had said he was yesterday. “Not just Lotto, but every other hombre, including you,” I said. “You are not from the valley; maybe that’s why you question me. You have to produce the marvel of the spirit that would permit you to feel inside.” “What are you talking about?” he yelled. “I don’t understand what you are telling me, and you are much too young to talk like this.” I told him that I wanted to walk a bit faster and perhaps he would get the picture. I told him to think of the point of union between himself and the land around him. We walked another couple of miles and there in front of us was La Mina de Lotto. “I leave you here,” I said. “I won’t go inside because it’s too dangerous and dark in there.” He looked at me and laughed, telling me that all the bull I’d fed him would keep me safe if I really believed it. “Go inside with me. Show me how to find the hidden treasure that El Indio Calabazas buried,” he said. “I don’t like the dark and I am not supposed to go inside,” I said. “Dad would never understand why I disobeyed him.” “It’s called fear,” the traveler said, “and all those things you talked about don’t mean nothing unless you challenge yourself.” I looked at the moss growing in the rocks that he was sitting on, and I was overcome with admiration for its symmetry. I didn’t know how I was going to get out of this one, but encountering this wonder in the middle of
my small crisis, I reflected. “You are not going to find anything in there but bats, lots of them,” I said. “The mine is at least 75 to 100 feet long and is shaped like an L. You need a pitch-wood torch to find your way in there.” “I have all that is required and more,” he said as he took out a long black flashlight. I had seen a similar flashlight when the cops had come to pick up my uncle for being drunk one evening. The young traveler turned it on and flashed into my face. In daylight it wasn’t too powerful, and I was not that impressed. “OK, I will walk you half way, and then I will have to come out because I don’t think it is safe for us to be in there,” I said. “Oh, I suppose now you have a local ghost story to prove your point?” the stranger mumbled. “Not a ghost story exactly, but there was someone who fell in there and was injured; he stayed there two days before they found him,” I said. “Come on, you are just trying to get out of going in—admit it,” he teased. I quickly took a second look at the moss growing on the rocks and decided that the being who planted, watered and brought to perfection this obscure little patch of the world would watch over me as well. “I will hold the flashlight, and you walk behind me,” I ordered. His face lit up as we both took the first steps into the cave. It smelled damp and was darker than I had imagined it would be. Bats were hanging upside down, looking at the intruders. I signed myself with the sign of the cross and prayed the bats would not bite us. The dampness of the cave had a smell similar to decay. “The men who had tried to mine this cave always carried birds into the mine, and if gas overcame the birds, the men were warned,” I said. “Don’t start talking like that. You don’t know a thing about mining, and besides you’re too young,” the stranger yelled at me. “I know about chokedamp and blackdamp. They are carbon dioxide that gather at the bottom of pits and valleys in the mines; they shut off fresh air. Everybody knows that,” I said. He took the flashlight from me and looked around, and we saw a shadow—as if there were a third person with us. We both turned around quickly but didn’t see anyone. The shadow remained quiet. “Move the light and see what happens,” I whispered. As the light moved, so did the shadow. “Turn it off for a second to see if it moves,” I whispered again. The light went off and I heard the traveler struggling to turn it back on. “Why did I listen to you?” he cried. I reached for the light and could not get it to come back on either. We both became very silent, listening to the sounds of the bats above our heads. “What do we do now?” the traveler asked. “Got anymore ideas as to how man deals with darkness? Got any secrets that you forgot to tell me?” I pulled out a piece of pitch wood and struck a match to it, and immediately this produced enough light for us to find our way
out. The shadow had disappeared. “I am turning back with or without you,” I said, “and you can’t stop me.” The stick of pitch wood would not last forever, and it would also burn my hand if I didn’t hurry. My torch made enough light for us to see the shadow again. This time it moved its arms and it looked as if someone were walking toward us. Then we heard a voice asking, “¿Quién dices que soy yo?” The young traveler poked me to answer. “El viejito de la buena suerte,” I said as bravely as I could. “El espíritu de Lotto.” “Too many have come here seeking my gold, but no one has ever guessed who I am,” the shadow said. The pitch torch was getting hard to hold. I tried the flashlight again and now it worked. I dropped the pitch torch to the ground and watched it burn out. “Too many get scared and run out just like you were getting ready to do,” the shadow said. “Is that why no one ever strikes it rich?” the traveler asked. “Is that why so many dare to return only to be frightened away by you?” The shadow became silent for what seemed forever and finally spoke, “Go and tell the people in the Pecos Valley that El Indio Calabasas continues to guard the treasures of his ancestors.” “But are you El Indio Calabazas—or Lotto?” I asked. The shadow did not answer me, disappearing before I could ask another question. I reached for the flashlight and flashed it all around the cave. No signs of the shadow could be seen. Now the young traveler took the light from me and began walking out. We found our way to the opening of the cave and, once outside, we sat in complete silence. “Had you ever seen the shadow before?” the traveler asked. “Have you heard of a shadow before?” I was too confused to try and explain to this man that perhaps it was Lotto’s spirit. “Lets go before you get any more ideas of going back in there,” I said. We walked along, not saying much to each other till we reached the arroyo, where we parted company. The traveler quickly wandered into the woods, and as he walked, I could see the same shadow that I had seen in the cave. I watched it till he disappeared into the woods. I went home half scared but way too hungry to think of anything else. At home I thought about what had occurred in the cave. Should I tell someone about it? The shadow had told me to tell the people that the treasures of the ancestors were safe. I thought about the shadow, and how our influence is like a shadow. It may descend even where we think we’ve never been. I never saw the traveler again, but he did leave his flashlight in the arroyo and I claimed it for myself. The lesson taught for me that day was that of staying on track with what you know is right. One thing continues to puzzle me: Was that Lotto’s spirit in the cave? Were the young traveler and the shadow one and the same? I suppose I’ll never know.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 37
La Mujer Cusca
Ilustración por Liz Martínez Padilla.
Por Casimira Delgado
na vez había una mujer que era muy cusca. Una mañana se levantó y pensó hacer pan. Hizo su masa y trajo bastante leña para calentar la estufa. Hizo varias tortas y las puso a cocer en el horno. Cuando estaba el pan cocido y puesto en la mesa, tocó la puerta un mendigo. El mendigo le dijo a la mujer, “Por favor, señora, iba pasando y me dio olor a pan y tengo mucha hambre. Hace días que no como.” La mujer vio que las tortas de pan estaban muy grandes y no quería darle ninguna. Ella pensó hacer unas tortas pequeñas y le contestó al mendigo, “Espere un rato mientras hago más
tortas.” Esta vez tomó maza y hizo unas tortas muy pequeñas, pero cuando las sacó del horno, las tortas de pan estaban igual de grandes. La mujer cusca le volvió a decir al mendigo que se esperara allí afuera debajo de la sombra de un árbol. El mendigo se recostó debajo del árbol y vio que estaba un cuervo al alto del mismo árbol. El tenía tanto hambre que ya no podía dar otro paso. El pobre mendigo se quedó dormido mientras que la mujer cusca hacía tortas más y más pequeñas, pero al salir del horno estaban más y más grandes. Después de muchas horas el mendigo se despertó y vio que la puerta estaba abierta. En la mesa
estaba un cuervo rodeado de muchas tortas de pan. El mendigo preguntó, “Señora, por favor deme pan.” La mujer no contestó y no estaba allí. El cogió dos tortas de pan y el cuervo abría las alas como si quería picarle las manos. El mendigo se fue con su pan y platicaba a todo el mundo que la mujer se había vuelto en cuervo por ser tan cusca.
Casimira Delgado nació en Chaperito, N.M. Se jubiló y vive en Las Vegas, N.M.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 39
Poesía de la gente
By Susan Hazen-Hammond
Nací al amanecer al margen del Río Turbio. Mi papá vino del Valle del Volcán, mi mamá de la Sierra de los Antiguos. Nos radicamos muchas veces, pero nunca vivimos muy lejos del Cañón Escondido o del Lago de las Lágrimas de Cristo, hasta que un día nos encontramos en el Desierto de los Ojos Desecados. Durante siete años no cayó ni una gotita de lluvia. No obstante, allí crecían muchas plantas, todas en formas raras: de rodillas, enanos, monos, sombreros, maletas, ombligos, huesos, fogones. Hace cuarenta años, me escapé. Veía después muchos lugares, entre los cuales los más impresionantes eran la Ciudad de las Moscas Santas, el Bosque de las Mariposas Venenosas, y el Océano de los Locos. Ahora vivo en el Valle de los Robles. En la mañana voy de paseo por los Cerros del Rocío. En la noche, cuando me despierto, si no hay viento, puedo sentir del otro lado del valle el Río de los Desaparecidos. Ojalá que mis biznietos pudieran vivir en las Cuevas de la Luz, no muy lejos de la Cascada de las Canciones.
No Había Lugar
Aún muda, no quisiera volverme en ti, hermano mío, rico, famoso, tú que gritas a niños y otras personas que te aman a ti. Aún sorda, no quisiera volverme en ti, madre mía, lindita, viejita, tú que enseñaste a él el arte de gritar, la poesía de enojarse. Aún ciega, no quisiera volverme en ti, hermana mía, ernesta, piadosa tú que no quieres ver lo que ves. Aún coja, manca, no quisiera volverme en ti, padre mío, amigable, amable, tú que enseñaste a ella el arte de engañarse a sí mismo, la música de vivir dentro del espejo, dentro del miraje. Aún muda, sorda, ciega, coja, manca, ya sé lo que están comprándose, hermano, madre, hermana, padre: boletos, pasajes, asientos, espacio en el tren que se llama La Locura. Buen viaje. Que les vaya bien. Si alguien me preguntara, por qué no viajo con ustedes, le voy a decir, no había lugar.
¿Qué Te Parece?
Teta, chichi, seno mío ¿cómo te va? ahora, que el carnicero —perdón, quería decir el cirujano— te ha tajado su porción de ti, como un tigre rebanando carne viva. Escucha, pecho mío: ahora dice el cirujano que los rayos X se equivocaron, que no había nada de mal dentro de estos dos centímetros cúbicos que ha sacado de ti. No te preocupes, propone él. Tuviste suerte. Es como pagar impuestos, nada más, para el derecho de vivir en la época nuestra. Ojalá que un día pudieras decir del hueco que te queda, “Es una parte de mi encanto.” ¿Qué te parece? Cuántos pedacitos me tendrían que cortar, hasta que me parezca la vida peor que la muerte?
Se ruega no fumar. Se ruega no escupir. Se ruega morir. Porque hay otras bocas que quieren hablar, otras piernas que quieren caminar, otros brazos que quieren abrazar. Sí, Señor Sí, es cierto, soy cieguita. Y usted, señor, es ciegón.
Susan Hazen-Hammond es una poeta y fotógrafo que ha escrito nueve libros, incluyendo “Into the Unknown,” una colección de historias verdaderas de la frontera de las colonias de España.
40 La Herencia / Summer 2003
By María T. Domínguez
El Vaquero y Yo
La cara hermosa del anciano me hace recordar de los días cuando era niña Las arrugas de su cara me hacen recordar los días cuando era niña Una niña escondida debajo de un sombrero que tapaba mi pelo porque no tenía chinos Recuerdo cuando iba prendida de la mano del hombre que algún día me entregaría al hombre con quien me casaría El tiempo se ha ido, como los caballos que él amansó Ha llegado a la vida de anciano Pero, para mí siempre relumbrará como el sol Su tiempo se había pasado Su corazón estaba triste y humillado Hasta el día que llegué Montada en mi caballo La mirada en su cara, enseñó su orgullo Y diciendo con sus ojos Que él fue mi maestro según se contó la historia Los tiempos alegres del vaquero y yo Ni con mi muerte se me olvidará Recuerdo de años pasados de aquellos años cuando de compañeros estuvimos Ensillábamos los caballos y nos íbamos a la sierra A donde se cría la naturaleza divina Los calambres y los dolores son los únicos trofeos Que este vaquero ha ganado en su vida Me da tristeza al verlo anciano pero no lo verán a él esperando que le echen la tierra encima Ensilla su caballo y sale a paseo hasta las montañas Con su perro de compañero Sale para las montañas donde él hizo su vida Y sus memorias nunca serán vendidas El es un anciano, Yo me he retirado a hacer mi vida Me da tristeza que los años sehan ido volando El vaquero que tengo Siempre lo amaré Aunque muerto sea Nunca lo olvidaré El Vaquero - Mi Padre - Mi Amigo
Sentada debajo de este árbol levanto mis ojos y miro el llano con sus duendes bailando en la polvareda que levanta el viento En el llano pasan las olas de calor como las olas de agua en el mar los pobre chamizos extienden sus brazos al cielo rogándole a Dios que llueva Así es la vida en el llano silenciosa y polvorosa
One Last Time
I took you back one last time Back to the Río Grande where you were born You needed to say goodbye You needed to make sure all was well even though the land was dry and you worried about the cows We were together one last time In the place we shared and loved. You lived a simple life never gave up on what you wanted you followed your dreams until the end you did things your own way Today you were buried we had a drink to bid you farewell one last time
Cuando Salimos pa’ Kansas
Cuando salimos pa’ Kansas Con aquella gran noviada A que trabajos pasamos Allá en aquellos llanos De ver aquellas nubes Tan prietas y oír Aquellos truenos tan recios Que nos hacían llorar Llegamos al Río Grande No había barco en qué pasar El caporal nos decía Muchachos se van a ahogar Le responden los vaqueros Todos en general Nosotros somos del Río Grande Y buenos para nadar Por allí pasó un vaquero Una mujer le pregunta Qué razón me dan de mi hijo Señora yo le dijera Pero va a querer llorar Su hijo lo mató un novio En las trancas de un corral The following is a song my daddy would always sing to me, and I felt it proper to include it with my poems. The author is unknown, but if anyone knows who wrote it please e-mail email@example.com so the song can get its proper credit.
La herencia de ser vaquera y las memorias que me quedan Nadie nunca me las quitarán I will always be proud to be who you taught me to be Daddy I love you and goodbye I’m sure someday we will be together one last time
The Promise of Rain
Looking out over the majestic rim of the mesa The rainclouds gather in the western skies The pine trees reaching from the valley floor Hoping for the rain dark clouds promise to bring With the thundering roar lighting bolts break the sky A few hundred raindrops fall, Mocking the ground as it waits for the cloudburst That threatens the valley down below
María T. Domínguez, a resident of Española, N.M., for the past 20 years, was born and raised in Antonito, Colo. She is a former vaquera for the Río Grande Livestock Association. She received the 2002 Poet of the Year Medallion and Shakespeare Trophy of Excellence from the Famous Poets Society.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 41
By Nellie Tafoya Pacheco
ummer is a time for weddings, reunions, picnics, barbecues, camping and other outings. Summer is for getting together during the warm weather to spend numerous hours outdoors with each other. These foods can be prepared with lots of love and comfort for your special outing. The fruits and vegetables are in season at this time of the year.
Cucumber Salad 4 peeled cucumbers 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1 clove minced garlic 4 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil A few drops hot sauce Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon sugar Cut 4 peeled cucumbers lengthwise. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the cut sides, to drain. After 30 minutes, pat the cucumbers and place cut side down on paper towels to dry and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces. In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of sugar, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and a few drops of hot sauce. Sprinkle the mixture onto the cucumbers and toss to coat. Let sit for 1 hour before serving. Grilled Chicken 1-1/2 cups medium onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon chile powder 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 2 tablespoons margarine or butter 6 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds total) Shredded lettuce (optional) Chopped tomatoes (optional) Avocado slices (optional) In a small saucepan cook onion and garlic in melted margarine or butter until tender. Stir 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter in the chile powder, cumin and 1 teaspoon red chile powder and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Brush half of the onion mixture over chicken. Grill chicken on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 6 minutes. Turn chicken and brush with remaining onion mixture. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes more or until chicken is tender and no longer pink; or place chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once and brushing with the onion mixture. Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and avocado slices, if desired. Makes 6 servings Abuelita Francisquita Cortez y su comadre en Ranchos de Taos. Photo courtesy Nellie Tafoya Pacheco. Barbecue Sauce 2 medium onions, minced 1 teaspoon paprika 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon chile powder 2 tablespoons vinegar 3/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 1 cup water 1 cup ketchup Dash of garlic powder Sauté onions and add remaining ingredients. Simmer until sauce is consistent. Adding smoke flavoring is optional. Potato Salad 8 medium potatoes 1 tablespoon mustard 3 long ribs celery 2 teaspoons salt 5 hard-boiled eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup salad dressing Pepper to taste Put unpeeled potatoes in a deep kettle. Cover with water and boil until potatoes can be pierced with a fork (20–30 minutes). Drain and cool until you are able to handle them. Peel and dice into a large mixing bowl. Add diced celery and boiled eggs. Mix remaining ingredients for the dressing, pour it over potatoes and lightly toss to evenly coat potatoes. Taste and add more salt or mayonnaise. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Makes at least 8 servings. Rhubarb Crisp 2 pounds fresh rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces or 2 bags of 16–20 ounces frozen rhubarb, thawed 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons flour Topping 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional) Combine rhubarb, sugar and flour in a large bowl, tossing to evenly coat. Transfer to a 10inch-deep dish. Prepare topping by beating butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl until creamy. Stir in flour, cinnamon and nuts to blend well. Spread over the rhubarb. Bake in 400-degree oven 35–40 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Sunset Punch (Orange Drink) 1 large can orange juice 1/2 to 1 cup of light syrup (your choice) Orange concentrate Orange slices 6 cans of 7-Up Ice In a punch bowl mix all the ingredients except the syrup. Stir and add ice. Pour syrup in gently.
Nellie Tafoya Pacheco was born and raised in Talpa, N.M., and now resides in Cheyenne, Wyo. She writes personal family stories and poetry.
Summer 2003 / La Herencia 43
The Avon Lady Stirs Young Wives in Talpa
By Bertha Quintana
t is not beyond me that the Avon Lady, as she simply became known, found her way to Talpa. The artists had found us earlier, but not much had been made of their arrival. They assimilated culturally, religiously and basically to everything that was Talpa, and they were a quiet bunch. So what was it about this new arrival that stirred the emotions of this conservative farming community? Talpa sits southeast, on the outskirts of Taos, N.M. It is a small community similar to any other small community, with rules and quirks of its own. Earlier, Taos was the center of activity and tourists were mostly contained in the Plaza of Taos, but as the years went by, the tourists started expanding their horizons to the outskirts of town. Year after year more of those people took to the road, crisscrossing right through the heart of Talpa. One could hear more crunching of tires on the gravel, rumbling of engines and the grinding of Illustration by Francis Quintana. gears. Before long, the Avon lady pulled several It is no wonder that the Avon Lady decided bottles and jars out of a well-organized satchel: she would take a look, too. She wanted to some big, some small and in all shapes and build her clientele, so on this April morning colors. Mother was handed one item after she found herself cautiously steering her white another. She opened, smelled, examined, Cadillac through the heart of Talpa. Like a cat applied and resmelled. She had creams under looking for its prey, she drove with prudence, her armpits, on her arms, face, neck and legs. stopping on occasion, observing the area and Perfumes were sprayed behind her ears, on then inspecting everything around her. The her wrists and on her chest and down her Avon Lady arrived in all her glory—bright red arms. Eye shadow and false eyelashes were lipstick, eyelashes that fluttered and pink tried. Nail polish of every color was applied to cheeks that seemed ready to jump out at any all her fingernails. The Avon Lady explained moment. She wore a flowery pink summer to Mother what each product would do for her dress and a hat that had so many flowers it and how often she suggested it be used. kept favoring the left side of her face. She kept Money being tight with a large, growing swinging a colorful silk scarf around her neck family, there was little time and money to buy that came loose with every bump. cosmetics. The Avon Lady was making it Inside our home my mother, Clara, had possible for Mother to have easy access to new prepared school lunches. Faces had been products. She was also teaching Mother how scrubbed, breakfast had been served and to use the products. sweaters and bags of lunch handed out. One The Avon Lady was lucky, too. In Mother by one my mother practically shoved us out she had found a working client. My mother the door. My two siblings and I grudgingly had a willingness to learn new things, and the started on our short trek to the Talpa school. Avon Lady took advantage of it. She gave Now my mother was running around like a Mother free samples of all the products she pecking hen, picking up clothes, shoes, wanted to try. It wasn’t long before my mother underwear and bits of food from under the introduced the products to her friends. The table left by her children. Mother was tall and next few days and weeks proved exciting. lanky, her long black hair hanging around her Mother and her friends compared, discussed olive-skin face. She was not ready to meet the and consulted one another. world. With her sunken cheekbones, light While mother and her friends were brown eyes and a perpetual smile, except in enjoying their new fountain of youth, they the mornings, my mother was startled as she were oblivious to what was happening around came face to face with a dolled-up creature in them. The suegras had caught wind of the the middle of her kitchen.
Avon Lady and her polvitos del diablo, as they called Avon products. The suegras had the responsibility within the community to keep young families strong. Mother, along with her friends, was called in for a chat with their suegras. The chat turned into a confrontation between women of different generations. The young wives wanted to enrich the old ideas or ways by adding some new ones. The suegras wanted to maintain what was familiar and had worked for them. The suegras felt that by dolling themselves up, the young wives would be ripe for scandal, and they would lose community respect. They would be treated as loose women and their husbands would become jealous. Divorce in Talpa in the 1950s was almost unheard off. Mother and her friends, having basked for weeks on their uplifted spirits brought on by feeling and looking good, were not ready to give up. My abuelita, upon seeing that she was making no headway with my mother, was frustrated, “I suppose your and the other payasas’ next step is to head to the saloons to entertain by dancing on the bar tables, she said. “You’re behaving like a bunch of putas. Nothing good can come out of this behavior.” As weeks gave way to months, the young wives got better at applying the Avon products. They wore lipstick, suntan lotion and blush while working in the fields, while mud plastering their homes and going about the business of raising their families. They were careful not to wear lipsticks for Sunday Mass out of respect for the Catholic Church. They also left their lipsticks at home for funerals. While the young wives enjoyed their new looks, they also felt good about who they were. They had been instilled with a rich and stable culture. Their sense of community was important to them. In principle, the young wives remained loyal to their culture, but emotionally they slowly adopted some new ways of doing things. The Avon Lady had added to their sense of self-worth.
Bertha Quintana lives in El Prado, N.M.
44 La Herencia / Summer 2003
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?