Thursday, September 25, 2008


This is a picture of the statue of don Diego de Vargas near the cathedral in Santa Fe. Click on the image to enlarge it.

You think our forefathers might be different? That my forefathers might differ from yours? You think mine came here looking for religious freedom? Think again!  You think my forefathers wanted to be free of taxation (Boston Tea Party)? Squanto, remember Squanto?

My forefathers never did encounter Squanto, nor did they ever hear of him. In fact I do not think any Native New Mexicans in New Mexico ever heard about Squanto till the late 1940's or early 1950's when they started adding American History to the curriculum.

Anyway, my forefathers did not come here to have "religious freedom". Not by a long stretch. Nor did they come here to get away from taxation. They came because of the three G's, God, glory and gold. Not necessarily in that order.

In New Mexico, for New Mexican Hispanics, our forefathers were don Juan de Onate, don Diego de Vargas, don Juan de Anza, maybe even the Indian Pope and Cureno Verde. Not George Washington, not Patrick Henry!

Lets make a deal, I will adopt yours when you adopt mine.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Esquipula Padilla

Click on the image to make it larger.

Esquipula Padilla having a cigarette with a cup of coffee in front of the kitchen stove at his house in Rowe, New Mexico. Circa 1960.

This is a neat picture of a relative of mine who lived next door to us in Rowe in the late 1950's and early 1960's. His name was Esquipula Padilla. He was one of my favorite relatives. He was always willing to spend time with family. I remember all of the neighborhood boys going to his house on a Friday evening in the winter to play cards. We used stick matches to make bets, or the paper book matches which were worth 10 stick matches. Sometimes we would end up going home at 2:30 or 3:00 AM. Playing poker for matches, can you imagine.

I also remember going rabbit hunting with him in the winter just after a snowfall. He had a .22 Cal. rifle and would take 5 shells and come home with  2 - 3 rabbits.

Actually he and his wife, Guadalupe Archuleta, and children lived in Colorado for a while, then in Rowe and finally in Cerillos, New Mexico. I last saw him in 1999, shortly before he passed away. He was then living with his daughter in an area close to the honor farm in the the Los Lunas area.