Friday, October 2, 2009

Do We Really Know How Our Ancestors Lived

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I was raised in the 1950's in Rowe, New Mexico. Next to the railroad tracks and also next to U.S. 85. It was well before Interstate 25 was constructed in the 1960's. By the time they started construction on I-25 I was gone. There were still steam locomotives rolling thru town. They were also rolling into history and city parks all over the area. There were still several wagons being pulled by horses and in everyday use in our little village. don Telesfor Padilla had one, don Alejandro Montoya had another, don Florencio Esquibel had another as did don Tranquilino Garcia. Carros de caballo or carros de bestia they were called. 

They used them regularly. They all had teams of horses to pull the wagons. In the 1950's mind you. Right next to US Highway 85, right next to the railroad with all of it's trains rolling north and south. In the rest of the world a lot of people had television.

don Telesfor Padilla used to go on top of the mesa for firewood and bring it back in assorted lengths. don Tranquilino Garcia used to go to "La Sierrita" across the bridge in what is now part of the Pecos National Momument. His team of horses consisted of Queenie and Jack. don Alejandro and don Florencio mainly used them on their own fields come harvest time. don Florencio's were simply named El Negro y la Colorada. I do not know the names of the other two teams.

I, personally, can conjure up images that in my minds eye that portray life as our ancestors lived in New Mexico before my time. But, in reality, how accurate are those images? These conjured up images are hybrids of historical accounts drawn up by our ancestors themselves and by the Americans that came in 1846.

There were still bits and pieces of some of the old ways, but few and far between. Our ancestors adapted as rapidly as they could to the new technologies that the American's bought with them. I will bet that tin and glass containers , at first, were highly prized. All metal objects that could be utilized or recycled were also highly prized. Guns of all kinds would have been prized. Just imagine, let your mind wander....