Thursday, May 31, 2018

Saint Cecilia, Patron Saint of Music

I was going to write this blog a year ago, but my writing process was derailed by life. Emotions were running high for everyone in my circle of friends during the month of May last year due to the passing of my friend, Jimmy Lafave. I kept putting it off until I forgot. So today in honor of my mom's birthday I am writing.

Synchronicity is a big part of my life, I feel blessed when it occurs. My friend Jay Curlee snapped a photo of the fresco of Saint Cecilia, painted on the interior of "The Paramount Theater" last year. It was the evening of May 18, during "The Jimmy LaFave Songwriter Rendezvous." It was three days before Jimmy passed away. Saint Cecilia frescos are a part of the decor in many theaters because she is the patron saint of musicians.


Saint Cecilia Fresco
Paramount Theater
Austin, Texas

Saint Cecilia Fresco
Paramount Theater
Austin, Texas

I love this fresco and all things Saint Cecilia because my full name is Cecelia Christina Fajardo. I have been told my whole life that I was named after the patron saint of musicians so I have worn that hat very proudly and it has been as much of a joke in my inner circle as it is an honor. I was, in fact, wearing that hat proudly at the Paramount the night the photo of Saint Cecilia was taken. I couldn't see the fresco from where I was seated because I was stage left, as I displayed all of the slide shows I had created for "The Jimmy LaFave Songwriter Rendezvous" from my laptop to the screen behind the band.

My laptop, Stage Left
Paramount Theater

Stage Left
Paramount Theater

Jimmy had requested that a slide show of photos of his life be shown as the audience enter the theater. You can see it on the link below.


As each of his chosen performers played, a slide show of each of them playing with Jimmy through his life long musical career, was shown behind the band on a larger than life backdrop on the stage. I spent hours each day the for the first 3 weeks in May, combing through photos to find the perfect photos for these projects. It was nothing less than a labor of love for Jimmy and all my musician friends who were performing that night. Only someone labeled a patron saint of musicians would take on such a project. It was a blessing and means to help process his passing.



Jaimee Harris Singing "Restless Spirits"
at the Jimmy LaFave Songwriter Rendezvous
with a larger than life photo of them in the background

Jimmy's Songwriter Rendezvous was on Thursday May 18, then on Friday night I went to Lana Nelson's for the annual Taurus birthday party weekend for the May birthday girls. (Mary McWatters, Ellen Rothkrug and me) While we were having dinner, I was wearing my Taurus princess tiara. Ellen was claiming the title of Queen for the night and brought up the fact that I was named after Saint Cecilia and a German princess that lived in Amarillo when I was born. I vaguely remembered being told that I was named after a princess but I mentioned it to a teacher in elementary school and she made fun of me so I never mentioned it again. To anyone. So fast forward half a century and as fate would have it, my mother and Ellen became very close in the last three years of my mother's life, after my father passed away. She and Ellen went on trips together and fortunately, she told Ellen stories I had either forgotten or she had never mentioned to me. My mother talked about her life much more in the final years of her life. I am realizing myself that as I have gotten older, I have time to reminisce and see our lives from a different perspective. In doing so, we become more forgiving of ourselves.

So at dinner on the night of May 19, Ellen started to tell the story about the German princess that lived in Amarillo and Mary said "Oh yeah, I remember that Princess. Her daughter, Kira was my sister Joan's friend." Then our friend from Germany, Ruth Boggs said that wasn't possible. So she googled it and it was all true, but her name was Cecilie, not Cecilia. Not only was it true but there had been a movie made about Princess Cecilie's husband, Clyde Harris, called "Monuments Men" in 2014, starring George Clooney.


Princess Cecilie and Husband Clyde Harris
Princess Cecilie and Her daughter Kira

Clyde Harris was a 1939 graduate from Oklahoma State in Stillwater with a degree in Interior Design. Okay... that is interesting.... LaFave grew up in Stillwater. As a Monuments Man, Clyde helped the family of Prince Ludwig von Hesse-Darmstadt recover their family art, stolen by the Nazis during World War II. He then married the German Princess June 21, 1949 at the Castle Burg Hohenzollern in Hechingen. So long story short... I was named after the patron saint of music and a princess who was married to a man who helped to save art masterpieces that had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II. How cool is that?

As I write this blog, I am watching "The Monuments Men" for the first time. It was directed by George Clooney and written and produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov. The film has an all star cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Cat Blanchett. It is based on a true story but the names of the Monuments Men have been changed.

As I am watching the movie I am not at all surprised that Hitler reminds me so much of Trump. Hitler was a failed art student. As part of his takeover, he wanted all of the western masterpieces stolen for his cultural complex in his hometown of Linz, Austria. In July 1944, Claire Simone, a curator in occupied France, was forced to assist Nazi officer Viktor Stahl in overseeing the theft of art for Hitler. President Roosevelt was persuaded to assemble an army unit nicknamed the "Monuments Men," comprising museum directors, curators, art historians, and an architect, to both guide allied units and search for stolen art to return it to its rightful owners. 

So back to my name. I went by my first name, Cecelia, until junior high school and decided I liked Christina better for many reasons. One of them being that the song "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel was popular in 1970. I was in the 9th grade. Having classmates singing the lyrics to the song in the hallways of Horace Mann Jr High was extremely disheartening.

Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
Up in my bedroom
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed someone's taken my place

Horace Mann Jr High is now called Mann Middle School

The biggest reason I wanted the name change was that my family called me Cecil, as in Cecil B. DeMille. But friends in the Texas Panhandle pronounced it Ceeeeecil. I hated it. With a passion. So when I moved to New Mexico for my junior year of high school, I started a new life using my middle name, Christina. Even to this day, my family hasn't been able to go along with that name change so they call me CiCi. My sister completely changed her name from Josie Ann to Nita in 2nd grade and nobody ever questioned it. Go figure. Oh well, CiCi works for me. 

I posted this photo of my mom today on facebook because it is her birthday. Davy Delgado commented that he sure did miss her. So, the thought of writing about the name she gave to me surfaced again.



Davy and my mom were close. His dad was her favorite cousin, but more importantly, Davy and mom appreciated each others love of writing. She used to send Davy's articles to me from the Santa Rosa News. Today Davy said "Most of her contemporaries frequently wondered how people in the future could be able to relate with other without the art of letter writing."

That's one of those synchronistic signs that the time had come to write an entry on my blog, which for me, has taken the place of letter writing. So this is my birthday present to you Mamma. I am writing! Thank you for passing down the love of writing to me, Christian and Ava. I love you.

Saint Cecilia
Patron Saint of Musicians




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

I dedicate this Mother's Day to my grandma,
Rosita Valdez Padilla



"The past is not a burden
It is a scaffold which brought us to this day.
We are free to be who we are 
To create our own life
Out of our past and out of the present.
We are our ancestors.
When we heal ourselves,
We also heal our ancestors,
Our grandmothers, 
Our grandfathers,
And our children.
When we heal ourselves, 
We heal Mother Earth. 


— Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein

(Yupik), of the 13 International Indigenous Grandmothers Council


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Good Grief



Grief is something that most of us don't like to talk about. It is a natural response to losing someone or something that’s important to us such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a home or job. Chronic illness may cause one to grieve the loss of the life you once had.

Grief brings on a variety of uncomfortable emotions and responses. Everyone's grief is as individual as our fingerprints. For some, grief is so extreme that one can be catapulted into the dark night of the soul and the whole conceptual framework for life, the meaning that the mind had given it, collapses.

Most often, one will receive sympathy and a shoulder to cry on upon the death of a loved one. However, sometimes the response one will receive is judgmental and in that case, instead of sympathy, one is met with stigma which makes the loss even more painful. Either way, someone or something you cared about is gone and it hurts. Your life, as you knew it, has crumbled into a heap all around you.



Last week, I had one of those out of the blue, raw sea of emotion experiences. I met up with my friend Robin and went to the opening night of the Jimmy LaFave photo exhibit at the Stephen L. Clark Gallery on West 6th St. in Austin. Jimmy, who was exactly two months younger than me, passed away of a rare type of cancer May 21, 2017. His passing was a great loss to many, world wide. I felt blessed to be asked to create the slide show that was shown at his last show at the Paramount, three days before he passed away. I spent days combing through hundreds of photos, weeping and laughing simultaneously. Then I reproduced it to announce his passing and again for a Swan Songs presentation. Each time with new songs and new photos and a new layer of grief processed. It was a cathartic, healing process for me.

Robin and I were looking forward to going together for old times sake, she and I used to go dance to Jimmy and the Night Tribe's music in the 90's at LaZona Rosa. We arrived and realized we knew most everyone there. It felt like it was going to be a joyous celebration of Jimmy's life.


Gypsy RV | Tucumcari, New Mexico | 2013
Photo by Jimmy LaFave

In the back of my mind, I was wishing he could have been there to experience his gallery opening, at the same time, I knew he would be there in spirit, happy that his collection of photos was in a gallery for the world to see. My physical body didn't exactly react with happiness. All was well as I stopped and chatted with a few friends on the way into the gallery, then I entered into the gallery and was surrounded by what felt like the visual evidence of an unfinished life of a brilliant soul. I suddenly became weak and dizzy. Granted, just the day before, I had an appointment with my cardiologist and was wearing a heart monitor patch because I had been experiencing atrial fibrillation. This was different. I was experiencing a dizziness that I had never felt before accompanied by inexplicable emotion that was swirling in every direction. I found a chair and sat down. I was dizzy from the time I walked in the building until I got to my car to leave. Fortunately I was with my friend Robin, who drove me to Rene and Danny's where I spent the night. I was back to normal as soon as I arrived there.

So let me back up a bit, Jimmy had been a fixture of the Austin music scene since the 80's and a friend since 1990. But mostly, he's a huge part of the soundtrack to my life, in the top five favorites, along with Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt. His last concert at the Paramount was on Thursday, May 18. On Friday I was driving to the Nelson's ranch for my birthday celebration and one of Jimmy's songs came on my Spotify. I realized then that this was going to be hard. It dawned on me that everyone always calls me when they hear in the media that Willie is ill. He is in his eighties and people worry. It is a genuine concern for me too. At that moment, I realized this loss was going to be just as hard for me personally. Jimmy passed on Sunday, 5 minutes after I had finished editing his slideshow to announce his passing. On Monday I saw Amy Nelson in the bathroom at Donn's Depot. I hadn't thought about it but she was the only person I know that bridged the Willie music family to the Jimmy music family. I had never seen her at Donn's. We looked and each other realized it was a God thing. We stood in the bathroom and hugged each other and cried.

Amy Nelson and Christina Fajardo
Donn's Depot, May 22, 2018

There are few recording artists that I listen to when I create art, when I need to feel grounded and especially when I don't feel well. Jimmy is at the top of that list. Not only did he write beautiful heart felt ballads, he was one of the best interpreters of ballads written by other recording artists like Dylan. And like Willie, he had such an incredible sense of timing, commanding stillness between phrases, making it feel as if he was singing every line for the first time from a place deep in his heart. Then there was the Jimmy that I knew as a friend. Like most Cancers, he spent a lot of time in his shell hiding his empathetic side. You could always count on him to keep everyone in check with off the wall remarks and laughter that sometimes cut to the core.

As an artist, seeing his art on the walls of the gallery just hurt. I hurt for him because he should have been there. I have been ill most of my life, I am still here and he isn't. It didn't make any sense. I thought I had processed it until I was there surrounded by his photos. I came home and I have painted every day since that day. It sent a strong message to me that I don't have one minute to waste.

Fast forward to this week. My son's ex-wife is taking him back to divorce court. This has been going on for well over two years and this nonsense is taking a toll on everyone. However, I believe that  my 11 year old grandson has suffered the greatest loss. I am bringing this up because earlier this year he became very ill and was taken to several specialists and to the emergency room on more than one occasion. He was suffering from dizziness, nausea, headaches. Dizziness seemed to be the main issue. He was over a period of several weeks, taking a number of medications and nothing seemed to help. I went to St Louis, he was allowed to spend the night. His mother sent a bag of medication for him to take. He seemed fine. He didn't have a fever, wasn't dizzy or nauseous so I just gave him his antibiotic. When he went home, he was sick again for weeks.

It finally occurred to me this week, after my odd dizzy spell at the art exhibit, that my poor little grandson was experiencing was a severe case of unresolved grief that he has not been allowed to deal with. It was horrible feeling like that for one evening. I can't even imagine what it was like for my grandson to feel like that for weeks. I remembered that when my father died, my daughter walked into the cathedral for his funeral, she immediately felt dizzy and thought she was going to faint and had to sit on the back pew. For those of you that follow me on Facebook, I most often post cute happy photos of my then 2 year old granddaughter who isn't aware that this is not the norm but most photos taken of Andrew are sad and distraught, looking like he's lost his best friend. Guess what. He has lost his best friend. His father. He's not allowed to see him or speak to speak to him. He has had his phone taken away. He isn't allowed to grieve his enormous loss and it is all being internalized.

Andrew

I spent a couple of days on the internet reading about the effects of divorce on children and realized that not enough consideration had been given to my grandson's grief. We live in a grief-illiterate world and most cultures don't teach how to deal with the grief that comes along with inevitable life changes. We need to be given the permission to grieve. In my grandson's case, there is an unwritten family rule that everyone stuffs their feelings and act like everything is fine, when in fact nothing is anywhere close to being fine.



In the 80's I studied the works of a Swiss-American psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler Ross. As an author of groundbreaking books about grief, her goal was to break through the layer of professional denial that prohibited patients from airing their inner-most concerns. Her research was one of the reasons I decided to go to art school. Not so much because I thought I was a great artist but because I thought art to be cathartic. In her work with terminally ill children, instead of talking to them about how they felt, she had them draw how they felt. This struck a chord with me. In her first book,"On Death and Dying" written in1969, she identified five stages of grief that people experience following a death or loss. They include: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.



1. Denial: The first stage of grief we pretend the loss has not happened. We are still in a state of shock, disbelief and numbness. Denial is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle at the moment. The feeling wears off with time so that the healing process can begin.

2. Anger: This is a big one. When the denial starts to wear off anger moves in. It is a way of taking back control. As unfair as it may seem, anger sometimes brings on blame. Children going through a divorce struggle to process the change in their family’s arrangement so they are met with frustrations and confusion and the blame game begins, feeling like it is unfair and even worse blaming themselves. This is why it is important for the adults to step in and assure the children that life is ever changing and it will be alright. The adult version of anger is to think “why me?” Redirecting anger to close friends and family or blaming others for the cause of grief is common because it seems incomprehensible how something so horrible could happen to you. You might start to question your belief in God.

Anger is a necessary stage of grief and it is extremely unhealthy to suppress your feelings of anger. It is a natural response and it’s important to truly feel the anger because if you stuff it, the next time you are met with a situation where grief is the natural response, all of your stuffed anger resurfaces so your reaction to the current situation can become explosive. The more you truly feel the anger, the more quickly it will dissipate and the more quickly you will heal. When you experience grief, you might feel disconnected from reality – that you have no grounding anymore. Your life has shattered and there’s nothing solid to hold onto. Think of anger as a strength to bind you to reality. You might feel deserted or abandoned during grief. That you are alone in this world. The direction of anger toward something or somebody is what might bridge you back to reality and connect you to people again. It is a “thing.” It’s something to grasp onto – a natural step in healing.

3. Bargaining: This phase of grief is often the briefest of all the stages. It's a last ditch attempt to try to control life so that it will go our way. Children may often exhibit behaviors demonstrating that they believe they can alter their current family situation so their parents will get back together. We will promise anything to God at this point. Bargaining gives a temporary sense of relief. 

4. Depression: Yet another agonizing phase in the healing process. Withdrawal from life, feeling numb, living in a fog, and not want to get out of bed are common. The world might seem too much and too overwhelming to face. You don’t want to be around others, don’t feel like talking and experience feelings of hopelessness. Depression is part of the natural progression towards acceptance and like any of the other emotions needs to be felt. Please know that it is a normal part of grief and that too shall pass. For a child, a longing for the past and demonstrations of sadness are indications that the child is in the grief stage. Changes in social patterns, sleeping and eating behaviors, and irritability can emerge during this stage. Parents must take extra care during this stage to make sure to support their child and should monitor for depressive symptoms. “There’s nothing I can do to bring them back together. I’m so upset and just want to stay in my room and be left alone."

5. Acceptance: In this stage, emotions may begin to stabilize, come to terms with the “new” reality. There are good days, there are bad days, the good days tend to outnumber the bad days. You are no longer arguing the loss, trying to bargain with it or wanting to change it. Another word for acceptance is surrender. Acceptance is marked with a sense of understanding and a general desire to move forward with the new family dynamic. The fog lifts and you start to engage with friends again. An understanding that your loved one can never be replaced, but you evolve into your new reality.

So there are the 5 stages of grief but for my grandchildren, it doesn't end there. They are being denied the opportunity grieve and to mourn the change in there family situation or even talk to their father or anyone on his side of the family. The severe effects of parental alienation on children is well-documented. When children lose the capacity to give and accept love from one of their parents they experience depression, lack of trust, low self-esteem and self-hatred. When they are older, they often turn to substance abuse. 

So here is the underlying issue. My grandchildren's mother is repeating the very painful childhood she lived. Alienated children typically have conflicted relationships with the alienating parent and are at high risk of becoming that same type of parent. Unresolved grief is at the root of the problem. Alienating parents don't have enough self awareness to know their personal feelings about their ex are not even real. They were taught as children that it's not okay to have their own thoughts and feelings. They are stuck in anger and look for a target to blame for their problems and painful feelings. In the case of divorce, that target is their ex.

Their tactics are similar to cult leaders who destroy their followers’ ability to think for themselves and make their own choices. So how do you combat your ex’s mind games? Teach your kids about critical thinking. If they’re still in the bedtime story phase, ask them why they think Cinderella’s stepsisters are so mean to her. If they tell you history class is boring, ask them why learning about civil rights is important. If your child says he doesn’t know, or asks you to explain things, say you will but you want to hear what he thinks first. Talk about the difference between opinion and fact. For instance: one person can love tomatoes and the other person can hate them. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with tomatoes, it’s just a person’s preference of point of view. As your child develops the ability to think for himself, he will be better able to put the alienator’s skewed narrative in perspective.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Walk Through The Family Cemetery And Family History

One of my favorite things to do is to spend a quiet night at home doing ancestry research in hopes that I end up traveling through the 1800's while reading stories that I never dreamed could have taken place in my extended family history. Tonight I hit the jackpot once again. While on a trip to New Mexico last week, I made a point to stop by the family cemetery located in Puerto de Luna. The cemetery is located on a hill across the road from the church in my parent's home town.

My 2017 Visit To The Family Cemetery

"Nuestra Senora de Refugio Cemetary"
Puerto de Luna, New Mexico
"Nuestra Senora de Refugio Cemetary"
Puerto de Luna, New Mexico

"Nuestra Senora del Refugio Church"
Puerto de Luna, New Mexico


My little brother and my maternal grandparents are buried there with countless other relatives dating back to the 1800's. I was sad to see that my little brother's gravestone had recently been vandalized. The head of the little lamb had been knock off and was in pieces so I gathered the pieces and wild flowers to take this photo.

My Little Brother, Larry Fajardo

My maternal grandparents
Ascencion Padilla  and Rosita Valdez Padilla

Some of the grave stones are so old that the names have been worn off.

The newest grave was that of my second cousin, William Dodge. He passed away just this month and his older brother, James passed away in August. RIP Will and James. They were the grandson's of my mother's oldest sister Marcelina Padilla Page and her husband Joseph Page and sons of my first cousin Marcelena Page Dodge and her husband, Antonio Dodge.

My Aunt Marcelina Padilla Page
My mother's oldest sister Marcelina passed away in 1939 at the age of 36. She left seven child and a husband behind. My mother was in high school at the time and went to live with her brother-in-law for a time just down the road in Puerto de Luna to help him with the children. She became very close to her nieces and nephews, the Page family. Her niece Marcelena, was close to her age and they were more like sisters. Marcelena married Antonio Dodge. I remember visiting Marcelena when I was young and thinking how cool it would be to have a piano teacher as a mom.

Graves of Marcelena Page Dodge and
Antonio Page
Graves of Marcelena Page Dodge and
Antonio Page
So last week, as I was walking around the cemetery, I noticed that my grandparents were buried just to the right of my little brother, some first cousins and uncles to the left. My Aunt Marcelina Padilla Page and her husband Joseph Page are buried just above him on the hill and below him was this grave with "Henry Dodge - Catholic" inscribed on it.


I thought it was interesting that it would say "Catholic" on the gravestone since most everyone in my family is Catholic. Why bother? So I decided to snap a photo and do some research on Henry. Keeping in mind that I am related to all the Dodges in this small community, but sometimes we are related 2 or 3 times over. With that being said, I am sure that if any of my cousins from New Mexico read this, they will get a chuckle because of all my "research" is uncovering what is common knowledge to those that have lived there their whole life.... except for the stuff that goes back to the 1800's, then only a handful of my history buff cousins even care about it and will be sure to contact me if I get any of this information mixed up. At any rate, this is basically transcribed for those of us who have moved away and don't know much about our family history and hold it dearly in our hearts. I missed out attending most family weddings and funerals where most of the information is shared amongst the relatives that may have had one too many drinks during the celebration.

So I discovered that the mysterious headstone baring the name "Henry (Enrique) Dodge" was Antonio Dodge's father, that's my first cousin Marcelena Page Dodge's father-in-law. It is going to take a couple of paragraphs before I get to the reason he may have had "Catholic" written on his gravestone but the back story on the Dodge family is worth mentioning.

Henry (Enrique) Dodge was born in Puerto de Luna in 1910, his father was Roman Antonio Dodge born in Valencia County, New Mexico, 1853. Roman's father was Captain Henry Lafayette Dodge, born in 1810 in St Genevieve, Missouri, 60 miles south of St Louis, on the west bank of the Mississippi River. My son now lives in St Louis. On a trip to St Louis a while back, we took a drive out in the counties to St Genevieve. It is a beautiful little town and it's Missouri's oldest settlement. Henry Lafayette Dodge was the son of a Henry Moses Dodge born in 1782 in Knox County, Indiana. His mother was Christiana McDonald born in 1785 in Nelson County, Kentucky. There is another connection... my son's name is Christian and his paternal grandmother was a McDonald. Henry Moses Dodge was the son of Israel Dodge born in 1760 in New London, Connecticut. The Dodge family owned the salt works on the saline river in St Genevieve around 1800 and created quite a business providing salt for the people of St Genevieve. Salt was a very important commodity at that time in the preservation of foods and curing of animal hides. Israel was elected the first sheriff of the St Genevieve and his son Henry Moses Dodge became a deputy sheriff, reporting to his father from 1804 to 1821.

Henry Moses Dodge was an ambitious man, he was United States Marshal for the territory of Missouri while he was sheriff. Then he was governor of the Wisconsin Territory. At the time the territory included the present state of Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa, and Minnesota. Then he became a delegate to Congress, then elected to the Senate upon admission of Wisconsin to the Union in 1848. In the same year, his son Henry Lafayette Dodge married Adele Bequette. His father had chosen his younger brother, Augustus Caesar Dodge, as his political heir and began grooming him. Henry Lafayette continued to look after the family business. Augustus became Iowa's first territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress and then one of the state's first senators after its admission to the Union. Augustus Caesar and Henry Moses Dodge are the only father and son to serve in the U.S. Senate at the same time.

Meanwhile, Henry Lafayette Dodge and Adele had four children. He owned an inn and store in Dodgeville. The post office was housed in the store so he also served as postmaster. Like his father and brother, Henry Lafayette was politically active in Democratic party. In 1843 he was elected Sheriff of Iowa County, in 1844 he became clerk of the U.S. District Court for Iowa County. Then, in May 1846, Henry Lafayette Dodge vanished, never to be seen again by his wife and children. He went west and showed up August 1846 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the process of establishing a civil administration for the newly conquered territory, it was announced that Henry L Dodge was appointed Treasurer of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the place of Francisco Ortis, who was unable to perform the duties due to illness.

Henry L Dodge was appointed an Indian Agent for the Navajo tribe in 1853 by President Pierce. He learned the Navajo language and was determined to make sure the people were treated fairly. In turn, the Navajos liked and respected Dodge and called him Bi'ee lichii (red shirt), because he always wore a red flannel shirt. There is a book written about him called "Red Shirt, The Life and Times of Henry Lafayette Dodge" by Lawrence D Sundberg. It is a work which took the author twenty years to write. I have to ask myself... where have I been and why didn't I know anything about Henry L Dodge? Oh yeah, I was in Texas where they taught Texas history. I wasn't paying attention on any level to the coaches who taught history at Robert E Lee Elementary and Horace Mann Middle School. Henry Lafayette Dodge had long been a familiar name in 19th century American Southwestern history, however, I wasn't interested in history until I started researching my ancestry for obvious reasons, just judging from the names of the schools I attended...geeeeeze!

"Red Shirt, The Life and Times of Henry Lafayette Dodge" by Lawrence D Sundberg.

As one of the earliest and most effective Indian agents to the Navajo, HL Dodge has been portrayed as a congenial, sympathetic and compassionate advocate for the tribe. The Navajo knew him as Red Shirt, a man they came to respect, appreciate and trust. Those who knew Dodge admitted he had unrivaled influence over the tribe. He had been looked upon as the 'Great Father' of the Navajo tribe, who were at war with the Apaches, hence their hostility towards him.  

In November 1856, after Coyotero Apaches attacked the Zuni Pueblo, Henry L Dodge joined army soldiers in their pursuit. He left the group to go deer hunting, and was killed by the Apaches. A few months later, Henry L Dodge's Navajo wife, Bisnayanchi, gave birth to a boy who became known as Henry Chee Dodge born in 1857 in Fort Defiance, Arizona. His name was a combination of his Navajo name, Kiilchii' (which meant red), and his father's name.

This might explain why the Henry (Enrique) Dodge, who is buried in my family cemetery had "Catholic" written his grave, not to be confused with his uncle Henry Chee Dodge who had been one of the most famous and revered Navajo tribal leaders. Henry Chee Dodge served as a translator and interpreter, providing a bridge between the United States Army and the Navajos. Later he served many years as the last official Navajo Head Chief and was also the Tribal Chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council, an organization that he helped establish. Sadly, there's always been a stigma attached to being a person of color.

Henry Chee Dodge

In 1864, the Navajos' world was ripped apart by the U.S. Army invasions, which were launched in response to Navajo raids that took place around Fort Defiance. They were part of the "Long Walk" to Fort Sumner, where Navajos were being sent by the U.S. Army. Colonel Kit Carson and a group of officers forcibly marched the surviving Navajos to the Bosque Redondo Reservation at Fort Sumner, which was essentially a concentration camp. The forced "walk" stretched several hundred miles. At the end of the march, those who survived  were incarcerated. Navajos who were not killed or captured split off into small groups that tried to stay one step ahead of the marauding soldiers. Henry Chee Dodge and his mother, Bisnayanchi,  were part of one such group. Their fugitive existence entailed hardship and starvation. One day, Henry Chee's mother set out across the desert to look for food, and she left him with relatives. She never returned. Henry Chee was passed from family to family, until one day he got separated from his people and wandered alone in the wilderness for several days. Fortunately, he was found by an old man and his eight-year-old granddaughter.  He was subsequently raised by his aunt. He was chosen as a pre-teen to become an interpreter for white agents governing the Navajos. This led to him becoming official Interpreter of the Tribe, and then official Navajo Chief. His leadership brought the tribe to an effective modern day organization. He also encouraged education and continuance in the traditional Navajo beliefs. His stern discipline at home caused his children to become leaders in the Navajo political system: Tom Dodge became a Navajo Tribal Chairman, Ben Dodge became a Navajo Councilman and Annie Dodge Wauneka became a Navajo Councilwoman who in 1963, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Chairman Henry Chee Dodge became ill at the age of eighty-seven with pneumonia during the winter of 1946, and spent the rest of his days in the Presbyterian hospital at Ganado. His children sat with him day after day, cherishing his every breath. In his last requests were that his children carry on the great tradition of leadership he had started. He died on January 7, 1947. His funeral was two days later while quiet tears flowed down many faces. The procession of automobiles to the Fort Defiance cemetery after the church service was a mile long, carrying hundreds of his friends to say their last farewells. He was buried in the cemetery at Fort Defiance. He had walked with his people from Fort Sumner into a future none had dreamed of, teaching them how to master their destiny. He became a legend to his Navajo people.

The Coral and Turquoise Necklace That Henry Chee
Wore In This Photo
Sold At Auction For $12,000 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Independence Day

During the month of July I pondered Independence Day being celebrated on the 4th of July. I celebrated myself in the tradition of going to the Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic with my sister.

Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic 2017

Nita and Christina at the Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic 2017
It's commonplace to commemorate Independence Day. on July 4th. Our history books tell us that in 1776 the Continental Congress declared the THIRTEEN American colonies to be a new nation, the United States of America. No longer part of the British Empire. Okay cool. That seems like a good reason to celebrate. However, my personal history is very different and I am just wondering when is it appropriate to celebrate my history. My ancestors are from the sort of khaki colored western side of the USA on the map below labeled "NEW SPAIN." During the 1700's and 1800's and into the early 1900's, there was a whole different dynamic going on over in the southwest.



Twenty-eight years before the Declaration of Independence, my paternal 4th great-grandmother, Maria Micaela Padilla was born in the high mountain valley of El Rito, Rio Arriba County, New Spain. (Present day New Mexico.) I have chosen Maria Micaela to tell you about because I love her name and her descendants were prominent citizens of New Mexico. She was born in 1748 and lived forteen miles south of Abiquiú, eighteen miles northwest of Espanola, fifteen miles northwest of Ojo Caliente and fifty-six miles northwest of Santa Fe. With the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east. With those very detailed directions being given, the locals will tell you, tongue in cheek, the very small community of El Rito is about three hundred years northwest of Santa Fe. Much of the current day population lives off of the grid.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Maria Micaela Padilla was from a prominent founding family in New Mexico, so it is no surprise that when the handsome young twenty-seven year old doctor, Dominique Labadie, relocated from St Louis to New Mexico in 1765, he would pick Maria Micaela to be his wife. He was born in Veloc, Gascony, in the southwest of France. They were married in November of 1766 in a church in Santa Fe called La Parroquia, built between 1714 –1717. The very popular present day Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi was built by between 1869 and 1886 on the site of La Parroquia church. The new cathedral was built around La Parroquia, which was dismantled once the new construction was complete. A small chapel on the north side of the cathedral was kept from the old church. Maria Micaela and Dominique Labadie had 15 children in Santa Fe and they were all baptized in this location.
Looking North on San Francisco Street in Santa Fe
La Parroquia Church stands at the end of the street
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, New Mexico
now stands where La Parroquia Church used to be

In January of 1795 the French were lobbying for the return of Louisiana to France. Spain was fearful of the encroachment of the United States and the France. Since Dominique was French yet married to Maria Micaela Padilla, their property was inventoried and the couple and their 15 children were confined to their residence for a period of time.

Again, I can't help but think that the information that's been written in our history books is extremely slanted. In 1776, the same year Maria Micaela Padilla married her handsome Frenchman in Santa Fe, King Charles III of Spain gave my maternal 5th Great Uncle, Captain Antonio Montoya, 50,000 acre Piedra Lumbre (Shining Stone) Land Grant. Did you read anything about that in your history books? Yeah, probably not. On a side note, The 21,000 acres that comprise Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch is part of the Piedra Lumbre Land Grant, now owned by a Presbyterian Church. I won't go into how it went from being a land grant to being owned by a church. I don't spend my time thinking about all the land and livestock taken from my family Instead I study those that have given back to their communities and made a huge difference in their lifetime. I pray that I have retained some of their character in my DNA. 

Lorenzo Labadie is one of those ancestors that I have grown to know and love through my research. He was my 3rd great uncle and the grandson of Micaela and Dominique Labadie. Lorenzo was described as a handsome, honorable man who wore many hats. In 1851 he was the Sheriff in Valencia County where he served 3 terms. Like his friend Kit Carson, he was a sympathetic and a loyal friend to many Native Americans. In 1855 he was appointed as a U.S. Indian Agent for 15 years and gained respect and confidence seldom obtained by the Native Americans as an Agent. Under his watchful eye, the Native Americans worked side-by-side with soldiers, damming the Pecos River to irrigate crops, planting trees, and building a slaughter house. They had 94 gardens spread over a 100 acre area and grew melons, pumpkins, chile and green beans. Lorenzo was removed as an Indian agent because he protested against the Native Americans being furnished unwholesome food by the government.




Lorenzo Labadie's Grave
Born August 10, 1825
 Tome, Valencia County, New Mexico
Died August 10, 1904
Puerto De Luna, Guadalupe County, New Mexico

In1871 Lorenzo took out merchants license and opened a wine shop. There were vineyards and orchards in Puerto de Luna. I became very familiar with Puerto de Luna in those days because in 1880, 1890 and 1900 Lorenzo was the most precise census taker of Puerto de Luna and the surrounding areas of San Miguel County. (current day Guadalupe County) There is so much family history in these documents, including a records of Billy the Kid living and working on my great-great uncle's ranches. He taught my great uncle Hilario Valdez to speak and read English at the age of 7 in the evenings when the work day was done. Puerto de Luna was a thriving community at the time. I hope to some day write a book based on the information that Lorenzo collected in the pages of his census. I learned that my paternal grandmother Josefita was actually a Labadie and adopted by her mother's second husband in the 1900 Puerto de Luna census. He was her uncle and the information was very precise. He was also the Post Master of Santa Rosa from 1884 until 1898. In 1885 he signed a petition to get Rifles for Puerto De Luna. On February 2, 1893 he won a case against Celso Baca for cheating on the Election for seat on the 30th. Legislation Assembly of New Mexico as representation for Guadalupe County. Lorenzo was elected. It has been written that Benjamin Baca was the founder of Santa Rosa, New Mexico in 1890 but a historian from Santa Rosa says that Lorenzo Labadie was the founder. Nonetheless, they have both been named as two of the first settlers of Santa Rosa.

That was a very condensed version of what was going on with just a very few of my ancestors in "New Spain" when the thirteen colonies became the United States and shortly thereafter. It wasn't until January 6, 1912, three and a half short years before my father, Felipe Montoya Fajardo was born in Puerto de Luna, New Mexico that New Mexico became the 47th state.

Now when do we celebrate our "Independence?" 

Monday, January 23, 2017

An Open Letter from a Brown Writer to His Brown Daughters

 Women's March - January 21, 2017
Austin, Texas
I went to the Women's march on January 21, 2017, the day after perhaps one of the saddest days for America, if not the world. I thought the timing was a little off and I didn't know what to expect. What I experienced was possibly one of the most uplifting and healing days of my life. It was in perfect timing. I experienced solidarity and love. After the march, I sat under a tree on the Texas Capitol grounds and listened to Lloyd Doggett, then the next speaker was announced. There were hundreds of people in front of me so I couldn't see the stage, but like the voice of an angel, it seemed that Joaquin Zihuatanejo spoke to me and me only with his open letter to his daughters. It was as if the 18 year old version of me was hearing his words. I found myself wishing that someone would have said these words to me as a child. It touched me on a very deep level. Tears flowed down my face. I felt like a brown girl, in a sea of white friends, who never really felt like I belonged because the stories I read and heard my whole life, were not my stories. Texas history books didn't interest me, they didn't tell my story. It wasn't until I discovered Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me Ultima" that any story came close to telling my story.

Luna Chick
By Christina Fajardo

For the past 3 years, I have been researching my very rich Hispanic history that spans over a 500 year time period from Spain to New Mexico and then finally, in my generation, to Texas.  I thought that in a couple of years I would have all my information collected and organized, I would write a book about my ancestors to pass down to the generations that come after me. I have come to realize that I will never be finished collecting information, however, the information keeps coming to me and I will continue to write until I leave this Earth. I have come to realize that I am the chosen one of my generation, the spirit and the words of my ancestors come through me and I must respect that. I have a responsibility to write. My mother was the one of her generation, my son Christian keeps our heritage alive by cooking our native food at his restaurant and now I see that my great-niece Ava is at prolific writer. She wrote a story about her trip to Big Bend and presenting it to her grandmother for Christmas.


Christian - Taco Circus - St Louis

Ava writing on the floor at our Christmas family gathering

I am taking Joaquin's advice. I am just going to write. Thank you Joaquin from the bottom of my heart. You will find the transcript of his essay/poem written to his daughtersAiyana and Dakota
And 50,000 of his closest friends in Austin, Texas, as read from the steps of the Texas State Capitol Building for Women Rising

Click here to see the---> video of Joaquin Zihuatanejo
speaking at the Women's March
Produced by ZGraphix Productions
An Open Letter from a Brown Writer
to His Brown Daughters
Who Both Dream of Writing

JOAQUIN ZIHUATANEJO·
Father, Teacher, Poet
© 2017 by Joaquín Zihuatanejo

1. Write. Just write. Be it poem or prose, true or false. Get it out of you and onto the page. I firmly believe we would have more Brown readers if we had more Brown writers. You have a responsibility here, as do I, not to ourselves but to that skinny 10 year old girl from the barrio or from the fields who has read 27 books from beginning to end in her short life and never loved one of them completely because she has yet to read a story that sounds like hers.

2. For every white male writer a teacher assigns you to read, find a Latina writer to read as well. Don’t let anyone tell you the numbers will never add up. I’ll get you started with a short list here:

Julia Alvarez, Sandra Rodriguez Barron, Sandra Benitez, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Denise Chavez, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Angie Cruz, Cynthia Cruz, Natalie Diaz, Laura Esquivel, Christina Garcia, Ada Limón and Esmeralda Santiago

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.....
Estos son sólo algunos entre la multitud.
These are merely a few among the multitude.

3. You don’t have to go to far off galaxies in your mind’s eye for ideas for poems. Start in your grandmother’s kitchen, en el jardin de su madre. Listen to lovers quarrel at the taquería, watch closely as the tortillas bubble and blacken on the comal, feel your tía’s hands as she returns home from the fields, or the classroom, or the office. There are poems and stories all around you just waiting to be found. Sometimes you don’t even have to look for them. We are a loud people. We argue loudly. We love loudly. We live loudly. Sit in the middle of all that noise. Silence yourself, and the poem will find you.

4. In many stories they, and in some instances we, assign our women characters to the role of curandera, or field worker, or maid, or nanny. And they are those things. Those things are honest and good and worthy of being written about. They should be written about. But I challenge you to remember that they are also poets, and teachers, and doctors, and senators, and dreamers, and song singers, and majority vote getters in Presidential elections. When you are creating your characters, many times inspired by living breathing women, you must remember who you come from, who you are, and who you are destined to be.

5. When writing a story or poem you must know that sometimes the word for what you want to say does not exist in English, in those moments I implore you to fall back en la lengua de sus Abuelas, the tongue of your grandmothers. A little white cross beside the road to mark the spot where someone has tragically died, is sixteen English words trying to say one thing, one undeniably tragic and poetic thing, but even with all those words, it still falls short. Pero la palabra in Español, but the word in Spanish...descanso...yes, that says it all perfectly.

6. It won’t always be this way, but for now, many editors, many publishers, many men will see you as Brown. See you as woman. Before they see you as equal. Before they see you as anything else. Perhaps for your daughter or theirs it will be different, but you must know at times the fight is rigged. Unfair. But you are your mother’s daughters, even before you are my daughters. If that means anything, it means this: you will fight. You will write.
You will write the wrongs of this world.

7. You come from women who grew things from the land. Food from the earth. Food for their people. Something from nothing. Photosynthesis is a fancy word they made up to define our magic. A magic that exists in you. Remember that magic when you stare at the blank page. Remember that magic when they try to make you feel less than. You, strong Brown women, were born to rise. 

8. Your strength is stronger than their ignorance.

9. Trust your voice my daughters. It took me a lifetime to learn that. Don’t let it take you as long. Know that the world is ready for your voice. Your time is now. We are listening. I am listening. I am listening to every single one of you. I’ve grown weary of my own voice. I want to hear yours. Like you, I hope that my writing changes someone, heals them, charges them to act. But I’m too close to my own writing for it to have that affect on me. I’m waiting for your poem, your story to save me in every way a person can be saved. So speak, sing, write. Press the pencil down hard when you do. Trust me when I say, you will leave an impression on things you were not intending to impress.

10. Your heart is free. Have the courage to write from that place inside you where love resides, where beauty resides, where freedom resides. When you do, you will come to the undeniable truth that no man can ever build his wall around your voice.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Billy the Kid in Puerto de Luna - Part Two

I am hoping that one day my family's story will become a book. It makes it all that more interesting when you have a character like William Bonney woven into every corner of the story in the1880's when Puerto was a lively community. I only wish my mom and dad were alive so they could see it on paper. 

As I mentioned, William Bonney spent a lot of time at the Grzelachowski General Store. When I was 16 years old, living with my Grandma Rosita, there was a small store/ gas station next door to what used to be the Grzelachowski General Store. My first cousin Percy Padilla and I worked there on the weekends. It was a 2 roomed adobe building painted light green on the exterior. There was a pool table in one room and canned goods, sodas, candy and gasoline that we sold to the locals. The locals would come by to put their quarter on the table to take their turn at pool and another quarter for a soda. I didn't have a clue what had taken place in that very location a century before. I would have asked a lot more questions of the old men that came in for cigarettes and gas. Bobby Gerhardt was one of my favorites. He was a tall, blue eyed rancher with the a golden farmer's tan. He always had a grin and joked with everyone he met. He spent evenings at my grandma's smoking cigarettes and drinking a cold one with with my uncle Jose Padilla out in the screened in porch. 

Bobby Gerhardt's nightly visits meant a little more to me when I realized William Bonney also spent time on a ranch just down the road from Puerto de Luna in Los Ojitos. The ranch was owned by Dr. John Gerhardt, a German immigrant born May 23, 1830. There were twenty children in his family. He and two of his brothers landed in New York before he moved to New Mexico. He lived in Fort Sumner for a year working as baker-pastry maker, the profession for which he had been trained in Germany. He then bought a ranch in Guadalupe County and spent the remainder of his life as a rancher and physician. John was the only practicing doctor in the vicinity. I remembered stories of my Grandma Rosita's older brother Hilario being married to Dr. John Gerhardt's daughter Katie, however they didn't marry until February 1900. Hilario was the Gerhardt Ranch foreman for many years prior to marrying his daughter. Later Hilario and his wife Katie had a ranch in Los Ojitos and Grandma Rosita Valdez Padilla and my Grandpa Ascencion Padilla had an adjoining ranch. I'd heard the old folks speak of all of these characters my whole life but didn't pay much attention to the half English and half Spanish conversations and private jokes that they had shared for years. When I started doing the research I adopted a cat named Katie and then another named Rosita, it wasn't planned, they came with the names of my grandma and her sister-in-law. Often, as I drank tea engrossed in my late night research, I imagined the sister-in-laws, Kate and Rosita, cooking posole together as they tended to fire in the wood burning stove and the children playing on the dusty wooden floor of their adobe house while their husbands, Hilario and Ascencion worked the ranch.


Los Ojitos Ruins more than a century after the flood

My grandparents later moved to Puerto de Luna because the ranch in Los Ojitos was flooded.
It took me years to piece together immensely important information in a collection of the 1880 census documents and one page of the 1890 census. All of these census documents were filled out by my 3rd great-uncle, Lorenzo Labadie and since he was related to many of the people in the area, all the information was extremely accurate. These documents gave me not only the timeline for the family history but a birds eye view of the the closeness of the small community that my mother and my father's family lived in.

Needless to say, in the wee hours of the night while doing research, I felt like I came to know Lorenzo and grew to respect him as a person. He was a key player in helping me piece together my family history. Our family history. Because of him, I have been driven to do the same for those that go after me.



Lorenzo was described as a handsome, honorable man who wore many hats. He was the grandson of my 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Dominique Labadie, an immigrant from Gascony, France. Lorenzo married Rayitos Giddings, a beautiful blue-eyed 14-year-old called "one of the fairest daughters of the territory," in February 1852. Rayitos was just as colorful in her own right. She was raised and educated by her great aunt, Maria Gertrudis Barcelo, AKA Madame La Tules, an intriguing, free-spirited woman who dominated Society in Santa Fe. She was known as one of the best professional gamblers in New Mexico. Rayitos later became a well known doctor. On the day of their wedding, as a wedding gift, Lorenzo received a commission from Governor James S. Calhoun as colonel of the territorial commission. In 1851 he was the Sheriff in Valencia County where he served 3 terms. Like his friend Kit Carson, he was a sympathetic and a loyal friend to many of the Native Americans. In 1855 he was appointed as a U.S. Indian Agent and served for 15 years. He gained respect and confidence seldom obtained by the Native Americans as an Agent. Under his watchful eye, the Native Americans worked side-by-side with soldiers, damming the Pecos River to irrigate crops, planting trees, and building a slaughter house. They had 94 gardens spread over a 100 acre area and grew melons, pumpkins, chile and green beans. He was removed as an agent because he protested against the Native Americans being furnished unwholesome food by the government.

Lorenzo was also the Post Master of Santa Rosa from 1884 until 1898. In 1885 he signed a petition to get Rifles for Puerto De Luna. On February 2, 1893 he won a case against Celso Baca for cheating on the Election for seat on the 30th. Legislation Assembly of New Mexico as representation for Guadalupe County. Lorenzo was elected. On June 29, 1896 he wrote a letter concerning the Agua Negra Land Grant. Juan Patron, his son-in-law who had been killed, owned part of that land grant.



Page 2 - June 1 and 2, 1880
Census Taken by Lorenzo Labadie
Santa Rosa, NM

So without the census that was recorded of 1880, in Santa Rosa, Puerto de Luna, Los Ojitos, Cedar Springs and Ft Sumner I would just have some scattered stories. However, on June 1 and 2, 1880, Lorenzo recorded the census of Santa Rosa which included himself, his wife Rayitos and their children including Beatriz and her husband Juan Patron. (There's a book called "Juan Patron: A Fallen Star in the Days of Billy the Kid" Juan was a hero of the the Lincoln County War and was killed at a young age)



Page 22 - 1880 Census taken by Lorenzo Labadie
Ft Sumner, Cedar Springs and Los Ojitos

On June 17 and 18, 1880, he recorded Charles Bowdre, Manuela Bowdre and William Bonney with the two men stating that they worked in cattle. On the same page John Gerhardt and his family is listed (my Uncle Hilario's wife not listed because she wasn't born until 1882.) It took me over a year to find the next page of the census showing that on the next day, June 19, 1880 he was in the home of my Great-Grand Grandparents Febronio and Maria Valdez recording the various details of their home and 6 of their children (my grandmother wasn't born until 1884)



Page 23 - 1880 Census taken by Lorenzo Labadie
Puerto de Luna




The census for Puerto de Luna 1885 above shows many of the residents of Puerto de Luna. My Great-grandmother Dorotea Chavez is shown to be the wife of Juan Labadie y Sanchez, my great grandfather. My grandmother Josefita Labadie wasn't born until 1894. My Great-grandfather died in 1898, when my grandma was only 4. Interesting because my grandma died when my dad was 4 too. Anyway, on this census there is a boarder at the home of Alexander Grzelachowski named Antonio Montoya. He married my Great-grandmother Dorotea Chavez after Juan Labadie y Sanchez died.

Lorenzo Labadie was also the census taker in 1900 in Puerto de Luna. This was probably the most important discovery of all for me on my journey to discover my father's past. My father's name was Felipe Montoya Fajardo. We were always told that my paternal grandmother's last name was Montoya, I never knew her because she died in Puerto de Luna when my father was 3 of the Spanish Influenza.



1890 Census taken by Lorenzo Labadie
Puerto de Luna

On the 1900 Puerto de Luna census, Lorenzo recored Antonio Montoya as head of household with wife Dorotea. I thought I had hit the jackpot, finding my great-grandparents but with further examination I saw that the six children were listed as step-children to head of household and their last names were listed as Labadie. That was when I discovered that my grandmother Josefita was in fact a Labadie not a Montoya and this started my long journey down the Labadie branch of my family history. My great-grandfather Juan Labadie y Sanchez died before my grandma was seven and she was adopted by her stepfather Antonio Montoya. I've often wondered what kind of relationship Lorenzo had with Dorotea, his deceased older brother's widow and mother of his nieces and nephews listed as Montoya's stepchildren. On the 1880 census Antonio Montoya was not yet married to Dorotea and and working as a "servant" at the Grzelachowski General Store.

Lorenzo died on his birthday, August 10, 1904
In Puerto De Luna, New Mexico.