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Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Dick Chenault
Interviewed by Gloria Campbell
Translated by Alonzo Martinez
Q. Have you always lived here?
A. I came here when was two years old. Here and there, lived here always.
Q. When were you born?
A. I was born in 1910.
Q. Where did you come from?
A. I came from Rio del Oso, near Walsenburg. It is called Rito del Oso-Santa Clara. This is the county of Huerfano near Rio del Oso. In 1912 my father bought this place.
Q. How many acres did he buy?
Q. Now you have more acres, right?
A. Yes, now we have the ranch that belonged to him. It was the ranch that belonged to my father Benigno. Then Zekie bought more land farther down. The ranch we have now has 500 acres.
Q. Why did your father come here?
A. He came because he had a ranch here but did not have no water rights and he harvested very little. Some years he did, some years he didn't. In the dry years he didn't harvest anything. In rainy years he harvested a lot. We did not have any water rights on this dry land. He bought this ranch because it had water rights.
Q. Can you tell me what you know about the water rights?
A. Well I can tell you now of the eight water rights of the community. The ditch that we have is called the Maes Company Ditch, it is named after my uncle. They weren't my uncles but belonged to my father. They had ranches. Another ranch belonged to my uncle George. There lived 3 uncles of my father.
Q. What was his name?
A. One of them was named Tomas Maes. The other was named Electo Maes, and the other was Benito Maes.
A. Electo, he lived there. There were three of them. There were eight rights. And when they homesteaded there, a man by the name of Salas, Denicio Salas, cousin of my father, and one Gabriel Baca homesteaded above them.
Q. Do you remember their names?
A. Yes. I can tell you by the paper. I have been the Mayordomo of the ditch for a long time.
Q. What does the mayordorno of the ditch do?
A. Well, he takes care of the ditch and he sees that everybody gets their share of the water and if the ditch needs work he does it. He calls his partners to help fix it. It is there in this paper.
Q. It says here 1874. The owners of the ditch were Milterno Ramirez, Rumaldo Rivera, who had a ranch below. The other one was Francisco Antonio Martinez, Francisco Trujillo, and Gabriel Baca and the other Demacio Salas. They homesteaded this ranch. Also the Cisneros and the Bravos and the Riveras from here below. And three of my uncles.
Q. How did you decide who would have water rights?
A. I don't understand this very well, but I know that they homesteaded. Prior we got the rights from the same government. In this paper it says how much water belonged to each person. They called it township 27, south range 71. Here the water rights are 3 cubic feet per second of time from the ditch.
Q. This is a good right isn't it?
A. Oh yes. It is reed. They are called reed and quillan. That is one right. But reed is better. That is how we registered the water at that time. It was called reed, and quillan was the other right. That was one of the rights we had on this side. It was called Madril Ditch and the other was called Maes Company Ditch. And this was called Quillan.
Q. And did the people get along well concerning the water?
A. Oh, we used to have difficulties, but it has been a few years since we haven't had any.
Q. Why isn't there any water?
A. Well here is the reason. When there was a little water we had difficulty and everybody tried to take their share. Then we didn't have any troubles. I remember this ranch that belonged to Rumaldo Rivera, who was my father's cousin. That ranch belongs to us now. Do you remember Manuel Gallegos? That ranch belongs now to the Garcias. Well that man had a ranch above the hill and he was the man that took the water from Rumaldo Rivera. He had difficulties. He took a shot at Rumaldo Rivera. He was old already and Gallegos was a young man. He shot him in the head and just about killed him. We had difficulties then. We had difficulties with this class. Another time they took the water away from us when it was our turn to water. I was very young then. They had a man watching all the time. When we went to get water there wasn't any, but we went after the water and we opened the ditch to take the water. We always tababamos in the ditch. So we didn't know who was stealing the water. Since I have been the majordomo we haven't had any difficulties. Since I am the majordomo I see to it that everybody gets his share when it is his turn to get the water, if it is 24 foras for each man and 24 foras for me and like that. So we don't have any difficulties.
Q. Do you remember what your fathers name was?
A. Juan Rosario Maes.
Q. And your mother?
A. My mother was named Joanna Burns.
Q. Burns? Was she an American?
A. No, half, just half.
Q. Was she from here?
A. Yes, she was from here. Her father was named John Burns. This man came from Fort Garland, you know. All the soldiers came from there and married Mexicans. There is where John Burns married my grandmother. And the Reynolds married other Mexicans. And the Kings married other Mexicans. All the soldiers from Fort Garland used to come here. And there lived Captain Deus in Malachite. He lived there. He was the first one that came. His son was named Pedro Dice. He was a judge. He was the one that married them. And then the ranch of my Grandpa John Burns, after he died belonged to McIntyre. It was his first ranch. And then he bought a ranch that belonged to Margarito Bernal. That ranch belonged to him also.
Q. He had cattle right?
A. He had a lot of cows and a lot of land. He had renters, as they called them, who helped him out at the ranch because he could not work it alone. He was a freight carrier. He ran the wagon train from Gardner when the old Hudsons ran the store. He ran the freight.
Q. This Burns, did he have the land for a long time?
A. Yes. He had it for a long time, until he went to the other side of the rnountain. He died there. On the other side of the mountain, in the Valley of San Luis.
Q. Did your mother stay there?
A. Yes. She stayed there because my father lived there. She lived on the ranch that belonged to McIntyre. Maybe you have seen some pine trees near Junior Aguirre's house. That's where they have their houses. That's where my father and mother married. They met at the school. They both went to school in Malachite. I started school in Maitland because my sister, the oldest one, Requiteria, now my brother-in-law works in the mine. They took me just after they were married and I was very young. That's where I started school. Then I came here. Then I went to Pass Creek. I had a lot of teachers. I had a teacher named Mr. Coon and I had Evita Springer. Then I went to Gardner at the school, it was a convent. I went there several years. I had a teacher named Sister Lucy. She was my teacher.
Q. Did you do alright at the Convent? Were they very strict?
A. Oh yes, they were very strict. We had to go to church before the classes started and make our orations, then we went to school, then we had to salute the flag. All that before we started classes.
Q. Did you like that?
A. Not very much, because we had to study Catholic Books, and Catholic Histories and Rostros. In those times we didn't speak English very well, and the teachers did not know Spanish and we had a lot of trouble. But we were not discriminated against, nor here either. Here Mr. Quinn has us doing exercises almost all day.
Q. Who went to that school with you?
A. Almost all my uncles went. I went with Gaspar Rodriguez, I went with the Valdezes, Moises, Joaquin and Jimmy. I went also with Carolina Vasquez. I went with the Addingtons, with Lowell Addington and Mary.
Q. Where did they live?
A. They lived in the ranch that you used to live. The Koskoves live there now.
Q. The winters must have been very hard right?
A. Very hard. It snowed every night and it was very cold. When we came from school, near Rogerio Cisneros house, there lived a woman named Meclovia Montelongo. We stopped there to warm ourselves then we came home.
Q. Where was the school?
A. The school was by the house of the old man Luis, below the hill.
Q. Is that where the teacher lived?
A. No, she lived in the home of the Gallegos.
Q. Did you have a sleigh to go to school?
A. We did not have a sleigh. Sometimes we went on horseback. We had him tied up all day long. Then we rode the horse back home. And then my Brother-in-law, Cedricao Bravo, went for his nephews. His nephews were Tony Bravo and Rosita Bravo. He went after them in a horse wagon and they gave us a ride home.
Q. Can you tell me of the celebrations that you had?
A. Well, what I remember is we had celebrations on the day of Santiago and the day of Santa Ana in Gardner. You know, dances, and they brought in a circus also. And the cages. I don't know the people that brought them in but they came from other places. But the dances were put on by the people of the community, there in Gardner.
Q. Did you participate?
A. Only in the dances.
Q. Who played at the Dances?
A. Tomas Trujillo and Renaldo Salas. They played at the dances always.
Q. Can you tell me what your father and mother talked about the olden times?
A. Well yes, when I was very small here in the ranch, we neighbors helped each other to harvest. We cut the grass for the cattle . We cut the grain, then we brought it over to the goats……They watered the ground and pressed it down real good and we harvested the beans. With the horses we went round and round over the pile until it was ground up. Then we threw it in the air and we took out the chafe. Then we helped each other plaster each others houses. That's the way they did in the old houses. Sometimes the Riveras came over and helped mother plaster the house. Then mother went over and helped them. That's the way they treated each other. Not everyone, but at least the close neighbors helped each other.
Q. Because the people who had horses and wagons could go to other communities, right?
A. We went to Chama to church. Even to Gardner we went to church in a horsewagon. We even went to Walsenburg in a horsewagon to bring provisions. It took us 3 days. In one day we went to Badito. We had lunch there and rested the horses, then we went to Walsenburg. The next day we went and we bought what we needed. In the morning we left and traveled until we got to Badito. And then we arrived here. Three days. We didn't do that very often because my father harvested a lot of wheat here which we took to La Veta. There was a flour mill in La Veta. He took and ground about a thousand pounds of wheat. He harvested a lot of beans here. He also fattened a lot of pigs. Then he killed the young heifers. A cow. Well then he had all the meat he needed for a meal.
Q. Did the road thru Pass Creek go thru here?
A. Yes. The road went thru here below La Veta. There were no automobiles then.
Q. How much time would it take him?
A. From here to La Veta it took him one day. Another three days because one day they were going, another day to measure what they took home, and another day to return.
Q. What does your mother do at the ranch?
A. She made a garden there. She cultivated beans with the rest of us.
Q. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
A. There were 4 brothers and 3 sisters. That makes 8.
Q. How is it that the rest left here and you didn't?
A. When all these defense jobs came from the government, there were good jobs and good salaries. They went to work at the defense jobs and they left here. This place belonged to my father. Since my father died, my mother divided the property in 8 parts. There was 170 acres, 20 acres apiece. And then I began to buy the parts from the others. Then they bought houses where they worked and I stayed in this place.
Q. How about sports? Games? What did you play?
A. We played pelota, baseball in school, Indy—over. We threw the ball over the house and they caught it on the other side.
Q. Did they have Rodeos?
A. No. Only when they came to Gardner.
Q. Did the people get together and have horse races on Sundays?
A. I don't remember myself, but I heard my mother talk about it. They played like kings. They played a game like they were kings. Like when Christ came to this world. The story, or a play, they do it there down on the plains below. Because my father played the part of Bartolo. Bartolo was a very lazy man and another person portrayed the devil. Mother portrayed the Virgin. Another portrayed Christ. And others played the Apostles, and that is the game they played. That's what the sheep herder says.
Q. Did you work very long on this ranch?
A. Oh yes. A lot. I worked here and I worked at the Mill. I worked 6 straight years there. I stayed in an apartment there. I worked here and there.
Q. When you were young what did you do?
A. My father had a lot of sheep. He had us in the mountain herding sheep. Brigido Rodriquez was there also. Maybe you know about him. He bought me up also.
Q. Did you have a lot of sheep?
A. No, not many. We had about 200. They were pastured in the mountains.
Q. Did you shear the sheep?
A. No. My father did. That is how my father died. He was shearing sheep in Eureka, Nevada. He was bitten by a tick and he got blood poison there, and he died.
Q. He went out of the state to shear sheep then?
Q. Did he do other work?
A. Yes, here at the ranch. When he did work here, he had to bind grain. Then he also had to break horses. He broke horses for different people here. He went around and around until he broke them.
Q. Did your mother always live here?
A. She always did live here. She also lived in Walsenburg. She moved to Gardner and went to school in Gardner only.
Q. Did your brothers go to the convent?
A. Not all of them. The older ones didn't. My Brother Steven, my sister Greta, and my Sister Lucinda didn't. Of the younger ones, myself, Rosalia, Tony, Julian and Lucas.
Q. Did a lot of people live here before?
A. Oh yes. The Riveras lived here on the other ranch. The Cisneros, the Valdezes, and below here, the Bravos. They were the ones that lived near by.
Q. Did you celebrate on feast days?
A. Oh yes. We went to church. We celebrated the day that the missionaries had. The priest did not attend. The missionaries came from other places and had the missions. Sometimes they lasted a week. They were religious holidays.
Q. What do you remember of the law?
A. Well I don't have much experience with the law, because I never had any thing to do with the law. But when someone did something wrong, well they punished him. The law was very strict. I think it was stricter then it is today. Today there is not too much law and order.
Q. Do you remember any outlaws?
A. Outlaws? All I remember is the stories. There was one outlaw whose name was Sam Jack. They killed him above the fort here. There was another one, his name was Candido Castillo. He was running away because he did something very bad. He killed and robbed a lot of people from Walsenburg to here. He was running away from the law and he was hiding in the fort. There was a man named Elesio Martinez who brought food for him to eat until they caught him. They shot at him. He fought them until he ran out of ammunition. And then he ran away to the top of the hill and they killed him there. That's where they killed him. I was very young then. At that time and I knew the story then. I knew that fort and Brigido Rodriquez, everybody knew him there. We spent our time digging out the bullets with our knives from the boards.
Q. Where was this fort at?
A. Above the house of the Cisneros. That man killed and robbed people or anybody he could. Who ever he could kill, he killed and then took their money. I don't know where he came from. I don't think he had a place to stay because he was always doing something bad. And of others, there was Gaspar Montes, who was stealing cattle. Maybe you heard about it. Oh yes, he stole cattle here. They took him to the penitentiary, but as soon as he got out, he did the same thing.
Q. How about the heros? Were they popular?
A. No. I don't know who could be a hero here. Well my father could be a hero here. In those times anyone who was a commissioner for a long time was Juan De Dios Montes. He was commissioner for many years.
Q. What kind of commissioner was he?
A. They claim he was a good commissioner. He is the one who made the court house in Walsenburg. His initials are still there. I don't remember what year it was, but remember his initials are still there and the year that they were made.
Q. Was he from here?
A. Yes, he was from here, From the ranch of Los Colmas. They belonged to him.
Q. Was he related to Gaspar Montes?
A. Yes, he was his father.
Q. He was a republican. When did the people change to democrats?
A. Well, Juan de Dios Montes had a lot of ranches. All these ranches of Colonies that Griffith had. They all had them, even all the way to Mosco. You could say they all belonged to him. He had a lot of sheep. He had a lot of renters. He rented a lot of places so that they could help him with the harvest or they worked on halves or for what every price. He had a lot. They claimed he was very mean with them. He treated them very bad. He always took away more then he should. The people started to get angrier and angrier until they changed to Democrats. No more could he earn more.
Q. Did the people all stay that way?
A. I don't remember another republican commissioner until Fred Dietz won.
Q. What can you tell me about him?
A. Well, he was pretty good for the republicans, but there were more republicans than democrats. He didn't last very long. Only one or two terms. Then Archuleta came in. Don Lupe Archuleta was a commissioner for a long time, and when he died his son Sabino took his place. He lasted a long time also. Well, until Condrado Martinez won.
Q. Did these Archuletas have a lot of money?
A. No they did not have a lot of money, but they had a lot of sheep and they had a lot of land. They could have been very rich if they managed well, but they did not manage very well.
Q. How did they get all of their land?
A. Well, Mano Lupe Archuleta, he was a good man and knew how to take care of things. He is the one who accumulated all of this land. And when he died he left all of this land to them. But they didn't know how to manage it very well, and they lost everything.
Q. Sabino, did he have much political power?
A. A lot. A lot of power. A lot.
Q. Why did he have so much power?
A. Well, there were a lot of Democrats. And you know, that when the party is on top, there is a lot of power in the party. When there is no power, that is when the party starts to divide. Some go one way and the others go the other way. And the party breaks up. But when the party is united, whether republican or democrat, it is very strong. The same as with any thing else. A united Pueblo has a lot of power.
Q. Why didn't it continue?
A. For the reason that, well, I don't know. When a person stays in one place a long time, he thinks that he can do what ever he wants. That is when he starts to mistreat the people. And they don't attend to their business as they should. That is when the turnover starts. I don't remember what year he was commissioner. It is there in the courthouse.
Q. Do you remember the depression?
A. Yes, I remember. Well in the depression we had hard times. There wasn't much work here. The lands were neglected, also they didn't produce anything. We had bad times for that reason. There was no work and there was no money. We harvested nothing. Well, we had to, well, that's when the welfare started. That's when the government started the WPA. The government started to help the people that way. The WPA, that's what they called it, that's where I worked. I worked on the road that goes to Westcliffe, building that road.
Q. What was there before, a path or what?
A. Yes, some very bad roads. All dirt roads. Roads for horses or horsewagons, but when cars started to come in they started to modify the roads better, and they started to work on the roads.
Q. Did you work there very long?
A. No, I didn't work there very long because they gave the work to the ones that lived nearby, and it wasn't a permanent job. They worked for a while then they fired them and then they hired others.
Q. Did you go from here?
A. Yes, from here.
Q. Every day?
A. Yes, there was a truck that took all of us to work, and in the evening he bought us back. One of these Barelas, Tobias Barela, was the trucker who took us every day.
Q. Was the truck his?
A. Yes, the truck was his.
Q. After the depression, how did things change?
A. Well, after the depression, the land started to produce, produce more and more. We started to raise animals, raise cattle, raise sheep, enough pasture for them to eat, grain. We didn't need welfare or work programs of that class.
Q. Did you go to the war?
A. No I did not go to the war. I happened to be in Wyoming. I worked for a big rancher. I herded sheep, mended fences, cleaned a table in the saw mill and the saw machine.
Q. When did you get married?
A. I was married twice. The first time in 1929, before the depression. My wife died in in 1936.
Q. Did she have a sickness or what?
A. Yes, well, she had polio when she was a young girl. She went to school in Chama, and then she got polio. From that she died. Her name was Juliana.
Q. Julia What?
Q. Was she related to Elfido Salazar?
A. Yes, she was a cousin of his father. And then I married Juanita in 1942. I knew her here. This was on the other side of the ranch. Then we came here. That's how I bought these places here. I had my twenty acres, then I started to buy more, and here we are.
Q. Were there any miners in your family?
A. Only two of my brothers, my oldest brother Steven. He worked in the mines here and Tony worked in the mines in Superior Wyoming.
Q. What did your brother Steven do in the mines?
A. I don't know what he did. He worked inside of the mine. I think he worked digging coal.
Q. Do you know if he worked estracque?
A. I don't think so. He worked a long time after that. Because we came to this area in 1912. I did not work until after I got married.
Q. Do you know anything about the Indians?
A. Only what my grandmother told me. She was from here. In those times when she was young, there were Indians here. She was very afraid of them. When the Indians came, the people ran away from this home. The roofs of the houses were made of earth. They used stepladders to get to the roof of the house. The Indians weren't very mean. All they wanted to do was eat. They came in. If they didn't let them come in, they would come in anyway and they ate, then they left. Then they came down from the roof.
Q. What kind of Indians were they?
A. I don't know. I don't know what kind of Indians they were, I don't know if they were Kiowas or what.
Q. Did the Mexicans marry Indians?
A. I think some did. I don't know, but I think so. Because my grandmother, her name was Maria Ignacia Maestas, married John Burns. And her other sister, named Lus Maestas, married an Indian, if he wasn't an Indian, he sure looked like an Indian. His name was Santos Balles, ugly as hell, and she was so pretty. She was such a beautiful woman, very light skinned. She had green eyes, and she married this ugly man.
Q. Did they live here?
A. Yes, in Pass Creek. Just below Pass Creek. There lived my aunt Lus with this Juan Santos. Santos was his name, Juan Santos, Santos Balles. Curious no? One married an American, and the other married an Indian,
Q. We suppose about the Indians, because the people, they can't tell us much about the Indians?
A. (Response is unreadable.) Then finally the Americans bought land and everything. We fought them up to the reservation. The government gave them the reservation. The ones that were pure Indians, they went to the reservation, But, the ones that were mixed with the Mexicans, they all had families. They became-I have cousins of my mother, these Balles. A lot of them lived here, One of them is Luis Balles, and another is named Santos Balles, like the grandfather. They were sons of cousin Oligario Balles, also very Indian looking. They came out pure Indians, those. And that is how they started to mix up. The others, they put in the reservation. That is the story that my grandma told me.
Q. Was it different the way they farmed, aside from today's machinery and all that?
A. Oh yes, with a team of horses. With a team of horses they plowed the land with wooden oak plows. As they were plowing, they were putting the seed in the ground. That's the way they plowed. They had planters that planted the seeds. That is the way they planted the beans and the grain. They spread the grain a lot more that way, and then they covered it with the dirt. Then they raked it. For the harvest, the neighbors got together and with real small knives, they would cut the grain and tie them up in bundles. It was very hard work in those days.
Q, How about the Americans that lived here?
A. The ones that I remember of were the Martins and the Bensons and here on the other side, the Addingtons and the Caldwells and the Theys, Bruce They, they were all from here.
Q. How did they get along with the people?
A. They got along very well. The Spanish and them got along very well. They were very good neighbors. We did not have any trouble. Even now, I get along with everybody. Since I remember, I haven't had any difficulties with them, nor they with me. We get along fine.
Q. Did very many Mexicans work for them?
A. I worked for Harvey Caldwell a long time. Every summer, because I did not have much to do here. I cut grass, alfalfa, bunched it up and piled it.
Q. Did you receive a lot of money for this work?
A. No, they did not pay anything. We worked all day for $1.50. What kind of money was that? There was no salary in those days. Not like now. Oh no, no, I worked as low as a dollar a day and board. That's hard. But in those days, also everything was cheap. With a dollar I could buy 100 pounds of flour, a pair of shoes, a dollar and a half. Now they cost $30.00. In those days everything was very cheap, but we did not make very much. A dollar and a half, no more. That's what Harvey Caldwell paid us to work for him.
Q. Did very men work for him?
A. A lot, a lot.
Q. During the summer only?
A. During the summer. Some worked also in the winter. Because he had a lot of pigs and milking cows.
Q. How did the Americans get the land that the Mexicans had in the first place?
A. For the people that were born here and lived here homesteaded these ranches, they were always very poor and lived very poor, always. They never had enough to run a ranch how it should be run. Then they worked for other people that started to come here. They bought the ranches because they offered them money. They didn't know what it was to have money. They offered them little money and they took it away for nothing. Almost given away. These Americans got this as a gift, all these places as a gift. This place where Martin lives, I think he gave so many goats and an old wagon and a little money. The late Mr. Carino Martinez, they run him off to the hills and took his land very easily. Very easy. When an American spoke, they listened. And when they have a little money they take it away with nothing. The Mexican people were very nice with the Gringos.
Q. Why do you say that when the Americans talked the Mexicans listened?
A. Because when they spoke to them, they thought the Americans liked them alot. But they wanted to take everything they had from them. They were real nice with them while they took what they had. And besides, they had to go work for them later. Boy, terrible. Right now, they want to take what we have if they can. They will try. They have come to buy me out lots of times, but I don't want to sell to them. Many who have sold out to them, what do they have now? Those Archuletas, they had so much land, cows and everything, well they don't have nothing now, none of them. Well, now, the ones that have refused to sell are me, the Cisneros, Brigido Rodriquez, your dad. Everything here belongs to someone else. They don't belong to the former owners. Everything here in Pass Creek, the Garcias belong to the Hurberts and below the Vasquez belongs to someone else or to other people. Money, money is what has made everything.
Q. Did the situation change when the people used to help each other and then they left someplace else to live?
A. When these defense jobs for the government, that's when things changed. They started to pay more and more salaries, and they left their places alone. And then what ever they offered them for the land, they sold it, and they did not want to come back. Now they do. Now some have come back. This ranch that I bought from two brothers and two sisters, I bought their part, because their husbands went to work at defense plants in Pueblo at the Ordinance and Steel Works, and construction jobs, and all those places to make money. They left their places. They are sorry now. They say now that they would like to have their places now, to come and make a shack, just to have a place to live. But it is to late now.
Q. Will you be very happy here?
A. Yea, that's the way it is.
Q. Does one of your family live here?
A. Yes, there is two here in Pass Creek.
Q. Where was the Morada?
A. Here as you go up the hill, that's why they call it the hill of the Morada.
Q. What can you tell me about the Morada?
A. All I can tell you is that we used to go to the Stations of the Cross there and pray. Me, don't know what they do. I never was a penitente. In this Morada, two of my brothers were penitentes, Tony and Lucas. They don't want to say anything. Once they enter they make them swear to say nothing, so you won't know nothing. One doesn't know what they say.
Q. Were there a lot of penitentes there? Was it a big Morada?
A. Oh yes, there are a lot of penitentes. Oh yes, there are a lot of people there that I know of. I know a lot of Penitentes. Like Santiago Garcia, my brother-in-law Diego Garcia, Moises Valdes, my brother-in-law and his father. The late Luis Vigil and some of his sons. Alberto Vigil also was a penitente. There was a lot of them.
Q. Isn't there a penitente called the Penitente Major?
A. Yes there is. The brother mayor, the amano Mayor was the father of Luis Vigil.
Q. And the Stores?
A. Well, the stores, as I remember in my time were two. Redwing was one and the other of Charlie Addington. And there was his uncle who had two stores then. Tobias Rivera. Then it belonged to Mr. Stacy. He had two stores there for a long time. There was a lot of people there, in Chama there were a lot of people. There are a lot of people here.
Q. Were there two stores at the same time there?
Q. Did they sell the same things at the stores?
A. This store where Pauline Valdez lived, was a general store. They sold everything. They even sold horseshoe nails, carpenter nails and grain and Duras. And the other store, no. The other store, they sold goods, furnishings and clothes.
Q. Who owned this store?
A. Mr. Stacy. Over there in the white house that is near the Paloma, it is on one side of the store.
Q. In what years did he have the store?
A. It was about, I think, 36, when my wife died, and I did business there at Stacy's store. I went to the other store because he helped me more with clothes and furnishings. In Gardner we went to Hudsons store. Agneses store belonged to the Hudsons also. Of the old people, Hudsons, he was the one that bought antote from my grandfather who ran the freight to the Hudsons. He used to bring the freight to the Hudsons. They had the store until they sold it.
Q. Did the people hunt a lot of deer?
A. Yes, I think they did hunt a lot of deer. Me, never, Me, I haven't ever killed a deer. It's not because I haven't tried, but, they do kill a lot these days.
Q. Do you have anything to say about the Chistes?
A. But I'm going to tell you one thing about the Chistes. I know a lot of Chistes. But my father, before he died, he told me cuentos and chistes does not help you. That's the reason I can't tell you anything about them. He did not want me to go around telling stories, chistes, cuentos, rumors and tattle tales and stuff like that.
Q. About the history of the witches, don't you think those stories are part of the culture, because a lot of our people still talk about and a lot people still think there are witches?
A. Well, I don't think there are witches. I don't believe it. But think there is echiceras. Echiceras are something almost like witches. They are things that can change people and make them do what they want, and things like that. But, the stories of the witches, a lot of them, could be true. Like lies. A lot of them are lies. Some possibly could be true. Well, some people say that they can do harm. They can do harm with some foods. Before, they used to say there were a lot of witches. They would walk in these mountains on fire, jumping pines. In those mountains over there and here, but I never saw anything like that. Others say that they have seen balls of wool turning and turning, and they would cross the roads as you traveled them at night. I don't believe none of that. I think they were tumble weeds. And they thought it was a ball of wool rolling around. Now a days a bail of wood is worth a lot of money. Me, I would be gathering up these balls of wool on the road.
Q. Do you think there is Echiceras?
A. I my self, I say that there is Echiceras, because the word of God, the bible says that in the older times there were Echiceras. They were like witches that did bad things and all that. But when they heard the word of God and the light shone, they burned all those books. Over 3 million Dinerios they say those books were worth and they burned them all.
Q. What kind of powers did they have?
A. They had so much power, that whom they wanted to bewitch, they bewitched. If a man bewitched a woman, he took her. And if a woman bewitched a man, she took him. Gustanole had those powers. That's what they said anyway. Or else they made them sick. They put a sickness on them. Some said they turned them into a rooster. I don't know if it is the truth or not. See nothing like that, nothing, nothing. They say that a woman turned her husband into a rooster. She had a boy friend and she had a husband. When her husband came home, she turned her boy friend into a rooster and threw him out. A great big rooster.
Q. What do you think of this community? Is it going to change the mode of living?
A. I think things are going to change. That's the way I think now. Because right now I am studying the bible a lot. Cause it tells me times are going to change a lot. Because people who want to serve God are going to be a class of people of truth. And the other people are the people who do not want to serve God like he wants you to. It is going to be another class of people and there will be devotion. That's the way things are going now. The religions are separating a lot. You know that a lot of people who were Catholics are not Catholics now. Well, you see they are separating now. There are many Catholic people that are turned off by a lot of things they don't like. (Two sentences unreadable) Because all of us wait for the day of justice, that one day, there will be Judgement day. Good. Well when this Judgement comes, then God has to have people who are really serving him, not half way. Because there are two things. The people who want to serve God have to separate themselves from the evils of the world. The evils of the world are like drunkenness, humaderas, and bad words, and bad feelings among the people. You have to separate from all that to serve God like he wants. The people who do not want to separate from that, let them follow their drunkenness and their bad ways and their bad feelings for their neighbors and smoking Marihuana and all that. The other people have to separate themselves for their own good. There will be a change and this change is occurring right now. There will be a change until the end of time. The way I understand it, we are living in the last days. It is not the end yet. When the father meets his sons and the children meet the father and when the mother meets the daughter, and the daughter-in-law meets the mother-in-law it is the beginning of sorrows. You know what I mean.
Thank you for all that you have said.
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