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Lupe and Anna Pino
Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Sherry Cook
Date of Interview - 6-20-1979
Interviewed by Emilia Vallejos
Date of birth - 7-26-1900
Parents - Juan C. Vallejos and Theodora Gomez
Paternal grandparents - Miguel Vallejos and Paulita Martinez
Maternal grandparents - Pedro Jose Gomez and Isabelita St. Vrain
Family origin - U.S.
Location of first family settlement - Father - Costilla, NM; Mother - Taos, NM
This is an interview of Anna Vallejos Pino. It was done on June 20, 1979 in Hayward, California. She was interviewed by her niece, Emilia, who is the daughter of her brother, Juan Vallejos.
AP: Oh, my sisters and myself and my brothers. Well, I was very young when my oldest sister, Susie, got married. I was just about 5 or 6 years old when she got married. That I remember vaguely, about her wedding. My sister, Isabel, got married and about 3 years later. I was the next one to get married in 1919, and my brother, Claude got married a year later. And my sisters and brothers we all got along pretty good because my sisters were married when I was very young. My brother, John, he used to pick on me and he used to say that I picked on him, but I think he picked on me.
EV: You and daddy, what did he used to tease you about? Did he pick on you in a funny way?
AP: When my mother was gone from town, sometimes to stay up there for 3 days, and I'd have to fix dinner and my brother John, used to say all I knew how to fix was fried potatoes.
EV: Got that, right.
AP: but he made real good biscuits. So I said, “Well, you make biscuits and we'll eat some vegetables.” My brother Claude never said much. He was very quiet and my bother Tony. But, my brother John used to pick on me. We never got in a fight; he just liked to tease me. He said when I'd get mad my eyes would get red like fire.
EV: Is that right? He was just only kidding?
AP: Well, when my brother died, he said that my brother Tony was the youngest of the family and he passed away before we did and he told me after the funeral that I was going to be next.
EV: Is that right?
AP: When it was my time for me, I was ready. When my sister, Isabel, passed away in 1963 and then my brother Tony, then my sister Susy, and then my brother John and then my brother Claude. So here I am the last one of the family, I'm still alive in 79.
EV: 1900 was the year you were born?
AP: I was born in 1900, and I'll be 79 in July of 26.
We will now hear from Lupe Pino, who is Anna's husband. His family was also raised around this area.
EV: Did the neighbors cooperate in your old days when you lived over there?
LP: We always cooperated very well. We used to get along very well.
EV: What were the causes of people getting into fights over there?
LP I didn't quarrel with anybody.
EV: What type of transportation did you have?
LP: Well, we had horses. My first transportation, we had a burro and horseback and buggies.
EV: What was your first car?
LP: My first car was a Model T.
EV: Did you have to have a driver's license in those days?
LP: No, no driver's license.
EV: So, how old were you when you started driving?
LP: Well, I was 20.
EV: Did you know how to drive?
LP: Well, I took my brother's car to town and we decided to buy a car so my wife, Anna, drove one of the cars back and I drove the new one and cars were $495. That was brand new, that was including the extra tire chains and all that.
EV: How often did the people go to town?
LP: My folks generally used to go about twice a month.
EV: What kind of medical care did they have then?
LP: Well, we had doctors, same as we have today. Doctors were in the coal mines.
EV: They went to the farms?
LP: Yes, they went to the farms, anywhere. They used to ride the horse and buggy too.
EV: Did they ever get stuck out there in the rain and mud?
EV: What kind of holidays did you celebrate, when you used to live there?
LP: We used to celebrate Christmas and New Years, and one big holiday we used to celebrate was the 25th and 26th of July, and the 4th of July.
EV: Those were the biggest holidays?
EV: How important was the church in your community?
LP: It was very important. We didn't go to church every Sunday because the Priest only used to come twice a month. Not on Sundays, but weekdays.
EV: How did people settle their differences?
LP: Well, the used to use rocks and clubs.
EV: Did they really?
LP: I'm just kidding. We used to settle quarrels, sometimes friendly, sometimes not so friendly. Well, the law was the same as they are today. There were no outlaws or other things like that.
EV: What was it like in the early days, schools?
LP: Schools, before it used to be all children from the 1st grade to the 9th grade were in the same school, same room.
EV: What school did you go to?
LP: They used to call it Badito.
EV: Badito, what grade did you go to?
LP: I went to the 6th grade. That was all.
EV: How come you didn't go any further? Did you have to work at the farm?
LP: Because I was an old man already…I was 14, so I didn't go to school.
EV: Nobody went after they were 14.
EV: Was there any entertainment like there is now?
LP: We celebrated the 4th of July.
EV: I mean, like in town, like the dances…famous singers and stuff like that?
LP: We used to have races, rodeos…
EV: Did you used to go to dances and stuff like that?
LP: Yes, we used to go to dances pretty often.
EV: What dances were popular then?
LP: Well, country dances and wedding dances.
EV: Oh, I bet you and Aunt Anna were good dancers!
EV: How about you?
LP: We used to go to dances all the time.
EV: Do you think children are brought up differently than they are today?
LP: We were brought up to behave, to obey your elders and everybody else too.
EV: They had more respect?
EV: How did people choose their marriage partners? When you were looking for a wife, what were you looking for?
LP: Well, I was looking for a good looking girl. My parents didn't help me choose my wife. I did it all by myself. And they were very glad I picked the one I did!
EV: How old were you when you got married?
EV: How did you meet Aunt Anna?
LP: They used t live close to my sister. I used to see her there, sometimes. But when we met for the first time, face to face, in the dance.
EV: In the dance, you asked her to dance?
LP: Yes, well, I danced a few times before I asked for her hand.
EV: That's what you had to go through?
AP: He asked if I could be his sweetheart, but he didn't ask for my hand.
EV: You asked her to be you sweetheart before?
LP: I sure did!
EV: So, did you have a big wedding?
LP: Yes, we had a 2 day wedding.
EV: How come you celebrated for 2 days?
LP: That used to be the custom.
AP: The first day the bride's parents would make a pig, the first day before the wedding. The second day the groom's parents made the dinner and everything.
LP: I've been thinking that I was cheated, because nowadays, the parents of the bride do all the expenses.
EV: That's true.
LP: I did all the expenses, I don't regret it.
EV: Did you have buy, rent a tuxedo or you just wore a suit?
LP: I just wore a suit and I had to buy the bride her outfit.
EV: Aunt Anna's outfit?
EV: Did you choose it and not let her see it or did she see it?
LP: No, she did.
AP: His father and mother took me in the wagon.
EV: To Walsenburg?
LP: Yes, but not in the wagon, in a buggy.
EV: What did you do in Walsenburg, what kind of work did you do?
LP: I went to work in the coal mines. Of course, I was born and raised on a farm and I worked in the farm till I was about 16, and then I started working in the coal mines. I started working in the coal mines when I was 14, working outside.
EV: do you remember any of the political leaders when you were here?
LP: The first one I remember was Jeff Farr, J.D. Montez.
EV: Who were they?
LP: Farr was a sheriff, Harry Capps, then, a fellow by the name of Neilly.
EV: You were a cop, weren't you for a while?
LP: Yes….I worked on the city police for years.
EV: Did you like that?
LP: Yes, I like it, but during the war, Abby and I…were here in California so I decided to come out here. We've been here ever since. That was in '43.
EV: Who were their popular heroes, when you were young? Were there any popular heroes?
LP: No, I think everybody was a hero, I guess.
EV: Were there outlaws in the early days?
LP: No, not around Walsenburg.
EV: Cattle rustlers?
LP: Oh, there was a few cattle rustlers, not so many. There were more cattle rustlers that there was cops.
EV: What did people think of them?
LP: I think the cattlemen didn't think too much of them.
EV: Did the depression have any affect on the people that arrived?
LP: Well, it affected a lot of people but it didn't have any affect on us. 'Cause I was working for the government at that time, and I wasn't working too steady but we were getting by pretty good. My father, he was a farmer and my mother and they always had plenty, so that what they had. We used to get meat from them and milk and eggs and other things. So we didn't know what was the depression.
EV: And when you moved to California, what kind of work did you do over there?
LP: I was a painter.
EV: Painter? Painted houses?
LP: I started painting in a shipyard. Then, after the war was over I started working outside as a painter, and that's the only work I did here, until I retired.
EV: What was your mother's dad's name, Uncle Lupe?
LP: My father was Marcellino. (Pino)
LP: Yes, my mother.
EV: What was her maiden name?
EV: What else can you say about Walsenburg or the Huerfano County, any good remembrances form there?
LP: Well, I still like Walsenburg because I made my living there and I don't have no regrets living there.
EV: But you wouldn't go back there, would you?
LP: Well, I would like to go back to visit.
EV: Anything else you would like to say?
LP: No, I think that's about all.
EV: How about when you went to dances and stuff, did everybody have a real nice time, people dancing? How long did they stay when they went dancing?
LP: Oh late, generally danced till 12:00 or 1:00 o'clock.
AP: The band would never start till everybody got all the way up there to the dances at the ranch, up there at Butte. We'd dance up there until two or three o'clock in the morning. And sometimes we'd stall and we would start playing snowball. We would get out of our cars and start playing snowball, a whole bunch of us.
EV: Who drove home?
LP: I did.
EV: You did?
LP: Yes, we always had a car.
EV: Did you usually go by yourself to dances?
LP: Sometimes couples, two or three couples. We'd get together.
AP: Then we'd park.
EV: What do you have to say about your 50th and 60th Wedding Anniversaries?
LP: Well, I'm happy, I'm still healthy. I'm going to be 80 and I consider myself very healthy. I don't have no headaches, no stomach aches.
EV: It must be an experience to be able to get married three times?
LP: Yes, uh-huh. I think we ought to consider ourselves very lucky because we got wonderful children. We have wonderful great grandchildren. Flora is very good to us, and Ted and Lou, they're very nice. So we're very happy.
AP: Our son-in-law, Mel and ………….. are very nice to us. Our daughter-in-law and our grandchildren all are very nice to us, and my husband.
Below begins a narrative on the rest of the family.
EV: Anna's brother, Juan Vallejos, was born in Walsenburg on November (, 1895, and was raised on the ranch on the Huerfano River. He spent a short time in the Army during WWI and worked on the family farm with all the time except for a short period in 1944-45, when he was employed as a guard at Berkeley Field. He also sold meat and milk to the coal mining communities in this area. Juan lived with his son, John during his later years. He was deceased October 29, 1973. He had two children John Jr. and one daughter, Emilia, who did the previous interview. His wife was the former Lillian DeWell, who was deceased January 8, 1975. Anna's brother, Claude Vallejos, was also born and raised in Huerfano County, he was born February 11, 1898 on the family ranch near the Huerfano Butte. He managed the ranch until his retirement shortly before his death. He also served as a Deputy Sheriff for Huerfano County for 35 years. His wife was the former Elvira Martinez, she was deceased in '69. Claude had three children, Orlando Vallejos, who currently resides in Walsenburg, and a daughter, Gloria Dammeron from Littleton and another daughter, Susan Guerrero who lives in San Fernando, California.
Anna had two sisters who grew to adulthood and were married. They married Garcia brothers. Isabel and Frank had five children, they are: Margaret Valdez of Walsenburg, Ben Garcia of Walsenburg, Silvano, who lives in California, Julia Delcamper who lives in Chicago, and Amanda Arsally who lives in Texas. Suzy and Pete Garcia had several children too. Tony, Albert, and John now live in California. Frances lives in Texas. Their daughters Mary McClain and Beatrice Flash live in California. One of the girls is deceased but I am not sure which one. Their other son, Ralph lived in Walsenburg until he was deceased in November of “68. All of the Sr. Garcia's are deceased, Suzy being the latest. She also passed away in October of '68.
Anna and Lupe Pino, as you will learn in other parts of the interview had four children. They are Ted, Lucy, Epifandio, and their daughter Florenda, who is married to Dale Aragon. The Vallejos family had two other members. One daughter, Minnie, did not live to reach adulthood. She died during an epidemic, when she was 21. they had another brother, Tony, who's real name was Estanislow. He died of TB in his early forties. He had been married but he did not have children. I do not know any more about Tony. I stated earlier in the interview this family that we have been discussing, the Vallejos, are direct descendents of one Miguel Vallejos. Who was the self assumed patriarch of the colony in Cucharas that was known as “The Valley of the Spoon.” Ralph C. Taylor, in his article, “Colorful Colorado” in the Pueblo Chieftain, of May 14, 1978 describes a little bit about the lives and ways of the Vallejo family, when they first settled in Cucharas, The Valley of the Spoon. This interview continues later on the other side of the tape.
AP: Vallejos-Pino. I was a Vallejos before I got married. I married Lupe Pino in 1919. And we met at the farm and then my husband went to work in the coal mines and we lived in some of the coal mines. I was born and raised in Huerfano County and my father was a farmer, rancher and he raised cattle and sheep. We had pigs and chickens and used to make a garden. I went to the school at the farm for a few years and started to go to school in Walsenburg, the Parochial school. The people in the ranch used to get along very nice and the children were brought up much different than they are now. The were all very nice and cooperative and helpful, we used to help with the chores on the ranch, feeding the chickens and helping milk the cows and help in the garden and help in the home. The chores were washing dishes and help with the ironing and the housework. And in the evening we used to get together, the neighbors and play games. We all got along very nicely. I had some cousins living around there and my grandfather, Pedro Gomez, used to live on the next farm, next to ours. And my Uncle Felix St. Vrain lived across the river and we used to visit him once in a while.
EV: How did the neighbors cooperate in the early days, Aunt Anna?
AP: I think they cooperated very well, they got along just fine. There were very few troubles with each other. Except every once in a while over the water rights, or over the cattle getting into each others farmland. Every once in a while they had a little trouble but not much. I remember one time my father told two neighbors, two brothers, Russians that lived over by the Butte not to be leaving the gate open, and he took the gun and went up there to see if they would close the gate. And I went after him. I followed him. He didn't see me, I was standing in back of him, when he was facing these two guys, and I was afraid he would get into trouble, but there was no trouble that time.
EV: Nobody shot anybody?
AP: Nobody, no.
EV: What type of transportation did you use?
AP: Mostly horse and buggy to go to town. And we only went to town about once a week or every two weeks. Because we had, on the ranch we had, butchered some beef, and pigs and sheep. We had lamb and beef and chickens and everything else we had on the ranch. Didn't go to town very much.
EV: When you went to town, what did you have to buy at the store?
AP: Well, mostly staples, like flour and sugar, not much vegetables. We had vegetables in our garden at the ranch.
EV: What did you have to pay then as to what you have to pay now?
AP: Oh, why much less than now, no comparison.
EV: In the stores, did you have to go through lines like you do here?
AP: No, no. We went and the clerk would ask what we wanted and bring it to us. We never went and picked what we wanted.
EV: Is that right?
AP: Yeah, we never went and picked the things from the shelves. The clerk would bring you what you wanted.
EV: You don't get that kind of service now. What kind of medical care was there in those days?
AP: Well, the doctors would come to the house and they would even go out to the ranch if we needed a doctor and we weren't able to go to town or the doctor would come to the house.
EV: Did they charge you? When they got there?
AP: No, you didn't have to pay, my father paid, I guess, I don't know. Whenever he went to town.
EV: And they just charged whatever they wanted to?
AP: Oh, I guess so. I don't remember how much they charged or what. It was nothing compared to now.
EV: Do you remember the doctors that were there?
AP: One was Dr. Chapman, Dr. Trout, Dr. Noonan.
EV: Were they from Walsenburg?
AP: Walsenburg, yes.
EV: What diseases did people fear the most?
AP: People feared mostly Diphtheria, and Scarlet Fever or Typhoid Fever. That's the one that took the most people.
EV: What was the cause of Scarlet Fever?
AP: I don't know what was the cause of scarlet fever. But, typhoid fever was most caused by the bad water, and diphtheria, I don't know what caused it.
EV: But there were people in your family that died from these diseases?
AP: My sister, Minnie, died at 21 in 1913, she had typhoid fever. My brother had it too but he survived.
EV: What kind of medication did they give for that?
AP: I don't remember, cause I was thirteen years old and I don't remember.
EV: Did they go into a coma?
AP: Well, I don't remember, my mother was in town with my sister and brother when they were sick. She kept them in town because my mother and dad had a home in town on Seventh Street. And my mother stayed with them there and we were at the ranch. I stayed at the ranch.
EV: Were there any special remedies that the people used back then?
AP: For some sort of a thing they did use some remedies, herbs and stuff at the ranch. There were a lot of things that we didn't have to go to the doctor in town. We could cure them around the house. There were a lot of remedies.
EV: I bet a lot of people didn't believe in help?
AP: I guess that was before my time. But in my time people did believe in doctors. My father and mother did believe.
EV: What kind of holidays did people celebrate back then? Were there any holidays that were different?
AP: Not very many, the fourth of July, we would go to town. My mother never did care to go with us to celebrations. But, we would go, I would go with my brother, and we'd go to town. They had rodeos and in the night we'd go to the dance. And up at Gardner they celebrated the 25th of July, 25th or 26th of July so we, sometimes they let me go with my brother, but not very often, my brother would go.
EV: What were the 25th and 26th of July?
AP: St. James and St. Ann's Day. They celebrated those two days.
EV: Did you have picnics and stuff like that?
AP: yeah, we had picnics at the ranch. My folks would butcher a lamb and we'd fix some cakes and stuffing. The relatives and friends would get together and have a picnic at the ranch, it was very nice.
EV: How important was the church in the lives of the community?
AP: Very important, it was very important. My father and mother were very religious and my grandfather Gomez was very religious too. We'd get together at my grandfather Gomez's every night to pray the rosary. And we'd go to church every Sundays, not every Sunday, but some Sunday's we'd go to church in Walsenburg.
EV: Did they have any little churches out on the farm?
AP: There was a church at Badito, but the Pino's on the top of the hill, where the Pino's live, there was a church there, but the Priest only came on week days from Gardner to give a mass serepalda. People from around there would go to the mass that day.
EV: How did people settle quarrels when they got into fights and stuff, did they make up easy?
AP Well, not very easily, but finally they would make up, talk to each other.
EV: Were there any killings around where we lived?
AP: No, I never seen any killings around where we lived.
EV: But your family got along good with people?
AP: Oh, yes!
EV: What sort of law was there back in those days?
AP: there was a sheriff and a under sheriff, kept the law pretty well.
EV: Where was the jail at, did they have a jail?
AP: Oh, yeah, the same jail that's there yet, the same jail that's there now was there when I was small.
EV: When somebody did something wrong did they throw them in jail, did they keep them there for a long time or did they let them work or…?
AP: I never knew anything about that. My folks never talked much about that at home, you know. We never, none of the family was in jail that I remember, or they didn't talk about it much.
EV: What foods did people eat?
AP: Mostly meat, potatoes, vegetables, beans, fruit, we had a lot of fruit. We had apple trees and plum trees, and cherry trees. Grapes.
EV: Did you make wine?
AP: No, my folks never made wine, but some other people used to go and take grapes for the wine. But my mother made jelly and we could have some apples and apple sauce.
EV: What were the schools like back then?
AP: Well, at the farm the school was just one big room and all the classes were in there. One teacher, and there was about 15-20 at the most that ever went to school, all in one room, and we'd study all the subjects. One teacher taught all the subjects.
EV: How old were you when you start school?
AP: Oh, I was about 7.
EV: Did you start from Kindergarten?
AP: I don't think they had kindergarten, I think I started first grade. Sometimes I went to school out at the farm and sometimes I went to school in town at St. Mary's school.
EV: So how far did you go? How old were you?
AP: I went to school to the eighth grade, up until I was about 15, I guess. Then I went up to the ranch again, till I was 17.
EV: Did you get report cards then?
AP: Yes, we got report cards.
EV: How did they grade you? How did they go about grading you? Did you have tests?
AP: Well, they'd give you a A, B, C, like now.
EV: What games, sports, contests were popular then?
AP: Well, the girls used to play games like hop-scotch, or different things. And the boys would play ball, but sometimes the girls would play ball too.
EV: They had hop-scotch then?
AP: Yes, and different other things.
EV: Were there any entertainments, like if you got together, would you sing?
AP: Oh, yeah, we'd get together and sing. The boys and girls would come together at the ranch and in the evening, after we'd clear the dishes, we'd all get together, between our house and my grandfather's. My cousins lived there close and the boys would get some horses in the corrals and they'd ride the horses, they were going to race them. Or we would run races, the kids would run races and play ball.
EV: Are children brought up differently compared to what they were in those days?
AP: Oh, very much, so different! Children in those days were so very well behaved, nothing like today. Well, I think we were all very respectful, not only to our parents, but to any stranger, we respected everybody. We never talked back or talked mean to anyone. We respected all our people.
EV: What chores did the kids do back then?
AP: Well, at home when we came from school, we went to bring in some wood, and water. We had the well outside, and we had to bring in the water, wood and coal, and see that all the chickens were in the chicken house. And we'd sweep the porch and different things, whatever there was to do around the house.
EV: How did people choose their marriage partners?
AP: I met my husband when he had a sister and lived across the river from us and he lived about 7 0r 8 miles up towards the mountains. And he used to come and visit his sister and he said he seen me there. I never noticed him. And finally I guess I noticed him. So we got acquainted that way. Then, my cousin got married and I was the maid of honor and we had a dance, had a fiesta for two days and at night there was dancing and he asked me to dance, and that's where we got acquainted.
EV: How old were you then, Aunt Anna?
AP: How old was I? I was 18, he was 19.
EV: So how long did you date each other?
AP: Oh, we dated for 1 year.
EV: Is that right?
AP: But, we didn't see each other but once a month or so, or once every two months.
EV: What did you mother and father think of that?
AP: I don't know what they thought. They never said anything.
EV: They didn't get mad because you were dating him?
EV: They treated your boyfriend good?
EV: Did he propose before a year or after a year?
AP: About a year, he said that we should get married and I said, “Why don't we wait?” And he said, “No I want to get married now.” So his folks came to ask for my hand, his father and mother came with him. Mr. and Mrs. St. Vrain, they lived across the river. They all came and asked for my hand. And I guess about two or three weeks later my folks, they asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said yes, so my folks went to tell them that I did want to get married.
EV: Did you have a big wedding, Aunt Anna?
AP: Oh, yes! We had a big wedding, two days.
EV: Oh, my! Two days!
AP: Two days, and it was raining like mad!
EV: Who stood up for your wedding?
AP: My brother, John Vallejos, stood up for John and my cousin, Delia Gonzales. All our relatives and friends went to our wedding for two days. We didn't have a dance because my father's mother had died two or three months before that, and we didn't have a dance. So, we just visited for two days with all the goodies to eat.
EV: Where did you go, did you have your own house where you were living at?
AP: No, we went and lived with my husband's folks. They had a big house and they let us have two rooms where we lived. We lived there for a few months and then we moved to the coal camps, coal mines, where my husband was working.
EV: Who were the popular heroes when you were young, were there any popular heroes?
AP: No, I don't remember any heroes that I knew of in my time, that I could talk about.
EV: Who were the political leaders, were there people in town that were in politics?
AP: Not at that time, I wouldn't know their names. My folks never talked about it.
EV: Were there any outlaws in the early days?
AP: Well, there was some cattle rustlers, once in while they'd catch one, but not too much.
EV: Were they from around there?
AP: Well, I didn't know them, but I used to hear about them.
EV: They get caught? Did they used to get away with anything?
AP: Oh, yeah, they got caught and put in prison. Not too many but some of them would get caught and sent to prison.
EV: Where did they stay? Where was the prison? Was that the jail?
AP: No, they sent them, I think, it was Canyon City, they sent them to prison.
EV: How long did they stay in prison for something like that?
AP: Oh, I don't remember how long they'd stay. I don't remember that.
EV: Did they shoot anybody over anything like that? Like if your dad would catch them stealing cattle?
AP: No, my dad had nothing to do with it. Never stole from him.
EV: What did people think of them, of the outlaws?
AP: Well, people thought it was pretty bad, they didn't like it.
EV: What affect did the depression have on people's lives?
AP: Well, we didn't suffer any depression because my folks had everything at the ranch there and my dad had sheep, he'd sell some sheep or some cattle and so never felt the depression at any time. After I got married my husband was working at the coal mines and we never felt the depression at all…at no time. We'd hear of people that lived in town that didn't have work, we'd hear them talk about a depression, how hard it was, but we never did feel it.
EV: Let's talk about wherever you want to talk about. Your brothers and their names and your mother and dad.
AP: My brother John didn't like school very well. He went a few years and he didn't want to go any higher. He'd rather go take care of the sheep than go to school. My brother Claude went to school in town, to the Catholic school and my brother Tony. Well, they never worked for anybody else out of their own environment, dad's own farm, they never worked for anybody else, just at my dad's farm, putting up hay and taking care of cattle, and the sheep, cutting the hay and putting up hay and that.
EV: Who built that house, that old adobe house that's up there?
AP: My grandfather had that built. I guess my dad bought the farm from him and my grandfather had another farm close by. They moved there, that's where I was born. And my folks lived there all their lives until my nephew still has a farm there. My two older brothers kept the farm after I got married. My two sisters were already married and my two older brothers stayed on the farm. Their son still has the farm.
EV: How did your folks get the farm to begin with, they bought it from somebody, before then was it homesteaded or something?
AP: No, they didn't homestead it. They bought it, I don't know where. My father bought it from my grandfather and I don't know where my grandfather bought it from.
EV: What was his name?
AP: Pedro Gomez, my grandfather. My father's name was Juan Vallejos, my mother was Theodora Gomez. They didn't know each other. My father's father and mother happened to meet my mother and they thought that she was very pretty. When they went back home they told my father, that they had met the young woman and they wanted him to go and meet her. So they sent him. My father's folks lived in Cucharas so my father went to meet my mother and he liked her very much. So they got married. So my father came to live in Huerfano. He was from Cucharas and came to live in Huerfano where my mother's folks lived. My mother had three sisters and one brother and my father had several brothers and sisters.
EV: After you got married was there a depression?
AP: Yes, after we got married there was a depression too, but we never felt it, because my husband happened to be working pretty good at that time. But there was a lot of people in town that felt it pretty bad. We used to go to the ranch and we would bring meat, milk, eggs and everything. Our children used to like to go to the ranch when there were small. They used to like it out there at the ranch very much. When my husband would go and help them put up the hay, I would go help my mother do the housework.
EV: When the kids got married they didn't stay in Walsenburg very long did they? Florinda and them left?
AP: No, my daughter got married and they left and they went to live in Albuquerque. And from there they went to El Paso and worked there and they lived there for about two years. When we first moved out here in 1943 to California then my daughter and her husband came in 1946 around there, to live here and he made pretty good. My husband went into painting business here.
EV: What did Uncle Lupe do in Walsenburg? Wasn't he a cop or something?
AP: Yes, about two years. Then my son-in-law came in and got into real estate business there at Del Aragon. So he is still doing pretty good on real estate. He's a realtor and they're doing pretty good here. And we are retired now.
EV: Do you miss Walsenburg?
AP: Well, I did for a few years. I missed Walsenburg for a few years after we moved out here, but I don't anymore. I like it very well here.
EV: Have things changed?
AP: Everything has changed back there, my brothers and two sisters are gone so I don't care too much to go over there. We are getting old. We celebrated our 6oth wedding anniversary last month. Our children gave us a reception. First we went to the church and we made our vows and had all our friends and relatives at our reception.
EV: Did you see any of the people when you were young who were at your wedding when you married?
AP: Yes some of the people that attended our wedding, when we first got married, they attended our anniversary here. There was Patsy and Evan Sanchez, and my cousin, Pauline Cordova, my cousin, Millie Romero, and my cousin Ruby Pino were at our first wedding and they attended our wedding now. And my sister-in-law, my husbands sister, Clophis Medina. One our fiftieth wedding anniversary we went through the whole procedure again. We went to church, renewed our vows, and then after that our friends and relatives, our family gave us a reception. All our friends and relations and everybody had a nice time.
AP: Yeah, my husband's father and mother; his mother died. I don't remember what year, about 1920.
EV: How many kids were in Uncle Lupe's family?
AP: Oh, he had sisters and sisters; brothers and brothers in both sides.
EV: Can you think of anything you want to talk about? Of what you……..What's that?
AP: It's a disease that comes with a fever and your face; I got that one time. We went for a Christmas one year when I was about 14, we went to visit my father and relatives at Las Animas County. We went in a wagon, two wagons, my cousin Nathaniel Pino, …………Vallejo, and his wife and the two children they had. We all went for Christmas to my uncle's. We spent Christmas up there for a week. When we came back here it was very cold through the mountains coming on the wagon and I contracted encephalitis. It was some fever and my face swelled up real big. Dr. Chapman came to the house, to the ranch. My father brought Dr. Chapman and he put a black salve on my face. It was just in my face, all black salve. My brother Tony and a cousin they looked through the window, they were afraid of me because I looked, my face was just, my eyes looked like a little line.
EV: How long did it last?
AP: It lasted about two weeks. The fever lasted one week but I was sick for about two weeks.
EV: Then you were talking about you sister Minnie.
AP: Well, my sister Minnie died when I was 13, she was 21, she died of a typhoid fever.
EV: Was there anything special that any of your brothers and sister did that you remember? When you telling me about that experience you had in the hospital?
AP: Oh, when I was 29. I was in Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, surgery, and I had an experience. I caught contacted ether pneumonia. At that time, they used ether for surgery and I was very sick. I went, like in a coma, and I could see myself up in the ceiling, and I could see my children, my four children, clinging to my skirts. I was wearing a real wide skirt, all colors, and I could see my children all stamped to my skirt and they were very heavy. Very heavy, like they were trying to pull me down. And I would see myself from the ceiling, I could see myself and I was very happy, like I was going away. But my children were weighing me down. So after I closed my eyes for a while and I woke up the nurse was still standing by me, and she told me that I had been very sick.
AP: I've heard a lot of people that have that experience.
EV: When you woke up, did you feel different?
AP: Yes, I felt different when I woke up. I felt like I had been out of this world. When I came home I told my husband and my mother, all of them and I never forgot it. It was quite an experience.
EV: But you did have a dance at your wedding?
AP: Yes, we had a dance. My folks didn't want a dance because my father's mother had died. My father didn't care but my mother and my aunt Theresa, his sister, Frank Cordova's mother there, thought it was awful to have a dance when my husbands folks, I guess he told the musicians to go to …………… & Sunnyside.
EV: It's not there anymore.
AP: It's not there anymore? Throng like going up to Gardner you go through there though, there used to be a coal mine there, before you got to Turner, Well, that's where Sunnyside was.
EV: Isn't that where everybody used to go to dances? Is that where daddy and Salvador Gomez used to dance? I heard about the house they used to rent up there.
AP: Yeah, we had a dance, but not too many people went because they didn't know if there was going to be a dance. It was raining two or three days….rain, rain all the time.
EV: Is that right? Remember when I was asking you about that time that you were pouring that moonshine, you were hiding it under your skirt? Where did I hear that story? Tell me about it.
AP: Oh, we was going to a dance. Hide it where?
EV: I don't know. I heard you were pouring the stuff down there, it was illegal that moonshine.
AP: Oh we were making some. We lived up there in those little houses, you know, where the Trujillo's, where Larry and them live, their ranch…up there. Well, my dad had a little shack there, we lived at for a while. My dad had…there was two big rooms and a small room and Claude and John, they were making us thirsty and Lupe was making some too. But he was working in the coal mine.
EV: What did they make it out of?
AP: Corn and sugar…….fermented and, No, I didn't pour it down that time. Lupe went one time he made some and he take……….to the pool halls, you know, sell it to the pool hall man and they'd sell it there by the drive in. So, Lupe went to town to take a five gallon jug in a little model T and I stayed at the ranch and he started gambling and he didn't come back till next morning.
EV: What year was that?
AP Oh, I don't know, if Pete was born already. I think so. I don't remember when it was. I think he was born already, I think 1920, he was born 1916. And we lived there just one summer. Lupe was working the coal mines. He used to go on horseback and work at the mine. And one time at the ranch down here. My mother used to go to town and stay there, you know when we wasn't working. And we'd stay there and I'd do the housework and all. And Claude was in the other house. An Claude and Lupe was going to the coal mine to take some whiskey. And Vera and I wanted to go too and they would take us. So they went in the car and dad had another car. I guess he didn't want to go to the dance that night.
EV: My dad?
AP: Yeah, so we left the kids with him, and we took another car, your dad's car, Vera and I. We thought that the dance was at Turner or Sunnyside, I didn't know it wasn't there because Vera and I went and we didn't find any dance and we coming back and we had a flat tire, dark and everything. And some people were going back home to their ranch and I guess the dance was somewhere else. We couldn't find the dance. And some of the people were caring and helped us fix the flat tire. But now-a-days you couldn't, way dark, going from Turner to the ranch. But you couldn't be afraid that time because it was real nice. They fixed the flat so we went back home.
EV: You didn't find no dance?
AP: No, we didn't find, I don't know where they went. No, I never went up Turner.
EV: So, what did you do when they got home? Did you get mad?
AP: Oh, yeah!
EV: In those days, Aunt Anna, when people had babies, did they have to stay in bed for a long time?
EV: How long?
AP: Well, when my first baby, I couldn't get up any how. After eight days I couldn't hardly move, Oh, I could hardly get up! Just terrible! When I had a son, Ted was born, there on the ranch. Flora was born at Sunnyside, on the coal mine. Close to where that dancing hall was. There's a lot of people, their sisters lived there. And your dad used to peddle milk up there everyday. Take milk in the car. He had customers, you know, ones that wanted milk. Sometimes he'd take meat, he used to peddle meat, you know?
EV: Meat, what kind of meat?
AP: Beef, take it on the truck, you know, the back of the truck, already cut pieces. They weigh it on a scale.
EV: And he sold it like that?
AP: yes, and milk.
EV: Is that how daddy made money, beside the ranch?
AP: Yes, well he used to sell meat all the time, and milk and sometimes eggs. If we had more than we needed. That was after I got married. Well, like Johnny does now, he sells. Well, my dad had a lot of sheep too. And he sold it, wool; they'd shave, shear and sell the wool first and then sell the lambs.
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