Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

NOTICE All data and photos on this website are Copyrighted by Karen Mitchell. Duplication of this data or photos is strictly forbidden without legal written permission by the Copyright holder.
Stella Quintana



Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Dick Chenault
Interviewed by Gloria Campbell

Stella Quintana
Parents - Juan De Dios Naranjo and Maria Juanita Gomez
Paternal grandparents - Cruz Naranjo and Patrocinia Martinez
Maternal grandparents - Pedro Gomez and Isabelita St. Vrain
Ethnic group - Spanish American
Family origin - Grandmother Isabel St. Vrain born in Taos then came to the Huerfano Butte area. Naranjo's along the HUerfano River in the Gardner area.
Location of first family settlement - St. Vrain land grant by Huerfano Butte
Kinship ties - St. Vrain (land grant)

Sra. Q: Well I don't know what to tell you.

G: You don't know? Well, if you want to, you can start with the names of your Mother and Father覧whatever you remember.

Sra. Q: Oh heavens! About my grandparents覧way back. My grandmother was Isabela St. Vrain. She was part French, and part Spanish. Did you start your tape already?

G: Yes

Sra. Q: I want to show you something, wait a little.

G: Alright, let's begin again. Can you tell me your Grandmother's name?

Sra. Q: Yes, my grandmother's name was Isabel St. Vrain, and my grandfather's name, her husband, was Pedro Gomez.

G: They were your mother's parents, weren't they?

Sra. Q: Yes

G: What was your Mother's name?

Sra. Q: Juanita Gomez

G: Where did they live?

Sra. Q: They lived there on the hill覧at Huerfano Butte. They lived there and had a big family. The oldest was Teodorita Gomez. She is Vallejos. She married my Uncle Juan Vallejos覧 the old man, not the younger one. Years back. Margarita was the other sister. Pino. She was married to my Uncle Juan Pino, and my Mother's name is Juanita Gomez.

G: Do you know what year your Mother was born?

Sra. Q: Oh, it was 18覧祐he was nintey耀even years old when she died. She died here in Gardner. She lived there where Tony Trujillo lives.

G: What year did she die?

Sra. Q: Do you know覧揺ere it is in a book. Here it says she was ninety耀ix, but it seems to me she was ninety耀even. She was born June 18, 1867 in the Huerfano Butte community.

G: When she was born, did your grandparents live in El Huerfano, near the Butte?

Sra. Q: Yes, they lived in that house, going to Pueblo, on this side. Have you seen a white house with an arch? But they still did not live there (in the white house). They lived in that spot but they tore down the house where my Mother was born.

G: Did your grandfather have a large ranch?

Sra. Q: My grandfather Ceran St. Vrain had a whole grant覧my great grandfather, the father of my grandmother, Isabel St. Vrain. He had a very large grant, a lot of land. I don't know how many acres. He was French (looking at a picture). My grandmother's father. They lived there. She was born in Taos, New Mexico, I think. But later they bought here. She was small (when they lived there). My Moma was born at the Huerfano Butte. Do you know where the Vallejos live?

G: Yes

Sra. Q: Clodovio and Juan? My Aunt Teodorita is the sister of my Moma. They lived there. They remained there in those places. But from there down they had覧I don't know how many sections覧those old people覧the St. Vrain's. They had a very big grant. He was my grandmother's father. He had a son named Vicente St. Vrain too. Not many years ago, I remember that man died. I knew all the names, but I have forgotten. Do you want to know the descent?

G: Yes.

Sra. Q: My grandfather, Pedro Gomez, was a Spaniard, that's on my Mother's side. That old man had pinks eyes and was very fair. I scarcely can remember him as I was small when he died. We used to go by buggy to the Butte and Moma would take us from here. We were living there where Conrado Martinez lives. That's where I was born. My father was born there too.

G: That's where you were born?

Sra. Q: Yes, there in that house that is there, Conrado's house made of adobe. He was Naranjo (her father). His name was Juan de Dios Naranjo. My grandmother, his mother, was Patrocinia. This little old lady, Patrocinia, was Spanish and she had Indian blood. We are descendants of Indians覧almost all the people around here are. Then my grandpa's name was Cruz Naranjo. He was Spanish. The Naranjo's were Spaniards, but we have much Indian blood. My grandmother Patrocinia was the daughter of my great grandmother Vigilia. This little old woman had a lot of Indian blood. I had her picture, but I don't know if Leroy Cisneros took it because he was collecting all those things. She would be my great grandmother. She was a good friend of the Indians. The Indians would enter through the windows, and killed a lot of people, the Mexicans, you know. I don't know if they were stealing quilts or what. My grandmother, Patrocinia, was friendly with them and they never harmed her. In that house they had very thick doors and very small windows. The hall is still standing, but they knocked down that part of the house, the hall, as they called it. The doors were thick and the windows small because they feared the Indians. They made those houses for their protection. But my grandma, when she saw them coming, would give them dried beef (Jerky) and (beef) meat steaks and tortillas. She dried the meat on strings or clotheslines. The Indians liked her a lot and never harmed her. I knew many old people. I knew, you don't know how that little old lady, Maria Antonia Maestas was related to you. She's related to your Daddy覧the Maestas.

G: On my father's side, my grandmother Elvira.

Sra. Q: Dona Elvira. This Tonita was her Mother. I think of Dona Elvira and Mana Tonita.

G: I don't know much about that side of the family.

Sra. Q: Well, you can get a big history. I liked that little old lady Mana Tonita very much. Her husband's name was Francisco Maestas and they lived there in Pass Creek. She used to come to our house. He too use to come to our house. Mana Tonita perhaps was apart from the old man. She perhaps was angry with him. I remember all her stories as if she were覧. I used to love the lady. She was a big lady. She was husky. She used to come to our house. She was slightly blind, and when she was at our house she would say to Moma, 釘ring me some beans to clean, and my Moma would give her a pan and there, bean by bean she'd clean pans of beans. That little old lady was the mother of my Aunt Genia. I called her my Aunt Genia. She was the wife of my Uncle Rafael Garcia. Do you remember Mr. Francis Garcia, the father of Maggie and Ben Garcia?

G: I know them, but not their parents.

Sra. Q: Well, I know all those people覧very old people. My grandmother Patrocinia had a big metate. I still have that metate. It is here. It is a rough stone. They had a rock and these old women made flour on this metate. Mrs. Tonita would tell us that people in those days were very poor and that everyone worked, not like now. They would go to the fields and picked the ears of wheat to make flour. They would grind it on the metate. My grandmother would do this. These old ladies lived through hard times. My grandmother Patrocinia came from a very poor family but she married my grandfather, Cruz. Naranjo, who had many sheep. You know, he was well off. Also my grandfather, Pedro Gomez, had I don't know how many thousands of sheep.

G: Where did he have them?

Sra. Q: There on the Butte, around that area. They rented ranches. In those years they didn't belong to anyone and were vacant. One year it was very dry and my Moma, who was very small at that time, said that they went on oxen driven wagons to take the sheep to a place far away called覧悠 forget what覧Palo Duro, no, no! I don't remember. They went far away to find pasture because it was a very dry year and the cows were dieing of hunger. My Moma said that the cows couldn't find anything to eat at that time, here in North Huerfano. It was far away and it took them many days because they traveled by oxen driven wagons. You know, they used to travel real slow. They went through hard times, those people who lived then. I knew a lot of stories my mother would tell. She said that when she was small, they raised a great amount of corn, and there was no machinery. They would put it in corn bins on the roofs so it would dry. Then in the winter they stayed up until midnight husking the corn, and then they threshed it. I don't think there were threshing machines, or anything, by dint of hand, I guess. Oh she used to tell us that people went through a lot.

G: Where did your people come from? Your grandparents?

Sra. Q: Well I know my grandparents on the Gomez side came from Taos, New Mexico. My grandfather was born there and my grandmother St. Vrain was born there at the Butte. She was my mother's mother. She was the daughter覧wait覧Seledon Gomez was the name of my grandfather Pedro Gomez's father. That's why they named Seledon by that name, like his grandfather, and the little old lady's name was覧what was her name?

G: How did they obtain so many sheep. How did your grandparents happen to be rich in those days?

Sra. Q: Well, those little old people were well off. Not everyone was poor. I know that grandfather Cruz Naranjo was well off. He had hundreds of cows and some sheep. Not many but覧So my grandmother Patrocinia was well off. On the other hand some perhaps were poor but married those who were a little better off. But I don't know. I heard all those stories. I know that my grandfather Gomez was rich. When he died, he had money buried in the wall. Earthen jars filled with twenty dollar gold pieces. I was small when my grandfather died. My grandmother died and he married Rosarita Vigil. She was the step洋other of the three sisters; my mother, Aunt Teodorita, and my Aunt Margarita, and my Uncle Pedro Gomez. When my grandfather died, they took out the jars which he had buried in the wall of the hearth. I was very young, and you know that when one is young he watches everything. These jars were full of twenty dollar gold pieces覧pure gold. I don't know why people buried the money in those days. Perhaps there were no banks, or if there were, they were to far away. Like these here in Huerfano, you know we have been neglected for larger cities. There were banks, but not here in those days. They buried the money they made with wool and lambs. I know they made a lot of money in those days. Let me see, what was the name of those old men覧very rich Anglos. They bought the wool.

G: Here? Right here?

Sra. Q: There in Huerfano, there in Walsen. I know that one of the investigators was the daughter of those old men. That was a Sporleder. He was one of them. They were Arabs, wait, let me think a moment. They were the grandparents of Murr, of the old woman who had the five and ten cent store. You know who I'm talking about覧Salibas! The Salibas. They used to buy wool from my grandfather覧old man Salibas. He has been dead for many years. All those old people from there sold wool to old man Salibas and to 覧悠 used to know the names of all those rich people. There were some rich white people, and the St. Vrain's were rich people. I don't know the father of my great揚reat揚randmother. My Grandmother was rich, but I don't know覧擁t's such a long time ago. I think these people had a lot of French blood. They were French and Spanish, but my grandmother had more French blood because覧葉he Wingerts came from the same nationality too覧葉he Gomez's覧Viviana Wingert was my father's sister and married to a German.

Sra. Quintana to her brother, Sosten Naranjo: Do you remember the names of the Wingert's?

Sr. Naranjo: No

Sra. Q: They lived in Taos. When I was small we went to an Indian celebration in Taos.

Sr. Naranjo: Luis Wingert lived in Taos New Mexico.

Sra. Q: Yes, Luis Wingert. Rafaela was a Wingert, wasn't she?

Sr. Naranjo: Yes

G: How were these people related to you?

Sra. Q: They were my Aunt Viviana's children. My Aunt Viviana was the sister of my grandfather Pedro Gomez. And the Wingert's were Germans. Well, they were覧悠 don't have their blood, you see. Well, perhaps because of Aunt Viviana. But she was Gomez. She was married to Luis Win覧裕o whom was Aunt Viviana married? this Luis覧

Sr. Naranjo: I don't know. There was this Luis Wingert and Mr. Julian Wingert. They were brothers of Caroline Wingert.

Sra. Q: Oh yes, and this Caroline was the daughter of Aunt Viviana, and this Viviana was my father's sister. She was Gomez. But many of my relatives came from Taos, my past relatives, my great揚randparents. I believe that these people覧洋y Aunt Vivian and Luis Wingert were very rich people. Then there was Mary Dolan who was married to Dick Dolan. We went to a celebration in Taos when I was in the tenth grade. I went to the ninth and tenth grades of high school, here in Gardner.

Sr. Naranjo: On the 30th of September they celebrate the- - -of the Indians.

Sra Q: We went there to Taos to the celebration when I was in the tenth grade. Teresina and I missed school and when we returned, we were behind in geometry and algeSra. I had a hard time understanding it. Geometry was kind of hard, and so was algeSra. I was boarding at the Costello home. There in that big hotel, that is there across from the Tavern, where Mrs. Knight lives. That year Teresina quit school when she was in the tenth grade. I continued but I was very far behind because we celebrated more than a week, didn't we? We stayed at the Wingert's house. I, Pedro Jose, Sosten and Teresina. We saw Mary Wingert there in Taos. Oh she had a great big store.

Sr. Naranjo: We became acquainted with Pete Dolan's store.

Sra. Q: This cousin Mary Dolan was Aunt Viviana's daughter. She was married to Pete Dolan. He was German or I don't know what. They had a lot of cabins to rent.

Sr. Naranjo: They hung up a ram very high, and a watermelon. Then they put up a pole with ribbons that the Indians weave, very steep.

Sra. Q: They climb up those greased poles, don't they?

Sr. Naranjo: About- - -feet high is the pole. The one who reaches the top gets the presents. An Indian who had a star on his forehead would climb to the top.

Sra. Q: He was the captain. We were walking by, I and a little old lady from Walsenburg, whose name was覧this Telos Garcia, Don Telesforo Garcia, who was the brother of my Uncle Rafael Garcia, the husband of my Aunt. They were not our Aunt and Uncle, but since we were little we called them Aunt and Uncle. Mrs. Laizita and I were going. This Laiza lived behind the church. They tore that down, there where the buses stop now. The woman who curled hair lived there, the wife of覧葉hose people who had the shoe mart. What was their name?

G: Vigil?

Sra. Q: Vigil, and his wife. They dressed hair there when I was in high school. I was with Mrs. Costello when I was in the tenth grade. I was in Walsen during the eleventh and twelfth grade. I graduated from Huerfano County High School. And later I stayed with Mrs. Laizita. I knew her well. I didn't live with her yet but she went that year to the Indian celebration at Taos. And we stayed at Pete Nolan's house覧Pedro Jose. I can't tell that story. He made moonshine, you know. Well that's already past. He is dead. .

Sr. Naranjo: There at my Cousin Caroline Wingert's house覧I stayed with her. She said to me 鉄tay here with me and she showed me a house with beautiful rooms.

Sra. Q: Like a palace.

Sr. Naranjo: They made beautiful houses years ago.

Sra. Q: Yes. The Indians, I, Teresina and Pedro Jose stayed in Pete Dolan's house. We went覧Pedro Jose had bought a little car, a Chevrolet in those years, and we went. He took these little barrels of five gallons and we camped there because Pete Dolan was a drunkard. Well, we spent the whole week there. And we would go from there to the Indian celebration. We had a grand time, and when we returned, I was behind in geometry since it was the beginning of school, September thirty, you know. I was behind and every night I would go to the McKosh house. Miss Morris and Miss Quinn, who were my teachers, were there.

G: Where did they live?

Sra. Q: They were not from here, but were teachers and boarded at the home of Mrs. McKosh.

G: Where is that place?

Sra. Q: There where Jose Ramon Martinez and Adelina live now. That was a hotel. They had bedrooms. I boarded at the Costello house. There were a group of teachers there, but my teachers were at the McKosh house. One night and I'll still remember and I'll never forget. A moon came out as bright as day when I left the Costello house. You know where that hotel is. I was going to the McKosh house to study my lessons in geometry and algeSra. I had to cross the town. In those days children studied. I don't know why they don't study like that now. It was hard for those in the tenth grade. Geometry was pretty hard. The fact is that I was going to study and Miss Morris would help me so I could catch up with the class. I would go there to study and Miss Morris and Mrs. McKuen, the other teacher, would teach me so I could catch up with the class. Because I played hooky. I ended up at the tail end but I picked up. I kept going until I caught up with the geometry class. How I hated it! I just barely made geometry. Algebra was not so hard, but if it had not been for those teachers, I would not have passed geometry. One night I was walking along praying, I used to pray everywhere I was walking when I was a little girl. Wherever I walked I prayed, Our Father's and Hail Mary's. As I was saying, I came along carrying my book and praying and when I came in front of the church, at that time there were some Mexican sisters. They had a convent where Gilbert Perrino lives. There was a brother. Now, you will see. It was already night, but the moon was as bright as day. I stayed until ten or eleven studying. I don't know how late, to catch up with my studies. I was walking along and when I was opposite the church I saw a sister dressed in black with a white collar. You know how the sisters dress. Here with the white覧様ike this sister (pointing to a photograph) I have a picture of Sister Carmela.

Sra. Q. to Sr. Naranio: It is in that. Show her that picture that is behind, that Alice sent me for Mother's Day. The picture of Sister Carmela. Do you see the clothes that sister is wearing? It was as bright as day. I saw this sister turn from there and start climbing the steps to enter the church. Oh you can see what a fright I had that I almost fainted. Because I thought she was a living sister. I saw a vision. I saw a lot of visions when I was single. I was always praying. And this vision was coming like a sister. I thought this sister was coming to turn off the lights in the church. I was going to say 滴ello Sister, you know. I was going to talk to her. At the time I was going to speak, she was about to enter the door of the church. You wouldn't believe me!! She started diminishing like a fog. Like when a candle melts down. She bowed at me. Oh, when I saw that, I fled. The little old lady Costello, Aunt Addie, as I used to call her, was making a rug when I entered so frightened. She said 展hat's wrong with you? I told her what I had seen. This vision appeared to me and this sister覧預nd I was praying. I was a little afraid and as I was walking from that hotel to this one, I was praying. I used to pray a lot when I was a little girl. I was always praying wherever I went. Well, when this appeared to me and then disappeared like fog覧熔h it wasn't a bad vision, but I was so frightened that I went into the house and grabbed Mrs. Costello. I can just see that little old lady. She used to braid her hair so, and then pin it up. You know she made some very pretty rag rugs, the round kind. She was making a rug when I ran into the long hallway, and perhaps she was in the kitchen making the rug. I think she was ambitious and would stay up to all hours. She said to me 展hat's wrong with you? I reached her and I was out of breath. 添ou look as white as a sheet she said, 展hat's the matter? I told her what I had seen. That was the truth. Do you know that twice such a thing has happened to me. Another time, Toby, my son saw what I saw. There was a chicken coup over there, and we were sleeping in that bedroom. I heard the squawking of the hens. A few days before a skunk had killed a bunch of chickens. Toby was small but he could handle a twenty葉wo rifle. 典oby, I said, 堵et up and kill that skunk, and I took out the rifle. It was on the corner of the room. I told him 的 think a skunk got in and is doing away with the chickens. It was a kitten that went into the coup and frightened the chickens because the skunk had frightened them. The kitten was coming out of the coup. My brother, Roquez Velarde, Nancy Salazar's father was going to plant potatoes and was sleeping in one room. I, my mother and Toby in the other. My husband, Pedro, liked to sleep upstairs and he was sleeping there that night when we heard the noise. Toby and I closed the coup after the kitten went out. I had taken the flashlight and we saw it was a kitten. We were returning together, Toby and I, when we saw a virgin there in that corner of the house. Honest to God! A virgin with her hand like this and there was a glow shining on her hands. Such a beautiful glow! She was standing at the corner of the house and the rays like a glow. I said to Toby 泥id you see it, Did you see it?. At the same time that I said that, he was saying 泥id you see it? We couldn't say more and we came ahead; and we could see the corner of the house and it looked like there was a door opening inward and the virgin was standing there like this, with her hands like this and rays of lights were glowing. Flowers could be seen.

G: What did she look like?

Sra. Q: Like a person. Like the virgin and you've seen the picture of Holy Mary at church, haven't you? With rays of light all around. Oh how pretty she looked!! And we came in, I wasn't afraid. And when we entered the house I said 的 believe that this virgin went in. I looked in the room where Roquez was. He was snoring and I closed the door. Two things have appeared to me. That was the second apparition I have seen. I haven't seen any more. The other day I said to Toby, 展hat did you see? 的t was Holy Mary or the Holy Child, said Toby. He was like Brian, his nephew, at that time. A little taller and he saw what I saw. And we told my Moma. I didn't get scared, and we came and she kept disappearing. But it was a vision. You won't believe me. It was the second vision I have seen in this life. But I didn't see anything else.

G: I want to ask you about the time you went to school here, and about your life, when you were born, etc.

Sra. Q: I was born there where Conrado Martinez lives. All of us were born there. Pedro Jose, Teresina, and I, Sosten, all of us. My father was born there, but it wasn't in the old house. They took off the thick doors because they were afraid of the Indians. Later they put in big windows.

G: Was it a big house?

Sra. Q: It was a hall at first. For many years they had mass there. Father Encell said mass there. He was French. He would come once a month in a horse and a little buggy to say mass. He slept there. My grandmother knew the Father used to come. My grandmother Patrocinia was very small, my mother used to say. She would get up on a ladder, and moving like a mosquito, up high, she whitewashed the walls. That little old lady was very clean. In those years, they whitewashed with white yeso (gypsum) made from a white rock they brought from the arroyos. She would clean and whitewash everything so everything was white inside too. She was my grandmother, my Papa's Moma.

G: Did they have a lot of land there?

Sra. Q to Sr. Naranjo: How many brothers had my granpa Cruzito?

Sr. Naranjo: I don't know. I just heard it mentioned, as far as I know.

Sra. Q: My grandfather's name was Cruz Naranjo. My Uncle Luis Naranjo and my Uncle-友elipe Nerio Naranjo.

Sr. Naranjo: That Nerio was also my mother's Uncle

Sra. Q: No.

Sr. Naranjo: Yes he was. Or perhaps he was not related.

Sra. Q: Yes he was.

Sr. Naranjo: No!

Sra. Q: Because I have seen it in the papers.

Sr. Naranjo: Formerly, I called him Uncle Nerio. Don't you remember?

Sra. Q: Yes, but that was another Nerio.

Sr. Naranjo: Well then I don't know.

Sra. Q: That Uncle Nerio of my Moma was Gomez. He was the brother of my Uncle Seledon. Listen, Luis Naranjo was a brother of my Grandpa Cruz Naranjo. Because in the ranch papers, you know, in those abstracts was the name of my Uncle Lids Naranjo and he bought-友elipe Naranjo was the brother of覧葉his Felipe Nerio and a Luis Naranjo were brothers of my grandfather Cruz Naranjo. These men had land. I don't know how much, but they had land. That place that was of Tom Sharp belonged to Luis Naranjo. And all this river belonged to the Naranjo's. It seems to me that this Luis bought it afterwards覧覧put down only that, since I don't know. Luis did own that part of the river where the spring was, a long time ago. All that land belonged to the Naranjo's a long time ago. Many years ago. They were Grandpa Cruz's brother's.

G: Did they have sheep there?

Sra. Q: And cattle. I think so, but I don't know for sure. Perhaps the story will be the opposite. But I know that the Naranjo's owned the land where Lehman lived. Where Clovis Salazar bought. All that land on the river Fred Meyer----Fritz Meyer. That land belonged to the Naranjo's long before. I know there were three Naranjo's; Felipe, Luis, and my grandpa, and they had land on the river.

G: How did the people get along? Did they ever talk about how they got along?

Sra. Q: I don't know about my great揚randparents, but my grandparents, the Naranjo's were three brothers of my grandfather on my father's side. I know they had many sheep. My grandfather Gomez had覧. My Moma used to say that they would go toward Kansas, what did they call El Arroyo Hondo?

Sr. Naranjo: To Tigue

Sra. Q: To Tigue

Sr. Naranjo: Then to a place they called El Ojo de Fierro, My Moma turned back because the horses were tired. She was going to Tigue, and then from El Ojo de Fierro覧

Sra. Q: She was little.

Sr. Naranjo: She turned back from there because the horses were tired. And then papa came and asked why they had覧覧

Sra. Q: My grandma went with my mother, Isabelita. She was small.

G: And did they go to Tigue?

Sra. Q: Tigue it was called, wasn't it?

Sr. Naranjo: Tiguen, Tiguen.

Sra. Q: My Moma called it Tigue. They used to take the cows there because there was pasture there.

Sr. Naranjo: He took sheep, not cows.

Sra. Q: Cows.

Sr. Naranjo: They said they took sheep, not cows. This woman always comes out with something different.

Sra. Q: Stop him so I can tell you more.

G: o.k.

Sra. Q: They took them to save them because it was very dry. They say that it was so hot that it seemed fire was coming down, and they had to take all the stock in that direction. I don't know how many but I know that they took flocks of sheep and they had big stocks of sheep and cattle.

G: Can you tell me about your life, were you born here?

Sra. Q: Yes I was born here, and here I'll die, as an old lady used to say. Yes I was born in that house where Conrado lived. All of us were born there.

G: And where did you go to school?

Sra. Q: I, Pedro Jose, Sosten and Teresina went the first year to Malachite.

G: Who were your teachers?

Sra. Q: We walked. Barker, who was a very severe teacher. He broke Frances Garcia's nose with a ruler. She was the daughter of Pedro Garcia.

G: Why?

Sra. Q: He was crazy. Barker. He was the teacher.

Sr. Naranjo: Mr. Pedro went and beat him up.

G: Who?

Sr. Naranjo: Frances Garcia's father. He went and gave him a good beating.

Sra. Q: Those Garcia's are relatives of yours through the Mestas.

G: Are they?

Sra. Q: My Uncle Rafael was married to my Aunt Genoveva, you see. We used to call Frances 'La Chica'. She and we used to go to school. A whole bunch of us, I, Teresina, La Chica, Rafael, Juan, Ana, Eduardo, Amada, Juliana, Maggie覧

Sr. Naranjo: And Eduardo, Conrado覧

Sra. Q: A whole bunch of us went to Malachite and the Kintes from down below. All that bunch came on horseback. We walked to Malachite singing like Thrushes even though we were freezing. Barker sometimes let us out at four o'clock in the winter, and we went along singing by the light of the moon as far as Conrado's house, all along the river. We crossed by my Aunt Genia's house as Rafael, Juan, La Chica, Antonio and Agundo lived there. Mena, Beatrice were still very small. Beatrice wasn't born yet. Conrado, Eduardo, Ana, the Lobato's, Emilia, Tonia, Frances still didn't go.

Sr. Naranjo: Frances still was going.

G: To what grade did you go in Malachite?

Sra. Q: I went to the first and second grade in Malachite. Those were my first years. It was very far from there. The Lobato's lived at Mr. Reginio's house. You know Clovis Balazar's house, near Elfedo Salazar's. At that time Mr. Antonio Salazar owned it then. Escolastica and Pedro Jose went to that school. Pedro Jose was no longer going. He was seven years older than I but had left school. He went until the seventh grade. I think Sosten went to the eighth grade. From that vicinity, only Teresina and I continued until high school, and Juan Garcia too.

G: Why do you say that only you went to high school, if there were so many of our race going to school? Why didn't the rest continue?

Sra. Q: Yes, they did, continue. There were Mexicans in high school. Santos King and Juan Garcia. They didn't continue, I don't know why. Antonia and Emilia moved to Walsen and I think they graduated there because Emilia went to college in Greeley when I and Minnie Escolastica went. All that bunch of us went to Greeley.

Sr. Naranjo: So did Domenica.

Sra. Q: Well, but Domenica is Minnie. But I don't know how many of that little bunch that went together graduated. Lillian Sharp and Lee Sharp didn't go to high school, and Tim didn't graduate because he died. Those that graduated when I did, Mary Tirey's brother, Tim Hudson, Mary, Lucille Waggoner, but they were ahead of me. Dorothy went one year. Joe Waggoner, he覧

G: How did those people get along with you?

Sra. Q: I have pictures. And I can tell you when I went to high school here.

G: That's nice, but tell me how you got along.

Sra. Q: Well, we got along fine. Lee and Lillian Sharp went in a Ford the first years we went to Gardner. We went in a new Chevrolet my father bought. We first used to go in a horse and buggy before my father bought the Chevrolet. He had an Overland, but we never went in that. Frances, Teresina, Escolastica, and I went in the buggy. Some of us would use the reins and the others the whip. We used to have a lot of fun until we wrecked the buggy. We used to go to the home of Mr. Antonio LaFore, a little old man who lived there in Gardner in the house where Mrs. Sara, your grandma or great揚randma lived.

G: Great揚randma.

Sra. Q: O.k., My Aunt Juanita Medina, my Papa's sister lived where Mrs. Sara lived. My papa had three sisters. He was the only man in the family. They were my Aunt Juanita, the oldest, my Aunt Pascualita, and my Aunt Isabelita, the mother of Gaspar Martinez and Juan Andres Martinez. Do you know Magdalena? She is the daughter of Juan Andres. On my father's side the Martinez are my cousins.

G: Did they live in Gardner?

Sra. Q: My Aunt Isabelita lived there in El Huerfano. My Aunt Josefita lived in Gardner, and Aunt Juanita lived in Gardner, and Aunt Pascualita married Uncle Magen Espinosa and lived in Sunnyside, there at the mines of Sunnyside.

G: Did you go to school?

Sra. Q: Of all my cousins on the Gomez side and the Vallejo's, I believe I was the only one to go to high school. The Garcia's went but Juan Garcia went two years of high school. I think La Chica went to Gardner, but she went to the convent. But she married when she was in the eighth grade. Emalia and Antonia graduated from high school. I don't remember who else.

G: You were telling about your father's car.

Sra. Q: That's another interesting story. Francisca, La Chica, as she was called, Escolastica and Teresina and I were coming in the buggy to school until we broke it. It went off the road into the thicket of Chico and the wheel fell off. After that, we came to school with Lee Sharp and Lillian Sharp who had a model A. I remember we paid them ten cents everyday, each one of us. In those days you know, ten cents was worth much. Then Papa bought a new Chevrolet.

G: Where did he buy it?

Sra. Q: He bought it覧悠 was small and don't remember, except that he bought it in Walsen. I remember they sold Chevrolet's there.

Sr. Naranjo: Chevrolet Garage.

Sra. Q: The Chevrolet Garage, there in downtown. It's still there in the Lenzini's. I don't remember who was running it. Well he bought that car new. It was I who used it for the first time, and I wrecked it覧溶ot to bad, but I bent it. He bought the car the day before St. James Day. They used to celebrate St. James Day in Gardner, there where the hall was and the corral where they tamed horses. Anyway, on St. James Day, Dad said to me 鏑et's go to the celebration and you drive the car., because Pedro Jose went in his new car too. His was a coupe, what were those cars called?

G: Touring, you said.

Sra. Q: Touring覧葉wo seats and two doors. Well, the first day I drove the new car, well, I had driven it a little there in the meadow to test it. It was here where I practiced driving. I was ten or eleven years old. I had driven the overland. We came to the celebration. There were tents, a merry揚o羊ound, and all that. Some old people覧揚ringos, came and put me to sell icecream in a tent. They had dances where Carrie Harney lives. Upstairs. I would go and dance awhile. We used to have so much fun! They celebrated two days, St. James Day and St. Ann's Day. They danced two nights. I remember we would make four dresses. Two for the day time and two for the nights. Teresina and I liked to wear a different new one each night. We had gone to San Luis for St. Peter's Day and met some boys. La Chica met Juan Duran in San Pedro, and I met Carmen Medina and they would come to the dances. We had so much fun! In those days it was so nice, today everything is so sad. Pedro Jose used to take us to all the celebrations. It was he, who took us everywhere, to San Luis for St. Peter's Day, and to St. Paul's Day, and to the Taos celebrations.

G: Why did you change dresses in the daytime?

Sra. Q: We went to the dance in the daytime then we would eat supper and then went at night. They don't do that now. Our dresses were not expensive. They were of silk and voile which were used then. But the idea was to change, and not use the same dress twice. As I was telling you before, after we wrecked the buggy we left the mare at the house of Don Antonio LaFore, he was French. He lived where Rosa Balles lives. I went and asked him if he would lend us the stable to leave the mare there. He let us and we left her there to eat and in the evening we hitched her and came home. We did this everyday. This old man was cranky. He had one room where he lived and an empty one. We would play on pans and have dances and would invite a gang, kids you know, and banged the pans half a day until on day he got angry and told me to take the mare away and not to come back. It was Friday. This old man liked cheese, so I told mama on Sunday afternoon to make me a cheese to take to Mr. LaFore. I didn't tell her he had chased us away. Well, Monday I went to flatter him. Let us keep the mare here I said, I've brought you a cheese, ok he said, you can stop here, but don't bring a gang and make noise. I'm too old and sick. He was right, I believe that we used to upset him. Well I never told anyone at home and we never made noise for him again. Then we wrecked the buggy before Christmas I think. Then we started going with Lee Sharp in the car. Sometimes we went to a Catholic school. Teresina went the second or maybe third year. How was it I stayed in town the third year? I stayed at Mrs Laizito's house and one winter at my cousin Matilde's house.

G: Did you graduate from Huerfano County High School.

Sra. Q: Yes, when I was in town, I stayed there the last year.

G: Did you come back to live after High School?

Sra. Q: Yes, we lived in Conrad's house, that was our house.

G: Then, did you get married. Did you get married right after graduating?

Sra. Q: No, No, Let me tell you. I was going to St Mary's and the last year I was going to graduate from St Mary's. My sister was Sister Shield, but I got the small pox so bad that I almost died. I was sick from March until school ended. I had the pox so bad that I even had it on my tongue and my feet. I couldn't walk and then I got pneumonia and didn't graduate. Then I went to Greeley. You know, one could go to college at Greeley after the third year. There in Greeley, I finished my high school and college. I don't know how it was but I graduated with two credits. How did I get one extra credit, in typing I think. I stayed one semester in Greeley. I came that summer and got married or was it the following summer?

G: How did you meet your husband?

Sra. Q: Oh, I met him when I was going to high school in Gardner. He worked in Maitland. When I was in Greeley, he went to visit me there. I got married that summer in July, 1930. But I stayed because I needed two credits to graduate from high school. I graduate from Huerfano County High School but had two credits from college. We got married and moved to Maitland and stayed in Maitland, and two years later Alice was born. She was born in覧 what year was your mother born. In 1932?

G: In 1932.

Sra. Q: She and Alice are the same age. Well we were married in 1930 and she was born in 1932. Then two years later, Gilberto, my son was born, my son who died. When Gilberto died I became very depressed. It made me very sad. We were in Maitland, so I started school the semester after New Years. I started again.

G: There in Greely, no, where?

Sra. Q: In Huerfano County because in the Catholic School, they didn't admit married women. I'd been married five years when I started school again.

G: Was it high school courses or what kind of school?

Sra. Q: Didn't I tell you that I had small pox and didn't graduate from high school. I missed the last semester but had already passed the first semester.

G: Did you go to school again?

Sra. Q: I began in January you know, to get full credit, so I graduated with two extra credits which I had made and also credits from college.

END OF INTERVIEW

Back to the Oral Interviews Main Page


Return to the Huerfano County Home Page
© Karen Mitchell