Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

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Raymundo Vigil

Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Dick Chenault
Date of Interview - 9-5-1979
Interviewed by - Alice

My name is Raymundo Vigil. My father and my mother, my fathers name was Juan de Dios. My mothers name was Alcarita.

I was born in a place they used to call El Rito do Los Indios, there in the mountains. That's what they told me that's why I say, that's where I was born because they told me that's where I was born.

During a trip that they were going with my mother from here to Ft. Garland. When we were going there. There they told me was where I was born. They had to make a chosa with a tent. And from there my grandfather went on Fort Garland to bring beds because they did have any. He left us there, my mother and my mother's mother, my grandmother for the night and he left. He didn't return till the next day. From there. What they would tell me from there after I was born after awhile my mother came back here with my father.

He was working at the mine called Pryor. Later, I remember I was 8 years old when I remember being there with them. During that same year, during that same year in 1908 we moved to the farm there where they used to call it, well they used to call it “Arroyo Arenzo” but it was way up there where you were,

Alice: Remember where you were pinon picking?

Raymundo: In 1908 we lived there. We moved there and I lived there and in 1924 I got married. After that I went to live there again and I lived there until 1950 when we moved to North Veta. From North Veta we moved to Walsenburg and we've lived there the rest of the time. After we moved to Walsenburg, one summer we lived in Pueblo, just one summer. I worked at the P.O.D. From there we returned to Walsenburg. When I lived in that place “Arroyo Arenzo” there was some people called Benito Cruz, Martinez, Eliso Vigil, Anastacio Vigil, and Jose Jesus Quintana and three of Jose Jesus Quintana's sons. One was Maximiliano, Jeronimo, and the other Cornelio. The other people that were there were Candelario Ribal. Let me see if I remember the others. Juan Chavez and Manuel Chavez, I remember them for sure. There were probably others but, I don't remember.

When I was small that I was in the farm, well he taught me how I had to do to start planting, how I had to handle the plow, how to control the horses, and he would teach me how to make “circul” he would teach me. That's how I learned how to do all that.

Alice: Did it help you a lot when you got married and you had to do that kind of work in your own ranch?

Raymundo: Yes, when it was necessary to do that kind of work, I already knew how.

Alice: Good. What did you have in your ranch? Did you have sheep or what?

Raymundo: I had only one or two cows, chickens and hogs. I don't know. I don't know whether when my father moved there. I don't know if he bought it, or how, but I think the farm belonged to his father and he lived there planting the same farm his father owned. That's what I remember.

Alice: O.K. when he died did he leave the farm to you?

Raymundo: When who died?

Alice: Your father.

Raymundo: Yes, he left it to me.

Alice: Do you have any brothers or sisters? Tell me their names.

Raymundo: I have one brother, Raynaldo.

Alice: Do you have sisters?

Raymundo: Sisters, three.

Alice: There, well their names?

Raymundo: Sarita, Estella, and Simosella.

I remember when I was very small, it seems to me that we had a better life than we do now, even though we were poorer but we always had something to eat. We never lacked any thing.

Now, when we lived in Pryor, when I was very young, well I was about 8 or 9 years old, from 8 to 9 years we lived there. I used to fight a lot, well not a fighter, but if they would tease me a little, I wouldn't leave my self. I would never start, but if they started, I wouldn't back off. I would defend myself. That's what I remember about when I was very small at that age 8 or 9 years. It was in 1918.

Alice: Did you go to war?

Raymundo: No I didn't go because they would not register me just because I was lacking one day to be 18 years old. I went to register, cause they were registering, but when they asked me how old I was, I told them I won't be 18 years old until tomorrow, I won't register you, he said you have to be 18 years, if not I won't. And he wouldn't register me. They had a certain day to register in all the county and they went to register us at the farm, I didn't have to come here to Walsenburg. When I went there I told him, when I went to register he told me he would not register me because I was lacking one day to be 18 years, and I asked him if I could register later and he said no, because it was the last day of registration, and I don't know when we'll be registering again.

Alice: Your brother, did they take your brother?

Raymundo: He's younger than me.

I was born on the 10th of October, 1900.

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