This is still a work in progress. So not every thing should be taken verbatim. Corrections/editing to follow.
My Family History
Thursday, January 20, 2000
My grandfather, Andres Montoya, kidnapped my grandmother, Encarnacion Montoya, from a ranch in Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico. She was fourteen years old at the time. This was a form of proposal and marriage at the time. I have no idea if they had had any kind of social interactivity prior to that such as dating using abut he must have known her prior to the kidnapping. Anyway, that is about as far back as I can go back with my father’s side of the family history. After that, I know that grandfather came to the border and crossed to the U.S. side using a ferry. The Rio Grande was just that, in other words, big and wide! No bridges or toll booths. using an around 1910. The revolutionaries, such as Pancho Villa, Zapata and various bands of outlaws or heroes, were in control of Mexico. Grandpa was involved in the laying of the railroad from the interior of Mexico to the United States/Mexico border. The country, Mexico, was in turmoil with it being divided up among the various revolutionary bands. They were also suspicious of anyone with higher education or skills. I think my grandfather was a civil engineer. So he was skilled and did not fit in. He feared for his life and that of his family, and so he fled to the United States.
Grandpa and his wife, Chonita, wandered around West Texas in a horse-drawn wagon. I cannot imagine traveling in a covered wagon so I will leave it up to the reader’s imagination. There were only dirt roads at the time. They made one stop along the way in Stanton, Texas where my Dad, Andres Montoya was born. No record exists as the courthouse burned down. That is why my Dad has two birthdays. One for his own birthday. The other has to do with his enlistment in the Army during World War Two.
I don’t know how long grandpa and grandma wondered before settling down in El Paso, Texas. Our home at 3204 ½ Frutas Street soon became a duplex. It was a narrow lot. Eventually, a single home was built in front. It was a homestead where my dad and his brothers built and an adobe duplex. Uncle Raul and Aunt Mary lived on one side and Grandma on the other. Other family members live there too at one time or another. I did not arrive there until after February 1944 when I was born. I was too young to recall much of this or was not living there, I cannot confirm this. The duplex on Frutas Street must have existed prior to 1944.
My earliest childhood recollections are I guess of two events. One of this is the same game that I was playing with a pretty kitty at my other Grandma’s house. This was at Grandma Margarita Ochoa home. I think the house was on San Antonio Ave. That area no longer exists being demolished by the North-South Freeway. Anyway, that is where I spent my very early years. My first memory was of my being up on a swing and playing jump on the basins. Stuffed in between the basins was this furry white cat. It was a beautiful white cat and I did not think about hurting the cat. I must have been close to four years old at the time. The second memory is of finding ants in my pants after sitting on an ant hill. Don’t know why I would ever logically do that. These two memories endured. And these tied me into my Grandma Ochoa’s home. I kind of remember living there for a while before moving to Frutas Street. I must have spent a lot of time there too because I recall playing with my uncle’s Hector and Efrain. And I remember my aunt Lily being there. Most of all I remember grandma’s sweet smelling cedar chest where she kept special linens and doilies. She made the doilies. My mom, Consuelo died when I was two years old and I must have been living here when that happened.
After my Dad came home from the war, and shortly after my mom’s death, the house at the front of the lot was built. My Dad had remarried to my Mom’s sister Angie. Apparently, Grandma Chonita did not get along with Angie because soon after grandma took us in. Seem like she felt that Andy, my older brother and I were being neglected. And so my brother and I were raised by Grandma Chonita. Actually, we lived between families because Grandma and I live on one side of the back duplex and My dad and stepmother lived in front.