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Mora County Notebook: Family is the foundation of Mora County

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By Ruth Fort

Life is happy when there is a loving family. Family is so important in our lives. As one observes life here in the northern part of New Mexico the words “La Familia” bring a happy and joyous feeling to the people. La Familia is imbedded in a person’s heart from early life in this place as grandparents aunts uncles and cousins and the more extended family surrounds them with love and care. It is sad for those who do not have these feelings.

In Mora, we have seen it as an intricate part of the lives here. We see it time and again when there is a wedding, funeral, graduation or any important event in the peoples’ lives they are surrounded by their loving family who may have traveled long distances, as from Colorado, California, Wyoming, etc. They come just to be with their family at these important events.

Families are sometimes very large and the children work along with their parents to make a living. They may work on the little home place or travel to the beet field, orchards or truck gardens with their folks to help keep the family well and to work together.

In my family in Pennsylvania, there were six children living on a little farm during the depression. Everyone worked, milking cows, feeding animals, helping in the gardens canning, helping harvesting the crops and  helping with the babies and cooking. This was family cooperation. There were good times when we did things together for fun too. We often went swimming in the creek.

Daddy would load us all up in the little old car and drive a couple of miles to the swimming hole. This was so refreshing after a hard days work in the hay, oats and wheat fields in the hot sun. We attended events in our town when our folks could take us.

Mother and Daddy saw to it that we had plenty of attention and love and put recreation times with the hard work. That is the type of life many of my neighbors have had as they were growing up in the same era that I did Although the six of us are scattered all over United States and even one in Africa we still show our love by letters, phone calls etc.

The Garcia family was no exception and their work ethic and kindness shows today as they meet people and gather to be with each other. One finds them together at the Mora Senior Citizens Center having lunch and visiting and sharing their love and concern with fellow seniors.

Sometimes they are found at the local restaurant eating together or at other gatherings where they can be together. They have worked hard all of their lives and passed their skills and desire to succeed on to their children and grandchildren.

Most noticeable now is Paul’s daughter and Juan Pablo’s granddaughter, Paula,  working hard and using her skills and love of people to do great things for her community and family. Recently she enjoyed lunch with her grandfather and uncles at the Senior Citizens Center on the day she paid for the all of the seniors’ lunches. She then spent time visiting with everyone and showing the Garcia way of dealing with people. We can be proud and happy that we  live in an area where “La Familia” is strong and still growing.

The Garcia Family was very large and worked hard all of their lives to help each other and to keep food on the table. There were eight boys and two girls in their family — four of the boys and one girl are deceased. When counting all of the children in the each family that is left there are 25 children and many  grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. All of the brothers have lost their wives excepting for Juan Pablo who is still alive and they are both more than 90- years-old.
Their sister, who lives in Las Vegas, is 95. She, like her brothers, is still active. Juan Pablo, the oldest living brother is 93 and still works with his son Paul on the ranch and sawmill.

All of the boys have worked hard and raised good hard working families.

John worked in Denver at the United Stated Post Office and recently he retired from being a custodian at the Mora Schools.

Ted worked in Los Angeles at the air craft plant. When he came back home he worked in construction.

Jose was a carpenter and built houses.

Juan Pablo worked in sawmills and his ranch which he still does with his son Paul Jr. who has retired from work in the Rural Electrical Association.

They have worked in sawmills and logging with horses and mules to bring in the logs for the saw mills as well as the other work they have done in their lives.

This is an example of a typical family in the Mora area where family comes only after God.

Ruth Fort is a Mora County correspondent. She may  be reached at (575) 387-6523 or ruthfortchacon@yahoo.com.