Monday, September 20, 2010

Garcias and Ortegas

My mother was quite the storyteller. I don't know where that skill came from. It could be that it was a skill that was a part of her being, a talent that an eventually only child develops, or a natural expression that happens when you are raised by your grandmother.

In any case, the tale she told of how her maternal grandparents came together was one that was Victorian and Mexican Catholic in a way that was wonderfully gothic.

Aniceta Ortega was a sister in household of brothers; the family owned a wagon that transported individuals and items from place to place and town to town. This was their business and their livelihood.

There is no record of where Srta. Ortega and Dionisio Garcia met or fell in love, just as there is no record of how they cam to be named Aniceta and Dionisio. It is as likely that they were the names of the saints remembered on the day the baby girl and baby boy were born. It could have been a reflection of the fashionable acknowledgment of the Greeks and their perfect classicism. Who knows, they could have had relatives that were a part of the Sephardim that passed through Greece. Who knows?

In any case, as might happen on a telenovela, La familia Ortega had a small opinion of Dionisio. Whether or not that opinion was warranted was never shared.

Whatever the reason the feelings were so strong that they told Aniceta that if she intended to marry her love, she would not be permitted to ride in the wagon. She would have to walk following the wagon for months and months.

Love and passion emboldened and empowered Aniceta ; in a way that seems all fiction and no fact, she walked 'til the determined time past.

And they were married.


  1. This is a charming family story, Roberta!

    Someday I want to make a book, for my family, of the telegrams my father sent my mother in the 1940s and 1950s. He was a U.S. Navy captain, and for their first 11 wedding anniversaries he was out to sea, captaining ships somewhere in the world's oceans and seas. His telegrams during those times, each beginning with "Darling," make me weepy even as I write this. I'm so grateful that she saved each and every one in an album.

    It is our family histories that make subsequent generations stronger.

    I love all of your family history posts!

  2. The legacy of a look, the sentiment of a sigh, voila a family story.