The Working Life of an Hispano Patriarch, 1890-1976

by Apolonio Martínez y Ortiz

The Working Life of an Hispano Patriarch, 1890-1976
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The Working Life of an Hispano Patriarch, 1890-1976

by Apolonio Martínez y Ortiz

Published Dec 20, 2017
144 Pages
Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs



 

Book Details

The Working Life of an Hispano Patriarch, 1890 - 1976, is a rare glimpse into the life of a courageous human being who confronted every manner of calamity and personal challenge without flinching. His life spanned the end of New Mexico’s territorial period and the first several decades of statehood. At age seven, he began to journey out from his farming community of Chimayó, NM into the illimitable spaces of the American Southwest in an effort to earn a living in a society progressively being driven by the cash economy of the United States. In one of his earliest trips he copes with the loss of his father who is brought back to Chimayó from a distant and arduous fruit-selling trek on the back of a horse-drawn wagon, only to die a few days later on the family farm. While still a teenager, he and a few of his friends walk more than a hundred miles across a mountain range to the great plains of New Mexico where they sell their labor to a company laying railroad across the west. Working ten hour days and hauling timbers that weighed as much or more than he did, he grows physically stronger, mentally sharper and morally more uncompromising. Over the years, Apolonio travels less due to his diligence and ability to do many things - farm, build houses, and sculpt. He becomes economically more secure as his farm prospers and his chile crop grows in demand. Together with his wife Celestina, he is able to devote more of his time to his family, farm and community. In his latter working years, he is able to supplement his livelihood with employment at the nearby New Mexico State Capitol and at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories. He rounds out a life that could only be described as “blessed” when during his final years he is able to devote himself exclusively to the carving of Catholic religious icons called “santos”, play the harmonica and write out in longhand and in Spanish the inspiring story of his life.