Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

As a child and throughout her life, Gregorita gathered herbs in Pacheco Canyon northeast of Santa Fe, where she spent her summers at El Quelites, the ranch her father homesteaded in the early 1900s. Near the Santa Fe Ski Basin, El Quelites was so named for the wild spinach that grew there. Gregorita was almost eleven when New Mexico became the forty-seventh state on January 6, 1912, and she vividly remembers wondering if the world was coming to an end. "There wasn't any warning when suddenly a terrible noise came up from the city. The church bells rang. Train whistles blew, sirens wailed, and fireworks exploded in broad daylight. We had never heard so much noise."

Gregorita's dream of becoming a nun and giving her life to God was not to be; instead, she married Manuel Rodriguez on August 7, 1922. Those were hard times. She had sixteen pregnancies; only eight of her babies survived infancy.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes