My best memory of our reunion was watching the younger Montoya's reflecting on their heritage and being proud of where their ancestor's came from and what they stood for. Last year I was fortunate enough to spend a week with my daughter Jamie in New Mexico - Questa, Taos, and Santa Fe. We got a chance to visit inside of Grandma Patrocinia's house - In Santa Fe we went to San Francisco Street where my Grandma Celina used to live - 2 blocks from the " Plaza”.
Introducing my children to cousins, Tio, Tia's and the culture of New Mexico is a legacy that I am very proud of leaving to them. Like my brother Paul told my son Darin " No one can ever take your "Roots" away from you.
I'm sure my Dad was looking down on us with pride and joy, seeing his family together and spending time with the extended family that he loved so dearly.
Standing outside the VFW hall in Cerro, looking to the east at the beautiful mountains, after seeing all of our family finally back together, I couldn't help thinking of Tio Pete. No wonder he hated to leave, and always went back several times each year. Having the reunion in Questa was the perfect, the only, way for the Montoyas to reconnect. The beauty of those moments, so many of us together rediscovering our family connections while witnessing God's glorious creation in the land of Northern New Mexico, will be a lasting memory in our hearts.
As we watched the yellow balloons drift off over the Sangre de Cristo mountains above the Pueblito, I thought " this is the way it is and should be... the souls of our ancestors have been set free to roam the land they loved and where they gave rise to us, the next generation...” We all were lost in our memories of our special loved ones, with tears and smiles, as the balloons disappeared out of sight. Gone, but not forgotten. What a beautiful view of Questa from the Pueblito, the birthplace of our family. Thank you Beverly for the balloons. They became such a fitting symbol of why we were there together sharing our memories and common ancestry. Thank you Butch, for organizing us together and saying those words to recognize our servicemen and our reason for being up on the Pueblito.
On our last day, we released many different colored balloons from the parking lot of the VFW hall where we met on Sunday, again, and where we said farewell to each other. It seemed so spontaneous but fitting, symbolizing the new generation of Montoyas, varied in their aspirations and destinies, drifting off over the Sangre de Cristos, like the yellow balloons of their forefathers, over the place of their origin. It was a fitting finale to wonderful weekend that will bear lasting memories for years to come.
Thanks again to you, Butch, for putting your heart and soul into getting us organized and down to this enchanted land of our ancestors. I'll never forget your touching tribute you shared about the memory of your father's connection to you, and his father, up on the Pueblito. It made me realize, even with the sadness that comes with the passage of time and our elder family members, that we Montoyas are a blessed family. I know Tio Pete would feel that way. Thanks to everyone for being there. God bless us all for our common past and in our future.
Lorraine & Larry Renzetti
From his e-mail you can tell my husband had a most memorable time. For me the memories started on the road to Questa, every bend and curve on the road brought back memories of the many times we drove to Questa with mom and dad as small children and also in the latter days when we drove dad there.
This trip was healing for me as I felt my dad's spirit with us on the way as we drove near Grand Junction and I heard him say " hita we'll rest here with tio George and Adelires", I felt him as we drove through Saquache remembering him say "hita I can drive this road with my eyes closed", I felt him as we stopped in Manassa as I touched the statue of Jack Dempsey and I remember him telling us about his life. It was no secret my dad loved boxing. I felt him near as we approached Questa coming into town and overlooking the little town as we rounded the bend towards grandma's house. I still remember his smile and laughter, as you knew he was home again.
I felt him there in the VFW hall, I felt him in Red River, I felt him as we toured Grandma's old house especially in the kitchen, I felt him at the Taos Pueblo remembering the many times we stopped not as tourists, but as friends to visit Frank Romero. My father loved Frank and would never forget to visit him. But most of all I remember my father most as we spoke about Tio Fidel, Tio Ismael, Tio Meno, Tia Chela, Tia Adelires, Grandma Patrocinia and Grandpa Florencio, he loved his family like no others.
The memory walk was healing and lovely, I thank Bev for the moment of releasing balloons as they drifted over the mountains into the heavens. I saw all who had passed on there.
On a much lighter note the most fun moment for me of course was the ride on a Harley when Jake offered his son Jakie to take me on his beautiful Harley. My dream of being a motorcycle mama came true for 30 minutes. Thanks to both of the Jakes.
You know I couldn't just write a few lines, for such a wonderful weekend. Thank you Butch for leading us to and from the Road to Questa, a journey I will never forget. Love, your cousin,
Lorraine Montoya Renzetti
Sorry for the slow response. Better late than never goes the saying.
I really enjoyed our reunion. I am happy I was able to meet relatives I didn't know before. I want to thank you for all the hard work you put into it. I know it took all lot of your time contacting everyone and coordinating everything. It turned out great.
The thing I enjoyed and remember the most is the family and individual introductions. The food was great, but the introductions were the highlight of the reunion. I hope we can do it again.
Thanks again for all you did, and please keep in touch.
Fond memories of our Montoya Family Reunion:
Kade's memories: The most important part was seeing all my relatives, it was cool. Of course eating, too and especially going to the cemetery and letting the balloons fly.
Clint's memories: Letting go of the balloons.
Ashley's memories: Eating...I Love food!! Learning about our heritage and how we've come to be who we are. Seeing family/cousins that I hadn't seen in such a long time (and some that I never even knew existed). I now know why Nena loved so much all her family, they are all so loving, friendly & caring. They all go that extra length to make you feel special as she was to me and to so many others.
Butch...Thank you for putting together this reunion and giving us a great reason to go back to Questa. It's one of my favorite places to visit. One other thing the free motorcycle rides (with cousin Jakie) were way cool.
Kade, Clint, & Ashley Wagner
I am going to leave the periodical reunion updates that were posted here for future reference, in case someone else plans another reunion and might get some ideas from our 2005 reunion in Questa, New Mexico...
LATEST REUNION UPDATE RELATED TO QUESTA WEATHER CONDITIONS
POSTED MAY 25, 2005 7:37 P.M.
The spring runoff is causing major problems in the Village of Questa. Volunteers are sandbagging the Red River and Cabresto Lake and creek areas. Weather wise, it is expected to be a bit cooler over the next couple of days in the low 70's and evenings in the upper 30's.
The plan is still to have the Saturday meal at the Cerro VFW starting approximately 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. for the meal. Everyone should designate someone from each family to introduce members of the family that are present at the reunion and recognize those who could not make for one reason or another. We should have CD music available and hopefully Jake, Jr will be our DJ. Santiago's daughter may sing a song or two as well.
If the roads are open and we can use the highway to get to the Pueblito Cemetery on Sunday, we will gather there at 12:30 p.m. for our Memory Walk and Reflection time.
If we cannot get to the Pueblito because of potential flood conditions in Questa, we will meet for the Memory Walk and Sunday cookout in Arroyo Hondo. As you may know Arroyo Hondo is between Questa and Taos. The famous Herbs Lounge is the main attraction off the highway. Our cookout area will be well marked off.... and thanks to Doris and Jake for finding a safer and better place for the cookout on Sunday.
Doris says it a nice area...and should be a nice place to gather. Her home will marked with a big red Montoya sign and balloons right near the highway. There is also an Air Force flag on the property.
If we do the Pueblito at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday - the cook out in Arroyo Hondo will start around 1:30 p.m. or so.
In case some of you may not know this bit of information, but Grandma Patrocinia was born in Arroyo Hondo, so it may be fitting to have our cookout here as well.
Everyone just be on the alert for changes...my cell that works in Taos for sure is 303-981-7055 and we will be staying at the Sun God Lodge as well. It may work near Arroyo Hondo, but no guarantees.
It will cost us an additional $150 to use this property in Arroyo Hondo, but with conditions in Questa being what they are, we thought to move to higher and better ground. Everyone be patient and we are confident everything will work out just fine.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Butch & Patsy Montoya
full text below:
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Volunteers needed in Questa
By Betsy Phillips, The Taos News
May 24 - 12:07 p.m.
Questa Mayor Charlie Gonzales is asking for help filling sandbags in Questa. As flood waters rise, more creeks and acequias are reaching capacity. The waters are expected to continue to rise through the weekend.
For more information, if you need assistance, or if you would like to volunteer, please contact the Questa Fire Department at 586-0250.
Officials urge residents to remain a safe distance back from the edge when placing sandbags on berms. The water at the edge of the banks is getting very deep and the edge may give way. The depth of the river is saturated and could be up to 10 feet deep in some areas. All safety precautions are being strictly adhered to.
All ditch association members are encouraged to keep in contact with their mayordomos and keep all head gates open and clear of debris.
The USDA Forest Service has announced some campground closures in the area, with more expected to follow. All camping areas in the Cabresto Lake area, Pioneer Canyon, Malette Canyon, Junebug, Fawn Lakes, Lower Hondo Campgrounds as well as dispersed campsites along the south side of State Road 38 from the Questa ranger District office to the Red River town limits.
Perhaps the most amazing “icon” of our family that I am sure is vividly branded in our minds is Grandma’s house. Jake Montoya calls the house “La Casa de Adobe!” (A wonderful song on a CD by the Blue Ventures of Taos). Ruth Ann Ludwig writes in her tribute to her father, Tio Pete, that coming into the village of Questa, on the crest over looking the broad valley, how she strained her eyes to see the red roof on Grandma’s house. When we could see the red roof, we knew we didn’t have to ask anymore, “Are we there yet?
Reunion Update Posted April 1, 2005
This is the design we are going to have for the shirts for the reunion. The lettering will be in yellow and will appear on the upper left side of the shirt. You may order your shirts from Threadworks Company as well. You may want to send your shirts to get embroidered with the logo from this company. Shirts are $17.50. $5.00 is the cost to have the logo embroidered on your shirts if you ship them to Threadworks. Again, mention that you are with the Montoya Reunion and make sure they know your family color for your shirts. Here is the contact info: email@example.com or 720-297-3388. Catalina Guzman or John Roybal are the contacts. If you have problems reaching them, please let us know.
It should be noted that the state flag of New Mexico is symbolic of the two cultures of New Mexico - a red zia sun symbol in a field of yellow Spanish colors. More interesting information about the State Flag below for your reading enjoyment.
So take a look and see what you think. Here are the colors of the shirts so far: Tio Ismael's Family - Blue Tio Fidel's Family - Black Tio Pete's Family - White Tia Adelidas' Family - Forest Green Tia Chella's Family - Red Santiago's Family - Gold
Here is the UPDATED head count as of April 1, 2005 for the reunion: 151 people so far. We understand the numbers may go up or down...but we still need to have a "ball park estimate" very soon.
Tio Ismael's family - 34 Tio Pete's family - 11 Tio Fidel's family - 21 Tia Adelires' family - 18 Tia Chella's family - 32 Raul/Santiago's family - 14 Questa people invited - (Ofrecinia Montoya family - 15 / Gustavo Rael - 6) I need your checks as soon as possible.
We are working on the menu for our "New Mexican style dinner" on Saturday, so Jake has asked the owner Ellis Garcia, Jr. of the Questa Café about catering the meal. It looks good for them to do the catering, and we will work out final arrangements. Jake will finalize a menu (most likely...beans, Spanish rice, tortillas, posole, green chile stew, enchiladas, chips and salsa) We are working on the cookout style lunch for Sunday. (We will need to have more discussion about menu for Sunday and costs for that Sunday meal - hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad, etc.) Need the headcount information so we can began to finalize the costs for food for Saturday and Sunday. So far we have the Cerro VFW hall for Saturday and the Molycorp outdoor site for Sunday.
More information about the state flag you may want to know about: The State Flag of New Mexico has a modern interpretation of an ancient symbol of a sun design as seen on a late 19th century water jar from Zia Pueblo. This pueblo is thought to have been one of the Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola, which explorer Vásquez de Coronado sought.
The red sun symbol was called a “Zia” and is shown on a field of yellow. This distinctive design reflects the pueblo's tribal philosophy, with its wealth of pantheistic spiritualism teaching the basic harmony of all things in the universe. Four is the sacred number of Zia, and the figure is composed of a circle from which four points radiate.
To the Zia Indian, the sacred number is embodied in the earth with its four main directions; in the year with its four seasons; in the day, with sunrise, noon, evening and night; in life, with its four divisions - childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Everything is bound together in a circle of life, without beginning, without end.
The Zia believe, too, that in this great brotherhood of all things, man has four sacred obligations: he must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of his people. The red and yellow are the colors of Isabel of Castilla which the Spanish Conquistadors brought to the New World. The symbol's proportions are fixed by legislative act, with the four groups of rays set at right angles, the two inner rays one-fifth longer than the outer rays. The diameter of the circle in the center is one third the width of the symbol. (http://www.sos.state.nm.us/BLUEBOOK/BLUEHOME.HTM)
Information as quickly as you can, thanks!
Butch & Patsy Montoya
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Update Posted February 17, 2005
Here is an update of things as they are developing and some things I still need from each of you. Please make sure those without email get this information and if you have any other email addresses I need to include, please send them to me.
The Saturday dinner will be Cerro at the VFW Hall. Jake and Doris are working on getting a DJ for this time.
We need a cater to prepare a "New Mexican style dinner." In order to do that, I need a head count as of this time on who "might" come, so we have an idea on the amount of food we will need and to figure out costs for the meal.
On Sunday, Jake has secured the MolyCorp bosque area for the picnic/cookout. We are looking at having a DJ for part of this time as well. We will need to figure costs for this meal, again depending on our head count. This has a covered eating area, a small outdoor stage, plenty of parking, and nice area overall.
I have updated the website with more information, but still need lots of information from some families. I also need any pictures you may want posted on the website. Please make this a priority as it takes time and effort to work on the website. www.myamigos.org
We are going to use colors of t-shirts or polo style shirts to identify the families present at the reunion. For example, the Ismael Montoya family is BLUE. The Fidel Montoya family is BLACK. I need the other families to choose their colors. It is our hope we can wear these shirts on Saturday and Sunday so we have a better idea who is with what family. If you send me the information, I will make sure there is no duplication. So you make want to send me your first choice and second choice. I will let everyone know the "official colors" after I hear from everyone.
Did you know that the "BISCOCHITO" is the official state cookie of the State of New Mexico? In honor of this factoid, we are asking those who can cook this wonderful tasting cookie to bring a bunch to the reunion. Not only do they taste good, they go well with good coffee and conversation. Bring them on!
I hope you have made your housing arrangements for this weekend. This is important to do so now as the weekend in the area is a busy one. The Sun God Lodge has set aside some rooms. Please call and put your room on reservation. 505-758-3165 -reservations 800 821 2437 You don't need to stay here, so if you want to make other arrangements, click on the following link: http://www.nmohwy.com/t/_taos-hotels.htm
Any ideas or suggestions are certainly welcome, please let us know. More information to come as we get closer to The Road to Questa!
Butch & Patsy Montoya firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
New Update Posted February 9, 2005
Hello... Just an update on some items of interest.
Jake has confirmed that he has reserved the VFW Hall in Cerro for Saturday, May 28. This hall should be large enough for our dinner and reunion.
We are looking for a cater to prepare our meal on Saturday. It will be a "New Mexican style dinner". More on the menu later.
For the Sunday lunch and picnic, Jake is looking into the Moly Corp outdoor area in Questa. This is an outdoor picnic area with a covered hall, and plenty of parking. Nice area and used a lot for graduation parties. More on that when I hear back from Jake.
We are looking for a band or DJ for entertainment and sound system for our event. Jake and Doris are looking into that as well.
The real issue that I need is a HEAD COUNT to know how many people may actually be coming to the event. We need this information particularly for the food issues. So here is what I propose:
Jerry be the person in charge of getting a head count from the Grand Junction side.
Doris get a head count from the Albuquerque/San Cristobal and beyond side.
Jake get a head count from the Questa side.
Ruth get a head count from Salt Lake and beyond side. (Tio Pete side)
Bev get a head count from Salt Lake and beyond side. (Tio Ismael side)
Ophie/Patsy a head count from Denver side.
Santiago a head count from the Albuquerque side.
I need this information as quickly as possible so we can figure out the costs of the food for Saturday and Sunday. Please let me know as quickly as possible. This is very IMPORTANT info.
Butch & Patsy Montoya
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Update Posted February 1, 2005
We are planning a family reunion in Questa, New Mexico during the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. The dates are Friday, May 27, Saturday, May 28, Sunday, May 29, 2005. The Sun God Lodge in Taos has set aside 24 rooms for our rental. Visit the Hotels/Motels - Taos Page for more information.
This is the Red River Motorcycle Run weekend in the area, so many motels fill up quickly. Last year there were 30,000 riders in Red River! Please make your reservations as quickly as you can.
I have spoken with Jake Montoya and he has agreed to look into some places for a family dinner and get together on Saturday, and perhaps an out door "Bosque" picnic area for Sunday. He will look into a band for some music and entertainment while we eat and visit. Ophie has spoken with Doris who will be looking for someone to cater the meal on Saturday, "A New Mexican Style Dinner." For the Sunday cook out, we can discuss how we make arrangements for getting the food for this event. (Ideas and suggestions welcome)!
During the Saturday dinner, we thought it would be nice to have a member of each family introduce their families so everyone can meet them or learn more about your families. Other ideas on visiting with one another are welcome! Since many of us may not have been back to Questa in some time, there will be time to visit the area as well.. Particularly, a short trip to Red River for the motorcycle run is impressive. All in all, there should be plenty of time to visit and enjoy one another's company!
I spoke to Jerry Gonzales about a short inter-faith memorial on Sunday. Jerry thought it would be appropriate to simply call it "REMEMBERING." We think it is wise and good for us to remember members of our family who have passed on. While we want this to be a happy time, we think we need to recognize our family members who have played important roles in our lives. We have much to celebrate and this reunion in Questa will bring together so many of who have not seen each other in years, but also, bring so many relatives from Questa and other parts of New Mexico together perhaps for the first time.
We will need to discuss a small payment from each family to pay for the food, hall, and other expenses associated with putting this reunion together. Once we have a better idea on what the food may cost, and other reunion related expenses, we will get the word out for contributions to cover these expenses.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for the reunion please let us know. Please forward to other family members so we can keep everyone up to date.
Butch & Patsy Montoya firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com