Friday, May 09, 2014


I have been working on a project.  My 92 year old Uncle, Jaime Baca, is sitting with me for an hour a week to recount his growing up in  northern New Mexico, Pena Blanca specifically, and also his experiences in World War II in the Pacific.

He served as a waist gunner on a B-24 and flew 40 combat missions.  He was in the famous 90th bombardment Group known as the 'Jolly Rogers'.  That is the young Jaime on the top row, second from the right.  Jaime was a long time teacher in New Mexico and has dedicated his life to helping others as a Deacon in the Catholic Church at St. Thomas Aquinas in Rio Rancho.

He has asked me to not publish the full history until after he passes.  But here is one small excerpt.

"Peña Blanca was a very typical Hispanic village of that time. It was basically a farming and livestock place where all the people made their living by both farming and raising livestock. It was a rather pleasant place to be growing up. I always tell everybody that I’m really happy that I grew up in a farming community because I got the experience of seeing the crops grow, the crops being harvested. I saw animals being raised. Also as a young boy, we got used to seeing animals being slaughtered for food, so we grew up thinking of that as a very natural process.

Of course, probably the greatest asset we had in Peña Blanca was the school run by the Franciscan nuns. The school building had been built by the people of the town, and it was a well-built, sturdy adobe structure of two stories. These nuns … I started school at the age of five, not knowing a word of English, but, boy, these nuns in no time at all they had us speaking, starting to speak English and immediately, they got us going to learn the alphabet. We began to start reading, even though at the time, we didn’t understand every word that we read, but we were … These nuns were very strict, and I’m glad they were because that’s the way we were channeled to learn."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Albuquerque made the CBS evening news last night. You can find it at the link below between 12:57 and 15:34. They mention it at 12:45 and then make it VERY difficult to hear that part of the broadcast. But with persistence you can eventually see it. And they talk about Russia and China censorship!

Let's see if the Martinez/Berry machine continue to kill people without lapel camera video after this.