I May Have Failed to Mention Something Big

When I was about a month away my trip to California, I received an email on this blog. It was from a very nice woman who was doing some research and “Googled” the Barbachano family. Lo and behold, my blog came up with Maria Barbachano’s name. It also mentioned the Escalante’s, and this woman’s great-grandmother, Ana.

After whirlwind emails and wonderful phone calls, my sweet new cousin Rosemary did something that no one else in the world could do for me.  She told me their stories. She told me the “why’s” and “how’s” of their lives. And then, she showed me these wonderful people whom I love.

The pictures in this post will be of people you have already read about.  But finally, faces to names!

Ana Escalante de Romo as a young woman.

Ana Escalante de Romo as a young woman.

Rosemary calls her Anita, so I will call her Tia Anita from here on out. This is my great-grandfather Leonardo’s full sister. She was born in 1862, my guess is this picture was from the 1880s.

[Personal shout out here – my mom looks very much like her mom. But people have told her she has the eye shape of the Escalante’s. When I showed my mom the above picture, she said “the eyes!” My son has the same shaped eyes. This was a powerful thing for us to see.]

Anita Romo - early 1900s?

Anita Romo – early 1900s?

Tia Anita started wearing her glasses. It’s amazing how women’s fashions changed.

Anita was married to David Romo, Senior.

David Romo, Sr. (before 1930)

David Romo, Sr. (before 1930)

He still has thick wavy hair. And that moustache!! And since we are here, David Sr had a sister as well. She was named after their mother.

Juana Romo de Martinez, Ures, Sonora.

Juana Romo de Martinez, Ures, Sonora.

Juana is the mother of Carmela Martinez, David Jr’s wife.

[David and Anita were cousins a few times removed. They share a great-grandfather, Juan de D. Bustamante. So I guess this is Anita’s cousin and sister-in-law.]

Tia Anita had 17 pregnancies, but very few children lived into adulthood. Her son, David. Jr, did. (You will see him in another blog entry). She had Manuel, Mercedes and Rudy, the only children that lived a significant amount of time.

Manuel Romo

Manuel Romo

According to Manuel’s Death Certificate, he had a wife that preceded him in death. Rosemary does not know her name, and it is not on that certificate either. His brother, David, had to recover the body from Banning, CA. where he lost his fight with tuberculosis.

Mercedes with her husband, Frank, and son, Frank, Jr.

Mercedes with her husband, Frank, and son, Frank, Jr.

Lovely Mercedes and her movie star handsome husband, Frank Carrillo. Their son was Frank David Carrillo.

Mercedes had a younger brother with whom she took a picture. His name was Rodolfo but he went by Rudy.

Rudy and Mercedes. Ventura County, between 1909-1910.

Rudy and Mercedes. Ventura County, between 1909-1910.

Arent’t they darling?? Now how can I say where and when this was taken? Well, it is because I have a similar picture of my grandfather, Albert, with his brother Ruben.

Alberto and Ruben Escalante. Ventura County.

Alberto and Ruben Escalante. Ventura County.

My grandfather can’t be more than three years old in this picture. Both families still lived in Ventura County in 1910. Also, if you look carefully between the two pictures you will see Alberto and Rudy are sitting on the exact same chair. Coupon day at the photographer? I’ve always thought my grandfather named one of his sons after his cousin Rudy, who would have been a playmate, as they were only about a year difference in age.

Rodolfo "Rudy" Romo.

Rodolfo “Rudy” Romo.

Here is Rudy with his parents, David Sr and Anita.

David Sr, Rudy and Anita.

David Sr, Rudy and Anita.

Rosemary remembers Anita always being in black. Her mourning was probably a permanent state. In fact, they are quite the serious bunch in this picture. But then again, the Depression was going on…..

Rosemary also has pictures of the Barbachano family. She said that Tia Anita was close to her sister’s family. They all met with each other. While the two families differed socio-economically, there was never any prejudice on that score.Just love. Anita died at her sister Maria’s house in San Diego.

The Romos and Escalantes were together for almost 20 years between Ventura and Orange Counties. I asked Rosemary if she had any pictures of my grandfather or his siblings. She couldn’t find any. Rufina took her children to Calexico and a vacuum was created. If Leonardo had lived longer, we might have known our Barbachano cousins too. But that wasn’t our path.

These pictures were of Anita and her children with whom no familial legacy endured. However, there was one person with whom all of the hopes and dreams of the Romo family were realized.

To Be Continued……I love cliff hangers.



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