I have a hard time seeing myself in my great-grandfather's face. My eye sockets could never get that dark, and nobody ever smiled in those days, or had reason to, except maybe for Pancho Villa. Toribio Ortega had a Mona Lisa smile, as if he were hiding something. He is given credit for firing the 1st shot that kicked off the Mexican Revolution. But he did much more than that, as is explained in this excerpt from the revolutionary biography, Toribio Ortega y la Brigada González Ortega.
Rebellion was eminent. The original date for the insurrection was set for November 20, 1910, but on November 13 Toribio Ortega received word that he was to be arrested by "local authorities who were suspicious that he was ready to rise up in arms against the government." (p. 14) So he beat them to the punch and began operations on the 14th.
As one can imagine, my great-grandfather is a source of great pride, not only in my family but in his village of Cuchillo Parado and all of Mexico, as well. Among other memorials, there is the Museo del General Toribio Ortega located in Santiago De Coyame, Coyame del Sotol, Chihuahua, which is dedicated to the Mexican Revolution and the memory of Toribio Ortega.
Translating this biography of the General Ortega Ramirez should be considered one of my father's great scholarly accomplishments alongside his BA and MBA from Texas Western and UTEP, respectively. He was able to resurrect this great man and Mexican patriot for descendants who might not have been familiar with his achievements, and which made the history more accessible to English speakers, in general. The translation speaks for itself.
During the last year of the war they dropped bombs over Germany and Italy, and my dad even claims to have witnessed a fleet of UFOs above Germany. Visitors can find an artist's rendition of this event (the B-24 Liberator alongside the shadows of hovering UFO lights) that my wife Chris painted for him on an 8 x 10 in his living room in El Paso. After VE Day my dad was preparing to fight the Japanese when the U.S. dropped the big one on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war.
Kneeling L-R: Griffin, William D. 'Grif' (N); Hoskins, Robert S. 'Rob' (P); Tucker, William F. 'Tuck' (CP)
My father and mother, the late Berta Valdes Martinez, who passed away on February 6, 2008, raised seven children: Sandra, Teresa, Yolanda, Victor, Maria Marta (deceased), Carlos, and Cristina. As time turns, my dad has welcomed many grandchildren and great-grandchildren into the Martinez fold.
Ontiveros, Francisco, translated into English by Victor Manuel Martinez Ortega . Toribio Ortega y la Brigada González Ortega. Martinez Publishing Company, Austin. 1991