Agapito Ramírez, an old great uncle, never married, but that didn’t stop him from leaving behind several descendants. He fought in the Mexican Revolution alongside Emiliano Zapata which made Tío Agapito very old when I first met him. I don’t recall being in school yet so I must have been four, maybe five.
Whenever we made the trip down to south Texas, someone would drive out to Tío Agapito’s property (he never owned a car or a phone) and let him know my dad was visiting the family. Tío Agapito must have liked my dad because he often made the long ride out on his horse to visit with him.
I had heard so many stories about him from my dad that when he rode up on a horse at my grandmother’s house, I wanted to get a really close look at him. We had been sitting on my aunt’s front porch, but the women scurried inside and dragged me off with them.
All I got to see was a tiny man who reminded me of Yosemite Sam from the Saturday morning cartoons. He wore a holster with two guns strapped to his legs and sported a huge, dark, handlebar moustache. He didn’t look mean but, if the stories were true, he was dangerous.
During the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900’s, there was no border between his property and his mother country Mexico, so he joined their fight for freedom.
Tío Agapito often talked about his battle experiences and Dad would share the less cruel tales with us - how the winners would loot the dead bodies, how the men would execute the wounded enemies, and how Tío Agapito often escaped death.
Every time he visited I got hustled into the safety of the house with the women, but I would sneak away and peek at him from behind a window curtain. He caught me once and winked at me.
It was like meeting a celebrity.