A Descendant of "Oñate’s Orphans" Who Left New Mexico

A Descendant of "Oñate’s Orphans" Who Left New Mexico
By Manny Griego

This story is about the children of Manny and Sue Griego: Linda, Robert and Danny. I am shown at the right with Suzie, my wife of 53 years and mother of our three wonderful children, high school sweetheart, beautiful partner and best friend for life.

First, a few words are in order for my father and mother, Romolo and Trinidad Griego, shown at the right on their wedding day. Dad’s family history itself is extremely worthy because in June, 2011 the New Mexico Genealogical Society (NMGS) recognized dad’s family lineage by awarding, in the name of Romolo Griego, an Oñate Period Certificate of Primeras Familias de Nuevo Mexico (First Families of New Mexico―― also means the first

European families in the central area of what is now the United States). This honor was the result of seven years of difficult genealogical research by sister-in-law Lenni Sykora Griego. Upon culmination of her hard work, Lenni was informed by NMGS that very few Certificates had been awarded over the past twenty years.

Fray Angélico Chávez coined the phrase “Oñate’s Orphans” in his incomparable genealogical research, Origins of New Mexico Families, 1954. He cited movement of many "Oñate’s Orphans" from New Mexico to various parts of this great country. My father,

Romolo was an “Oñate Orphan,” in addition to being a real orphan, who also moved. His move was to the other half of the New Mexico territory――Arizona, in 1924 at the approximate age of 16. Although dad became a proud Arizonan, I always knew he left much of his heart in New Mexico with his beloved mother and siblings.

Dad was next to youngest of the 13 children born to Antonio Maria and Trinidad Griego, who owned a ranch of approximately 200 acres in Casa Salazar, along the Rio Puerco. However, life changed dramatically for the large family of children, infants and Trinidad, shown at the right, when Antonio was killed in a horse-drawn carriage accident. Dad was only three years old at the time and had a younger brother who was two.

Without her husband and the children’s father, Trinidad had to rely upon help from the older siblings, and was able to maintain the ranch for several years. Eventually, she had to place three of the youngest boys, including dad, into orphanages. Unfortunately, the orphanage could not hold dad and the youngest brother both of whom repeatedly ran away and returned to the ranch. Subsequently, Trinidad allowed them to remain home where they lived under very challenging circumstances. Facing all these difficulties, Trinidad finally was forced to move the family to Albuquerque. Sadly, the ranch was sold years later. Today, virtually all the adobe buildings of Casa Salazar have dissolved into earth.

Thus, at the approximate age of 16, Romolo left New Mexico to find work in Prescott, Arizona. Although still a homesick boy, dad found happiness when he met and married my mother, Trinidad Hurtado. The small northern Arizona town of Prescott is where all five Griego children were born and raised. As a young family, we traveled several times to visit relatives in Albuquerque and surrounding area, and still have many relatives in New Mexico.

Grandma Trinidad visited dad and family in Arizona when I was in the third grade. A small woman, I recall her blue eyes and long red-hair that hung to her waist, with very few gray strands; she always dressed in black. Fondly, I recall when Grandma would sit in the living room to rest. But it was also a good time for youngest four year old brother, Bobby, to approach her and ask, in English, if she would like to have the small object he had taken her. Since Grandma Trinidad could speak only Spanish and did not understand Bobby, she would just smile and nod in the affirmative. Bobby would hand the object to her and continue to take more objects to Grandma and ask if she wanted each; she continued to smile and nod in the affirmative, not understanding what he had said. Soon there would be a pile of Bobby’s toys and other objects in Grandma’s lap. Although she visited only once, it was fun to have her.

Grandma was 83 when she died. To this day, it saddens me deeply to think of the difficult life that dad and his siblings experienced as children without a father. He and his siblings were very fortunate, however, to have had a devoted and loving mother who successfully raised their large family.

Nonetheless, dad found joy and happiness with his own family of five children and my mother. We too were very fortunate to have had such wonderful parents. Dad was a simple man with limited formal education. But knowing its values, and throughout our formative years, he routinely urged all five of us to “get your education, children.” That we did, because of him. Dad did not need a formal education to possess the most important of all traits, which by example he sought to teach us: self-assurance, perseverance, integrity, love of family and much more.

Dad passed away in 1965 and mother followed thirteen years later. With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I miss both and think of them often to this day. God bless my mother and father, for they could be no place else, but with Him. Now the Manny and Sue Griego children: All are native Arizonans, except for Linda as explained herein.

Linda Griego Kriske, shown at the right, is the first-born sibling. She would have been a native-born Arizonan, but instead was born in a New Jersey military base hospital while Manny was serving in the Army. As a result, she cost us $7.50 for meals. Not a bad deal for such a beautiful and intelligent child.

Linda was a member of the Cheer Leading Squad at Scottsdale Community College where she met her future husband, Ken, who was a linebacker on the football team.

Linda and Ken are blessed with five beautiful children, four boys and one beautiful girl. The two eldest, both sons, have been working full time in resort hotels since high school. The eldest has completed college with a BS degree, completely self-financed and without any student loans. He is working on a master degree in preparation to become a teacher. The second son is in his second year of college. He is studying computer science and paying his own way while working full time. The third child, a daughter, has entered her first year of college and is also working and paying her own way. Entirely their own choice, none of these three Kriskes has relied on student loans.

The fourth Kriske, a 6-foot 4-inch high school freshman, is a leading college basketball prospect. He maintains excellent grades. Lastly, the youngest Kriske is in grade school. He loves basketball and plays with much passion. He too maintains excellent grades.

Ken is an executive with a hotel chain that develops hotels nationally.

Linda juggles many balls while continuing in her profession as a cosmetologist and serving as a basketball mom for their two youngest children. Her mission always has been to provide clients the highest quality beauty care services within a relaxing atmosphere, and at an affordable fee, utilizing skills as a highly competent, licensed professional. She refines and improves her skills by remaining current on the latest techniques and technologies to ensure that her clients receive greatest value for their investment. Linda’s technical and exceptional people skills serve her well in providing highly satisfying results for her clients.

Robert Griego, M.D., shown at the right, is the second sibling. He studied biomedical engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) and was selected for membership into the National Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi. Following ASU, Bob attended medical school at the University of Arizona, where he was inducted into the National Medical Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha, and graduated in the top 5% of his class of 98 graduates.

Bob also completed a one-year internship in Internal Medicine and a one-year fellowship in Dermatologic Research at the University of Arizona before performing three years of Dermatology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Griego concluded training with an intensive one-year fellowship in Mohs (pronounced like nose) Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with one of the nation's premier cutaneous oncologists, John A. Zitelli, M.D.

Bob is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery. In addition to Mohs micrographic surgery, Bob has expertise in the areas of facial reconstruction after skin cancer removal.

Dr. Griego was recently selected by national website SuperDoctors.com as a top Mohs skin cancer surgeon and dermatologist. Read Bob’s SuperDoctor Profile and about how SuperDoctors are selected by clicking on the following link: http://www.superdoctors.com/arizona-phoenix/doctor/Robert-D-Griego/b908b77b-9e71-4f8f-826f-20933dc8f792.html

Additionally, Dr. Griego has received the Patients' Choice Award by vitals.com, another national website, which uses patients’ ratings and reviews to grant its Award. Vitals.com website states the following: "Patients' Choice recognition reflects the difference a particular physician has made in the lives of his/her patients. The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores, as voted by patients." Dr. Griego’s rating is based on 45 category ratings and 27 patient reviews, for an average overall score of 3.5+ stars (4 stars maximum). Click on the following link to read about vitals.com award and patient reviews.

In order to provide the best service possible to those afflicted with skin cancer, Dr. Griego limits his practice to the treatment of malignant and some pre-malignant skin conditions, and does not provide general or cosmetic dermatologic services.

Bob and wife, Dr. Carole Bresnahan Griego M.D., who is a Pediatrician, have three wonderful children. The oldest, a son, has had a successful elementary and junior high school education. Also, he excels in sports and has been a member of five championship teams, including baseball, soccer, and flag football. The middle child, a daughter, does very well academically. She has many interests as well, including cooking, swimming and tennis. Unfortunately she is afflicted with cystic fibrosis, an autosomal recessive inherited disease. You can learn more about this disease at http://www.cff.org/. Youngest sibling is a son who, like the other two, is an excellent student and a very good athlete, especially in baseball and football. All Griego kids enjoy hunting and fishing. In their free time the Griegos are likely to be found enjoying either the company of their extended family in the Valley, or spending time in northern Arizona and New Mexico, where they enjoy the beautiful outdoors of these wonderful states. You are welcome to visit Dr. Griego’s website. Here is a link: http://rgriegomd.com/

Danny Griego, shown at the right, is the youngest Griego sibling. He has traveled the roads leading to Nashville, Los Angeles and Texas that have carried many artists and songwriters. However, only a scant few combine those travels with the kind of craftsmanship, learned first-hand by Danny, from the masters of Country Music ―― including Hall Of Fame writers Hank Cochran, Red Lane, Max D. Barnes and Waylon Jennings. Having emerged from those stables, Danny has penned songs that have been recorded by artists such as Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver and Michael Martin Murphey.

Danny has built his real-life experiences into his trade. From university graduate with a dual major ―― to rodeo, outdoorsman, cutting horse competitor, to businessman ―― Griego has lived his musical fire. Cutting his trail alongside time-tested traditional recording artists such as Marty Robbins, Danny’s sound and written songs include a unique mix of Spanish and English. His heritage includes a Griego ancestor legacy that helped colonize New Mexico in 1598, and was a founding family of Santa Fe in 1610. This legacy lends a rich and prideful authenticity to him.

Having performed over 3,000 live shows can be called "payin your dues;" this experience just adds to Danny’s grit. Industry insiders consider his traditional country, with Spanish flare, something quite unique and use words to describe him like "real," "straight" and "grounded."

Moreover, Danny has been heavily involved in projects to help our wounded military heroes by performing at various events. Around a year ago, Danny was asked by an Army Colonel to consider writing a song about the loved one that a soldier leaves behind when assigned to overseas duty. Danny allowed the thought to play in his mind for several weeks. Then, according to Danny, one morning he awoke from a dream about "the song." He quickly arose and captured it in around fifteen minutes with the title, “Lady Liberty.” This patriotic song tells the story of a soldier returning home to his loved one whom he refers to as his “Lady Liberty.” When the soldier leaves to return to duty, he watches her as she stands alone on the shore waving goodbye; then the song switches to our country’s Statue of Liberty, and love of country. Like all Danny’s skillfully written songs, Lady Liberty is ingenious and truly beautiful.

Danny subsequently recorded Lady Liberty with Michael Martin Murphey. Below is a link to the website, LadyLibertySong.com, where you can listen to the song and view its lyrics. You will see an aircraft carrier with sailors and soldiers on deck in New York Harbor, and with the Statue of Liberty in the background. Song lyrics overlay the aircraft carrier graphic. To listen to the song, click on the audio control unit at the left of page. Then, while listening to the song, visualize the soldier on deck as he watches his loved one who stands alone on shore.

You can download Lady Liberty from iTunes for only $1.29. As explained in the website, all proceeds from the downloaded song will be donated to 501C3 charitable organizations that support wounded heroes. Here is the link: http://ladylibertysong.com/

Finally, in a recent interview, Danny was asked to cite his favorite all-time written work. The interviewer expected him to answer with a Merle Haggard song title. Instead, Danny simply responded without hesitation: "The Bible."
An avid hunter, fisherman and horseman, this cowboy singer-songwriter hangs his hat in Texas.

You are welcome to visit Danny’s website at: http://dannygriego.emarketteam.com