Not long into my searching I struck a vein of ancestral gold. Turns out my Great-grandma Josie Romero's father, Mariano Romero, was a saloon keep. I am beginning to think that every ancestral root I follow down into the past has either a bartender or minister. It appears that I can not escape the mandate of my DNA which calls me to carefully listen while people tell me their troubles.
I spent the day reading about my ancestors, the Romero family, putting on big dances and parties in honor of the patron saint of Montecito (just south of Santa Barbara), Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Blessed Mary mother of Christ). I spent the day finding bits of the story of Katie Fogleman (aka Vogleman) coming to work for the Swift family and falling in love with neighbor Mariano Romero - both raising young daughters from previous relationships. I read about how they lived on "Romero Hill" with uncles and aunties and cousins all around. When I found a photo of great-greatgrandpa Mariano, my heart danced. I left the library and walked down the street wanting to say to anyone who spoke Spanish in my hearing, "Could you be my cousin?"
Tomorrow I head to Mission Santa Barbara for more digging.