Love at First Sight

If ever there was an example of love at first sight, Ana Navarro and Vincente Garza are it. When their eyes first connected, it was obvious they were connected for life. The two were in love from day one.

Ana Navarro was born 6 March 1900 in Chihuahua, Chihuahua Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico by area and it shares a long border with the US adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas.

How They Met

She and Vincente met as a result of one of his many entrepreneurial business ventures while he was still in Mexico; one of which was a messenger service similar to the Pony Express. On one run from Monterrey to Chihuahua, his customer for delivery was Ana’s brother. On that fateful day, Ana and Vincente were to meet for the first time. Seeing the attraction between the two of them, Ana’s father invited Vincente to stay a little longer at the family home. On every future visit to Chihuahua, Vincente made it a point to call on Ana.

When faced with a visitor, Ana’s family would dress in their finest clothes to greet their guest. Future visits were announced by a horseman with flowers arriving with a note, requesting a visit from Vincente. The answer was always yes from Ana.

Vincente and Ana were actually married twice in Chihuahua, Mexico. The first marriage was conducted by a Justice of the Peace in a public ceremony prior to their Catholic ceremony on 3 July 1927. The Catholic ceremony was held a few days later but in private. Ana snuck out the back door of her home, wedding dress in hand, to meet Vincente and the priest privately in a building nearby. The priest conducted the ceremony without a collar, as any expression of Catholic affiliation was very risky. Vincente’s dress clothing was explained by the fiesta being held in Chihuahua at that time. They used the fiesta as a cover for their wedding ceremony. Had they been caught, an execution for all was a certainty.

A Twist of Fate

The unsettling development of Mexico and the desire for a better life drove Vincente to seek that life north of the border in the United States. While the total number of border crossings was most probably greater, between 1910 and 1927 we could find no less than 16 border crossings as Vincente explored locations and opportunities in America. The most significant crossing, however, occurred on 10 July 1927 when Vincente crossed the border into Laredo Texas with Ana, his new wife of one week.

Records show that Vincente had been living in East Chicago, IN since 1923, so his trips back south continued after he arrived in Indiana. Ana was waiting for Vincente to return at least five years making their initial meeting something around 1922. They stayed in touch via letters. In response to one, Vincente replied, “Be ready to marry on 3 July 1927.” On that fateful trip, he made good on his promise.

To Be Continued…

The next blog segment of this history series will be about Vincente’s travels in Chihuahua and Poncho Villa. Check back next month for more and in the meantime, check out our family’s food catalog and try a taste of our legacy.