Don José, the Last Patrón
Four hundred years ago, the pioneer men and women who first came to New Mexico were forced to make their life compatible with the earth and with their isolation. The beauty that surrounded them did not sustain them, but out of reverence for the land, there appeared the chosen ones--the "curanderos" who understood the medicinal uses of herbs; the "veijitos," the old men who made folklore, history and tradition and recounted it to the younger generations. And from this same tradition came the Patron, a man who had the ability to channel ambition and determination, and to make the land and its people yield to the law of common interest. He was a protector, a watcher of signs; he was a code maker, a fashioner of a way of life that is sadly missing in today's world. He was called the Patron by those whom he loved and who returned that love with work, faith and personal devotion. They called him the Patron, but they might just as well have called him the Godfather. Jose Ortiz y Pino has portrayed New Mexico, its characters and traditions with a sagacious wit and poignant keenness that could only have emanated from one who grew up in its midst. And he has narrated for us the story of a man whose visions had no limits, a man whose dedication to his goal was matched only by his sense of justice and compassion for all men--Don Jose Ortiz, The Last Patron."
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