Biography and Southwest

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Coal Camp Days: A Boy's Remembrance

Ricardo García

The coalfields of northern New Mexico are the setting for the remembrances of six-year- old Matias Montaño, a fictionalized version of the author's life in the last years of World War II. García writes about ordinary coal-mining people as they struggle to make a living and raise families, and about their heroism and their belief in the value of education, hard work, and the American Dream.

This book presents a fresh and richly textured view of life in a mining town from the Hispanic viewpoint but includes folklore and stories told by the town's many other ethnic groups, among them Slavic, Italian, and Greek immigrants
and African Americans, all working together in support of the war effort and in search of better lives.


Dr. Ricardo García has spent thirty-six years as an educator beginning in Tierra Amarilla and Wagon Mound, New Mexico as a high school English teacher. Since 1973, he has taught or served as an administrator in various colleges and universities. Currently, he is a Professor of Education in Teachers College at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a storyteller for the Nebraska Humanities Coucil and author of a monthly feature story in the Raton Range on coal camp life. His poetry has been published in New Mexico Magazine, and his book, On the Way to San Francisco Bay, (Anchorage, Salmon Run Press, 2001) won the National Poetry Award for the year 2000. His other professional education books are: Teaching in a Pluralistic Society (Harpercollins, 1991); Teaching for Diversity (Phi Delta Kappa, 1998). He has conducted seminars or told stories in 35 different states from Alaska to Puerto Rico.


"García's fictionalized memoir is an endearing pilgrimage of Life that refreshes and brings insights on many levels."


Santa Fe New Mexican

"Garcia shares wonderful snapshots based on his own life growing up in a northern New Mexico mining town during World War II. . . . The book's charm lies in the characters' innate goodness and in its vividly remembered details. . . . These stories are a charming look at New Mexico's not-so-remote past."


Southwest BookViews

6 x 9 in. 288 pages 12 halftones