EL RONDIN: BY ESTEBAN LUJAN
The campaigns of Coronel Toribio Ortega and Jose de la Cruz Sanchez.
During the revolution of 1912 from February 1st to the 14th.
When my mother passed away what I wanted most from her estate was a little book that my Grandfather Esteban Lujan wrote. At that point no one knew its title, much less its theme. When I finally got my hands on it, the first thing I did was to look up the meaning of its title: El Rondin.
El Rondin: The rounds made by a Corporal visiting the Sentinels on the walls.
Published in Cuchillo Parado, Chihuahua Mexico, on November 30, 1912, the thirty-one page booklet covers activities of Pancho Villa’s future General, Toribio Ortega, and the confrontation between his native Cuchillo Parado and Coyame. Cuchillo Parado and Coyame are on opposite sides of the Rio Conchos which joins the Rio Grande about twenty five miles to the north. Grandpa’s little book is full of minute details and names of participants from both Coyame and Cuchillo. He knew them all well, and no one escapes his blatant assessments. Comments on Ortega’s gullibility, as well as his bravery, abound.
I was preparing the above when the realization hit me that El Rondin will be one hundred years old in February. I sent an e-mail to Armando Ortega, grand-nephew of General Ortega. I asked him if he would please write a short comment on El Rondin for my Blog. (Armando published it in his PRENSA LIBRE newspaper in Ojinaga.) His reply included this interesting observation: Since El Rondin was published in February of 1912, it could well be the first book about the Mexican Revolution!
El Rondin is a charming as well as an historical treasure. I’m told that its cover may be squirrel skin (it looks like plastic). Grandpa wrote it on an old typewriter that is still in the family. It sold in El Polvo (Redford), Texas, and across the border in Ojinaga for 50 cents!
My biggest dilemma to this day is where I want this significant treasure to end up.