Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ranches once relied on crossers for help

Even after 40 years, rancher Larry Moore still remembers the name of the Mexican ranch hand with the golden arm: Edmundo Sosquio Hermosillo. A good cowboy who could do all sorts of jobs around the ranch, Sosquio would cross over the U.S.-Mexico border illegally each year and trek north to the Moore's cattle ranch in Southeastern Arizona. The Moores paid him, fed him and gave him a place to sleep. One afternoon Moore and Sosquio spotted a bobcat that appeared to have rabies. Moore was still pondering how to kill it when Sosquio picked up a large jagged rock, cocked his arm and struck the animal dead. Turns out Sosquio was a pitcher for the baseball team in Agua Prieta. Most longtime ranching families in Southern Arizona have similar stories about friendly, reliable and hardworking Mexican ranch hands. Warner and Wendy Glenn fondly remember "One-eyed Juan," a man with an eye patch who came through their ranch near the border just east of Douglas three times a year and worked for a few days before heading north to Chicago, where he was a dishwasher. For most of the 20th century, Southern Arizona ranchers and illegal border crossers from Mexico lived in harmony, a symbiotic relationship that benefited both parties...more

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