The laughing child at left is my grandmother, Lorene. She’s with her brothers Paul and Ted. Holding baby Isabel Clare is their mama, as they called her, Mabel Kelsey Owen – just one of the many mothers of brothers in my family tree.

The Owen family moved, in 1905, from Minneapolis to Mexico City. They pulled up stakes as a multi-generational group, along with my grandmother’s grandparents and an assortment of aunts and uncles. Because my great-grandfather Clive Owen (just like the actor) went on ahead to set up a house and such, Mabel traveled by train with the children to meet him. Imagine the headaches involved in train travel in 1905, with a baby in diapers.

As ex-pat children, my grandma and her brothers rode horses to school, learned Spanish, and dropped in on various relatives for lemonade and cookies when they got tired and thirsty. Although they were driven out of Mexico by the 1912 revolution in what they called Mexodus, the entire family had vivid memories of their years south of the border for the rest of their lives.

I just love the fact that my great-grandparents were daring enough to undertake this adventure. And that an entire group of relatives set up new lives in a completely different place. Sort of like a Kennedy compound in Old Mexico, without the sailboats and football games.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter