By Bernie Sargent,
My story in this issue is a bit of a departure from the past in that I’d like to share a bit of history about someone whose talent most of us are familiar with, but whose story is worth telling.
For years we have enjoyed the caricatures drawn by this El Pasoan in newspapers, social media, this fine publication and most recently as the courtroom artist following the trial of the accused Walmart shooter. Who might this be? It’s none other than Ignacio “Nacho” García. True talent aside, Nacho’s family history begins in the early days of El Paso County.
Nacho’s great grandfather, Gregario Garcia Sr. was the first mayor of San Elizario and one of its first county commissioners. Prior to his political career he served as captain in the Texas Rangers and was shot with a poison arrow by Victorio the son of Geronimo during the Salt Wars. He also was one of the earliest cattle ranchers in the area with a brand that was one of the first in far west Texas. And if you’ve visited the great little museum Los Portales in San Elizario, Gregario built that lasting example of territorial construction.
Gregorio Garcia Jr. also served as mayor of San Elizario (two terms) and county commissioner. He also served in the Texas Rangers, Deputy Sheriff, Border Patrol, Justice of the Peace and an El Paso Police officer.
Gregario Jr. had a large family, five sons and three daughters. One son was Ignacio Garcia Sr. who continued the family tradition and worked his way to become a Lt. in the El Paso Police Department. His name was as a result of his mother giving birth at what was considered a dangerously mature age at the time. The family lived across the street from St. Ignatius Church, where they attended mass on a regular basis and prayed for a successful pregnancy. The result of Mrs. Garcia’s giving birth to a bouncing baby boy was to name this son after St. Ignatius, co-founder of the Society of Jesuits.
And this brings us to one of El Paso’s most noted artists, Nacho, whose talent will continue to tell the stories and share the caricatures of many who know and love his art. Thank you Ignacio Garcia Jr. for your dedication to this great community.