My grandfather Higinio Lozano, son of Trinidad and Gorgonia, first saw the light in Atotonilquillo in the Mexican state of Jalisco on Jan. 11, 1897. His only sibling, 2-year-old Reynalda, died later that year, but eight more would be born in time.
His family lived in the city of Tepatitlán, also in Jalisco. The state lies in the western part of Mexico, which along with the north was considered especially religious. Ranchera music, the mariachi tradition, and tequila all originated in Jalisco, a land of grasslands, evergreen and oak forests, scrublands, beaches, rivers, and lakes.
Years passed and Higinio, who never had a formal education beyond a third grade level, became a voracious reader. If his family visited friends, Higinio would look for any books they had, sit, and read. His father, upset at such presumption, stopped taking him places.
But when a school teacher visited to test children for grade placement, Higinio could already read everything the teacher had. So the teacher appointed the boy to teach other children. A local priest also had Higinio, who served at Mass in Latin, assist in instructing children in their faith...