“Corona, Corona, Corona,” which represents “three cheers” for the hero Jesús Garcia CORONA. But who is this man and “where did he come from?” García was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, on November 13, 1883, but moved with his family to Nacozari, Sonora, in 1898, where his father was a blacksmith. (Now, I feel some affinity for this young lad because I come from a long line of blacksmiths myself, but Norwegian heritage, not Mexican . . . but no matter, the story is not about me! ) Now, García was also trained as a blacksmith but worked as a waterboy for the Moctezuma Copper Company until later promoted up through the ranks to machine engineer. Well, here is the “rest of the story” as described in Wikipedia in an article about Jesús Garcia.
Jesús García was the railroad engineer for the train that covered the line between Nacozari, Sonora, and Douglas, Arizona. On 7 November 1907 the train was stopped in the town and, as he was resting, he saw that some hay on the roof of a car containing dynamite had caught fire. The cause of the fire was that the locomotive’s firebox was failing and sparks were going out from the smokestack. The wind blew them and got into the dynamite cars. García drove the train at full-steam six kilometers out of the town before the dynamite exploded, killing him and 12 other railwaymen and bystanders, but sparing the population of the mining town. Jesús told the fireman to jump off the train and the man survived.
Another article by Cristina from Xalapa in a paper entitled, “Lifesaver Hero: Jesús Garcia” wrote:
A hundred years ago this month, a young locomotive driver had to make a desperate decision: save his own life or try to save the lives of hundreds in his home town. Choosing the latter, he drove his dynamite-laden train away from the town but it finally exploded, killing him instantly. He was only 50 meters from safety. Just 50 meters further, and he could have abandoned the locomotive to its fate and jumped off the burning train to save his own skin. His actions saved the town.
Much more could be said about this famous man, but suffice to mention that towns, streets, and even sports stadiums are named after him in Mexico, AND the mexican railway worker celebrate “the day of trains” on the anniversary of his death, AND he is immortalized in a song sung by Pancho “el Charro” Avitia, which follows.
But, what YOU don’t know is that the definitive work on Jesús Garcia Cornoa was written and published by a local resident of Apizaco, Mexico, my friend, Raquel Cox, spouse of Mexico Mystic. Few copies are still in print. But, Raquel still promotes her champion and showed us the memorial to him in Apizaco, a city also with “much ado” about trains.
And, this is Raquel Cox, his promoter.
Genuine Tourist, Stephen, Apizaco resident “in waiting,” reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA