The Meza Family
God gives serenity to families in comforting words from brother’s and sister’s. Sometimes if, one is very lucky, He gives comfort by love.
There have always been ghost stories about things that happened across the tracks in Valley Junction.
Family is a word that implies solidity; a rock-solid foundation, a place to go home to, to grow out of, to grow away from and yet, to remember and hang on to. The echoes never leave one’s ears or one’s heart. The memories carved like painted ivory, from a single tusk, delicately colored in brilliant hues and softer ones, faded sometimes, so dim as to be almost forgotten yet, never to be totally forgotten or left behind. The place where one begins and they hope to end. The thing one works hard to build on one’s own. The pieces like building blocks reaching high into the sky. Family, what images that brings to mind. What memories…what dreams…
Benjamin (Ben) Meza was born in Michoacán, Mexico. He had two brothers and one sister. Ben Meza and his brother, Merced, and a friend, Rueben Alcantar, came to Valley Junction to work at the railroad. Then, later at the Marquette Cement plant. Ben left his parents and one sister behind in Mexico, but brought an Uncle Donato, who lived with Merced on the 100th block of 8th and Railroad.
Magdalena (Maggie) Diaz was born in Topeka, Kansas and then lived with her parents, Cruz and Gregoria (Delprado) Diaz across the tracks (south of Railroad) in Valley Junction. Cruz and Gregoria Diaz had nine children. Six boys: Romo, Ignacio, Julie, Jesse, Joe, Tony and three girls: Mary, Maggie, and Lupe. Julie Diaz never married. Lupe Diaz moved to California for some years, then returned to Valley Junction and married Roy Garcia and embraced many step-children and grandchildren. Mary Diaz married Ruben Alcantar and had two daughters and lived in Valley Junction before moving their family to Guadalajara, México for a couple of years. Then, came back to the states and settled in Pamona, California. Maggie Diaz married Benjamin Meza and had seven children. Joe Diaz married Margaret Vallejo and had two children. Tony Diaz married Velma Rodriquez and had seven children. Ignacio Diaz married Trini Murillo and had three children. Romo Diaz married Lucy Munoz and had five children and lived across the tracks until he moved his family to California.
Ben Meza and Maggie Diaz were married at Sacred Heart Church April 17, 1941, witnessed by Luz Freyre and Josephine Barron. Ben and Maggie had seven children. Three boys: Primativo (Primo), Anthony (Tony), Benjamin Jr (Ben) and four girls; Angelina (Angie), Marcelina (Marcy), Ramona (Mona) and Consuelo (Connie). Tony was born in the home with Maggie’s good friend Josephine Argumedo as her midwife. Maggie was chosen as queen of West Des Moines for her beauty and charm, which never left her all the days of her life.
Ben and Maggie Meza bought a house on the 100th block of 10th and Railroad. Ben paid only $500 but, fixed it up for his family. Ben Meza retired from Marquette Cement Plant. Ben passed away in October 1970 and Maggie passed away in September 1977. Ben and Maggie passed away at the same age, 63, seven years apart.
There have always been ghost stories about things that happened across the tracks in Valley Junction. All during our childhood we heard stories about the woman who lost her baby, she was called LA LLORANO. She would run down the railroad tracks screaming all night long. Some people say they have never seen or heard her, but some people say they have.
Primo and Tony, Angie, and Marcy Meza also have a ghost story to tell. About a witch they saw across the tracks in Grampa Cruzs yard.They were in Daddy’s ( Ben) car as he walked to pick up some eggs. He left them in the car, saying that he'd be right back.They had a clear view of grandpa’s house.There was a little white house in Grampa's yard where Uncle Joe and Aunt Margaret lived, right in front of the house was a water front. Next, to the pump were some grapevines.When, Daddy came out of Grampa’s house, they were standing on the back steps talking, and there by the grapevines was a witch! Ben and Cruz were oblivious to the Witch. The witch was all dressed in black, carrying a basket, she was filling the basket with grapes. Her hat was pointed and black and her clothes well all black. They pulled Tony down with them and all hid in the backseat.until Ben came back to the car. When the car pulled away the witch was on the top of the house picking grapes.She turned to face the children. All hid from her face, except Tony. He said, “He could not see her”. Nobody remembers seeing her face. Primo,Angie and Marcy all say they saw the witch, but Tony says he only saw Daddy (Ben) and Grampa (Cruz).Of course, no one believed them. However, Primo, Angie and Marcy know they saw The Witch!