In this installment of “The Stories of Lowriders and Their Creators,” we are featuring Nathan Sisneros and his 1998 Heritage Softail Classic, aka Mi Penka.

Angelo Sandoval (AJS): Please introduce yourself and tells us where you are from.

Nathan (NS): Nathan Sisneros, Espanola, New Mexico, 33 years old.

(AJS): What is the year, make, and model of your bike?

(NS): It’s a 1998 Heritage Softail Classic.

(AJS): Does your bike have a nickname?

(NS): Mi Penka

(AJS): When did your interest in lowriders start?

(NS): My interest started ever since I was a little boy. The town I grew up in is known worldwide for its lowrider cars.

(AJS): Was lowriding part of your family’s tradition, and how long has your family been part of the lowriding tradition?

(NS): Yes, my interest began when my uncle Matthew was alive, he had a white Riviera. My parents also both had Monte Carlos growing up.

(AJS): What inspired your interest in building or buying your lowrider?

(NS): The passing of my uncle Matthew inspired my interest. The Softail was his bike, and I wanted to keep his memory alive after he passed away.

(AJS): Tell how you chose the car, truck, bike, classic you have.

(NS): As I mentioned above, the bike originally belonged to my uncle Matthew. I bought it from his kids after he passed away.

(AJS): Can you describe the paint job you have chosen for your car? Tell us about pinstriping, patterns, etc.

(NS): The paint job is a custom Kandy purple with magenta, it has pink and lavender pinstriping, as well as chrome leafing and waterdrops; all designed by my friend Mark Lujan. I chose the colors to honor my Grandparents/Godparents who passed away in 2015. Purple was my Grams favorite color, and pink was my Grandpa’s.

(AJS): If you have a mural or murals on your car, can you tell me the significance of the murals? I you have more than 3 images, pick the 2-3 most significant to you or your family.

(NS): The murals on the bike are of 4 beautiful women, which were designed to enhance the contours of the bike to include the tank, seat, and fenders. There is nothing sexier than a beautiful woman on a Harley.

(AJS): How long did it take for you to build your car to its present stage?

(NS): The bike has been re-done 3 times in the last 4 years. The 1st time was to get a clean ride, the 2nd time was done in my memory of my Uncle Matthew, the 3rd time was for me…it was my time to shine and put a little bit of my grandparent’s memory into the bike as well.

(AJS): Please share a story or more, that brings your lowrider to life; Things like winning contests at car shows,
participating in community events or other things.

(NS): I wanted to build the best bike in the Valley and wasn’t gonna stop until I had it. In my eyes, I did just that…but you know how the game is, YOU’RE NEVER DONE! The bike has won a lot of trophy’s…the Las Vegas Supershow, the Arizona Supershow, the Albuquerque Super Show to name a few. I’ve also won quite a few awards at local bike shows and runs in New Mexico and Colorado. The bike has also recently been recognized in national magazines and is currently being displayed for a Lowrider Exhibit at the Albuquerque International Sunport. I also participate in annual Toy Runs and fundraisers to support my local community.

(AJS): Lastly, what message do you want to pass on outside the lowrider community?

(NS): My message to the Lowrider community is to follow your dreams. Anything can come true if you put your mind to it…this bike is proof of that.

To read the Introduction go here.

To read Chapter 1 go here.

To participate email us here.

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Bueno Dias to our Family, Friends, and Fans. Today, we bring you the first Lowrider story. The first Lowrider we interviewed is Orlando Martinez, Jr and he will be sharing the story of his 1989 Monte Carlo, named “Espanola, A Tribute to the City.” The images of Orlando’s lowrider were taken in its display at the Sunport Internation Airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Angelo (AJS): Please introduce yourself.

Orlando (OM): My name is Orlando Martinez Jr. I live in the Espanola area, specifically in La Puebla, NM.

AJS: What kind of lowrider have you built?

OM: I have a 1983 Chevy Monte Carlo.

AJS: Does your car have a nickname.

OM: Yes, I have named my Monte “Espanola a Tribute to The City”.

AJS: When did your interest in the lowrider culture start?

OM: My interest in lowriders started at a very young age. My parents and uncles had lowriders, so around 4 or 5 years old, I remember my mom took me to my first car show. I still have pictures of that day.

AJS: Was lowriding part of your family’s traditions and how long has your family been a part of the lowriding tradition?

OM: Yes, lowriding has been a part of my family’s tradition, my parents were lowriders. I looked up to my uncle’s growing up and I remember watching then work on their cars. I have been involved with lowriders since I was 16. And, since I was 16 years old, I have been driving my lowrider to work daily.
Lowriding has been in my family probably before I was born, and now my 5-year-old nephew is starting to show an interest in lowriding.

AJS: What inspired your interest in building or buying your lowrider?

OM: What inspired me was seeing the different reactions people would have when they saw my uncle’s cars. Seeing how it would make the kids happy when they would see the car lift with hydraulics. Thinking maybe someday I could inspire the younger generation.

AJS: Tell how you chose the car/truck/bike/classic you have?

OM: Well, I have had a few cars, but for some reason, I like the late 80s Monte Carlo with T-tops and luxury sport look with hydraulics. It was love at first sight, lol.

AJS: Can you describe the paint job you have chosen for your car? Tell us about the pin stripping, patterns, etc.

OM: My paint job is a patterned out multi-colored pattern. The paintwork was done by my friend and legendary New Mexico car painter Robert Vanderslice.

AJS: If you have a mural or mural on your car, can you tell me the significance of the mural or murals? If you have more then 3 images pick the 2 or 3 most significant to you and/or your family.

OM: No, I don’t have any murals yet.

AJS: How long did it take for you to build your car to its present stage?

OM: My car is a work in progress it’s taken about 17 years off and on to get it to where it is at today.

AJS: Please share a story or more that brings your lowrider to life. Things like winning contests at car shows, participating in community events or other things.

OM: This car has been on display at the New Mexico History Museum for a year. It was on display at the Santa Fe Convention Center for the Mayor’s Arts Awards. Currently, it is on display at the ABQ Sunport International Airport. My car has won several awards throughout the years.

AJS: Lastly, what message do you want to pass on to those outside the Lowrider community?

OM: I just want people to know that lowriding here in New Mexico is part of our culture and it is artwork it takes a lot of different artists to make it happen. And, I hoped that the Lowriding Culture is being passed down to the younger generation.

For details on the project check out the Introduction blog post, drop us a message at this link to our email.

As far back as I can remember I have been around lowriders. Growing up in Cordova, New Mexico it was the thing to do. I remember my Uncle Allen’s 72 Monte Carlo, my Uncle Randy’s 69 Bettle Bug and his 79 Cordoba, my mom’s 75 Grand Prix, and my Tio Spunky’s 79 Cadillac Coup DeVille. These are just a few of the cars I grew up around.

I remember watching my uncles wash their cars and getting ready for the weekend cruise in Espanola, New Mexico, “The Lowrider Capital of the World.” They would cruise on Friday night, Saturday night, and on a Sunday afternoon. In those days, Espanola was known for its slow-paced traffic. In the mid-1800s there was the book of essays titled “The Land of Poco Tiempo” and let me tell you Espanola lived up to that statement. The homies would cruise at a pace of 25 miles per hour down Riverside Drive.

The memories of those days running in my mind when I drive into Espanola, remembering the day my Uncle Allen, taught me how to drive. We were heading to Cordova after spending the night in Alcalde with his girlfriend. When we were by the turnoff to El Santuario de Chimayo he pulled over and told me to change seats with him, and get behind the wheel and learn to drive. I must admit I was scared shitless. I was driving my Uncle’s loved 72 Monte, his pride and joy. It was great to drive that beautiful car. It was an experience I will never forget.

In the late 90’s, I bought my 1990 Ford Ranger and transformed it into a lowrider. I wanted to join my uncles in their passion for custom cars. My mom also passed on her Grand Prix to me. Unfortunately, I have not been able to build itup, but I still have it and hopefully, soon I will start working on it. Back to my truck: I joined the lowrider world and participated in the Sunday cruises and became a part of the lowrider world; it was a great time.

Because lowriding and custom car building is an important part of many people from Espanola and other places in New Mexico, I have been thinking for the past few years of putting together a collection of photographs and stories about these beautiful works of art on wheels. Now, in 2019 I finally decided to get off my arse and get this project started.

This is the first blog post about the lowriders/custom cars of the Espanola Valley and Northern Nuevo Mexico. The purpose of this project is to give the owners of these works of art a space to tell the story of their creation. The value these cars can’t be measured in dollars but in love and commitment to their beauty; and how these individuals, family, or car club projects came to life.

It’s time to give a voice to the men and women behind the cars that many have photographed in times past. Campana de Esperanza Fotography and El Razafotografista will be working together to give the owners a platform to share their story. All photography will be done by El Razafotografist, third party photos will not be featured.

If you would like to participate or have family or friends that may be interested in participating please have them email us at razafotografista@gmail.com or message us on Facebook at El Razafotografista or at Campana de Esperanza Fotography

The following images are from the sculpure unveiling of Fr. Casimiro Roca who was in the area as a priest for more then 50 years. He established Holy Family Parish and build the image of the Santuario as a pilgrimage location in the Chimayo area. 

Fr. Roca left a piece of his holiness in many of us. Please email and stories of you and Fr. Roca to razafotografista.gmail.com for a future memories of Fr. Roca blog post. 

El Santuario de Chimayo de Nuestro Señora de Esquipula. Chimayo New Mexico.

Replica of Nuestro Señor de Esquipula, image that is in the Main Alter.

Procession lead by Fr. Julio Gonzales, SF. Participants are the Knights of Columbus and Members of La Fraterninda Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno and community members.

Nuestro Señor de Esquipula

Procession heading toward lower level outdoor Mass area.

Patricia Oviado, Master of Ceremonies.

Marco Oviado, Sculptor, #1

#2

Joe, helper and chauffeur of Fr. Roca.

Cecila, friend of Fr. Roca and community member of Las Truchas.

MArco Oviado, JJ, assistant sculptor.

Fr. Julio Gonzales, Pastor at Holy Family

Fr. Jim Suntum, SF

Fr. Julio and Fr. Jim

Fr. Julio and Marco standing with the statue of Fr. Casimiro Roca, SF (1918-2015)

Patricia, Marco and Fr. Julio

Fr. Julio with the Knights of Columbus

Fr. Julio with Members of the FPdNPJN #1

#2

Comments From Facebook:

Connie Baca, “Such a sweet man. So caring”

John Funk, “Fr. Roca was a very holy man.  One day, he taught me a lifetime of faith knowledge in about 5 minutes.”

It’s been awhile since I last posted to my blog. Many ideas have come and gone. Many thoughts have been lost to time and space. Today, I want to just share with you a few images of out Most Loving Mother of Guadalupe on her feast day. 

I ask of her to pray that I am able to get back to my poetry. Life gets overwhelming and can discourage you from doing the things that help keep life balanced. 

I hope you all enjoy these images and that you continue with your faith and that you increase your prayers and learning of your Catholic faith. I pray for all of you and please all of you pray that I am able to return to writing poetry. 

El Razafotografista is back in action. On Sunday October 18, 2015 I made my return to world of art. During the mural creation by Israel Francisco Haros Lopez I can across Sublmnl Rnsons.

Let me introduce you to this bad ass Hip Hop Crew, Sublmnl Rnsons.

Sublmnl Rnsons
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Long time members of the Southwest’s largest hip-hop collective, the Dezert Banditz, Santa Fe members Cas Uno, Mr. UnXnown & AdrenalineTruth formed a trio which emphasizes beatboxing and freestyling as essential elements to their live performances. Since forming this group roughly 3 years ago, SUBLMNL RNSONS has opened for hip-hop legends such as RA the Rugged Man, Inspectah Deck, 2Mex, Awol One, Binary Star, Blueprint, Illogic and Black Milk, amongst many others. As one of the driving forces of the Santa Fe Hip Hop scene, Sublmnl Rnsons has branched out almost as their own brand. With Adrenaline Truth taking on the persona of DJ Shatter and DJing shows throughout the 4 Corners area, and Cas Uno and Mr Unxnown combing their beatbox forces as Iron Lungz, Sublmnl Rnsons has made their presence known in the Southwest Hip Hop scene.

Cas Uno
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A proper emcee should represent all the crucial elements of the hip hop culture: graffiti art, break dancing, turntablism and rhyming. Without those, hip hop doesn‘t exist. Santa Fe-based artist, Cas_Uno, is a veteran emcee with years of experience and a slew of successful shows under his belt who consistently reps every aspect of the coveted culture. In 1993 when Cas was in his sophomore year of high school, the allure of hip hop culture started to take hold. He began to take it seriously once he moved to Arizona and participated in “Freestyle Fridays” in downtown Tempe. The infectious energy he felt was enough to get him hooked. With the proverbial ball rolling, he linked up with other like-minded artists in the area and “got his chops” at a local event called ‘Ancient Chinese Secret Night.’ Eventually, he joined the first of many hip hop collectives, Blowup Co-Op. Their established “Wicka-Wicka Wednesday” nights exploded into an underground scene large enough to attract the attention of promoters. Cas soon found himself and the rest of the crew opening for national acts such as Cypress Hill, The Shapeshifters, De La Soul, Linkin Park, Sole of Anticon Records, Scarub of The Living Legends, CunninLynguists and Abstract Rude. Around the age of 26, Cas was steadily gaining momentum. Showing no signs of slowing down, Cas decided to settle in New Mexico. He thought he could help establish a scene in the thirsty town of Santa Fe. There he collaborated with local DJ/emcee Perish One. Together they formed Mentill State and performed diligently around the area. After just a year and a half, Cas, once again, got restless and escaped to Austin, Texas in 2004. Cas was slapped in the face with an entirely different world of music. Back then, the chopped and screwed style of rap was popular which was a genre he was not trying to develop. However, Cas embraced the challenge. He adapted his production technique and the result was a more soulful sound. In 2007, he returned to New Mexico, this time with child. “Having a child changed my thought process. Now I focus on trying to educate kids through my more mature lyrical content and create more uplifting hip hop, “ he says. Currently on his mission to bring back the roots of hip hop, Cas is focused on new material and performing. Cas is undoubtedly one of the freshest voices to come out of New Mexico in a long time.

Adrenaline Truth aka DJ Shatter
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AdrenalineTruth aka Pablo Paz is an aspiring hip-hop artist out of Santa Fe, NM. He has been rocking the mic on various stages from New Mexico all the way across the Pacific to Hawai’i. He has done shows with Binary Star, RA The Rugged Man, King Magnetic, C-Rayz Walz, Cunninlynguists, Slim Thug, Aceyalone, Opio, Equipto, Z-Man, L’Roneus, & Many More.. AdrenalineTruth also performs with the southwest hip-hop group, Dezert Banditz & Sublmnl Rnsons

Mr Unxnown
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Mr Unxnown is a hidden force in the 505 Hip Hop scene, hence the name. Only as of recent has he re-emerged after years of being on hiatus. Mr. UnXnown is a veteran and master of the 5th Element, having been beatboxing for over 20 years, and writing rhymes for almost as long. He began rocking cyphers at Capital High School in his hometown of Santa Fe, NM with Crown Royalty in 2001, and bounced around with different crews and artists for several years after. In 2011, Mr. Unxnown was asked to become a member of the Dezert Banditz, and shortly thereafter along with fellow Santa Fe Banditz Cas Uno and Adrenaline Truth, formed the trio Sublmnl Rnsons. Since then, Mr. Unxnown has had the honor to share the stage with greats such as Inspectah Deck, Chino XL, Diabolic, Nightwalker, Binary Star, R.A. The Rugged Man, King Magnetic (AOTP), and Mr Serv-On, just to name a few.

The behind the scenes homie capturing the action and documenting the performances.
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Freestyling
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Le daremos gracias a nuestro Tatita Dios, Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, La Virgin Sagrada Maria de la Luz y al Glorioso y Milagroso San Antonio de Padua.

In this year of Our Lord 2015, June 13 the people of Cordova for the first time in many years had a great celebration to honor our patron saint, San Antonio. We started our day of prayer with the most Holy Rosary, prayed by Los Hermanos de la Fraterindad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (La Morada de Cordova). To start the day hearing the oracions passed down by our antepasados is always a blessing in it self. The spirit of hermanos from long ago accompany us as we offer our prayers. They join us in our devotion to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I felt the antepasados next us as we prayed. I knew that we had honored their memory and brought back the devotions they left us, the devotions they so humbly prayed and taught us.

As is tradition in Cordova, we celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Fr. Julio Gonzales presided over the Mass. He offered words of inspiration. Telling us to keep in mind that San Antonio is the patron saint of lost things. Lost keys are some of the things we ask Antonio to help us find, but we must look to the Saint to much more then just our keys. To ask Antonio to help us find our faith. To look for the faith that has been given to us by out Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit of the great saint was around us. The church was full of people coming to honor their loved ones whom have made the journey to the other side. They came to honor the faith of their abuelos y abuelas. The church that has been the center piece of our community for 183 years.

Father Julio, at the end of Mass blessed our new Clavario. Hermano Jerry Pete Sandoval made a new cross for the court yard of our Iglesia. It was made of ceder from a tree at our Morada. to have a tree from our Morada. We now have our two holy places connected by the tree of the cross. The cross, the place where our Lord gave his life for us.

St. Anthony tells of the cross, `No man can better understand his own worth, than in the mirror of the Cross, which shows you how you should bring low your pride, mortify your unruly flesh, pray to the Father for those who persecute you, and commend your spirit into his hands.` (Sermon: The Finding of The Holy Cross)

What a beautiful day to bless our new calvario. What a beautiful quote by our beloved Patron Saint. The humility of our antepasados is always present in our iglesita.

June 13, 2015 will be remember as the day that the antepasados from El Huachin were honored on the Feast of St. Anthony. As our indigenous brothers and sisters from Kahpoo Owingeh and Ohkay Owingeh offered pray dance ceremonies, we in Cordova also offered prayers in the form of Danza Azteca. Los Concheros de La Mesa de Nuestra Senora de La Luz graced our Iglesia with the smell of copal and the beat of the drum. The spirit of our Indigenous antepasados was honored.. For the first time, in probably 375 years the beat of the drum was heard in Cordova. The Spirit of our antepasados was awakened. They blessed us with rain. As we offered the ceremonial prayers in the Danza tradition it called to the people of Cordova. The drum beat opened the hearts of many.

The mayordomos for 2014/15 were Mr. and Mrs. Jerry and Nancy Sandoval, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Denise Martinez and Debra Sandoval and son, Angelo Sandoval. It was great honor to be in the company of great community members and members of our faith community as well. We planned and had a great celebration. It was truly a humbling experience to be able to plan such a prayer filled day, a day in which the community came together in our traditional ways and also adding a new component to our prayers, which was La Danza Azteca.

St. Anthony blessed us with great blessings, blessings of community, of rain and of new found ways of prayer. Our antepasados, Hermanos, community members and indiginous were all honored in one great and peaceful day of prayer.

I end this entry with words of inspiration by our Beloved St. Anthony, `The Life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.` `Charity is the soul of faith; it gives life; without love, faith dies.`

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This is our old Calvario. It got smaller and small as the years have passed.

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Here is our new Calvario. Made from a ceder tree that grew at our Morada.

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Here is a replica of our beautiful church as it was originally built in 1832. Made my Her. Jerry P. Sandoval and his grandson Jesse Melendez.

Que la paz de Nuestro Padre Jesus y La Virgen Maria este con todo usteds. The Mayordomos de la Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua en Cordova, Nuevo Mexico invites you to join them and the community of Cordova to join us in celebrating the feast of San Antonio de Padua. San Antonio de Padua is the patron Saint of our beloved community. This year’s feast will be the 183rd birthday of our Iglesia.

The feast of San Antonio is on June 13th. There will be a Mass of celebration at 12 noon. The day will began with the Most Holy Rosary at 1030 am at the church. The rosary will be lead by the Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus de Nazareno, la Moraga de Cordova. Fr. Julio Gonzales will be offering the Sacrifice of the Mass. La Danza Azteca Chichimeca, Mesa de Nuestra Sedona de la Luz will be offering prayer through the Danza ceremony.

There will be a meal after all the ceremonies are completed.

To all, please bring any religious article of San Antonio to be blessed during the Mass.

My the blessings of God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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Angelo J. Sandoval
©12-13-2014

I shed a few tears last night
as the choir and congregation began
to sing the song of your apparitions
I shed tears of sad
tears of happiness and joy.

Those tears of sadness were for your
Devote son, who has left this earthly
place, who no longer graces our day
with the song of your apparition
Tears of sadness because we no longer
get to share funny and serious moments
with your devoted son.

I shed tears of happiness because
You have given me a sign of peace
the song of your apparitions
bring solace to my heart
brings a message of hope
that your devoted son is now with you
With you in his eternal morada
In graces of your Son, his friend, Jesus.

I shed tears of joy
because I knew in that moment
of song and praise to you, Madrecita
your devoted son was at my side
singing with choir and congregation
your apparitions.
I felt the joy of his
presence next to my family and me.
The joy that over came my heart as
your song was being song with
faith and devotion
every note
every word
Came from the heart of all your faithful
Your devoted son came to praise you
he sat with me and we praised you,
You, a loving mother of our spiritual being
You a loving mother who has never
abandoned us, especially in our
time of need.

My tears were many
and my heart is now at peace.

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Angelo J. Sandoval
©12-13-2014

En busca de la Santa Misa
dedicada a La Virgen Morena
Anduve por tierra sagrada
tierra Chimayosa
bendita y saludable
El Nichito de la Guadalupana
me puse a ver,
mi corazon se lleno de alegria
cuando a mi Virgencita llege de ver
Ayi en su nichito
mirando a sus fieles llegar
a tierra sagrada.
Tierra que cura con el poder de Dios.
Mi Virgen Santa
a su rinconcito regreso.

El humilde San Juan Diegito
con su Madre se reunió
Ojos fijos con los de su Virgencita
El Milagro del Tepeyac
Llego a la tierra sagrada del
Santuario de Chimayo
Viendo a mi Virgencita en su
nichito mi corazon se lleno de
jubilo y alegria
Virgen Santa Maria Guadalupana
a tu nichito has regresado.

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