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Ramón Ralla, my great-grand uncle
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 365
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Ramón Ralla, my great-grand uncle Reply with quote

Hi,

I should like my great-grand uncle had also a place in this Hall of Fame. Probably nobody has heard about him, but in Avilés so many people remember him.

Here I include some data about his life.

Ramón Fernández-Arenas and García-Hevia, most known as “Ramón Ralla”, was born in Ralla (Molleda, Corvera de Asturias) in 1872, 22th March. In 1889 he travelled to USA where his brother Manuel was living. Ramón went to the Saint John´s College at New York, where he became a top sportman in rugby, baseball, ice skating and rowing. His sporting spirit prompted him to join, in 1891, the rugby team at the Centenary College Institute of Hackettstown (New Jersey). Finally, Ramón came back to Asturias, where he got married in 1903 with Ana Díaz Menéndez.

Ramón was so enthusiastic of sports that the decided to introduce the football in Avilés. In 1903, 11th October the first match was played against the Oviedo Football Club, with a final score of zero-zero. Ramón was the goalkeeper.

Along many years, Ramón worked a lot for the football in Avilés, at the beginning as football player, then as treasurer of the Club and, all the time, applying for help and financial to provide the Club with a good stadium. Ramón also worked for children: he created the Explorers Club (similar to the Boy Scouts) for teaching children to love nature and good principles.

Ramón was awarded with the Gold Medal by the Spanish Government for his sporting merits. He passed away at 93 years old. He was the brother of my great-grandmother.
Very Happy
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4477
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Marta Elena!

It's interesting how strong the Asturians of that era were in soccer, especially compared to how little Americans (until recent times) knew about soccer. As you probably know, our sport called "football" is a very different game.

--------------------

¡Gracias, Marta Elena!

Es interesante que los asturianos de esa época se encontraban tan fuertes en lo del fútbol, sobre todo en comparación con lo poco que los americanos (hasta los últimos tiempos) sabía de fútbol. Como probablemente ya sabes, nuestro deporte llamado "fútbol" es muy distinto.
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emarti



Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Woodstock, Illinois, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Ramon Ralla, my great-grand father Reply with quote

Marta Elena, thank you so much for remembering my great-grand father Ramon Fernandez-Arenas. I found this website and your article while researching another subject. I was very positively surprised to read it and I couldn't help to register and reply. Ramon's daughter, Pilar Fernandez-Arenas Diaz, was my grandma. And her husband, Nicomedes Santos (Pepe Galiana) was my grandpa. My mother is their daughter Maria Asuncion Santos Fernandez-Arenas, who lives in Vigo, Spain. I never met my greatgrandfather Ramon Ralla (I was born in 1972), but I obviously always heard about him and saw pictures. I moved to the US in 2001 and I live in Woodstock, Illinois, a little town 90 minutes from dowtown Chicago where I teach Spanish language...and coach soccer.
_________________
Eduardo Marti Santos
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 365
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Los Fernández-Arenas Reply with quote

Hi,
It is a wonderful surprise!!!!´
These days I was trying to organize my family tree as I could find some data. If you want to know these data I could send them to you.
My son (Francisco) in now in New York. In a few days he will go to Nevada (Tahoe Lake) and San Francisco.

I am very happy you to contact me. I live in Molleda, in Ralla.

I'll send you a private message through this forum with my e-mail.

Yours,
Marta
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is
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also a bit confused with Marta's usage of the word football. Initially, I thought she meant introducing American football to Aviles in the early 20th century. But if there was a goalkeeper, it had to have been soccer.

So weren't people already playing soccer in Aviles at the beginning of the 20th century? And Marta, is your own interest in the US and in English (the language) a result of Ramon Ralla's life experience in New York?

On another note, I think St Johns University at the time must have been solidly Irish. I don't know much about it, but suspect it was part of the ethnic-religious educational institutions in NYC along with Yeshiva University, founded in the Lower East Side for the children of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Galicia (Ukraine).
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 365
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Soccer vs football Reply with quote

Hello, Is:

as I am not fond of football, I is quite probable that I made a mixture of games, american football, soccer, european football....I don't know Embarassed . I am sorry for that.....but what I know is that Ramón Ralla introduced football in Avilés, the football we know here Very Happy .

Concerning the St. John's University, I don't know the history of the University just what I could read in Wikipedia.

My interest in USA and in English is not only for Ramón Ralla but also because many of my relatives emigrated to USA and never returned to Spain. Some of their pictures can be seen in the Photo Album.
My grand-father is buried in Virginia.

I hope that, one day, one of the descendants of my relatives can find this forum and then contact me.....

Another reason is my son, Francisco. Very Happy

The first time he travelled USA was 2006. I had to attend a chemistry congress and Francisco went with me. That time he did not want to return to Spain….could you imagine?

Two years ago he went to Washington for one month through an English School. He definitively fell in love with USA. He is now there, studying English (I hope Confused ) in New Paltz Univ. at N.Y. and in a few days he will move to Nevada (Tahoe Lake) and then to San Francisco. He will be back at the end of August.

As you can see, I have a family that loves USA.

Yours,
Marta
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4477
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marta, Where did your family live in the US, at least in the beginning? Where is your grandfather buried in Virginia?

That's charming that Francisco loved being in the US so much that he didn't want to return.

I had the same kind of experience when I first experienced Europe, and I still feel that way almost every time I visit Asturias. Some have told me that's simply another "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" phenomenon. I don't think so. I lived in Madrid for two years and still felt the magic at the end of the two years. I remember numerous times I'd be walking down a street, enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds and would smile or even laugh as I thought, "Wow, I'm here!"

Maybe that occurs because of the connections with our ancestors (Francisco's grandfather, my grandparents). I think some of it is because the cultural differences awaken a sense of wonder and possibility in us that is irresistible.
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is
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art wrote:
I think some of it is because the cultural differences awaken a sense of wonder and possibility in us that is irresistible.


Marta, You should tell us where your grandfather is buried in Virginia. I'm just across the state line in DC, so I could do a bit of research on your family.

Glad we got that straight about soccer vs. football. What you call 'futbol' we call 'soccer'. In the US, 'football' means only American football, which is very different.

As for Art's comment about the irresistible sense of wonder about being decontextualized, I fully agree. There is nothing as brain stimulating.

For me, that sense of wonder happens when I land in a West African capital like Niamey (Niger) and suddenly realizing I am talking with the cab driver about last year's harvest or the wanderings of the Peul.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1727
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: Visits Reply with quote

Marta,

When you or your son return again to the EEUU, you would be very welcome to visit Meredythe and me at our home in New Haven, or at our other home in Rockport (near Boston).

Bob Martinez
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 365
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Art:

My relatives first lived in Ohio (Canton). I know that one of my grandaunt moved to California (Fontana), but the other stayed at Canton. My grandfather lived in West Virginia. Most of the pictures in the Photo Album are from those living in Canton.

It is a pity that pictures can not be now included in the Photo Album Sad . Those attached to the messages are not easy to be seen by visitors as them have to read all messages to find them.

Oh¡ Art....there are things difficult to explain. There must be something in our brain (in our soul, I think) that makes us to be happy when visiting some places. Perhaps we lived other lifes in such places…..is that the reason for which one feels attracted for certain places?. I don’t know….but it is a possibility. Why not?..... What do you think? Shocked

Marta
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 365
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: My grandfather Reply with quote

Hi Is:


My grandfather died at the age of 29 and he was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery of Clarksburg. I was checking in the cemetery records but I could not find any data. His name was José María Díaz León.

Some time ago I checked the Ellis Island records and I found his name, the name and photo of the ship in which he travelled and other data. I have now a copy of the document, but I am not sure that his grave is still in that cementery.....to many years have passed.

My other relatives lived in Canton (Ohio).....I tried different ways, even I wrote to an address from an old letter but no response.

My son is now in San Francisco. He could not do any research because he had to attend the lectures, but I hope that in a next ocassion he can....or even myself....how knows?.

If I remember right....were you living in Argel?


Marta
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 365
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Dear Bob:

Thank you very much indeed for your offering. You are very, very kind.
We live in Ralla (Molleda), near Avilés, where you and Meredith will always be most welcome.
If you come to Asturias, please let me know.
Marta.
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marta, send me the information on your grandfather I'll see what I can find out for you. I drive by Holy Cross two or three times a week ,I'll stop and talk to the to the people that work in the cemetery.
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Charolette



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 115
Location: Albany Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Marta
In the cemetaries in the United States it is different than Spain. Our graves stay no matter how long. I was very surprised when I visited Aviles and learned that I wouldn't be able to find old graves of family members.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4477
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Marta, I'm not sure what attracts us to certain locations. I'm a person who loves dirt, earth, hills and mountains. Of course, Asturias has plenty of that. I like the views of the sea, too, but I'm not as attracted to water as I am earth, hills, and mountains. I often wonder about these things when I talk with my friends, many of whom love water and the ocean.
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