The book Facts of life from León. Data and dates, is a text of memories, anecdotes, documentary research, but above all, history.
This book allows the reader to enter a Lion that he did not know, but which will undoubtedly be closely familiar to you, thanks to the fact that it was born from the pen and the lens of a family, the Malacara family, with Don Antonio Malacara Moncayo as the main author.
In the roundabout of the old Plaza de Gallos the book was presented Facts of life from León. Data and dates of the late author Don Antonio Malacara Moncayo and what was it compiled by his son José Ramón Malacara and by his grandson Gilberto De la Torre Malacara.
The presentation was attended by, in addition to the compilers and members of the Malacara family, Luis Alegre, the city’s chronicler; Carolina Irazabal, representing Jonathan González Muñoz, general director of Education in León; Carlos María Flores, director of the Cultural Institute of León and representatives of the Municipal Presidency and the Secretariat of Education of Guanajuato.
A book that was born in another century
As the name implies, this book collects data and dates of important events in the city of León, Guanajuato that Don Antonio Malacara documented, mainly, for his column in the monthly bulletin of the Municipal Historical Archive of León between 1965 and 1975.
But it is also born from the author’s memories, since Don Antonio was a great connoisseur of local history, who as a hobby was documenting the daily events of the city. According to his son José Ramón Malacara:
“I was very young, I accompanied him to the Municipal Archive. He really liked taking pictures of the downtown square. In his spare time, he would go to the library or to the archives or to the newspaper archives to nourish himself with data that interested him ”.
He recalled that his father started him in photography at an early age, as he gave him a camera with which he began to capture his first images and then used them in his publications.
Mr. José Ramón Malacara confessed that this book started as a family project so that his father’s legacy could serve the new generations
“My nephew Gilberto and I, five or four years ago, we conceived the idea of compiling everything that my father left in 50 years to make up this book and to put it at the service of new historians and researchers, as well as Leon society.”
He added that for him it was a “pleasant task and a satisfaction” to carry out this book and he anticipated that a second part of it will come, since, in his words, “there is still a lot of fabric to cut from”.
“It’s full of nice data like those days when the first bicycles arrived in León, people had a terrible fear of riding those ‘monsters’ as they were called”.
Gilberto De la Torre Malacara.
Recognize-yourself on the way through the book
For its part, Gilberto De la Torre Malacara He said that, although he did not know his grandfather, he wanted to give continuity to what he was doing with research, publication plans and others, but that he no longer specified due to his illness.
“It is a way of thanking him as a grandson and as a citizen. This continuity was necessary ”.
It also stated that During the completion of this project, he got to know his grandfather a little more.
“I knew many aspects of my grandfather that I did not have present. We came across letters and photographs that I did not know about. Besides, compiling it all led my uncle and me to get to know and have fun seeing the city as it was, very different and curious, from the current point of view ”.
The Photographs of the book are part of the private archives of Luis Alegre, from the Malacara Archive and photographs by José R. Mena published with the permission of the Mena family.
“Facts of life from León. Data and dates ”was carried out with the support of the Municipal Education Secretariat and with the editorial care of Luis Alegre. Will be available in print on the public library network and in digital format by clicking here.
A story full of generosity
Luis Alegre, the city’s chronicler, pointed out that for him, the book Facts of life from León. Data and dates, is a “happy story” born from the generosity of “someone who dared to dream.”
“Don Antonio, in that spirit of generosity, of sharing and of taking the time and trouble to make a list of facts that have that magic of a child who is surprised and gets excited again with what he is going to tell us.”
Confessed that as a child read the publications of the AM Newspaper about the work of Mr. Malacara with photos that he collected, was what motivated him to “turn to see León” with a chronicler’s look.
He added that this work enriches the historiography of León “which still has many chapters missing”, so, he pointed out “it is not the task of a single lover” to continue collecting moments in history that will serve future generations.