Ricardo Isaias Zavala and Ricardo Javier Zavala

When Ricardo Isaias Zavala came to StoryCorps, his son, Ricardo Javier, asked who the most important person in his life was.

The answer came without a moment’s hesitation — it was Vicente Domingo Villa, Ricardo Isaias’ grandfather.

He told a story that began in the 1920s, when Vicente was a young boy enamored with the vaqueros, or cowboys, who worked on the South Texas ranches where he lived.