Meet the 2 of Pentacles
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Juggling, balancing, multitasking, adapting. Flexibility. Hard times but you’ve got this! Planning. Yin and yang. Be patient while you wait for the coins to flip.
Francisco Munoz was a ‘muleskinner’ and an expert dynamiter. A muleskinner is a driver of mules. Rail construction used mules as drayage power to move over rough terrain. In early 1893, George F. Bell, of Paso Robles, went to Chihuahua, Mexico to purchase a train load’s worth of mules. He hired Munoz to help deliver the mules to Southern Pacific’s work crews. Francisco Munoz crossed the border on April 23, 1893, and quickly Americanized his name to Frank.
Munoz worked for Southern Pacific as a dynamiter in blasting out the Cuesta tunnels. His daughter, Ruth Silva, recalls her father telling her how hard the Chinese worked to prepare the way for the tunnels and to lay the road bed and track. After the Cuesta tunnels were completed, Munoz formed several business partnerships with Ah Louis, and Munoz went on to become one of California’s last great ‘vaqueros’. Later he became famous for his ability to blast tree stumps out of the ground so that walnut and almond orchards could be started in the vicinity of Paso Robles.