Ex-Bowie Linebacker Hits Jackpot With New Bakery


It always warms the heart to see a local boy make good. And oh, how well that designation fits former Bowie High football linebacker Johnny Marquez.  Marquez is the owner of the original Bowie Bakery located near Bowie High School. He took it over from his parents, Angel and Maria, in 1992. This past year he decided to expand. He and his wife, Erika, looked at property on the east side of town but couldn’t find anything suitable. Then they noticed a new business center being built near the crossroads on the west side. Erika convinced Johnny that was the place to go.

But Bowie on the west side? It seemed so improbable. The school and the name have always been associated with the south side of the city.  Johnny decided to Erika’s advice and take a chance. He hit the jackpot.


BUSINESS HAS been so good, Marquez says, that it caught him and his staff unprepared at the beginning. “We had so many customers and sold so many of our sweet breads some customers who had come in late in the day and seen empty shelves walked away angry,” he says. “We’ve tried hard to remedy that situation.”

It’s a problem, but what a great problem to have.

My wife and I have visited the bakery and sometimes early on found lines of customers so long they extended outside the door. The lines have abated but there is still a regular stream of customers every day.

The original Bowie Bakery was founded in 1956. Johnny Marquez’s parents bought it in 1972 and ran it until Johnny took over.  Johnny, 44, and Erika have two children, Diego and Sofia. I’m sure Johnny’s former teammates and coaches, as well as Bowie High alumni, are happy for their success.

Not to mention El Paso westsiders who are yumming up their goodies in big numbers.


TRIVIA question: In 1968, a UTEP quarterback had the greatest final quarter in the history of the school, completing17 of 24 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in the final 10:21 minutes as the Miners beat Brigham Young 31-25. Who was it? Answer at end.


HERE’S ANOTHER anecdote out of the past that will be included in a coming book about El Paso sports history:


Miners basketball begins 


A basketball team of sorts was organized at Texas State College of Mines and Metallurgy (UTEP) in 1915. It consisted mostly of football players and was coached by football coach Tommy Dwyer. There were few rules. Tackling and blocking were par for the course. So was elbowing under the basket. Broken bones were common and blood on the floor was not an unusual sight. The Miners played at Liberty Hall, which was part of the County Court House. There was no shot clock and late in the game when the players tired, Miners team captain Orb Walker would some times put the ball on the court and sit on it while the clock kept running. The Miners beat a local team called Cactus Club twice but lost to seven other teams, including the YMCA three times, New Mexico State twice and El Paso High School twice. – From “The Miners,” by Bob Ingram and Ray Sanchez plus UTEP records.


SAD NOTE: Diana Rivas, wife of veteran jockey Carlos Rivas, remains unconscious in a local hospital.

Her husband was seriously injured on Jan. 29 when a horse he was riding in a race at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino fell and rolled over him. He suffered several broken vertebrae, fractured ribs and a ruptured aorta.

A few weeks later just as Rivas was recovering, his wife became ill and went into a coma. Like his wife did when he was injured, Carlos has remained by her side constantly.


ANSWER to trivia question: Brooks Dawson.


Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by e-mail at rayf358@yahoo.com or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com