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Alma Fitzgerald Carlsbad Character

The Sleeping Giant in Carlsbad

National Cave & Karst Research Institute

Finding Hidden Treasure Geocaching Adventures in New Mexico

Visit the shops in Carlsbad Mall Bealls LA Nails Sears Big 5 Sporting Goods Balloons-a-Poppin GNC Social Security Admin. Office Athlete’s Foot Extreme Audio Fish’s Claire's Party Jungle Cloud 9 Connie’s Snack Shack Turquoise n Things Average Jane’s Gym Play it Game Room Neish & Neil Clothing & Accessories Southwest Trophies & Gifts

Did you know that $100 spent locally returns $72 to our local economy here in New Mexico vs. $46 return spent in Big Chain Stores? These merchants are your neighbors and friends... they give generously to our local charities and schools. They pay taxes, utilities and hire locally! �THEY WON'T BE RECEIVING FEDERAL FUNDING�


table of contents Letters, Tourism, Retirement, Grand Openings

Community Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 FROM THE EDITOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 We’ve Got to do Something About Carlsbad and Artesia

The sleeping giant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 National Cave & Karst Research Institute

focus on health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Heart Health

Focus on History. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ‘The Honkers’: Fond Memory for Carlsbad Couple

Focus on a carlsbad character. . . . . . . 14 Alma Fitzgerald

Focus on sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Carlsbad Tennis Standout - Jamie McKenna

Focus on food. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 The Pecos River Café

more soup for you!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 the story of the chile pepper. . . . . . . . . 20 tidbits & trivia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21,27 focus on business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Balloons A Poppin’

focus on the road. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Geocaching Around Roswell

business & restaurant guide. . . . . . . . . 26 Editorial Content by Kyle Marksteiner Photography by Kyle Marksteiner - along with submitted photos Special Contributors: Jeff Keller & Patricia Gurczak, M.D.

Focus on Carlsbad is published quarterly by Ad Venture Marketing. Ad Venture Marketing, Ltd. Co. toll free: 866.207.0821 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of the information provided. The publisher assumes no responsibility or liability for errors, changes or omissions.

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focus on the Chamber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-6

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on the chamber

tourism corner

Carlsbad Featured on Travel Guide New Mexico During the month of December, the Travel Guide New Mexico film crew ventured to Carlsbad to film tourist attractions in and around the area. Featured for the segment were Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Sitting Bull Falls, Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park as well as a brief segment on Christmas on the Pecos. This weekly program is intended to give viewers an inside view and highlights on different areas of New Mexico. The show airs in New Mexico and in El Paso. The Carlsbad segment aired on January 2nd at 10:00 am. If you did not get a chance to see the program, you can view portions of the segment by visiting their website at www. then click on Carlsbad. Whether you live in New Mexico or plan to visit, take time to discover the magic and beauty that makes New Mexico one of the most scenic, cultural, historical, recreational and exciting destinations in the world. Every day in New Mexico is an opportunity to explore, learn, play, experience and enjoy.

Watch the weekly broadcasts on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am on KRQE Channel 13 in Albuquerque/Santa Fe or Sunday mornings at 8:30 am on KTSM News Channel 9 in El Paso/Las Cruces.

Southeastern New Mexico Joins Forces with American Eagle Members of several communities in Southeastern New Mexico have joined with the marketing team for American Eagle to help spread the word of the established service between Roswell and Los Angeles. The Southeastern New Mexico Marketing team consists of Debbie Bell – Artesia Chamber of Commerce, Jessica Armendariz - Chaves County Economic Development, Lisa Boeke - Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, Charles Meeks - Hotel Ruidoso, Steve Talley - City of Ruidoso, and Renee Rouche - Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau. The marketing team will partner with the New Mexico Tourism Department in February to do a travel expo hosted by the LA Times over the Valentine weekend. For further information on flight service out of the Roswell airport please visit AA.Com. Weekly specials on airfares are posted each day.


on carlsbad

Letter from the chairman

I want to start out by wishing everyone a very happy and blessed New Year. Most importantly, I want to wish that everyone has continued happiness and good health this coming year. Well, we just finished another successful Christmas on the Pecos (COP) campaign and again we could not have done it without the support of the homeowners. I also want to extend my sincere “Thank You” to all of the volunteers and Santa Elves that worked so hard and gave so much of their time to once again give Carlsbad national acclaim.

Welcome! New Members Charles Freeman Kettle Korn of NM

At the end of this month (January), representatives from the Chamber, City of Carlsbad, Eddy County, and Carlsbad Department of Development – known as the “Bat Brigade” - will be setting our GPS for Santa Fe and will once again make our presence known during the state’s legislative session. If you haven’t already heard, the “Bat Brigade” is well known within the state for its support during the legislative session.

Primesource Mortgage

Again, I want to extend a warm thank you for everyone’s support of the Chamber and the community events - I am proud to be a Carlsbadian!


Have a happy and blessed New Year!

Matt Leroch III Chairman of the Board

Matt Leroch,

Chairman of the Board URS Washington Division

Russell Hardy,

Incoming Chairman of the Board NMSU-Carlsbad

Susan Crockett,

Treasurer & Positively Carlsbad Chairperson Springtime Cleaning & Janitorial

Roxanne Lara,

Past Chairman of the Board Lara Law Firm

Dave Rogers,

Ambassador Chairperson CARC, Inc

Bonnie Bakal,

Governmental Affairs Chairperson Individual

Michael Calvani,

Christmas on the Pecos Chairperson Calvani’s Carpets

Southwest Santa Tom Myers For more info or to join the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Drop In: 302 South Canal Street Call: (575) 887-6516 Online:


2009-2010 Board of Directors

Todd Saulino

Marsha Drapala,

Retirement Council Chairperson Landsun Homes, Inc.

Bobby Forrest,

Tourism Chairperson Best Western Stevens Inn

Rudy Dominguez, Board Member Intrepid Potash NMLLC

Darold Haug, Board Member

Washington TRU Solutions

Tom Hollis, Board Member

Bob Yeager, Board Member

Century 21 Associated Professionals

Honorary Board Members

Carlsbad National Bank

John Benjamin,

Lodger’s Tax Representative Living Desert State Park

Jerri McTaggart, Board Member Simply Enchanted Events & Rentals

Alison Bryant

Wes Carter,

Susan Owen, Board Member

Ken Britt,

City Council Representative City Council

Lakeview Christian Home

Mayor Bob Forrest,

Sousorrone Viento Bed and Breakfast Inn

City of Carlsbad Mayor City of Carlsbad

Chris Bird,

Tom Saulino, Board Member

Mark Schinnerer, Board Member


Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition

John Lujan

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guy Lutman

Eddy County Commission

Ernie Mendoza

Eddy County Sheriff Office

Young Business League Chairperson Carlsbad National Bank

Johnna Stephens, Board Member Carlsbad Mental Health

Jim Stovall

Tina Britain, Board Member

Brenda Suggs, Board Member

Bureau of Land Management

Curves International

Western Commerce Bank

John Waters

Janet Carbary, Board Member

Judith Waters, Board Member

Dr. Sheri Williams

Kirstin Carlson, Board Member

Ernie White, Board Member

Carlsbad Medical Center Carlsbad Mental Health

First United Methodist Church

Carlsbad Department of Development Carlsbad Municipal Schools


Your Chamber Staff Robert P Defer, CEO

Janell Whitlock, Director of Retirement

Albert Elizondo, Administrative Assistant

Brenda Whiteaker, Director of Operations

Roland Caudill, Facilities Manager

Gilbert John Gonzalez, Facilities Maintenance Arthur “Dewey” Griffith, Facilities Maintenance Danny Strain, Facilities Maintenance

Lisa Boeke, Director of Marketing & Tourism

Donna Cass, Administrative Assistant


Grand Openings ribbon cuttings ground breakings Chandler Aviation – located at the Carlsbad Airport, 1505 A Terminal Drive – celebrated the grand opening of their new facility with an open house on November 17.

Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors helped Enterprise Car Rentals celebrate their new location at 1710 S. Canal Street.

Owners Trey and Sandra White, and Chamber Ambassadors held a grand opening for Gizmos, Gadget & More and Pac-n-Mail’s new location at 910 W. Pierce.

H & R Block employees and Chamber Ambassadors cut the ribbon at their new location 128 N Canyon on December 7.

Pecos River Antique Mall celebrated the grand opening of their new and larger location at 107 S Canyon Street.

Owners, staff, family, friends and Ambassadors help celebrate the grand opening of the Trinity Hotel and Restaurant located in downtown Carlsbad….corner of Fox and Canal Streets.

Representatives of the City of Carlsbad, Eddy County, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, CDOD, Greer Construction, SENMCAC, and NPSR Architects break ground at the Carlsbad Cascades on the first phase of a multimillion dollar enhancement in the Cascades. Speaking at the ground breaking, Commissioner Roxanne Lara noted the great collaboration between Carlsbad, Eddy County and numerous community members that has made this project a reality. The Carlsbad Department of Economic Development donated the land to the City of Carlsbad which will build the combined Senior Recreation facility and Adult Respite Care in three phases. Mayor Bob Forrest noted how the hard work of so many individuals has allowed this project to grow from a couple million to 10 million towards improving the quality of life for the community of Carlsbad. Pictured Holding Shovels (Left to Right): Elisa Davis Executive Director of South Eastern New Mexico Community Action Council; City Councilor Jim Grantner, Mayor Bob Forrest, County Commissioner Roxanne Lara, New Mexico State Senator Vernon Asbill, James Greer and Eugene Santilles from Greer Construction, and Carlsbad Department of Economic Development Executive Director John Waters.

<<< The 2010 Class of Leadership Carlsbad recently presented Teri Able of the Carlsbad Community Kitchen with the funds necessary to purchase a new commercial grade 10-burner stove. Able noted that the effort initiated by Leadership Carlsbad not only provided the needed kitchen equipment, but also prompted several thousand in additional donations to the Kitchen. Leadership Carlsbad is a joint venture of the Carlsbad Rotary Club and the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. In the picture: Back Row (L-R) Chad Ingram, Zack Walterscheid, Kathy Cox, John Safin, Tricia Johnson, Ben Decker, Mark Schinnerer, Keisha Holt Middle Row (L-R) Stephanie Shumsky, Gibi George, Debbie Charlet, Pam Hester, Cathy Dyck, Shiela Waltersheid, Cathy Muncrief Front Row (L-R) Connie Willis, Teri Able, Dave Rogers, Lisa McAvoy


The perception has been that retirees are a burden on society. They are sometimes treated as if, once they retire; they quit making any economic contribution. This is not true. The face of the retiree is changing. They are more active, lead a different lifestyle, and have much to offer. Some benefits include an increase in retail and property tax base; are more apt to vote; increase retail sales; increase local expertise and skills; and increase charity and church participation. Retirees also make significant contributions through volunteering, supporting the arts and athletic events. They participate in civic events and support public schools. Retirees have a choice in where to live. When they relocate, they are moving to a place they want to live and feel they fit in. Retirees look at climate, compatibility, housing, cost of living, quality recreational and cultural attractions and a slower paced lifestyle in making their decision. Since 2006, Carlsbad has welcomed 112 retirees moving from such states as CA, NV, TN, FLA, OH, PA, MO, AR, NY, AZ, KY, and WI. They are actively involved in our community. Traditional economic development focuses on attracting industrial or commercial business to locate their operations in a given area. Attracting retirees to a community has the same effect as attracting a business. Retirement promotion works hand in hand with tourism. Retirees boost area tourism. After they relocate, their family and friends will visit. Before they make their move to Carlsbad, they are tourists. So let us roll out the red carpet and show retirees that Carlsbad is A Place to Call Home. Janell Whitlock, Director of Retirement, can be reached at 575-887-6516


on carlsbad

community events JANUARY


28th (Noon) Victory Lunch/Annual Meeting

6th - 9th Mescal Roast

United Way of Carlsbad and South Eddy County will celebrate the conclusion of its annual community campaign and hold its annual meeting at the Pecos River Village Conference Center, 711 Muscatel Ave. The lunch will be hosted by Carlsbad Medical Center. For more information, call Laurie Roche at the United Way office at 575-887-3504.

February 6th (2 – 3 p.m.) Sweetheart Serenade

Sentimental favorites will be performed by the Cavernaires Barbershop Chorus at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park Visitor’s Center. Free. Regular fees apply to enter the park. For more information, call Kathryn Law at the park at 575-887-5516.

April 10th (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) Spring Plant Sale

Ornamental house plants and native and other xeric plants for landscaping will be for sale at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park. For more information, call Chris Dawson at the park at 575-887-5516.

15th Ninth Annual Taste of Carlsbad

This popular Chamber of Commerce event features numerous food and wine vendors from area restaurants. For more information, call the Chamber at 575-887-6516.

24th (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) March for Parks Earth Day Event

This event at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park will combine Earth Day exhibits and programs with a march that raises funds for local park improvements. There will also be door prizes, giveaways, a silent auction, solar viewing, and Party for the Planet special children’s activities. Free. Regular fees apply to enter the park. For more information, call Kathryn Law at the park at 575-887-5516.

This annual Mescalero Apache interpretive and ceremonial event at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park will begin at 10 a.m., May 6, with the mescal pit blessing. May 7th and 8th will feature a Native American arts and crafts show all day, an interpretive roundtable at 2 p.m., and an Apache feast dinner at 6 p.m., followed by Apache war dances and the Dance of the Mountain Spirits. The event will conclude May 9 with the mescal pit opening and mescal tasting ceremony at 11 a.m. Tickets for the dinner and dances are limited to 500 each night and are $15 each. For more information, call Linda Frank at the park at 575-887-5516.

Other Events Fridays (7:30-9:30 a.m.) Friday Focus

Friday Focus is a great opportunity to market your business and network with other Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce members at the Stevens Inn. Place a business card in the basket, and when called on, introduce yourself and your business. Distribute business and promotional material on tables. (Collect before leaving). Networking opportunities are endless. Call the Chamber for more information at 575-887-6516.

Fridays (9:30-10:30 a.m.) Preschool Story Time

Story Time takes place every Friday morning when school is in session at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park Visitor’s Center. Songs, a story, a short walk in the park (weather permitting), and crafts are offered for preschool children and accompanying adults. Free. For more info., call Linda Frank at the park at 575-887-5516.

Full Moon Walk

April 28: 7:30-8 p.m. park entrance May 27: 8-8:30 p.m. park entrance

Visitors can stroll through Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park by the light of a full moon. This is a beautiful time to experience the park. Regular entrance fees apply. For more information, call Kathryn Law at the park at 575-887-5516.

Star Parties

February 12: Brantley Lake, 6-8 p.m. Jupiter and Mars will be visible. March 19: Living Desert, 7:30-9:30 p.m. April 16: Brantley Lake, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Venus, Mars, and Saturn will be visible. Look at the wonders of the night sky through large telescopes at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and Brantley Lake state parks. Programs at Living Desert are free; regular fees apply to enter Brantley Lake State Park. For more information, call Kathryn Law at Living Desert at 575-8875516.

Ready for a new career path?

Make this the winter you begin your journey.

Register at NMSU Carlsbad.

Classes begin Jan. 14 in Carlsbad, in Artesia, online.

(575) 234-9200 Building Brighter Futures Together


from the editor

We’ve got to do something about Carlsbad & Artesia By which I’m talking about the two communities in California. They completely mess up our showing on the Internet. If you have access to the Internet later today, go ahead and type “Carlsbad” or “Artesia” into the search engine. I’ll wait. Chances are at least some of first few hits that turned up were in reference to the California communities with the same names. This causes all sorts of confusion, at least to me, when I’m trying to find a location nearby and it tries to send me to California. Plus, who knows how many people were originally trying to plan vacations to our Carlsbad, but got confused by the other Carlsbad and just went to Hobbs or Roswell instead. I suggest a dance-off. New Mexico Carlsbad and Artesia each put forth their best breakdancer. California Carlsbad and Artesia do the same. Then, while everyone is distracted by all that dancing, we sneak into the place where town names are stored and add a couple letters to the California communities. There will be no more confusion when you are looking for something related to Carlsbad on the Internet.

In case you’ve ever wondered, here’s a little bit of information about Other Artesia and Other Carlsbad: Other Carlsbad was incorporated in 1952. It is one of the highest-income places in the country and is home to the LEGOLand theme park. Other Carlsbad’s high school mascot is the Lancers. Other Artesia is the home of the East West Ice Palace, an ice rink co-owned by Michelle Kwan. It was also the childhood home of former First Lady Pat Nixon. There are no Other Loving or Other Loco Hills, that I’m aware of.


on carlsbad

Google Maps - A Street Level View of Your Neighborhood Since we’re kind of on the topic of the Internet, I’d like to introduce some of you to a pretty new feature on Google Maps. As most of you already know, Google Maps is a great way to find directions from one point to another. What’s pretty new is a feature that actually allows you to physically see your neighborhood. You can virtually “drive” up and down Pierce and Canal streets if you like! If you haven’t tried this before, check it out. Either type your address in Google Maps or just zoom in over and over until you are near your residence. Once you are all the way zoomed in, click on the little orange man and then click over to the part of the map you’d like to see. A real life picture of your neighborhood comes up. How did they do this? Apparently, the Google Maps people drove around almost every city in the country with a special camera that takes pictures in all directions. Then they uploaded all of these maps into a giant database somewhere. They added some security measures like blurring faces and hiding military bases. Based on what the trees look like and what businesses are open, it appears that the Google Maps people drove through Carlsbad (New Mexico) in late 2008 to early 2009. It’s actually kind of handy when you need to find a new address as you’ll know in advance what the house looks like. More importantly, it’s kind of fun to virtually visit places you’ve been before and see what they look like now. And if you really want to, you can even check out Carlsbad, California.

Kyle Marksteiner is the editor of Focus Magazine. He can be reached at

feature story on the road

TheSleepingGiant Cave and Karst Research Institute’s Education Director Excited about Future

In her childhood, Dianne

Gillespie liked to imagine herself exploring a unique, crystal wonderland. She recalls, at age 3, watching an ant crawl through the inside of a newlybroken-open geode and being terribly jealous. “I wanted to be that ant,” she said. Ever since then, Gillespie has found herself drawn back to the underground. Only recently, she found a way to get paid doing so. She presently serves as the associate director of education for the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, headquartered in Carlsbad. Karst terrain is a geographic area that is characterized by bedrock that is water soluble. Common examples of soluble rock are carbonate (limestone and marble) and evaporate (gypsum and salt). Some notable features of a karstic terrain are sinkholes, disappearing streams, springs and caves. Formerly a part of the National Park Service, NCKRI has recently reorganized through the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology as a non-profit corporation with three primary partners: National Park Service, City of Carlsbad, and the State of New Mexico. As education director, Gillespie’s job is to develop the institute’s education plan, including cave and karst related

curriculum for use in the public schools. She’ll also put together a myriad of programs for summer camps, after school and educational outreach aimed at all ages. The institute’s main building is currently under construction at Carlsbad’s Cascades. Most of the features of the outside building are complete, and the institute hopes to be inside and operational by 2011. The institute currently operates out of offices located at Carlsbad’s Permian Basin Regional Training Center. Gillespie was born in southeastern Kentucky, amidst the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She obtained an undergraduate degree in theater from the University of Kentucky and moved to Florida where she ultimately found herself in surgical equipment and medical diagnostic sales. Then, around the turn of the millennium, she moved back to Kentucky; she didn’t like some of the changes to the environment that she saw. “Because of the amount of litter in the waterways there, I became more interested in the environment,” she said. She recalls a time when she went wild caving with a group of friends. She was two miles in to what she thought was a pristine cave when she slipped on a can and crashed into the wall. “I thought, if the litterbugs had reached all the way there, I’ve got to do something,” she said.

Pictured Above: Dianne Gillespie stands in front of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in Carlsbad.

She returned to school and obtained a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in science and history education. Then she spent ten years as a teacher, including the time she was in school. “I taught middle school mostly,” Gillespie said. “But I’ve taught age groups ranging from 3-years-old to seniors in high school.” In her free time, Gillespie would volunteer for the American Cave Conservation Association, conducting teacher workshops. She learned about NCKRI at Mammoth Cave National Park during her internship as a geoscience teacher in the park. “This position gives me the opportunity to do, as my profession, what I’d been doing on a volunteer basis and much more,” she said. “It is my dream job.” Gillespie moved to Carlsbad in June, but she was then promptly sent on a sixmonth road trip by the center’s director, George Veni. She visited a whopping 32 different states during that period. “There are organizations around the country running different educational programs who are wondering what NKRI is doing,” she said. “I met with people to discuss partnering in education, and how the institute could work for them and with them.” continued on page 10


feature story on the road The Sleeping Giant continued from page 9

Now that Gillespie is back in Carlsbad, she’s had more time to become acquainted with the building that is going to become the institute’s headquarters. “Every part of the building is going to be an educational opportunity for us,” she said. “The entire building is designed and built to be a model for living on karst. For example, one outside wall of the building has been designed as a bat roost. It may be the only building in history that wants bat guests.” “If you build it, they will come,” Gillespie said. “We’re setting up cameras and climate monitoring equipment to study them. Bat Conservation International is partnering with us to design the research plan.” Meanwhile, the bat guano, an excellent fertilizer , is expected to be used in the

landscaping, as will any rainwater the building receives. And, yes, institute members will clean the guano in the area on a regular basis. Another portion of the exterior features three large crossbeams. Like everything else at the institute, they are more than just decoration. “As a caver, this was just something that made me really excited,” Gillespie said. “The three beams can be used for vertical training and for rescue practice.” The outside two-story building also includes the largest window in Carlsbad. Another wall will be covered with limestone and feature a waterfall. Gillespie is already planning water-flow lessons for visiting students. Once completed, the research institute will serve a variety of functions. The entire central portion of the first floor will effectively be a museum about caves and karst. Visitors will enter into

... Offering careers, not jobs.

The Largest Producer of Potash in the U.S. Carlsbad, New Mexico


on carlsbad

the “twilight zone” portion of the cave and then face an enormous model of a famous feature in Lechuguilla Cave. From there, they will stroll past a number of other cave and karst exhibits. There are also plans to have several exhibits about geology located outside the building. The first floor also includes several classrooms, a laboratory and a dyeroom. The offices are all upstairs. That’s where employees of the institute, when they are not out in the field, will process their research. There will also be offices for visiting scientists from other karst institutes around the world who would conduct experiments related to the region’s abundant cave and karst features. Gillespie said cavers and scientists worldwide have said they are excited about the growth of NCKRI. “They are expecting NCKRI to become the world’s premier institute,” she said.

on health

Heart Health

Knowing heart attack symptoms can save a life By Patricia Gurczak, M.D.

Heart disease is the number-one killer of both men and women in the United States. More than one million Americans suffer from heart attacks every year, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). But you can reduce your risk by being knowledgeable about heart health. Heart attacks can happen to anyone, regardless of your age Patricia Gurczak, M.D. and fitness level. While advancing age and certain chronic health conditions are certainly risk factors, it’s important to monitor your heart health and know the various causes, or triggers, for a heart attack. Knowing your risk and taking steps to prevent heart problems can help keep your heart healthy for life. Not all heart attacks are recognized and treated, according to a recent study at Duke University Medical Center. Risk factors for silent heart attacks are the same as for regular heart attacks–smoking, diabetes, hypertension, stress, and family history–and these heart episodes occur more frequently than physicians had previously thought. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in April 2009 examined 185 patients who had never been diagnosed as having a heart attack but were at risk for coronary artery disease. Researchers found that 35 percent of these patients had evidence of a prior heart attack and that these asymptomatic heart attacks were three times more common than those heart attacks that manifested themselves in more traditional ways–and more deadly, increasing the risk of death by 11 times in two years. Individuals who suffered these silent attacks often experienced a symptom they did not attribute to heart trouble and had another risk factor for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Common heart attack warning signs

According to the AHA, heart attack warning signs typically begin slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. The AHA considers the following symptoms as warning signs of a heart attack: • Chest discomfort, such as uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain • Pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort • Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness Additional heart attack symptoms include: a weak feeling, sudden dizziness, a pounding heart, shortness of breath, heavy perspiration, a feeling of impending doom, nausea and vomiting. Notably, women and men often experience different heart attack symptoms. Women are more likely to have non-traditional heart attack symptoms like fatigue, indigestion and sleep disturbances. Up to 43 percent of women experience no chest pain prior to or during a heart attack, according to research by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with your doctor to learn more about your risk level for heart attacks and any lifestyle modifications you can take now to keep your heart healthy, or log onto our web site at for more information.

About the Author:

Patricia Gurczak, M.D. is a local cardiologist practicing at Cardiovascular Associates of Carlsbad, located at 2420 W. Pierce Street, Suite 100. Cardiovascular Associates of Carlsbad is affiliated with Pecos Valley Physician Group and is part of the Southern New Mexico Heart Network.


on history

‘The Honkers’: Fond Memory for Carlsbad Couple It was 1971, and Carlsbad residents were bonkers about “The Honkers.” They stood in line to try out for parts as extras. They gathered around filming locations to watch the action, even at 1 a.m. They showed up at local restaurants, swimming pools and clubs for the chance to meet the likes of Slim Pickens, Jim Davis and James Coburn. “The Honkers,” directed by Steve Inhat, wasn’t the first movie filmed near Carlsbad. In the days before CGI, a host of underground blockbusters took advantage of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. However, “The Honkers,” a story about an over-the-hill rodeo champion, was perhaps the Hollywood movie that most featured the citizens of Carlsbad and the town itself. It has been 39 years since the Western was filmed in Carlsbad, but on movie sites such as IMDb, former and current Carlsbad residents still swap stories about meeting Ann Archer at a swimming pool or being hired to drive Coburn from a hotel. For Don and Christel Miehls, “The Honkers” also proved to be quite lucrative. The couple owned and operated The Fountain Cocktail Lounge and Steak Room, near the intersection of Church Street and Happy Valley Road, and members of the movie’s cast and crew would show up almost nightly at the upscale location. “Mike Davis ran and owned the Ramada Inn, which was on the corner of Lea and Canal streets,” Don Miehls said. “The Honkers pretty much took up the whole inn. Mike put a copy of our wine list in every room, and the next day they hit The Fountain like gangbusters.”

cast and crew pretty well. They seemed to especially appreciate regular visits from actor Slim Pickens. “Slim Pickens was really my dear friend,” Christel said. “The first time he came in, he said, ‘I want you to order a case of Porterhouse steaks.’ When the case came in, he said, ‘Now I want everybody to have a Porterhouse, and put it on my bill.” Once, Christel noted, Pickens called her from Santa Fe. “It was on my birthday, and he said, ‘I want to celebrate your birthday,’” she recalled. “He came down and stayed at The Fountain until 3 a.m.” “I introduced Slim to a wine called Isabael that came from Portugal,” Don recalled. “So he’d go from table to table each night and say, ‘Tonight, we are serving Isabel.’” The star of the movie, Coburn, would usually sit by himself. Sometimes, he would invite Don to join him at his table in the corner for a glass of wine and tell stories of his travels to India. Most of the actors and actresses ate and drank heartily, but they were also extremely polite, the couple said. The celebrities would show up at the restaurant any time between 5 p.m. and midnight, depending on what their filming schedule was for that day. Don and Christel generally were too busy running the restaurant to watch filming, but they did find a few chances to catch the action. “I remember once they were filming at an old motel and they invited us,” Don said. “I asked what time, and they said 1 a.m. So after we closed, we went over there.”

At the time, Miehls said, most locations didn’t carry wine, so The Fountain’s extensive wine list was especially popular.

There was still a large crowd gathered around to watch, Don remembered, but someone recognized the owners of The Fountain and moved them to the front of the group.

Filming took about six weeks. Don and Christel got to know the members of the

The Miehls’ children, Dennis and Brent, both helped run the restaurant after they


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Christel and Don Miehls pose in the study of their Carlsbad home. The couple owned The Fountain, a restaurant that was popular with the cast and crew of “The Honkers,” when the movie was filmed in 1971.

finished their homework. Brent was especially interested in the production, Don commented. After the filming, Don said he had a chance to visit the Hollywood production studio where the movie was being edited during a trip to California. “The Honkers” premiered at Carlsbad’s Cavern Theatre the following year, and residents turned out in force to watch. The Western flick was popular with a crowd that readily identified with the genre. “When we first came here in the 1970s, this was a Western town,” Christel said. “It (The Honkers) really made The Fountain,” Don stated. “Every day was Saturday, and Saturday was the biggest day of the week.” The Fountain, which opened in 1967, closed its doors for good in 1986.

‘The Honkers’

Cutting Room Floor Carlsbad resident Lynne Pitcaithley recalls that her husband, Al, tried out for a part as an extra but was eventually cast as a barber in the movie. Both Lynne and Al had an interest in acting, but Lynne was too busy with her career to participate. Pitcaithley said Al, who was a radio announcer, would update her on the filming when they both came home each evening.


Carnival Tent with 8 New Games Clown Air Dancer Foam Pit Rock Climbing Dunk Tank and Water Slides Birthdays • AR Parties • Teams • Christmas School Functions and Carnivals • Company Functions Face Painting • Balloon Animals • Teddy Bear Stuffers Glimmer Tattoos (temporary Art) • Nail Art Snack Bar • Pucker Powder Karaoke and Sound System Decorating • Balloon Arches Balloon Bouquets

“It was supposed to be a five minute bit where the lead character got his hair cut,” Pitcaithley recalled. The hair cut scene, however, did not make the cut. Al didn’t take it personally, Pitcaithley said, as he understood that those things happen when movies are made.

Book of Memories Actors who starred in the film signed a book thanking the Miehls for their hospitality.

Just like always,

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on a carlsbad character

Carlsbad Character: Alma Fitzgerald Alma Fitzgerald hasn’t slowed down much.

and I’d keep at it (at the Fitz) until she could return,” Alma Fitzgerald said.

She still volunteers with the NAACP and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Committee, among other organizations. She is even a regular first place winner of the committee’s annual costume contest, though she didn’t win last year.

The Fitz Drive-In served hot dogs, hamburgers, fish, candy and soft drinks, along with barbecue from Dewey’s. Carhops kept the business running, and children played on a small roller skating rink next to the restaurant. Dewey also owned an indoor skating rink across the street.

Fitzgerald, 85, remains very active at Carlsbad’s Mt. Olive Baptist Church, where she’s been an usher for 50 years and is also a mainstay on the church’s decorating and food committees.

For 2010, Fitzgerald pledges to put her faith and her health first. “My goal is to study the Bible for one year,” she said. “My goal is to stay healthy and do all I can for humanity. I love God, and I love people. I love doing work in the public.”

A busy barbecue pit 60 years ago brought Alma to Carlsbad.

Dewey Fitzgerald first arrived in Carlsbad in 1923; he worked at a local hotel for some time. In 1946, he took out a loan and opened Dewey’s BAR-B-Q in central Carlsbad. “It was integrated,” Alma Fitgerald said. “When he asked for the loan, he said it was going to be for everybody, and everybody ate there.”

Hot dogs sold for a quarter. Burgers sold for 50 cents. “I cooked so many of those hamburgers I’d cook them in my sleep,” Fitzgerald said. At first, the café stayed open until 10 p.m., but when Dewey later sold the skating rink to someone who opened a bar across the street, the Fitz would stay open until 2 a.m. to accommodate those customers. “I loved that job,” Alma said. “We didn’t get rich, but we made a living. My dad-in-law didn’t go to school to learn to run a restaurant. He just ran it like he saw it. We could have made more money if it wouldn’t have been for those prices.”

Dewey’s flavor drew quite the crowd. “He was the best in the West,” Alma boasted. “There was never another one like him.”

Once, the Harlem Globetrotters came through town and stopped for burgers. “One of the Globetrotters wrote me a note and put his room number on the message!” Fitzgerald

Four years after opening the barbecue pit, Dewey opened a café, the Fitz Drive-In, on San Jose Boulevard, and invited his son and daughter-in-law, Ellis and Alma Fitzgerald, to manage the enterprise.

said, laughing.

On Aug. 31, 1950, Ellis and Alma moved from Marlin, TX, to Carlsbad to help run the Fitz Drive-In. Ellis didn’t like the job at first and went to work for the City of Carlsbad, so it was up to Alma and her mother-in-law, La Noksie, to keep things going. “She would go help Dewey downtown

The Fitz closed for a few years when family members were battling illness, and Alma went to work at Dewey’s. Later, when Dewey passed away, the Fitzgerald family downsized by closing the old barbecue pit in central Carlsbad and turning the Fitz Drive-In on San Jose into Dewey’s. “That’s


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when my husband started barbecuing,” Alma said, noting that she’d prepare the beans and slaw.

was, and they gave me a tour of the place,” Fitzgerald said. “Everything was stinking brand new.”

The restaurant closed its doors for good in 1985.

Alma worked several other jobs after the restaurant closed, and she also developed an illustrious career as a volunteer.

“When Rojas opened up, I went in and told them who I

Ellis died in 2004. Alma said they had a very happy marriage. “We were together night and day,” she said. “And we got along pretty good! Being a man, he fussed, you know, but we didn’t fight.”

“It’s sad. It’s still sad,” Fitzgerald said about the closure. Years later, a new owner opened up at the same location Rojas Mexican Restaurant.

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By Jeff Keller

It has been said that success

courts further success. That certainly has been the case for 2008 Carlsbad High School graduate Jamie McKenna. McKenna, a member of three consecutive state championship Cavegirl tennis teams, was given a shot to play at the collegiate level after Western New Mexico University tennis coach Erik Burton saw her competing in the state tournament her senior season. "I was offered a scholarship," McKenna said. "My coach had been scouting and he went to the state tournament and he watched me play and I didn't even know that he was there. It wasn't until I got a phone call a couple of weeks later. He said he had watched me play at the state tournament and he wanted to know if I wanted to come and play (at Western New Mexico). They offered me the first year not free, but I would say a 3/4 (scholarship)." McKenna had a decorated high school tennis career as she was a part of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Cavegirl state championship teams. Her junior season she and her doubles partner were runners-up at the state tournament. Her senior season she shined in singles play as the District 4-5A champion. CHS tennis coach Ryan Galindo said McKenna was a player that continued to improve during her high school playing days. "She made a lot of great improvements throughout her high school career," Galindo said. "She has always been a very competitive player. But we really worked hard on pushing her to be more aggressive. She was always willing to work hard and do the things she needed to do to improve. She made a lot of great strides over the years." Galindo added that McKenna's play on the courts was vital to the Cavegirls' team success. "She was a key member of our teams," Galindo said. "She was always a solid singles player and she played different levels in doubles. She finished second in doubles as a junior at state. She was a very important part of our teams." Last season, her freshman campaign at WNMU in Silver City, McKenna showed that she could compete at the collegiate level as well. Burton said McKenna had a solid freshman season for his team. "Last year Jamie was one of our stronger up and


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Jamie McKenn

Carlsbad Tennis Standout Reflects on the Next Level


on sports

coming freshmen," Burton said. "She had quite a few pretty good wins in the beginning of the season against ranked opponents. She was an all-conference doubles player last season." Though McKenna earned third team all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors in doubles play last season, Burton said she is a more solid singles player. "Definitely singles play is her strength," Burton said. "The problem is the collegiate level of tennis is just a total different level. It was good for her in the beginning but it got a little trickier as the season progressed. She had some minor injuries and she faced a solid level of talented players. She didn't do too bad in conference. She battled well all the way through conference." McKenna said there are many differences between high school and college tennis. "It was a little more chaotic," McKenna said of the college game. "I felt like in high school everything was really prompt and timely, but in college it didn't seem as organized and you don't play as many matches. Overall I really enjoyed it. Just meeting everybody and having a new team as family was really fun. You can't break those bonds. Those bonds are just too good." McKenna is still attending WNMU but decided not to play tennis this season. "I know what I am interested in," McKenna said. "I love athletics, but I think I have lost a little bit of my competitive edge. I would rather play tennis for fun." The literature major said she plans on finishing this school year at WNMU and then transferring to a college in Oregon, possibly Oregon State University. As for her tennis career, McKenna said she hasn't ruled out trying out for the Oregon State tennis team. "Maybe," McKenna said. "It is not a definite but I probably will." Photo courtesy of Will Rodriguez


A New Publication from Ad Venture Marketing If you are interested in advertising in Eddy County Homes, please contact: Alyx Duncan, Marketing Consultant Direct Line: 575.628.0933



on food

Following in Mom’s Footsteps Key to Café Success

At the Pecos River Café, it really is just like mom used to make.

Owner Diana Cerny says her mother, Vasso Chalamidas, is responsible for much of what makes the restaurant so enjoyed by so many. Vasso, with help from her husband, Tom, ran the Fourth Street Café in Albuquerque for 20 years, Cerny said. “It was twice the size of this place (the Pecos River Café), and they were packed. My mom just has a knack for cooking. She’s awesome.” Cerny and her husband, Chris, moved to Carlsbad for his career in education. Diana Cerny had worked at the family restaurant in Albuquerque for seven years, and Chris worked there as well while he was a student at the University of New Mexico. In Carlsbad, Diana Cerny spent about three years at home with her son before deciding she wanted to open a restaurant. In 1998, three years after closing the popular Albuquerque eatery, Vasso helped her daughter open the Pecos River Café. “I’d been looking at various locations, and when the old Pizza Hut was up for sale, I asked my parents what they thought,” Cerny said. Vasso did more than just help her daughter get started - she introduced most of her menu, including the restaurant’s popular New Mexican food and soup recipes. She also taught her daughter a lot about the business side of running a restaurant. “I really give her most of the credit,” Cerny said. “When we first opened, she stayed here for two weeks. When it was time for her to leave, I got scared, but the best thing she ever did for me was leave after two weeks and say,‘You are on your own now.’”


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Cerny still sees her mother’s hand in everything at the restaurant. “I left everything the way she organized it,” she said. Mom’s cooking and business know-how are undoubtedly what helped lead to the Pecos River Café quickly becoming one of Carlsbad’s most popular breakfast and lunch destinations. “Plus the fact that I have great employees,” Diana stated. “They’ve been with me since the beginning. It really is like a family here.” The café’s grilled sandwiches and Mexican food are among the most popular items - especially the restaurant’s Mexican breakfast plates. Diana’s favorites include the Turkey Delight Sandwich, the Grilled Philly and the Pronto Smothered Burrito. The restaurant was recently lauded as one of the best places to have breakfast in New Mexico. More importantly, perhaps, actress Julia Roberts stopped there for breakfast in 2001. “It’s hard to believe, but it’s true,” Cerny said, smiling. “She didn’t want to give out autographs until she’d had her coffee.” Feedback at the restaurant is overwhelmingly positive. “Sometimes people from out of town will tell us they’ve been traveling for awhile, but this was their favorite place to eat out of all the states they’ve been through. I love it when I hear that,” Cerny said. The Pecos River Café is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Plenty of people have tried to talk Cerny into opening for dinner or weekends, but she isn’t budging. “I wanted to still keep my position as a mom,” she replied. “I told myself that I would not do it unless I could spend weekends with my children.” The café does occasionally open on weekends as a fundraiser.

Despite being one of Carlsbad’s most popular establishments, the café’s quick pace keeps waits to a minimum, making it the ideal location in Carlsbad for a business lunch. “We are quick in the kitchen,” Cerny said. “And if we’re quick in the kitchen, the rest of the staff has to be quick.” Cerny is usually just about everywhere during the restaurant’s busy times. She cooks in the morning and at lunch alternates between the kitchen, the cash register and the dining room. Her favorite part is the cooking. “I really like to make the plates look good,” she stated. “I’m pretty picky.” Cerny said she’ll experiment with recipes at home now and then, but for the most part she’s stuck with her mom’s magical creations. She cooks for her family in the evenings and on weekends, though her husband, Chris, will also take over. “My husband is a good cook. He’ll help us here in the mornings, too, just like my dad helped my mom in the mornings.” Cerny’s happy to see recent growth in Carlsbad’s restaurant options. “There’s so much variety for everybody to go out and enjoy themselves,” she said. “It’s nice to see Carlsbad getting some really good restaurants. I love to go out to different places and enjoy myself and relax, too.” Cerny’s recommendation for new restaurant owners is something she clearly practices. “My advice is to be there all of the time,” she said. “Just keep your place clean and work hard. There’s nothing wrong with hard work.” In the future, Cerny plans to just keep at the job she loves - with a group of dedicated employees she loves working with daily. “And maybe one of these days, when my kids are off, I may even start opening on evenings or weekends,” she said with a smile.

More Soup For You! Nothing beats the cold weather like soup! Here are a few recipes for you to try out.

Nacho Cheese Soup What you need:

1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained 1 can (14 - 15 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained hot pepper sauce, to taste 2 cups water 1 package (5 1/4 oz.) Au Gratin Potatoes (with cheese packet) 2 cups skim milk 1 cup (about 5 oz.) light Velveeta cheese, cubed

What to do:

In a large pot, combine the contents of the Au Gratin potatoes package (with cheese packet), corn, tomatoes, and water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk, cheese, and hot sauce. Cook and stir frequently until the cheese is completely melted.

Spicy CucumberAvocado Soup What you need:

1/2 firm - ripe California avocado 1 1/2 pounds cucumbers, cut into 1/2 - inch pieces 1 (8 oz) container plain low-fat yogurt (1 cup) 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh jalapeno chile with seeds 1 cup small ice cubes Garnish: diced avocado and chopped chives

What to do:

Peel and pit avocado. Blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth, about 1 minute. Recipes from

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The Origin

Chile peppers originated in the lowlands of Brazil as small red, round, “berry-like” fruits. This location called the ‘nuclear area’ has the greatest number of wild species of chile peppers in the world today. Scientists believe that birds are mainly responsible for the spread of wild chile peppers out of this ‘nuclear area.’ Over the centuries birds developed a symbiotic relationship with chile peppers. Birds do not have the receptors in their mouths that feel the “heat” and a bird’s digestive system does not harm the chile pepper seed. So while birds could go around gathering up the small fruits and consuming them with no adverse effects, dispersed seeds would grow into new plants. Many scientists also believe that chile pepper plants evolved the capsaicinoids, the chemical that makes chile peppers hot, to deter mammals from eating the pods, thus ensuring the spread and continuation of the species. The fruit of wild chile peppers, when ripe, are easily removed from the plant by birds; however, the green will not pull away from the calyx very easily, thus ensuring that only viable seeds are being dispersed.

Domestication & Types

There are five domesticated and 25 known wild species of chile peppers. The domesticated species include annuum, chinense, frutescens, baccatum, and pubescens. C. annuum, has the greatest number of varieties and contains the New Mexican pod type, jalapeño, bell pepper, cherry, poblano, and hundreds more pod types. C. chinese has the habanero and scotch bonnet, while C. frutescens has the famous Tabasco. C. baccatum are the South American ‘aji’s’ while C. pubescens is the ‘Rocoto’ and ‘Manzano’.

The Spread of Chile Peppers

When Christopher Columbus was looking for a new spice trade route and bumped into the New World, he came across these new fruits when the Western Natives offered him some chile pepper. When he ate the pods he felt the same “burn” or “heat” felt from black pepper and he mistakenly called it “pepper.” This is why, today, chile peppers are called peppers. Columbus took the fiery pods back to Spain and they quickly spread across the Eastern hemisphere and are used in almost every international cuisine around the world. Chile pepper plants are also grown in almost every country in the


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world. There are several stories about how chile peppers came to New Mexico, some scientists believe that Onate brought them on his expedition of the Camino Real and others believe they arrived in New Mexico through trade between the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest and the Toltec Indians of Mexico. There is no archeological evidence to either prove nor dispel either theory. But one thing is for sure, the Native Pueblo Indians of the Southwest were definitely growing chile peppers.

New Mexican Chile Peppers

Today many of these chile peppers that were grown for thousands of years are still being grown in small family-oriented farms scattered around Northern New Mexico. However, these landrace chile peppers are dying out because there are more “robust” varieties that are more desirable to the industry. Back at the turn of the 20th century, Fabian Garcia, a pioneer horticulturist at New Mexico State University, realized the problems inherent with native landraces and introduced a new type of pod to the chile pepper industry: ‘New Mexico No. 9’. This cultivar was a farmer’s dream, with its regular size and shape and dependable heat. It was a commercial success and kicked-off the Mexican food boom in America. Farmers, in particular in southern New Mexico where the growing season is longer, eagerly swapped out their traditional landraces for the new cultivar and started turning out profitable crops. On the other hand, the landraces that existed in the Southern part of the State have vanished and been replaced by more commercially viable options. Dr. Garcia bred several varieties of

Mexican pasilla and chile pepper in Colorado to come up with the hybrid now known as the New Mexican pod type. Varieties of New Mexican pod types include NuMex Big Jim, NuMex Joe E. Parker, NuMex Sandia and NuMex Española Improved. The public’s demand for New Mexican chile peppers started a little over 75 years ago. Any variety developed at NMSU carries the precursor “NuMex.” NuMex Big Jim is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest chile pepper ever grown at 13.5 inches long. New Mexico is the nation’s premier producer of hot chile peppers. Green chile pepper is produced mainly for the fresh market with a small portion going to processing, almost all of the red chile pepper and cayenne produced is processed. Paprika is used mostly for its coloring agent properties. The three southern New Mexico counties account for 75 percent of all chile pepper acreage. Dona Ana, Luna, and Hidalgo. Twenty percent of the entire state’s harvest and almost the entire northern New Mexico crop are destined for the fresh market. New Mexico’s cash crop of chile peppers, which includes; green and red New Mexican chile pepper peppers, jalapeños, cayennes and paprika, is worth $60 million at harvest. After processing this value quadruples.

Chile Pepper Production

There are many factors that affect chile pepper production in New Mexico, including pests and disease. Many chile pepper researchers describe chile peppers as not liking to get their “feet” wet. In New Mexico and most areas of the world, chile pepper growers can experience harsh losses if their fields are in standing water for greater than a 24-hour period. The loss is due to the soil born fungus called phytophthora, which is referred to as “chile pepper wilt” by many home gardeners. Other diseases include curly top, which is transmitted by the leaf hopper insect, powdery mildew, and damping off. Many other insects that make chile pepper peppers a host include aphids, thrips and whiteflies.

Information printed with permission from the New Mexico Tourism Department Web Page, Information originally from New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute.


Isaac and Albert were excitedly describing the result of the Third Annual International Science Fair Extravaganza in Sweden. There were three contestants: Louis, Rene, and Johannes. Isaac reported that Louis won the fair, while Rene came in second. Albert, on the other hand, reported that Johannes won the fair, while Louis came in second. In fact, neither Isaac nor Albert had given a correct report of the results of the science fair. Each of them had given one correct statement and one false statement. What was the actual placing of the three contestants?


At a family reunion were the following people: one grandfather, one grandmother, two fathers, two mothers, four children, three grandchildren, one brother, two sisters, two sons, two daughters, one father-in-law, one motherin-law, and one daughter-in-law. But not as many people attended as it sounds. How many were there, and who were they?


97 baseball teams participate in an annual state tournament. The champion is chosen for this tournament by the usual elimination scheme. That is, the 97 teams are divided into pairs, and the two teams of each pair play against each other. The loser of each pair is eliminated, and the remaining teams are paired up again, etc. How many games must be played to determine a champion?


Your sock drawer contains ten pairs of white socks and ten pairs of black socks. If you're only allowed to take one sock from the drawer at a time and you can't see what color sock you're taking until you've taken it, how many socks do you have to take before you're guaranteed to have at least one matching pair?

Enjoy Life Again!


A man who recently passed away is the owner of a winery. In his will, he left 21 barrels (seven of which are filled with wine, seven of which are half full and seven of which are empty) to his three sons. However, the wine and barrels must be split so that each son has the same number of full barrels, the same number of half-full barrels and the same number of empty barrels. Note that there are no measuring devices handy. How can the barrels and wine be evenly divided?


What's the largest amount of money you can have in change and still not have change for a dollar?


What's the largest number of U.S. coins you can have without having even change for a dollar?


A man goes out for a walk. He walks south one mile, east one mile, and north one mile, and ends up in the same place he started. He didn't start out at the North Pole - so where did he?


A mountain goat attempts to scale a cliff sixty feet high. Every minute, the goat bounds upward three feet but slips back two. How long does it take for the goat to reach the top?


You have three boxes of fruit. One contains just apples, one contains just oranges, and one contains a mixture of both. Each box is labeled_one says "apples," one says "oranges," and one says "apples and oranges." However, it is known that none of the boxes are labeled correctly. How can you label the boxes correctly if you are only allowed to take and look at just one piece of fruit from just one of the boxes?

Solutions on Page 27

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on business

Balloons A Poppin’ Bursting with Enthusiasm You might say that inflatable technology has really blown up over the past few years. Just ask Balloons A Poppin’s Laurie Ristom, the proud owner of 26 different giant inflatable castles, clubhouses, rock slides, jousting arenas and much more. It’s a pretty big “jump” from the inflatable jumpers of even a decade ago, and Ristom is happy to be along for the ride. “Every day is a party for us,” she said. Ristom bought Balloons A’ Poppin’ in 1999. “At the time, we did singing telegrams and clowns,” she said. “Every year we’ve added to it a little more. We’ve become an entertainment industry household name.” The clowns are still around, and Ristom does a singing telegram every now and then, but Balloons A’ Poppin’ is really now all about the inflatables. Several years ago, on the suggestion of a friend, Ristom bought her first inflatable jumper. “My friend said, ‘Laurie, I’ll keep you in business with just my friends and my friends’ kids,” Ristom said. “We bought one and it paid for itself in a month. So, we bought another. We just fell in love with the business. There are so many different kinds of jumpers.” Today, she owns a small fleet of inflatables, and she has ordered eight more carnival games and a giant tent to make functions even more fun. “The games are very high quality,” she said. “And the prizes are nice, big, stuffed animals.” Balloons A’ Poppin’ rents out inflatable jumpers, games, concessions and party services for company events, birthday parties and other celebrations, but the company also has its own inflatable home base, of sorts. Two years ago, Ristom opened the Party Jungle at the Carlsbad Mall. The Party Jungle features multiple jumpers, along with several games and a concession stand. It’s the perfect spot to rent for a birthday party, and the jungle is also open for play during weekdays. “When I first started doing the party business, I dreamed of having an indoor party place,” Ristom said. “I didn’t think I’d get there, but the Lord opened the door.” The Party Jungle is open for play from noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Friday. The cost is $5 per child. “We had a ton of kids over the holidays,” Ristom noted. “It


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was cold outside, and I think people were going stir-crazy at home.” On Friday evenings and on weekends, Ristom rents out the Party Jungle to groups holding parties. Groups can pick from a variety of options, ranging from the basic “Zebra Package” to the “Lion Package,” which adds balloon bouquets, invitations, paper goods, tablecloths, balloon animals, a clown, face painting, temporary tattoos and stickers. All packages are for two hour parties. Presently, the Party Jungle features a basketball toss, a boxing ring, the popular joust/bungee run float and a large Sesame Street inflatable playground. Concessions are also available, and a large prize booth and several games are set up in the back. “People will come in here and (mistakenly) think they only have access to one or two of the features,” Ristom said. “The cool thing about this area is that there is something for all ages.” Adults are allowed to play on many of the features, she said, but they have to be accompanied by a child. “Sometimes the schools will have parties here. It is so fun to see teachers get into the boxing ring, and the kids cheer them on,” Ristom said. On weekends, some members of the Balloons A’ Poppin’ team will work at the Party Jungle, while others will set up rented equipment at parties around the area. Things can get pretty hectic, but Ristom said the entire family helps run the business. “We have Patty Fry and Kevin Zink on board with us to do catering,” Ristom said. “They can do anything from hot dogs to full meals.” Ristom said business has been booming so much that she seldom travels out of Carlsbad for parties. She’s also been adding to her stock. “We just went to the international amusement park trade show in Las Vegas, and I was just amazed,” she said. She also spent some money. New units arriving this spring include a large carnival tent with eight new games, a pucker

powder machine, a build-a-teddy-bear stuffing machine, a juke box, a rock climbing wall, a rock slide, a homemade lemon juice machine and a Lil’ Orbits donut making machine. Other recently-purchased new items include a 50 feet tall clown air dancer, a Skee Ball game, a glimmer tattoo system, a giant screamer slide and a mini all-stars basketball game. She’s also looking at ordering a Euro bungee device, which allows participants to bungee up and down on top of trampolines. Groups that bring the party to their own location get to pick from a variety of jumpers, features and party packages listed at Ristom is also available to bring the party to locations such as the Riverwalk Recreation Center and the National Guard Armory. The inflatable jumpers almost always become the stars of the show, be it at a picnic, open house, holiday party, grand opening, birthday party, school festival, sports event, graduation, prom celebration or fair. “I remember once we set up at the recreation center, and they also had a bunch of prize drawings for the kids,” she said. “The kids didn’t want to get out of the jumpers and quit playing. Right after the drawing, they all ran right back to get on the jumpers.” Balloons A Poppin’ is already filling up its schedule for the 2010 Christmas season. “There are people who have parties with us every year,” she said. “If you are going to book a company function, now is the time to do it.”

Inflatables are all triple stitched for safety, and Balloons A’ Poppin’ complies with all federal, state and local regulations including those from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ristom considers one of her businesses’ biggest strengths to be the cleanliness of the games and inflatable jumpers “We’re sticklers in making sure they are clean,” she said. “We’ll have ‘cleaning days’ in our neighborhood where we set up everything, and all of the kids will come over and want to play on the jumpers while we are cleaning them.” Balloons A Poppin’ donates or sells inflatables that are faded or worn. “I’m not going to send anything out there that’s not in perfect condition,” she noted. “That’s another thing_after parties, we do all of the cleanup. We know people are busy in this day and age and don’t want to do it.” Ristom’s customer service philosophy is apparently breeding success. During a recent 30 minute interview, Ristom took three calls from individuals who wanted more information about party rentals. She schedules an average of nine parties a day. “We’re the only business of our kind around here,” Ristom said. “People will come from all around to have parties.” For more information on Balloons A Poppin’, call 885-1999 or email


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on the road


nternational visitors to Roswell visit the town for its alleged intergalactic tourists. For Carlsbad residents, the city is perhaps best known for its big box stores. For the owners of a Global Positioning System receiver, however, Roswell offers its own array of hidden treasures. Geocaching is a popular hobby that involves using a GPS receiver to hide or find containers stashed at interesting locations. Geocachers log on to sites such as www. to get global latitude and longitude coordinates and, sometimes, additional clues about where the treasure, the cache, is hidden. Once they track down a cache, they will often sign a log book with their nickname and possibly even take and leave small trinkets hidden inside the cache to acknowledge their discovery. The good news for visitors to Southeastern New Mexico, according to geocacher Patrick Morton, is that the area is a geocacher’s paradise. You might even call it a cache cow. The Roswell area has a very high cache density, he pointed out, and visitors to the

area often laud the number of finds in the area. Carlsbad is known for its especially scenic finds in out of the way places, he added, while “caching is catching on in Hobbs.” “Artesia had a pretty good number as well,” he said. “However, they were hidden by a FLETC instructor who retired and headed back to San Angelo. Since they would no longer be in the area to maintain the caches, they were disabled.” Morton, who lives in Roswell, said a co-worker got him started geocaching. “He explained that other members hide different types of containers and you have to use a GPS to locate the hide,” he said. “Some of the hidden containers have items you can trade for, but all of them have a log for you to sign showing you were there. There was a hide not far from work, so we headed over there at lunchtime and made our first find. I was hooked!” Morton, a.k.a. “Bighornram,” has found a whopping 1,887 caches. He’s also created a large number of his own for other treasure seekers to find. When he first started, he noted, it was all

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Geocacher, P

atrick Morton

about finding as many caches as he could. “Now I enjoy getting out of town and wandering the back roads more,” he said. He’s hiked to the tops of mountains in pursuit of caches, but he has also found some great caches just off the highway. “One find, in Tahoka, TX, took me just one block off the main highway through town,” he noted. “The caches were hidden at a very impressive Vietnam Veterans Memorial that I never knew existed.” He said the people involved with geocaching are all extremely friendly. He also likes the creativity involved with finding and leaving caches. For example, he’ll leave caches made from railroad

Las Cruces and blew up my cache with a water canon,” he said. “I explained the whole geocaching thing to them, but in the end they did their job.”

spikes, bolts, sticks, pine cones, logs, reflectors or signs. That means that even when someone’s coordinates take them to the right vicinity, they still have to think to find the cache. Some other caches involve having to deposit a quarter or even solve a puzzle to get a container open.

The officers told Morton they could never be sure if an object like that was a bomb and had to use their better judgment. Needless to say, the episode brought Morton quite a bit of notoriety among the rest of the state’s geocaching community.

“Most of the cachers here have great imaginations,” he noted. He said “jrandjuju,” a husband-wife geocaching team, have created some of his favorite hides in the area. “Jrandjuju,” whose real first names are Randy and Julie, are also avid Roswell geocachers. “JR” works in the medical field and “Juju” works for the Roswell school district. “JR” said the couple enjoys caches that take them somewhere they would not normally know about. They’ll often learn about the history of the area, he noted, and the caches can even make a long drive more palatable. “Juju” likes to find caches near old cemeteries. “Some have to be done at night with a flashlight,” he said. “Some require you to solve a puzzle, and some have multi stages. The ingenuity of the cache owner is what makes this so fun.” As with Morton, “JR” also discovered geocaching through a co-worker. He said the couple also enjoys geocaching with their grandchildren and nephews. “Caching has grown in New Mexico since we have started,” he noted. “When we started caching, there were only 98 caches within a 20 mile radius of Roswell. Now there are 307!” Morton is also pretty famous regionally for one rather unusual geocaching war story.

While in the Roswell area,

Morton said it all began when he placed a new cache, an ammo can, beneath a tree along a highway west of Roswell. Inside, he placed a few trade items and his own “Bighornram” travel bug. (A travel bug is an item that moves from cache to cache.) Apparently, someone nearby saw Morton, thought he looked suspicious and called police. Not knowing this, Morton went home and logged the new cache online. There’s always a contest to be the first to find a new cache, so he was expecting a quick response. Instead, Morton received a pair of emails from other geocachers who had gone out to look for the cache but returned home due to the large number of New Mexico State Police officers at the scene. A little nervous, Morton decided it would be best to call the state police and fess up. “By the time I contacted them, they had already called in the bomb squad from

visit a couple of outdoor sites nearby. Bottomless Lakes State Park, which holds the honor of being New Mexico’s first state park, is located about 15 miles east of Roswell. The lakes’ greenishblue color creates the illusion that they are bottomless, but they actually range in depth from 17 to 90 feet. Fishing, swimming and paddleboats are all available.

For more information, call 624-6058. Several interesting geocaching sites exist just outside of park boundaries. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located about 10 miles east of Roswell. The refuge, which straddles the Pecos River, supports a wide variety of unique wildlife, including more than 80 species of dragonflies. For more information, call 622-6755. There are numerous geocaching locations around Carlsbad as well.

Visit and type 88220 into the zip code search to pick up some ideas.

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a few laughs A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. Discipline was not a problem from that day forth!

Solution for #1

An accountant is having a hard time sleeping, and so he decides to go to see his doctor. “Doctor, I just can’t get to sleep at night,” complains the man.”Have you tried counting sheep?” inquired the doctor. The accountant replied, “That’s the problem, Doc. I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it!”

Johannes won; Rene came in second; Louis came in third.

Solution for #2

There were two little girls and a boy, their parents, and their father’s parents, totaling seven people.

Solution for #3

A boy with an elephant on his head went to see a doctor. The doctor said, “You know you really need help.” “Yes I do,” said the elephant. “Get this kid off my foot!”

96. All teams but the champion team will lose a game exactly once.

Solution for #4

Three. In the worst case, the first two socks you take out will consist of one black sock and one white sock. The next sock you take out is guaranteed to match one or the other.

Solution for #5

Two half-full barrels are dumped into one of the empty barrels. Two more half-full barrels are dumped into another one of the empty barrels. This results in nine full barrels, three half-full barrels, and nine empty barrels. Each son gets three full barrels, one half-full barrel, and three empty barrels.

Solution for #6

$1.19. Three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies.

“I’m not saying that the customer service in my bank is bad, but when I went in the other day and asked the clerk to check my balance ... she leaned over and pushed me.” “I caught a twenty pound salmon last week.” “Were there any witnesses?” “There sure were. If there hadn’t been, it would have been forty pounds.”

Solution for #7

99 - if they’re all pennies. Or, actually, you can have any number. At one time, a U.S. $10 gold coin called the Eagle was minted, and you could have any number of these without having change for a dollar. It is no longer minted, but it’s still legal tender.

Solution for #8

Assuming a perfectly spherical Earth, somewhere one mile north of the latitude (in the southern hemisphere) that is one mile in circumference. The man walks south one mile to this latitude and walks one mile east, which takes him all the way around and back to where he started. The last step (one mile north) retraces the first step he took (one mile south). Or, the man could also be one mile north of the latitude that is one half mile in circumference -- on the second leg of the journey, he’d go around twice instead of once. He could also be one mile north of the latitude that is one third of a mile in circumference, or one mile north of the latitude that is one quarter of a mile in circumference, and so on.

Solution for #9

58 minutes. Although his net progress each minute is one foot, he reaches the top on the 58th minute just before he would normally slip back two feet.

Solution for #10

Take a piece of fruit from the box marked “apples and oranges.” Suppose the fruit you take is an apple. Then that box must be the box containing just apples. Therefore, the box marked “oranges” can’t be the box containing just apples, and it can’t be the box containing just oranges either_so it must be the box containing apples and oranges. The remaining box is, therefore, the box containing just oranges. If the fruit you take out is an orange, the solution is derived in a similar fashion: the box marked “apples and oranges” is the box containing just oranges; the box marked “apples” is the box containing both apples and oranges; and the box marked “oranges” is the one containing just apples. Puzzles obtained from


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