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fall 2013


Art Dynasty music, museums & books, Oh my!

Our Duck Dynasty Family Tony’s Tunes Fond Farewell from Amy Great American Novel Community Theatre Chamber News & More!

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fall 2013

ARTESIAEVENTS Clays Crusher Fun Shoot SEPTEMBER 27-28, 2013

Art in the Park OCTOBER 19, 2013

Balloons & Bluegrass NOVEMBER 2-3, 2013


04 06 09 10 13 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36

From the Editor Focus oN music

piano teachers of note Focus on the garden

landscape artistry in the desert focus on television

a stroke of good duck

PHOTOS IN FOCUS Focus on business


Tony’s tunes

focus on business

new businesses springing up focus on mainstreet

fond farewell from amy focus on culture

upstairs at the museum focus on drumming

for love of drums focus on hip hop

loving the beat


focus on entertainers

“It’s in our blood” Spotlight on a few local artists focus on literature

the great american novel focus on artwork

artists making their mark focus on theater

carlsbad community theatre focus on radio

zero-two-forty-five FOCUS ON THE CHAMBER Business Directory


A b o u t t h e co v e r

Kurt Keegan, Robertson family patriarch Phil (from Duck Dynasty) and Laura Keegan during Duck Commander Sunday. Photo courtesy of Laura Keegan. Kyle Marksteiner, Editorial Director - Lilly Anaya, Advertising Photography by Kyle Marksteiner - along with submitted photos Special Contributors: Eve Flanigan, Margaret Barry, Amy M. Barnhart, Staci Guy, Margaret Sage Bemis, Curtis McKinney, Brand Eye Photography & The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Foc u s on c a r l s b a d i s p u b l i s h e d q u a r t e r l y b y Ad V e nt u r e M a r k e t i ng

Ad Venture Marketing, Ltd. Co. • 866.207.0821 •

1-800-658-6251 •

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.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s from the editor


a good time to be alive!

Depending on your philosophy of life, we are either living in a time where we are haphazardly throwing away all of our traditions and values, or we are living in a time period where we are stubbornly and hopelessly clinging to outdated worldviews. I’m inclined to believe we are somewhere in the middle. We’ve made some improvements over the past few decades, and we’ve also taken some steps in the wrong direction. Just like always.

Kyle Marksteiner Editorial Director

Focus on carlsbad

To introduce the Fall 2013 edition of Focus on Carlsbad, I’ve decided to focus on what I think is positive about our current society. More controversial issues aside, here’s what I think we’re doing the right way right now.

Inspiration #1: Dog Parks

If you polled all of the animals in the world about what they felt about mankind, I think only dogs and horses, and possibly hamsters, would speak up in our defense. Cats would stab us in the back in a heartbeat, though they might secretly miss all of the attention they receive via internet pictures. We haven’t always returned the favor to our closest four-legged friends, but a recent development shows we are headed in the right direction. I’m talking about dog parks. Carlsbad, and many communities, now has a special area specifically designed to let dogs roam around, smell stuff and pee on things. Some parks even have dog cooling-off stations for the summer months. If anyone tells me what a terrible society we are, my first defense is going to be that we can’t be that bad because we came up with dog parks.

Inspiration #2: Fatherhood

It’s a great period to be a dad (and, consequently, in my opinion, also a great period to be a mom or child). Somewhere along the line, we finally realized that dads should play an important role in the lives of their young children. Or maybe rediscovered this idea is the more appropriate term. Point being, being a dad and having next to nothing to do with the life of your small child is no longer considered acceptable, at least by most people.


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

So those little people, the ones that are being introduced to the Universe, now often have two people taking them by the hand and acting as their tour guides. That is, ideally, twice as much loving tourguiding. Mom gets more help these days, and more significantly, dad gets the benefit of getting to participate more directly in life’s most profoundly sacred experience – lovingly raising a child. It’s a good time to be a kid, too. Jumpy house and playground technologies are at an all-time high. Princess, dinosaur and robot marketing has become a finelyhoned art form. And because kids are more willing to make a scene than most adults, they will usually get their way. Are we over-coddling (and even worshipping) our kids these days? Quite possibly. But I’ll take too much compassion over not enough. There are still a number of turf wars to be fought between modern dad and modern mom, but it’s a good kind of problem to have. Point being, we are a society that loves its children and the relationships we have with them, and that’s a good quality.

Inspiration #3: Nerds

The days of the strict Breakfast Club delineations are all but over. We no longer need a Saturday afternoon to realize that we are all part Anthony Michael Hall and part Judd Nelson. Being a nerd isn’t really grounds for an immediate swirly anymore, at least not most of the time. Turning Tolkien’s works into a feature film probably helped nerds, but I think the real credit for nerds moving up in the world goes to video games. Video games are just so cool these days that even non-nerds find them interesting, so the cool kids and the dorks were sort of forced to work together to successfully beat Final Fantasy IX. There were all kinds of non-nerds at the

movie theater when I watched the latest Star Trek opus, and not one of them looked unhappy to be there. I’m sure bullying still goes on at middle schools and high schools, but our society seems to at least be grudgingly finally moving past an era where being smart is a liability. We respect our nerds.

Inspiration #4: Aesthetics

God designed a beautiful world, and a lot of what we’ve done over the years has been pretty beautiful as well, in terms of cathedrals, palaces, music and giant funnel cakes. But, we (and I mean mankind) had a brief period of time in which sheer functionality was the name of the game. It had something to do with power, I think. The industrial age came about and suddenly we were able to create things we’d never dreamed about. So we built ugly houses and uglier factories. We threw trash out of the window. We developed postmodern art and modern music. We even, during a brief time period in the 1980s, felt it was OK for adult men to wear shorts and white socks pulled up to their knees. We were just out of sync. We were so committed to functionality and effectiveness that we almost forgot that there’s a certain harmony to the Universe, a certain aesthetic value that we should strive to include in everything. I think we’ve moved past our awkward years to again recognize the importance of aesthetics. And I think that’s a good thing. It’s certainly a good thing when it comes to this edition of Focus on Carlsbad, which celebrates local music and art. We touched base with some of our most prominent local musicians and introduce some up and coming acts. We checked up on some of our behind-the-scenes artistic efforts and are bringing you some updates on some local celebrity connections. I hope you enjoy it.

A b o u t t h e e d it o r Kyle Marksteiner is editorial director of Focus on Carlsbad & He can be reached at

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Foc u s on music

Piano Teachers by Eve Flanigan

ictor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” But how does one who desires to make music learn to do so? Carlsbad offers a number of options, including a selection of independent piano teachers who are happy to accommodate new learners. Let’s meet two of them -Audrey Carter taught music in the Carlsbad school system for 20 years and has been pianist at First Christian Church for 25 years. The Cherokee, Kansas, native and Kansas State Teachers’ College graduate began playing at 14. She recalls her first real gig, playing for a ladies aid society. With a nostalgic smile, she describes having carried her best dress shoes in a box to school and being excused early to play for their functions. Since then, she has served not only as a teacher but also as an organizer in the music community. Carter helped found the Carlsbad Music Teachers’ Forum, an organization that, in its heyday, raised scholarship funds for high school seniors who planned to study music in college, organized recitals and traveled to the Sonatina festival in Roswell for competition. Still today, Carter helps students prepare for showing off their skills at local recitals. “We teachers work together,” she stated. “Of course we don’t teach the same, but we all give every student a chance to shine.” When asked how a person should set about deciding whether piano lessons are for them, Carter stated, “You have to try it to see if you have a desire to learn. That’s essential, that desire.”


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

Carter’s training includes mentoring by two women who were wives of pastors, and so she played piano at church. “Playing hymns is different from Bach or Beethoven,” she explained. “Hymn arrangements are read differently.” She availed herself of countless workshops throughout her career and also set aside time in the early 1970s to learn the “Orf method” when it was taught at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. She makes use

of this teaching method today. Over the years, Carter has seen trends come and go. Organ-playing clubs were a hit with adults in the late 70s and early 80s. “I took lessons with Esther Dillon in Roswell to learn the organ,” said Carter. “It will do a lot of interesting sounds that others don’t. I regret selling mine; I miss it at Christmas especially.” Photo: Audrey Carter works with a student during a practice session at First Christian Church.

Note Most of Carter’s students are high school age and younger. She offers the following advice for parents who want to support their young person’s budding piano skills: • Make sure they do their homework. • Reward them in some way for consistent practice. • Create opportunities for them to perform.

Photo: Piano teacher Barbara Carey works with student Cathryn Chester. Photo by Brand Eye Photography.

As an adjunct to daily practice, Carter feels that recitals are a valuable tool for students to check their skills in a supportive yet public setting that has some degree of pressure. She has organized and attended many recitals for various forms of piano music and once served as Chair of the National Piano Guild. Barbara Carey also provides piano and voice lessons, welcoming students of any age. Like Carter, she advocates that students be self-motivated to learn and not take lessons because a parent forced the issue or due to some other external motivation. Learning piano is a journey, she explains, and genuine interest is required to do each assignment to the point of accomplishment. “I am traditional in my methods, with one exception,” said Carey. She had the opportunity to study under

Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese music teacher who was inspired to use music to heal the then-current personal and cultural pain of his students following World War II. The beginning of the program includes some rote memorization— where the keys are, what the names of the notes are—but the program departs from tradition there as it focuses on the quality of sound, even at the beginner level. “Students learn how to feel the keys and touch them so that beautiful sound is produced, not that banging that is so often associated with beginners.” The Suzuki program has at its core, according to Carey, two tenets: everyone can learn and talent is inside everyone. The selfpaced program focuses on mastery of one step at a time. This mindful approach to creating sound with the piano is beneficial, noted Carey, for many. “After three months, it’s not unusual for an eightyear-old to be able to play with both hands.” Those who approach learning from non-traditional angles can also learn with this method, she says, citing that four of her current students are diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorders. “Sometimes when these kids start, they’re accustomed to not accomplishing anything. Once they discover that they can learn to play fall 2013 | a community magazine


student experience, Carey says daily access to a good piano is essential—a good quality used upright and bench can be purchased for $350 to $500. Carey personally placed just such a piano at the Grace House juvenile rehabilitation center, a fact she shares modestly, though beaming with enthusiasm as she recalls the interest in music by some young men in residence there.

piano, they often are great students.” She reflects on the Suzuki influence: he and his wife were childless, but their dedication and the methods he created have accomplished not only their stated goal but continue to help people all over the world learn to make music. She touts the versatility of this method, referring to the seemingly impossible performances of young Asian children playing violas— some readers may recognize these performances as YouTube sensations. According to Carey, those performers are students of the Suzuki method.

Other essentials of successful practice, according to Carey, are— • Natural curiosity and interest, and for kids, the ability to concentrate for 10-15 minutes. • A schedule that isn’t overcommitted; making time to practice daily is essential. • Practice until the skill is mastered, “not by the egg timer.” • Parents must create an environment suitable for practice, i.e. control meddling siblings, turn off the TV or other noise, and allow children to

Carey studied at Stanford, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and continued her education with experts in the Oakland, California, area. Like Carter, she co-organizes and encourages participation in music recitals. She enjoys teaching voice as much as piano. As for requisites of a successful piano

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practice at the time of day when they do best. Carey provides one “hot tip” for piano players. “The artistic quality of the sound is important, but it begins with technique. If something gets too difficult, check what you’re doing with your hands.” Pop artist and songwriter Billy Joel said, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” Are you ready to start making your own contributions to the world of music? Carter, Carey and other instructors in Carlsbad welcome new students. Their contact information and that of other music teachers can be located through the website of the Professional Music Teachers’ Association of New Mexico at

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Foc u s on the garden

GardenNotes Landscape Artistry in the Desert by Margaret Barry

Take a walk in the Chihuahuan desert, the largest in North

America, with the greatest diversity of flora and fauna of any desert in the world. Find an area where there has been no disturbance for some time and observe how Mother Nature plants her desert garden. In the harsh reality of growing in an environment with very restricted water resources, desert plants tend to grow within symbiotic relationships of plants and animals. Some plants create shade, others hold moisture and others form a protective ground cover. There is often the appearance of a tangle of branches and stems and sometimes flowers that capture meager rainfall to funnel it to the roots of the plants. This tangle also creates a protected habitat for desert creatures to get out of the unrelenting sun during the heat of the day. One of the loveliest aspects of plants that grow in these clumps in the desert is the vast variety of colors and textures. Hiding in the shade of the craggy, silvery leaves of an algerita may be a few, relatively smooth and rounded pads of a prickly pear cactus behind some fluffgrass and the bright yellow flowers of desert zinnia. There are so many combinations of crooked, straight with thorns, short with spines, and so many flower sizes and colors. It is possible to have something in bloom almost continuously throughout the year. Many of the plants have wonderful uses as well for food, soap, fiber for weaving, and dyes to color the fibers, to name but a few. Planting with natives and cultivated varieties adapted to our desert areas is always a wise choice in a dry environment. Xeriscaping is an ecological way to save water in the landscape. (It is derived from the Greek for “dry” not “zero.”) Eliminating water-thirsty grass is also a great way to get away from the chore of mowing it. Once established, a desert style landscape requires little water and far less maintenance than a lawn and can be far more

properly. There are so many good local resources for desert plants that are well adapted to home gardens. Plan a small “desert garden” and see how much fun it can be to combine shapes, play with complimentary colors and become a garden “artist.” Maybe that grass won’t look so interesting anymore when you see the results!

beautiful and interesting as well. Native trees (soapberry is a favorite of mine for many reasons) require little water, provide shade, and grow to a useful size quite quickly. There are many different shrubs, as well. The number of wildflowers that adapt to a minimally cultivated landscape is amazing. Have you smelled the heady fragrance of chocolate flower early in the morning? It’s fun to mix lots of different colors, textures, and fragrances, too, and there are so many choices. A great way to gain inspiration is a wonderful resource right here in Carlsbad, the Living Desert State Park. Walk through, take pictures, acquire information, and take advantage of the native plant sales. The Extension Service also provides xeriscape workshops where you can learn about appropriate plants for your landscape needs, the best methods of irrigation, and rainwater harvesting techniques. Please, however, refrain from just digging up plants from the desert. Not only is it illegal without a special permit, it causes long term destruction to a very delicate ecosystem and takes considerable experience to do it

About the author: Margaret Barry has lived in Carlsbad since January, 1999, and is a fiber artist and avid gardener. She is an Eddy County Master Gardener and a vendor at the Carlsbad Downtown Farmers’ Market. She is currently Board President of Carlsbad MainStreet, which sponsors the Farmers’ Market. She will also be teaching a class in Organic Gardening at NMSU-C for the Continuing Ed program.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


Photo Credit: Art Streiber/A&E

Foc u s on television

It’s hard to find a truck stop in America

these days that doesn’t have an entire wall devoted to Duck Dynasty, offering the sale of DVDs, T-shirts and mugs spotlighting the members of the popular reality show. Phil Robertson and his family’s duck call manufacturing business couldn’t be more popular, but for Carlsbad resident Laura Keegan, the Duck Dynasty displays around every corner are just a good way to see some old friends. Duck Dynasty is a reality-television series on A&E featuring the Robertson family and their familyoperated business for duck hunting supplies, Duck Commander. The show has been one of A&E’s biggest hits, and it is perhaps best known for the iconic beards displayed by many of the male members of the Robertson family. Prior to the beginning of A&E’s


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

reality show, the Duck Commander had released a series of DVDs and even had a hunting-specific show on the Outdoor Channel. But A&E thought a show that focused more on family dynamics might work – and it did. Willie Robertson, third son of Phil and Miss Kay, is the CEO of the company, the reality show’s usual narrator, and generally credited with being the reason his father’s small business has become a multi-million dollar company. Keegan was born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana, now famous for being the Duck Dynasty hometown. She attended school with Alan Robertson, the oldest of Phil’s four boys. Alan, a clean-shaven preacher,

will be joining the reality series during season 4. Keegan said she became friends with the Robertson family after high school when she was invited to attend a Bible study. Phil Robertson, the family patriarch, provided some remarkable insight into the Bible, she said. Phil sold fish for a living in his younger years, Keegan recalled. He created the Duck Commander duck call in 1972 and incorporated the company the following year. He played football in college and started ahead of Terry Bradshaw at Louisiana Tech. Inspired by what she heard, Keegan began attending the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ. “From that point on, he and Kay (his wife) became spiritual mentors to me,” Keegan said.

She continued to attend Bible studies and duck call parties with the Robertsons until she moved in 2003. And Alan Robertson presided as minister when Laura married her husband, Pete. “Missy (Robertson) sang at our wedding, and Kay was one of the mothers of the bride,” Keegan said. “She put on the rehearsal supper as her gift to us, arranged and cooked the food and did the decorations -- all Cajun style.”

Keegan remains in touch with members of the Robertson family and attends church with them a few times a year. Her closest connection to the show is probably through the fact that she’s best friends with Paula, the wife of Duck Commander employee John Godwin. She’s also in regular contact with Alan and his wife, Lisa. Keegan isn’t Carlsbad’s only Duck

Dynasty connection. Cast member Missy Robertson’s mother, Peggy West, grew up in Carlsbad. Peggy and her husband, Larry, visited Peggy’s hometown in April and spoke about the show. Keegan said her friends and their family are handling their newfound fame well. Will Robertson said he didn’t expect a family of wholesome

Alan did not appear in the first three seasons of Duck Dynasty, but he will be in the next one that debuts in August. “Last year, he stepped down as a pulpit minister to help with the family business,” Keegan said. “He’s going to keep his focus on reaching people for God.” Photo right: Laura Keegan in her home with her Louisiana Duck Dynasty display.

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fall 2013 | a community magazine


rednecks arguing about their business to draw a huge crowd, Keegan noted, but it has. “It’s a way to reach people,” she said. “They support Godliness and a return to moral character in our country. I think they are still a little surprised about the whole thing, but the draw of the show is their love for each other.” In addition to having a display at seemingly every truck stop, there’s even a Duck Dynasty cruise coming up with 11,000 slots. Cast members will offer cooking classes, a variety show and motivational speaking. “Even Phil is going, and I’m surprised,” Keegan said. “Because when we were growing up, he never went on vacations.” There have been some growing pains between the Robertson family and the show’s producers. For example, references to Jesus made during the family prayer were edited out in the first few episodes, but are now being


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

left alone. And producers bleeped Willie and his wife, Korie, during a heated discussion, to make it seem like they were swearing, which they were not. Phil put a stop to that, Keegan said. “They don’t back off on their faith in God,” Keegan noted. “They now have a television program that shows a family prayer, and that’s rare these days.” While the dialogue is all genuine, some of the scenarios for a given episode are scripted. For example, the idea of having the Robertsons consider buying a winery was introduced by A&E. On the other hand, the duck call room and the work done there is 100% real, Keegan noted. “They are just regular people like you and me,” she added. “I think this show is huge because there’s nothing decent to watch on TV anymore. Everyone longs to see someone decent and good.”

The Robertsons have also had to cope a bit with their celebrity status. Their cars are so recognizable that fans will stop their car next to them at busy intersections to try to get a photo. In just one morning, a neighbor counted 72 vehicles pull up in front of one of the homes featured on the show to take a photo. Some folks even knock and ask for a tour. But there’s a plus side, too, as a number of celebrities turned out for one of the family member’s Sweet 16 parties. Keegan’s wedding albums and family photo albums are filled with pictures of Duck Dynasty cast members dancing and smiling and posing with her son. And while Keegan and her family will be moving to Kansas next month, it’s certain that they’ll keep making more memories with West Monroe’s most famous residents.

Kurt Keegan, son of Laura and Pete Keegan, with family friend John “Ham Sammich” Godwin.



independence day parade 1 • Cub Scouts smile and wave at the annual Independence Day Parade through Carlsbad.


Cyclists help united way 2 • Members of the Carlsbad Velo Cycling Club present United Way of Carlsbad and South Eddy County with a donation. Also pictured are members of New Mexico Clean and Beautiful, which sponsored the Cavern City Classic fundraiser.


carlsbad rodeo parade 3 • Local Miss New Mexico pageant contestants wave during Carlsbad’s annual rodeo parade. carlsbad ajra rodeo parade 4 • Even though Carlsbad’s AJRA rodeo was cancelled this year due to weather, the kickoff meal, parade (pictured) and bull riding were all hits. 4





southeastern nm’s economy 5 • Beverly Allen-Ananis, with Senator Tom Udall’s office, introduces speakers during the “Role of Southeastern New Mexico in the Global Economy” presentation, hosted by the El Paso branch of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. carlsbad’s aware program 6 • Kerri Dunagan-Harvey smiles at a farewell banquet for Carlsbad’s AWARE program. mescal harvesting 7 • Mescal harvesting at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. cinco de mayo 8 • Entertainers perform at a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Carlsbad beach band shell.



car show de mayo 9 • A tiger-themed vehicle drew a lot of attention at a car show that was part of the May 5 celebration. relay for life celebration 10 • Members of the Carlsbad High School band line up during the town’s annual Relay for Life celebration.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


s e n u T s ’ y Ton

Foc u s on business

There are a number of good musicians in Carlsbad, and Tony Moreno is playing the important role of bringing them all together. For the past year and a half now,

Moreno has been the owner of the appropriately named Tony’s Music Center, located at 605 W. Mermod Street.

Moreno runs the shop in the evenings, when he gets home from his job as a chemist with a potash company. Musician Varn Nelson mans the store during the day.

“We opened in December of 2011,” Moreno recalled. “I wanted to have something to do when I retire.”

“It’s the only music store within 80 miles,” Nelson noted. “It’s where music happens.” Moreno began playing music when he was 15. He played with a few bands, but said he was “never a serious musician” so much as he was a lover of all things music. But Tony has brought in a lot of help at the store, as he’s recruited a number of contractors and part-time employees to help sell and repair musical instruments, teach music classes and record music. “When I started this business, I was selling guitars and amps,” he noted. “The other instruments came along later. I’m even selling to schools now.”

Tony Moreno, owner of Tony’s Music Center, enjoys bringing Carlsbad’s musicians together. Photos right: Employee Varn Nelson jams at Tony’s Music Center. Photo by Brand Eye Photography. Plus, a few of the items on display at Tony’s Music Center, 605 W. Mermod St. Photo left:

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He also has two child-sized drum kits on display.

The monthly Sunday jam sessions are especially popular.

buying and try it out. I let everyone play the guitars.”

“The kids will come here and bang on them, but the only problem is that their mothers don’t seem to like the idea of buying them,” he observed.

Tony said he first started with weekly jam sessions, but the scheduling became too difficult. Many other small difficulties have been ironed out during his second year of business, he noted.

Tony said all of his events are drug free and family friendly.

Still, Tony likes the idea of helping introduce children to music. He focuses on products that sell well locally, of course, but he also has a catalog available, if orders are needed. He does offer layaway. The instruments he has for sale are all set up in three display rooms at the front of the store, but the entire back portion of the building is used for jam sessions, recording and lessons.

How does he compete with online shopping? “For me, it is giving good personal service to the customer,” he responded. “A lot of customers have told me that the reason they come in here and buy stuff, even though it might be a little more expensive, is because they can see what they are

“Music is just fun for me,” he added. “I’m not in it for the money because I’m not going to make a lot of money. It’s mostly a chance to associate with musicians and get different musicians together. I’ve always admired people who can really play.” Nelson is also part of the Ground Zero Jazz Ensemble that performs every Thursday night at the Yellow Brix. For more information on Tony’s Music Center, visit www.tonymusiccenter. com.

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fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on business

New Businesses Springing Up The Kountry Kottage Julie Baker says she’s excited about opening The Kountry Kottage, located at 308 W. McKay Street.

“After building a good customer base, I realized my customers needed more,” she added. “So when the opportunity came up for us to build the store, it was a natural thing.”

The Kountry Kottage offers antiques, collectibles, home décor, jewelry and accessories. They are even open to a little haggling now and then, Baker said.

Terry Baker owned a shop called The Country Store years ago, Julie said, so the “country” name is already well known.

“When I was younger, my mother used to take me to the flea markets and garage sales,” Baker noted. “I always wanted to have my own thrift store.”

Kountry Kottage hours are 9am to 6pm weekdays (closes at 5pm Wednesday) and 2-5pm on Saturday. Find The Kountry Kottage on Facebook.

A few years ago, Julie and her husband, Terry, began selling items at the 6th Street flea market.

Fun-N-The Sun Rentals Looking for a fun family activity? Check out Fun-N-The Sun Rentals, a small rental business owned by Stephanie Vasquez and her husband, Daniel. Fun-N-The Sun offers the chance to rent mopeds and beach bicycles to cruise Carlsbad’s river area.

photo left:

focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

Fun-N-The Sun will be open from April through late September. Hours are 8am to 6pm, Friday through Sunday. The company had a float in the city’s Fourth of July Parade to announce themselves. They’ve also set up a Facebook page (Fun N The Sun Rentals) and a web page (www., and they have more extensive plans down the road. Vasquez said drivers must have a permit or valid driver’s license and parent permission if under the age of 18. Training, a waiver and two forms of ID are required to rent the mopeds.

Julie Baker and her husband, Terry, are the owners of The Kountry Kottage. Fun-N-The Sun Rentals owners Stephanie & Daniel Vasquez and their family.

photo below:


“It’s a fun way for friends and families to hang out together because since we purchased the mopeds, we have been having a blast with our kids,” Vasquez said. “Now, they actually want to take a cruise with us, and their electronics are put away.”

“We hope people will enjoy rentals, and we look forward to bringing so much more!” Vasquez said.

Mitchell & Cruse Architecture Larry Mitchell and Dean Cruse have recently started a new architectural firm in Carlsbad, Mitchell & Cruse Architecture, to serve the needs of Southeast New Mexico and the surrounding area. Although the company may be new to town, Mitchell and Cruse are not. Each has lived and worked in Carlsbad for 20 years or more. Together they have 44 years of combined experience in all aspects of architectural service, design, construction administration and project management for a wide variety of commercial, educational, institutional, industrial and residential projects. Larry Mitchell has 19 years of experience in architecture. He is a member of the American Institute

of Architects and is licensed in New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho. He is a 1993 graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Architecture. Some of his key projects in the area (through Durham & Associates) include the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce renovation, Trinity Hotel, Carlsbad Law Enforcement Center, and additions to Central Elementary School and Penasco Elementary School for the Artesia School District. Dean Cruse has 25 years of experience in architecture, with 23 years here in Carlsbad. He is a 1988 graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Architecture. Key projects in the area (through Durham & Associates) include the Girls Field House, Press Box and Stadium Suites at Bulldog Bowl in Artesia, Artesia Animal Shelter, Artesia High School Gymnasium (Bulldog Pit), Hagerman

High School and the Carlsbad Advanced Cancer Treatment Center. They truly appreciate the many personal and professional relationships they have developed over the years and will continue the high level of customer service, quality and thoroughness for which they are known. Mitchell & Cruse Architecture, LLC, is located at 1092 N. Canal Street, Suite A. They can be reached at (575) 689-8400 or at

Larry Mitchell and Dean Cruse stand in their new Carlsbad office.


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575.748.3333 fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on mainstreet

Fond Farewell Saying goodbye is always hard to do,

especially when you have lived and breathed something for the last three years of your life. That’s the situation that I am in now. September 1 would mark my three year anniversary as the Executive Director of Carlsbad MainStreet; however, I will be leaving a little earlier than that date, just one month and one week shy of that anniversary.

Amy M. Barnhart

{former} Executive Director

carlsbad mainstreet

I have accepted a consultant position with the New Mexico MainStreet program, which is the state government division that the local MainStreet organizations report to. So while I will no longer be working for Carlsbad MainStreet, I will continue to work in the MainStreet arena and will be working with local MainStreet organizations all over the state. Much has been accomplished over the last three years.

Highlights from Carlsbad MainStreet over the past three years, while Amy Barnhart was at the helm.



focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

In 2013, Carlsbad MainStreet received accreditation from the National MainStreet Center. This was a goal of the organization and a personal goal of mine that took two years of hard work to achieve. We successfully applied for an $80,000 grant for partial construction of Halagueno Arts Park and received a $20,000 match from lodger’s tax. Additionally, we received a $4,000 grant from Xcel Energy toward the purchase of additional artwork in Halagueno Arts Park, which will be

installed upon completion of the construction work.

Carlsbad MainStreet reestablished its facade improvement grant program, making funds available to assist in paying for building facades located in the MainStreet district. We have continued to put on the Carlsbad Downtown Farmers’ Market, and despite droughts, wind, late freezes, and more, it has continued to be a great success. We have also continued to offer annual community events such as the Downtown Fall Festival and Electric Light Parade, while adding new events as well, such as Downtown Day Out. We have offered a variety of retail events and continue to work on providing services useful to our downtown merchants.

Carlsbad MainStreet was able to utilize grant funds to purchase new banners, benches, signage, bike racks and an information kiosk for the downtown district, and we continue to put up holiday decorations every year. While Carlsbad MainStreet has a great many accomplishments under its belt, there is still work to do. We would like to see additional physical improvements to both the streetscape and properties. We would like to see the completion of the Halagueno Arts Park. We would like to see all vacant buildings filled with income generating businesses that will enhance the entire community. And in order to get all of these things done, Carlsbad MainStreet would also like to see more volunteers who have a positive vision for their downtown district and community. MainStreet is a volunteer-driven organization and in order to get everything accomplished, needs a great many volunteers willing to get a little dirty and put in some elbow grease. I would like to thank all of the volunteers that I have worked with over the last three years, whether they are MainStreet volunteers or volunteers from partner organizations and committees. You have helped me and MainStreet accomplish great things, and I am forever grateful for your help and support. I hope that members of the community continue to support MainStreet and enable it to be a cataclysmic vehicle for positive change. Barnhart is the former director of Carlsbad MainStreet. For more information, contact Carlsbad MainStreet at (575)628-3768 or Visit their Facebook pages and



Nothing else comes near it! You can see it on the faces of the people in the places. It’s everywhere. It’s all around. It’s the kind of pride that you feel inside. It’s the spIrIt of our hometown.

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fall 2013 | a community magazine


s r i a m t s u Up the Muse

Foc u s on culture


Every workplace has its little secrets, but most don’t involve a room filled with mannequin limbs. Most area residents know of the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center for its Bataan Death March exhibit, its summer programs, its art shows and more, but like most good museums, Carlsbad’s facility has its mysterious side. The museum’s upstairs collection storage rooms are a wonderland, albeit a slightly creepy wonderland, for the chronically curious. The area is typically off limits to the public, but Patsy Jackson-Christopher, the City of Carlsbad’s director of culture, recreation and community services, agreed to provide a one-time short tour in response to a request by Focus Magazine. While all museums have storage, Jackson-Christopher noted, the


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

situation is a little different in a larger museum than it is in a small town museum. “In a large museum, the majority of your galleries are temporary, so the exhibits constantly rotate,” she noted. “With smaller museums, you have more permanent exhibits.” “But individual exhibits are also ‘living and breathing,’” JacksonChristopher stated. For example, the museum recently received a donation of a beautiful print of a photo taken at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Employees found room for the print. “Every now and then, Bob Stockwell (responsible for the Bataan Death March display) finds another rifle, so we move

them over,” she added.

Most items on display at the museum are owned by the museum, though a few are still on loan. Jackson-Christopher said the museum accepts loans but usually tries to convince the loaner to make a gift of the artifact. The museum has a set of requirements as to what it can and cannot accept, but once you are in, you are in. “Once something is accepted into our collection, it is a legal responsibility to hold it for the public,” JacksonChristopher stated. “We’ve promised the taxpayer we will do everything we can to preserve the item.” What it boils down to is that many of Carlsbad’s museum when it was located upstairs. The museum first opened in 1931.

photo below left:

photos below & right: Patsy Jackson-Christopher, Director of Culture, Recreation and Community Services, points to an item in the museum’s upstairs collection. Other items in the upstairs collection.

the items in the museum’s collection storage area have been there for a pretty long time. Jackson-Christopher said she and other recent directors have put forth a lot of effort to organize the items and possibly make more of them available to the public in the future. There are also some items in storage that belong to the Southeast New Mexico Historical Society.

large chambers, perhaps similar to but obviously smaller than the warehouse where the ark was dropped off at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s well lit and well organized. It’s not dusty, nor are there cobwebs. Due to museum regulations, the floor and walls are regularly cleaned, kept pest free and monitored for temperature and humidity.

“We’re developing a collection storage area to the American Alliance of Museums standards for museum storage,” she said. “Someday, we hope to expand and ideally have some public research areas.”

But it’s still pretty creepy, especially the back room with the pile of mannequin limbs and an old wheelchair sitting in the corner. It’s sterile, but also eerie, like a haunted hospital might be if all of the resident ghosts had OCD.

When the museum opened in 1931, it was actually located on the second floor of the library.

There are old doll houses, statues, stacks of hat boxes, animal bones, piles of tools and hills of typewriters. There’s a potash display in one corner and a drum from Eisenhower Junior High sitting on the floor in another.

“Some of our furniture (in the lobby and entranceway) is from the original museum,” Jackson-Christopher noted. “If you came to the library in the 1930s, you’d go upstairs, and you’d probably see a lot of human skulls.” A dark set of stairs behind an unmarked door leads up to the storage area. The museum and library each control part of the second floor of the building. Library director Cassandra Arnold said in an email that the library is currently re-organizing its upstairs archive, used to house the books not available to the public. The museum side is basically two

Mostly, there are rows upon rows of curtain-draped shelves, all holding boxes of neatly chronicled, donated rocks, textiles and other items. The museum has a total count of around 6,500 artifacts on record. Cartwright, a museum attendant with a master’s degree in cultural anthropology, was originally pretty comfortable with handling burial artifacts and remains alone in the upstairs room. “But then I heard the stories,” she confessed. “I don’t like to come up here

alone anymore.” “There used to be a library employee who swears she was up here and she looked over and saw the ghost of a woman rocking a baby,” JacksonChristopher said. “That’s just one of the stories. Some of the cleaning people don’t like to come up here alone because they say that some chairs have moved.” The woman, Cartwright added, alleged that she saw the ghost sitting in the wheelchair. The library employee rushed downstairs, her face as white as a sheet. Is the upstairs collection storage area haunted? Nobody knows for sure, but if hauntings were to take place, the behind-the-scenes part of a museum certainly seems like an appropriate setting. Cartwright has decided to take a friendly, practical approach to the possible supernatural forces at play. “When I come upstairs, I say, ‘It’s just me! I’m here!’” she said. As a lover of history, JacksonChristopher said that if any ghosts appeared to her, she’d probably want to talk to them. There’s still work left to do upstairs, Jackson-Christopher said, but organization has gotten off to a good start. “I’m an antiques person, and I love old stuff,” she added. “In fact, that’s one reason I wanted to work at a museum. I wanted to get to go behind the doors that said, ‘Employees only.’” While the museum’s storage rooms may not be open for a regular tour, new director Dave Morgan said there are a number of recent developments to the public portion of the facility. A “recent art acquisitions” display will be up at the museum through the summer and a railroad exhibit is in development. Morgan started in June by way of Alaska. “I’ve been acclimating myself to the heat,” he admitted. Morgan is actually fairly familiar to the area, as he previously worked at a museum in Lubbock. He said he finds the area’s military and aviation connections to be especially appealing. Will the new museum director ever get to meet face to face with some of the building’s (possible) supernatural inhabitants? Time will tell.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on drumming

For Love of Drums They say the drummer is the heart of the band. And the heart of local drummer Ervie Ornelas is with the memory of his beloved sister. His love of music, and specifically drumming, developed while he was still a child growing up in Loving. “As a little boy, I’d get a saw and cut two pieces of wood out of mom’s broomstick and bang away at the pots and pans,” he noted. “My older brother would toss them into the alley, so I’d start all over again.” Music has always been a part of the Ornelas family. Ervie’s cousins are featured elsewhere in this magazine. Ervie’s uncle, Mike Ornelas, recorded one of the first albums in Loving; his father, David, was known as the town’s best guitar player; and his mother still sings in a mariachi band. Ornelas remembers getting in trouble for pretending to drum while he was in junior high school. “The teacher asked, ‘Do you do that at home?’ and I said, ‘Yes,’” he recalled. His father, David Ornelas, was an employee of the school district, so the teacher was able to quickly confirm that he was telling the truth. His Uncle Mike bought him his first drum set when he was a little boy and played in the high school band. He remembers hearing the applause after a performance in high school and being thrilled that he helped bring joy to the audience. He also remembers everyone just being amazed when he played at his sister’s wedding years later. They knew he was a drummer; they just didn’t know how good of a drummer he’d become. He’s not too shy about admitting that he’s got a natural ear for music and drumming.


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

He adds cowbells, wood blocks and triangles to his performances. “I like to make the words speak,” he noted. “Everybody has their own style.” For many years, Ornelas drummed on stage with a number of bands and groups. A Tejano star dubbed him “Big Daddy,” and he worked closely with Loving’s Starlight Productions owner Saul Rey Sanchez. His drumming impressed everyone, and he was told he should become a professional more often than not. He’s worked with Little Joe y La Familia, Ruben Ramos and Michael Salgado, among others. But the focus of his drumming all changed in 2005. That’s when his sister, Diana “Nana,” became deathly ill. “She was going to pass away on me, and she grabbed my hands and started crying,” Ornelas shared. “She said, ‘Bubba (she called me Bubba), I see you on stage playing with so many bands, but God gave you this talent. What are you going to do with it? When I pass away, can you play for me in church?’” After his sister’s death, Ornelas said he jumped into his car and drove around before ultimately finding himself at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Loving. That’s when Ornelas remembered what his sister said and vowed to direct his musical talents toward serving God. “One other thing that changed is that before, I heard music; now, I hear and Ervie Ornelas warms up prior to a church service at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Loving.


listen. I listen to music and try to get the meaning out of it,” he noted. He said a Brad Paisley song, “Sissy’s Song,” helped him with mourning his sister. Music helped him again when he lost his father four years later. “Playing at my dad’s funeral was one of my gifts to my dad,” he recalled. “I was sitting downstairs with my family when they called me upstairs to play. I played my heart out and went downstairs. The deacon blessed my drumsticks and gave them to my dad. There was no better way to show my dad that I loved him.” Ervie is still jamming for the Lord almost every week. At church, there’s a picture of his sister on his electric drum set, and he has a tattoo that says, “Jamming for the Lord.” “When I miss church, the following Sunday, the priest will tell me how much he misses my drumming,” Ornelas added. “The good Lord has given me peace. In 2012, I got married to my childhood best friend, Teresa Ornelas, and the Lord has blessed me with two sons, Ian and Zach Young.” Zach saw his father play with a live band for the first time at a family reunion, and, for Ervie, seeing his son’s face shine with pride was a wonderful moment. “Every Sunday, I do play for God, but seeing my wife next to me just pushes me to do my best,” he added. “God has taken, yet has given to me. I thank my wife and boys for their support and thank God for my talent.” Ornelas has taken a couple of youth under his wing and taught them drumming in return for a promise to stay out of trouble. Teaching and drumming are a great blend of Ervie’s two greatest loves. Most days, Ornelas stays busy supervising children at San Jose Daycare, where he’s been an employee for 19 years now. He majored in music when he first attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, but ultimately switched to elementary education. “I love music, but my passion is working with children,” Ornelas said, noting that he also coached baseball, taught Sunday school and volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. Though he focuses on his drumming at church, Ornelas does work with other drummers and music groups to help them get started. Sometimes, he serves as a bodyguard. He also works with Sanchez and others to help younger groups develop a stage presence before they participate in the annual Tejano Fan Fair in San Antonio. “Sometimes, it is just making a few changes to where they are standing or their movement to improve their stage presence,” he stated. Ornelas said he didn’t develop a love of traditional Chicano music until he was in college, when he wrote a paper about mariachi music. At the same time, he also developed an interest in country music, reggae, Japanese and everything in between. “I remember an RA in college saying, “You are the one with all kinds of music coming out of your room,’” he recalled. “I just get chills through my whole body when I hear music that I love.” For a lover of all music such as Ervie, there are plenty of opportunities for experiencing such chills.


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"Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others."

- Danny Thomas

Foc u s on hip hop

Loving the Beat nce upon a time there were three brothers, and they

all loved music. In fact, pretty much everyone in the family was musically inclined. “We grew up on music,” said Joe Ornelas, 30. “I remember running around the house singing oldies. I’d get called out of school in second grade to be a singing telegram.” While the three brothers’ lives have taken different directions, music keeps bringing them back together. Today, they are the core artists associated with Off Da Chain Entertainment/ Quad Street Productions, a production

Off Da Chain Entertainment/Quad Street Productions members, from left, include: Cruz Ornelas, Jasmine Carrasco, Estevan Ornelas, Crystal Dominguez and Joe Ornelas.



focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

company and recording studio based out of Loving. Off Da Chain is the music label and Quad Street Productions is the name of the production company. The oldest of the three brothers, 33-yearold Cruz Ornelas, Jr., aka C-Dog, owns the studio. Joe Ornelas, aka Lil Dopey, also has a mobile DJ service. Estevan Ornelas, 25, goes by Puppet. They’ve been recording music together for a long time, first in their parents’ basement, and then later in a small studio their father, Cruz, built for them. Their father is in a local mariachi group called Grupo UNIDO that also performs at a number of area events. Cruz Jr. said his hip hop singing career began when he recorded with Alfred Hernandez, Jr., under the local label Criminal Records. Cruz joined a group

called The Brown Skin Familia and then spent four years in the Navy. “When I got out, I decided to open my own studio to get stuff done,” he noted. “We created Off Da Chain.” They began putting music together in 2005, and the label was licensed by 2008. Cruz called the genre “Chicano Underground.” “We’re trying to promote Chicano music,” he said, noting that the style blends hip hop, R&B, Spanish and gospel music. “It’s a Chicano label and Chicano owned.” And they’re not just building a name for themselves in southeast New Mexico. “Music is what we feel. Music is our personal outlet,” Cruz said. “For us, we are a Southwest movement. New Mexico is known for its chile. New

Mexico is not known for its rap. We’re trying to change that.” In fact, while they are still looking for local sponsors, they’ve enjoyed VIP treatment during some out-of-town visits and were recently nominated for a number of state hip hop awards, with Cruz taking home a top producer nod. “We were nominated for upcoming group of the year, and we came in after some top Albuquerque artists,” he noted. “We’re competing with some of the state’s top underground music.” Also receiving statewide attention, Joe was nominated for upcoming DJ of the year in 2011. He DJs at a lot of charity events and was the primary DJ at this year’s Relay for Life event in Carlsbad. He also was DJ at a local Glow Run and during a recent visit to Carlsbad by Governor Susana Martinez. The brothers also recently hosted a block party in Loving, at their own expense, and are always on the lookout to help with fundraising activities. While their songs run the gamut from gangster rap to ballads, their music is always age-appropriate when performing in front of youth. “I love doing benefits,” Joe said, adding that he lost a daughter of his own in 2005. “There was this sick girl we helped

raise money for so she could get kidney surgery, and since then, helping has really grown on us.” The brothers are currently putting together a track in memory of Joseph Garcia, a teen who was murdered in Carlsbad several years ago. They’ve raised thousands of dollars for local charities, which shows that people shouldn’t judge them by their clothing, Cruz said. People are also sometimes surprised when they pass by the brothers’ studio in Loving and hear gospel music coming from the recording booth. “We’re trying to open people’s eyes and beat stereotypes,” he said. “We have a lot of parents ask us to work with their kids when they get in trouble, and it works well.” In addition to events, all three brothers write and record music. While the Ornelas brothers all have to work day jobs as well, the studio gets pretty busy when everyone has the time to use it. The label’s first two projects were Land of Entrapment, Volume 1 & Volume 2 – Da Lockdown and consisted of New Mexico artists and producers. The three brothers say their musical projects are inspired by artists such as Tupac, Frost, Jodeci, Richie Rich and various oldies but goodies.

Cruz said he wrote a lot of his original material when he was in the Navy. Cruz controls the label, so if something isn’t good enough, he doesn’t allow it to get released. “We bump heads quite a bit because we’re all perfectionists,” Joe said. While Joe is the DJ of the bunch, his two brothers both participate in freestyle rap competitions, which typically involve taking a few jabs at the competition. “Anything goes,” Estevan observed. “People shouldn’t get mad when you are cutting down other people.” But just because they enjoy competition, doesn’t mean other musicians aren’t welcome in the studio. Another artist with the label, Jasmine Carrasco, aka Classy J, said she has been involved in music for as long as she can remember, but joined Off Da Chain several months ago. “In here, I produce, song-write, sing and rap,” she added. “My kind of music is more of an electro-swing. I really love old music from the 1950s and 1960s. I just combine everything together.” Both Jasmine and Crystal Dominguez, aka Miss Fancy, are working on releasing albums. They previously played in a band together. “Some people will just write a song and put it up, but we want this to be legit,” Dominguez added. “I personally like electro hip hop, but we can do beats for anything.” Dominguez and Carrasco both said they also really appreciate the philanthropic part of being affiliated with the label. They also enjoy working with some kindred spirits, as there is usually a fellow artist around to offer some helpful suggestions. Even off the chain, staying linked with others is pretty important. You can find all of these artists on Facebook. Music is available on iTunes & CDBaby. com. CDs are also on sale at the Carlsbad Hastings. For group performances, studio times or booking, call Cruz Ornelas at 575706-2656. For DJ services, contact DJ Jose Ornelas at 575-706-6356. top photo: Cruz Ornelas after receiving his Producer of the Year honors in 2011 in Albuquerque at the New Mexico Hip Hop Music Awards.

Crystal Dominguez works on one of her songs at the studio in Loving.

bottom left:

bottom right: Jasmine Carrasco and Cruz Ornelas at Off Da Chain Entertainment’s recording studio.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on entertainers

“It’s in Our Blood” Spotlight on a Few Local Artists The Brothers: Spencer and Stacy Campbell Like many of the men and women featured in this edition of Focus, Spencer and Stacy grew up in a musical family. Their father was a gospel singer who, along with other members of the “The Singing Campbell Family,” made the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Spencer recalls having to sing at family reunions. The Campbell brothers were born and raised in Carlsbad, and later Houston and Oklahoma. Spencer, older than Stacy by a year, finished high school in Edmond, Oklahoma. Spencer was largely self-taught, and while he drummed at a young age, playing the bass guitar quickly became his specialty. Oklahoma City was a hotbed for Christian contemporary music at the time, and that helped Spencer start a career in music. The first well-known artist Spencer played with was Greg Volz, of the Christian rock band Petra. Spencer moved to Nashville, and later Los Angeles, to pursue his career in music. He was primarily a session musician, which meant he worked in recording studios to help produce albums. “That’s what I wanted to do, ever since I was little,” Spencer said. “The bread and butter in Nashville is the demo work, but we’d do a lot of big albums as well.” Younger brother Stacy began a career in music a little later, and a friend of Spencer’s helped him get started.


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

Spencer Campbell, pictured near the campus of NMSU - Carlsbad.

Spencer’s bass playing can be heard on albums by Sheryl Crow, Wynonna Judd, Kenny Rogers and Lee Ann Womack, among others. Being a session musician means you are sort of a ringer for a specific style. Producers will call you when they want to put together a song that requires that style. “There will be a certain thing I do for one track and then a certain thing another guys does that they will want for another track,” he explained. “They might have one drummer on three tracks and another for the other four.” Session musicians are extremely efficient and professional, he noted, which makes them very appealing to producers. So Taylor Swift might have a group of musicians who perform with her on the road, but then bring in people like Campbell when putting together an album. “Studio musicians are studio

Stacy Dean Campbell, musician, writer and producer.

musicians, and road musicians are road musicians,” he summarized. While Spencer mostly did studio work, some artists would ask that he go on tour with them. He spent most of 4½ years on the road with Delbert McClinton and performed an average of 185 times a year. Spencer even won a Grammy for his work with McClinton. “I’m 46 now, and I’ve become a serious dad,” Spencer added. “I might go on tour again sometime, but I don’t want to be doing 200 dates a year again.” Spencer recently settled down on a ranch in Eddy County. He’s teaching music lessons at New Mexico State University-Carlsbad and enjoys spending time with his daughter. “I think I toured the world more than 20 times,” he added. “I think all musicians feel some obligation to teach.”

The music business also isn’t what it used to be, Spencer added, and Nashville has become a hard place to earn a living. Illegal downloading has changed the industry completely, and only the industry’s biggest giants seem to be surviving.

Spencer and Stacy worked on a few projects together during their time in Nashville, and Spencer said he’d welcome another opportunity to do so. Even though he’s settled in a bit, Spencer says he’s never going to quit music.

Down the road for Serrano is, hopefully, a gig on a nationally syndicated mariachi show called Sabado Gigante on Univision. He had an opportunity to perform on such a show once, but he wasn’t able to make it. He’s trying hard to get back on.

“You do get those big rock star and country star calls, but they are fewer and farther between,” he noted. Improvements in home recording studios have also contributed.

“It’s in our blood,” he added.

“It’s been on for 50 years. That’s where people get made,” he noted. He’s regularly finished in the top of competitions featuring thousands of competitors.

Still, Spencer gets a number of calls each year to play bass, and he’s still considered one of the top guitarists in the industry. Brother Stacy Campbell has had an equally interesting, and perhaps somewhat more diverse, career in the entertainment industry. Stacy has been a singer, a songwriter, a guitar player, an author and a television star and producer. Stacy began his career singing at clubs in Oklahoma and soon moved to Nashville. He signed a contract in 1991 to become a staff songwriter for Tree Music, and he released his first album as a solo artist on Columbia Records in 1992. Three singles from his debut album hit the Billboard Country singles chart. Stacy continued his songwriting and singing career until 2001, when he returned to New Mexico to work as a police officer. His first novel, Cottonwood, was published in 2004. Campbell recently moved to Dallas to work as a director-writer. He hosts and writes the Americana travel series Bronco Roads and has recently developed a new show called Troubadour Texas.

The Mariachi Singer: Ricardo Serrano He’s the man in blue with the white cowboy hat. Mariachi singer Ricardo Serrano has been performing for 14 years now, but over the past few months, he’s landed some pretty big gigs. Most recently, he performed in Brooklyn, New York, at an annual mariachi conference. He opened for Sebastein de la Cruz, the 11-year-old boy who recently sang the national anthem at a Spurs game. Serrano, who works as an apprentice electrician with Tessco Electric to pay the bills, also gets invited to perform at weddings and other ceremonies in Carlsbad and across the country. While his specialty is mariachi music, he’s sometimes asked to perform other genres. What brought Serrano to music? “I have a lot of musicians in my family,” he stated. “It runs in our blood. I even worked as a DJ when I was ten years old.” Serrano also does some promoting, and he’s looking at putting together an event with de la Cruz. He said local businessman Phil Madron has been very supportive of his travel.

Mariachi Singer Ricardo Serrano with 11-year-old singer Sebastein de la Cruz.

Serrano said the biggest thrill for him has been the pride displayed by his children. “I just want to thank everybody who has helped me,” he concluded. “This has been a great opportunity.”

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RENT YOUR FAVORITE JUMPER OR WATERSLIDE FOR YOUR NEXT PARTY OR EVENT!! Call Laurie at 885-1999 for date availability! fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on literature

Great American

Carlsbad Style

“Write what you know” is advice many Carlsbad residents seem to have taken to heart. Focus interviewed several local

residents who have published books, and they shared some background on what it is like to be an author.

Carol Koppenstein

Author of German Boy (2009) Carol Koppenstein’s inspiration for German Boy was none other than her husband of 54 years, Christian. “My grandchildren asked their grandfather to tell them about being in World War II, so after many years, he told the story,” she said.

Author Carol Koppenstein and her husband, Christian.

During World War II, Christian lived in Bessarabia, an area in Eastern Europe caught between the Soviet Union and the Nazi army. He didn’t speak about the horrors of the war until much later in his life, largely at the insistence of his grandson Bryan, who had to write a high school book report on World War II. Carol wrote everything down and put the book together. She’s a retired real estate broker/certified general appraiser, and Christian is a retired general contractor. They worked together for 30 years in Oregon. Carol is now a professional mediator, certified support group facilitator and parent coach. She also works at Walmart in the afternoon and is a breast cancer survivor. “I’m not a fiction writer,” she noted. “I like to write about people and feelings.” Carol has also put together a collection of short stories from when she grew up on a farm in eastern Montana and has completed another


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

book that is ready to be proofread. Carol isn’t the only artistic member of her family. Another grandson, Sam Hughes, is the lead vocalist for the rock band “The Sammus Theory.” Family members even put together a musical score based on Christian’s life during World War II.

Dr. Jerry Cox

Author of Ghosts of the Guadalupes: A Factual History of Agriculture, Families and Violence Between 1905 and 1955 in Southern New Mexico (2005)

had one bedroom where the books were neck high,” he recalled. There were 2,100 hardcover copies and 500 digital copies of Ghosts of the Guadalupes published. There are no copies left, and existing copies are available on eBay for hundreds of dollars. “I’d published a lot of scientific books before I came here, but I’d never done history, even though I’d always enjoyed it,” he stated. “I wasn’t sure, but it worked out really well.” Local historians Jed Howard and Preston Means talked Cox into tackling a history book about the Guadalupe Mountains. Local sponsors helped pay for the $50,000 needed to publish.

“Ghosts of the Guadalupes is a history book about the life and times of early families in the mountains trying to survive in a very uncertain time,” said author Jerry Cox. “This was a time before Medicare, Social Security and government aid programs. People had to survive on their wits and abilities, and if you couldn’t, some folks resorted to crime and murder.”

“I’d work from sunup until sundown throughout the summer,” he stated. “Usually around 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. for four years, and I hired some of my students to help, too.”

Cox retired from a career in agricultural science in 1997 and began a second career as a teacher at Carlsbad High School. He worked on the book during his summers.

If there’s time at the apple orchard, Cox has another idea for a book that came up while he was researching the previous one. It would be about two female gangsters and be based on historical information.

He retired a second time this year and is moving to northern New Mexico, where he and his wife will run an apple orchard. “I still remember. We

The final product was a coffee table book that mixed local color with more in-depth history. Cox kept a copy for each of his four grandchildren.

What’s the key to completing a book? Author Jerry Cox

“You have to be persistent, and you have to have a tough skin,” Cox said.

Donna Birchell

“Being able to visit many of the 54-plus wineries Author of Carlsbad in New Mexico gave and the Carlsbad me a great sense Caverns (2010), of the hard work Eddy County and dedication (2011), New of the state’s Mexico Wine: vintners and An Enchanting the struggles History (2013) they all face, Birchell’s first not to mention two books are sampling some local history excellent New Author Donna Birchell tales, featuring Mexico wines has finished three books more than 200 along the Wine and more are on the way. vintage photographs Trail!” Birchell added. of Carlsbad, the Caverns Birchell’s first attempts at and Eddy County. The books writing were a series of timeare part of the Images of America travel romance novels, but she was series and include a lot of material unable to attract a publisher. Her provided by the Southeastern New advice to would-be authors is to Mexico Historical Society. try writing something every day, if possible, and to write what you know “I have had many great comments and what interests you. about people finding family members in the photos,” she observed. “It’s great “The more you write, the easier the to play a small part in that connection, words flow,” she noted. “Write for while showcasing the fabulous yourself. Don’t worry about what photography collection.” anyone else thinks.” Her third book gives an account of the Birchell said two unique challenges turbulent history of the New Mexico of being an author, for her, have wine industry – with New Mexico been narrowing down the number of being the oldest wine producer in the photographs for publication and the United States, dating back to 1629. public speaking component of selling

the book. She said she was surprised by how much hands-on work is expected of authors. “An author is expected to do extensive promotion and marketing of their books as well,” she said. “In my case, I was required to give lists of all potential outlets, events, media connections, etc., that could promote the books and bring in sales.” Undeterred, Birchell recently signed a contract for her fourth book, entitled Wicked Women of New Mexico, due in early 2014. So far, she’s tracked down 14 notorious women from New Mexico and plans to chronicle what they had to do to survive the rugged frontier. “It’s amazing how many men offered to give me their personal lists!” she joked. Birchell has a pending contract with Arcadia Publishing to write a book about people who were instrumental in developing Carlsbad, and she said she has two other books in the works in her head. One thing is for certain -- Carlsbad’s authors have the “write stuff ”!

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HOURS: MON-FRI: 7am-7pm, SAT: 7am-6pm, SUN: 9am-5pm fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on artwork

Artists Making Their Mark by Staci Guy


t was a typical Friday afternoon in Carlsbad. The summer heat was unforgiving, but that didn’t stop the customers – some just curious, others repeat customers – from visiting the Carlsbad Area Art Association’s (CAAA) Artists’ Gallery downtown. “Are all the artists here from Carlsbad?” a shopper from Portales asked Gerri Matteson, the volunteer on duty at the time. “Yes,” she beamed. “We’re all local. I’m very proud of us!” “I would be too,” the customer replied as he laid a hand-crafted coffee mug on the counter. “We don’t have anything like this in the Portales/Clovis area for artists to display their work. This is fantastic!” A stroll past the gallery can be a bit deceiving, as it is not obvious from outward appearances the sheer amount of talent housed inside the gallery walls. Artists from all walks of life – retired teachers and police officers, new artists, artists is their mid-80s, work-from-home mothers, and the list goes on – all share a space


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

to proudly display their creations. As would be expected, the treasures inside are as diverse and varied as the artists themselves. “I just love these little notebooks,” one customer from California said as she laid her find on the check-out counter. Matteson, a sculptor whose work is displayed at the gallery, proceeded to tell the customer about the artist that created the notebook, which seemed to give the woman even greater satisfaction in her purchase. “That’s so neat,” she said. “I just love New Mexico, and this is a great little shop.” Having been in existence for more than 30 years – 12 years at its current downtown location – the Artists’ Gallery has seen many different artists come and go, the works of whom have garnered numerous awards and an impressive following. Several of the artists with current pieces displayed have been featured in magazines and trade shows all across the country. “We get a lot of interest, and we’re a great organization,” Matteson said. “Right now we have 32 artists displayed at the gallery, which is about

Currently, 32 local artists have their work on display at the Carlsbad Area Art Association’s Artists’ Gallery downtown.


all we have room for.” And all of the artists, she noted, do their fair share to ensure the gallery is run properly. “It’s a co-op and it’s all based on volunteers,” she said. “Everyone has a chore. Some might help with bookkeeping, and others help out around the gallery and work shifts -- everyone does something.” Some might find it surprising that the large gallery operates on a mere 20 percent of its sales. “We’re not a big profit company. We just need to make enough to cover our bills,” Matteson noted. Presently, the CAAA has an estimated 100 active members, but Matteson said they are always happy to have new artists join in on the fun! The organization has three shows a year, two of which are open to the public and one that is reserved for members only. Various artists also host workshops throughout the year, where budding artists can learn such crafts

as watercolor painting, paper and notecard making and sculpting. Signup sheets can be found at the entrance of the gallery prior to each workshop.

Upcoming events Pottery and Painting Display August 17 – Come and view the works of local artists Archiejean Buchanan and Bill Crabb at the Blue House Café from 8 a.m. to noon. Crabb will display his pottery creations and Buchanan’s paintings and silk scarves will be on display. CAAA School Tour August – This art tour includes pottery, sculpture, painting and drawing. The tour features different local artists who volunteer as

demonstrators in their respective areas of expertise. The artists and museum staff act as guides for school-aged children when they visit the exhibit, located at the Carlsbad Museum. The exhibits are judged and awards are presented. Silk Scarf Workshop September 21 – Archiejean Buchanan will present a silk scarf painting workshop in the studio area of the Artists’ Gallery. Anyone can attend, but you must register beforehand at the gallery. Cost of the workshop is $40, which will cover lunch and all supplies.

of all skill levels. The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and occasionally on Monday and Wednesday evenings as time and volunteers permit. The CAAA is a busy organization with a lot to offer! From an artists’ gallery to art shows to a pottery studio, there’s bound to be something to pique the interest of the artist in you!

Arts 2013 October – This is an annual art show at the Carlsbad Museum. The show is juried and is open to anyone wishing to enter. Pottery Studio Ongoing – A part of the CAAA, the Pottery Studio, located on School Street, offers pottery classes for artists

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1711 S. CANAL fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on theater

Carlsbad Community Theatre

E n t e r ta i n i n g C a r l s b a d f o r o v e r F i f t y Y e a r s by Margaret Sage Bemis

The lights dim. The music fades. The restless crowd quiets, leaning slightly forward in anticipation. The lush red curtain parts in the middle to reveal a lone fiddler, perched high on the roof of a house. With a sudden chord, the stage is instantly lit and on dance the citizens of the village of Anatevka, Russia, singing out, “Tradition! Tradition!” Once again, the audience at Carlsbad Community Theatre is drawn into a make-believe world, willingly suspending their disbelief and accepting the premise that their friends and neighbors on the stage are other people, with other lives, other stories. For more than fifty years, the folks at Carlsbad


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

Community Theatre have been entertaining the town with at least four productions each season. “That’s what we did for entertainment in those days,” said charter member Ellen Friesen. “Nobody had any money, so we put on a play. It was a very social group. We had a lot of people who

would come and try out, maybe 25 to 30 people, just because they wanted to be a part. If they weren’t in it, they’d work backstage or something like that.” When the group started in 1961, there was no regular performance space. Plays were put on at the Elks Club or the Woman’s Club, moving to the Mid-High (P. R. Leyva Middle School) auditorium when the current high school opened. Rehearsals were held in the airport lobby or wherever room was available. After a few years,

Pictures from the Carlsbad Community Theater’s 1974 production of Bus Stop, Arsenic and Old Lace (1974) and Ben Crofoot Come Blow Your Horn (1968).


it was obvious that a permanent home was necessary. That home would be found in a most surprising place.

out in the auditorium. People came out all dressed up in those days. In the summer it was pretty hot.”

The Carlsbad Army Air Field was operational from 1942-1945. Just north of the base was a section of housing for married officers called Victory Housing, which included a small commissary. After the war the Victory Housing became Thayer Apartments, and the commissary continued in business as a grocery store and meat market. People who grew up at Thayer Apartments can remember riding their bikes over to the little store, probably enjoying a popsicle or Coke from the big walk-in cooler. Less than a hundred feet from the building, to the south, one can still see the flagstone remains of a flagpole circle. Then in the 1960s the little building was given to the Elks Club, which had no use for it. The Elks Club offered to lease it to the Community Theatre for one dollar a year, and the transformation from wartime commissary to theatre began.

In 1976, what could have been a disaster became a blessing. During a rainstorm, the roof fell in right over the stage. Friesen called up the newspaper office and said, “Come down and take a picture of this.” When the picture appeared in the paper, people started making donations to fix the roof.

Volunteers built a stage and light booth. The auditorium floor was “raked,” sloping down toward the stage. Folding chairs were used in the early years, but have been replaced twice, once with chairs from a theatre in Albuquerque and once from a Carlsbad movie theatre. The building had four prominent pillars, two of them right on the stage, giving set directors the challenge of incorporating them into their sets. The 1964 season opened at the newly renovated theatre building with a performance of M’Liss. “We had no air conditioning,” said Friesen. “We had one big fan that we used on stage during rehearsals, and then we put it

Then the Elks Club offered to sell the building to the theatre to remove it from the tax rolls. To raise the needed money, Camelot was performed and the tradition of the summer musical fundraiser began. After the building was paid for, the money raised from the summer musical has been used to pay for improvements to the building. The theatre now has a lounge, refreshment area, three dressing rooms, a wood shop, storage rooms, and restrooms for audience and cast. The old walk-in cooler serves as prop room with its original cooler door and beadboard paneling testifying to its prior use. Through the years, the dedicated theatre folk have aimed to produce a variety of plays. Comedies are always popular, and there have been plenty. Audiences have laughed through Barefoot in the Park, Harvey, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Moon over Buffalo. There have also been plenty of dramas, both classic and contemporary, including Twelve Angry Men, The Robe, The Glass Menagerie, and Death of a Salesman. In addition to the summer musicals, there have been operas, such as Hansel and Gretel and Amahl and the Night Visitors, and children’s plays, such as How to Eat Like a Child,

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Oz!, and the current production of Wonderland! Theatre of the Absurd, murder mysteries, madcap comedies and sober dramas are all part of the eclectic repertoire. Financing for the productions comes from ticket sales and donations. The theatre has benefitted from local businesses that are willing to donate services or lend props for plays. In this sense it is truly a community theatre. But ticket sales and in-kind donations are not enough when the roof is blown off or the air conditioner quits. The theatre is the beneficiary of an endowment set up by Mrs. Ronnie Sipe that has sustained the group as prices go up. A transplant from Chicago, Mrs. Sipe loved the arts and fell in love with the little theatre group. The endowment is administered by the Carlsbad Foundation. Of course, at the heart of the community theatre are the people who make it work. Without the actors, directors, set builders, costume makers and lighting technicians, the plays don’t happen. Without the audiences to fill the seats, the efforts of those artists are wasted. Throughout the years there have been hundreds of dedicated people willing to give their time and creative energy to make sure there is a vibrant theatrical presence in Carlsbad. Some stay for but one season; others have been around since those early days of rehearsing at the airport. All have become part of the fabric that make Carlsbad Community Theatre a center for artistic expression in this quiet desert town. Quiet now. The curtain’s opening. The play’s about to begin.

Glass Crosses

Texas Fused Glass Artists, Charlene Smith and Mary Stinson believe that the radiance of glass and the unique formation of each piece is a reflection of God over His creation.

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TUES-FRI 9:30-5:30 & SAT 10:00-4:00 fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on radio

Zero-Two by Curtis McKinney

It’s 2:45am on a Friday night,

and we are winding down two 19-hour days in a row. As I shut down the studio computers, I notice a note lying on my desk. “Write an article for Focus magazine about The Metal Shop Live Productions, LLC, by July 1st.” I guess my day isn’t quite over yet.

Curtis McKinney

DJ / Radio Host

Cranked up live

I recently spoke with Focus magazine Editor, Kyle Marksteiner, and he suggested that I write a quick article about all of the endeavors Metal Shop Live, LLC, has taken on over the past few months -- from the nationally syndicated radio program to the new management contract of the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center. So here we go -- a quick rundown of what we are doing and what we plan to do in the future. Before I get into the meat of things, I will touch on our radio show. I am very proud of what we have accomplished and even more excited about the people involved with the show. Believe it or not, our show is more than just guys sitting behind a microphone running off at the mouth. The show is a lot of work, and our staff spends a lot of time during the week dealing with production, advertising and promotion. We are on a national stage, so the clock never stops on this. For example, during the past two weeks I have been with our legal team over a dispute about the name of the show, The Metal Shop Live. One more headache to add to the pile! We were contacted by a law firm that stated that The Metal Shop Live radio show was in violation of a trademark and a “Cease and Desist” order was going to be filed in a Kentucky court if we didn’t comply with some demands. First, let me say that the trademark we “violated” was issued in 2010 by


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

a man who had a radio show in the early 1980s called “Metalshop.” To my knowledge, there was no trademark filed by this guy until our show hit the national stage. Go figure. The gentleman making the argument has been off the “air” for over 20 years, but it is what it is. I overlooked trademarking the name for us when I had the chance, so in all honesty, this lawsuit was my fault. The early bird gets the worm, so to speak. We were told we could pay this man a licensing fee for the name, buy his trademark or change the name of our show. If we wished to fight this in court, it would be in Kentucky. I hear the Bluegrass State is beautiful this time of year, but I don’t need to see it in person! After I sat on the demands for a few days and talked it over with our council and partners, we decided to change the name of the show. The Metal Shop Live radio show is now called “Cranked Up Live.” I like the name… a lot! Unfortunately, now we have to re-brand everything -- all the clothing lines, the website, Facebook, Twitter, email accounts, logos and the list goes on and on. Luckily, all 30-plus radio stations that syndicate our show understood our dilemma and didn’t cancel it. It really made me see and understand that brighter days are ahead of us now that this has been put to bed, unlike myself, who could really use a few hours of sleep. So that was the story behind the

birth of “Cranked Up Live”! I know, you probably thought it would be more exciting. Be sure and take this shameless plug and visit our website at Now I will get to serious local business -- the management contract of the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center the City of Carlsbad awarded to Metal Shop Live Productions, LLC. I would like to start by saying that we are very honored and excited to manage the WGPAC. This has been a long road with a lot of obstacles along the way, but, all of that aside, I know that the WGPAC is a vital part of our community and deserves to be treated as such. Over the past few weeks, I have been asked by numerous people what we plan to do with the Center. I always spout off a few ideas, but no one really knows what to expect. I want to share our ideas with you now and hopefully gain momentum as we take on this project. To start, we don’t look at our contract to manage the WGPAC as just another job. Everyone involved with my company is very community minded and wants to see our citizens have a facility that can improve their quality of life. How many times have you driven out of town to watch a concert? Better yet, how many times have you tried to rent a facility for a wedding or party only to be turned away? Granted, scheduling plays into the equation, and everyone can’t be accommodated, but it should not be a burden to utilize a local facility such as the WGPAC in your own hometown. It also has to be cost effective.

- Forty-Five I plan on sitting down with the City of Carlsbad, the WGPAC advisory board and local businesses to determine a fair rental fee for the facility. I want to reach out to local businesses and get them involved with the facility and show them how they can benefit from joining forces with us to promote concerts and taking an interest in our hometown entertainment productions. One of our biggest obstacles is community awareness. We have got to have support from not only our citizens, but from our business owners as well. I want our community to become the leader in SE New Mexico, instead of following behind Hobbs, Ruidoso and even Artesia. I have to take my hat off to all of those communities I just mentioned because they stand behind their entertainment. We can do the same thing. We are strong advocates of “hands on” teaching. I have already talked with NMSU-C about incorporating students into our projects and giving

them a “hands on” education when it comes to real world production, sound and lighting. I think that implementing programs that have entertainment minded students working hand in hand with us will show them what the real world is like and help them make career decisions. Our company is behind anything that furthers our students’ education. NMSU-C was very cooperative, and I foresee a great relationship with them. There is a lot of work to be done. I have assembled a group of great people that will work as hard as needed to make the WGPAC a success. As long as we can keep the community involved and raise awareness, the sky’s the limit. I want to take this opportunity to ask all of you to get behind the WGPAC. I want to hear your ideas and I want to talk to you. My door is always open, and I will address your ideas as they are presented. If they make sense for Carlsbad, we will try and

implement them. My email address is Feel free to write anytime. It is now 3:15am, and I am going to get some sleep. I want to say “Thank You” to everyone that has supported us in everything we have done. We look forward to continuing to work for you, our community. For those of you who don’t know us or have a preconceived notion as to what we are about, I ask that you give us a chance and go into this with an open mind. We will do our best not to disappoint. McKinney is the President of Metal Shop Live Productions, LLC, which airs a weekly radio program in over 30 U.S. cites.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s on the chamber

awards banquet The Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet & Meeting was held Thursday, July 11. Judi Waters, 2012-13 Chairman of the Board, passed the gavel to the 2013-14 Chairman of the Board, Todd Hyden. Retiring board members Kirsten Carlson, Martha Chapman, Dave Rogers, and Jerry Rogers were recognized for their years of service, and directors and council chairs for the past year were recognized. Director of Tourism and Marketing, Lisa Boeke, was also acknowledged for her ten years of service with the Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations go to The Garden Mart for being selected as the 2012-13 Business of the Year, to Jack Volpato for receiving the Jack Knittel Presidential Award, and to Ashley Walterscheid, recipient of the Pete Panagopoulos Ambassador of the Year Award. photo above: Todd Hyden - 2013-14 Chairman of the Board, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce

Judi Waters, center, presents Garden Mart owners Mark and Mary Walterscheid with a plaque honoring them as business of the year.

photo below:

A special thank you to corporate table sponsors for the evening – CARC Inc, Carlsbad Medical Center, Carlsbad National Bank, Carlsbad Rotary, Chapman’s Restaurant, Constructors Inc, Durham & Associates, Homecare Connection & Hospice, Intrepid Potash, Lakeview Christian Home, Madeline’s Bridal Boutique & Formalwear, Mosaic Potash, NMSUCarlsbad, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, PVT Networks, Southeast Readi-Mix, Springtime Cleaning, WalMart, Wells Fargo Bank, and Western Commerce Bank.

Things to watch for! The Chamber is sponsoring the first SeptemBeer Microbrewery Festival on Saturday, September 14, from 3 to 8 pm at the Pecos River Village Conference Center, 711 Muscatel Ave., Carlsbad, NM. There will be food vendors and music! Seating will be limited; please bring lawn chairs. Tickets will be $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Admission includes a commemorative mug, beer samples, and mug of beer of choice. Tickets may be purchased at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, 302 S. Canal St., Carlsbad, NM. Call 575-887-6516 for more information on this new event for Carlsbad! The first Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Business and Job Expo will be held on Thursday, October 17, at the Pecos River Village Conference Center from 4 to 8 pm. The fair will give local businesses the opportunity to showcase their business and also focus on employment opportunities in Carlsbad.

2013-2014 BOARD of DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board

Todd Hyden, Pacesetter Pressure Pumping

Incoming Chairman of the Board

Jack Volpato, Southwest Pharmacy


Lisa Sexton, Accu-rite Tax & Accounting

Past Chairman of the Board

Judi Waters, First UMC / Class Act

Council Chairs Ambassadors

Staci Carrell, One Stop Titles Carlsbad 40-Under-40

Jeff Campbell, Carlsbad Department of Dev. Christmas on the Pecos

Mike Calvani, Calvani Carpets Governmental Affairs

Jack Volpato, Southwest Pharmacy Positively Carlsbad

Lisa Chavez, NMSU-Carlsbad Retirement

Marsha Drapala, Landsun Homes Special Events

Susan Crockett, Springtime Cleaning Tourism

Jim Miller, Fairfield Inn & Suites

Board Members

Robert Baldridge, Intrepid Potash Chad Campbell, Carlsbad Medical Center Ernie Carlson, Constructors Inc Wanda Durham, Durham & Associates Dr. John Gratton, NMSU-Carlsbad Russell Hardy, Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center Ben Jaime, Xcel Energy Chris Jones, CARC Inc Mindy Keefer, Carlsbad National Bank Maria Knittel, PVPM Inc Donavan Mager, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC Susan Owen, Lakeview Christian Home Gary Perkowski, Carlsbad Municipal Schools Brenda Suggs, Western Commerce Bank Debe Wagner, Pioneer Bank Bob Yeager, Century 21 Ken Britt, City of Carlsbad Lodger’s Tax Rep. Mayor Dale Janway (or designated representative), City of Carlsbad

Honorary Board Members


focus on carlsbad | fall 2013

Amy Barnhart, Carlsbad MainStreet John Benjamin, Carlsbad Caverns National Park Alison Bryant, Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/ Gang Coalition Mark Cage, Eddy County Sheriff’s Department Dennis Vasquez, Guadalupe Mountains Ntnl. Park Dr. George Veni, National Cave & Karst Research Institute

Foc u s on the chamber

Your Chamber Staff Robert Defer, Chief Executive Officer

Donna Cass, Senior Admin. Assistant

Brenda Whiteaker, Director of Operations

Jelena Duarte, Admin. Assist./BPA Intern

Lisa Boeke, Director of Marketing & Tourism

Randy Baker, Director of Facility Maintenance

Janell Whitlock, Director of Retirement

Jesus Torres, Facility Maintenance Joe Martinez, Facility Maintenance

Welcome New chamber Members! Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome the following businesses as new members. The Chamber staff would like to say “thank you” for joining The Chamber. Please remember, these businesses proudly support our community! Show your appreciation by shopping with them whenever possible! • AT&T • Byers Plumbing • Cimarez Energy Co. • Cruisin’ Thru Time Auto Museum • Desert Hills Electric Supply • Farmers Insurance • Sanctuary on the River

Ad venture marketing

Ad Venture Marketing celebrated the opening of their Carlsbad office, located at 102 S. Canyon, with friends, family and staff.

parrot exhibit and trail living desert zoo & gardens

The staff and Friends of Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park and Chamber Ambassadors helped open their new Parrot Exhibit and Trail in April.

• Sandya Surgical Associates • Vi Salus Body by Vi Challenge • ZH Services

For more information or to join the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce call 575-887-6516 or visit sandya surgical

Along with Chamber Ambassadors, Dr. Athigaman and the staff of Sandya Surgical, located at 2402 W. Pierce Street, Suite 5C, cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of their new practice.

the hagerman house event center

The Hagerman House Event Center, located at 112 W Hagerman Street, recently held a grand opening and “Business after Hours” celebration with family and friends.

fall 2013 | a community magazine


Foc u s business directory

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1. Little Big Town’s first hit single was.... 2. Of Pink Floyd’s four most popular albums, which one came out first? 3. What R&B group did the title track for the movie Ghostbusters? 4. What female artist recorded the hit song “I Love Rock and Roll”? 5. What was the first video ever played on MTV?

6. Which band had a greatest hits album called 10 from 6? 7. When Jimi Hendrix moved to England, which guitarist took him in and watched as he became famous within a week? 8. Keith Urban is a native of which country? 9. Which group had the hit “Magic Man”? 10. Who sang the theme song for the first Spiderman film?

Answers Compiled from

1. Boondocks 2. Dark Side of the Moon 3. Ray Parker Jr. 4. Joan Jett 5. Video Killed the Radio Star 6. Bad Company 7. Eric Clapton 8. New Zealand 9. Heart 10. Chad Kroeger

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Focus on Carlsbad Fall 2013  
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