contributors MarGareT CheaSebro has been a freelance writer for over 30 years. her articles have appeared in many magazines across the country. She was a correspondent for the albuquerque Journal and worked for several local newspapers. She has four published books of children’s puppet scripts. a former elementary school counselor, she is a reiki Master and practices several alternative healing techniques. She enjoys playing table tennis.
DoroThy NobiS has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. She authored a travel guide, The insiders Guide to the Four Corners, published by Globe Pequot Press, and has been a frequent contributor to New Mexico Magazine.
Debra Mayeux, of Farmington, is an awardwinning journalist with recognitions from the associated Press of New Mexico and Colorado and the New Mexico Press association and the Colorado broadcast association. She has covered stories throughout the Southwest and in Mexico and Jordan, where she interviewed diplomats and the royal family. after nearly 20 years in the business, she recently opened her own freelance writing and media business. Mayeux enjoys the outdoors, reading and spending time with her family. She is the coordinator of Farmington Walk and roll, a Safe routes to School organization. She is married to David Mayeux and they have three children: Nick, alexander and Peter.
beN braShear has called the Southern San Juans home for most of his life. he holds a b.a. in Creative Writing from Fort Lewis College and has worked for Cutthroat: a Journal of The arts, as assistant poetry editor. he is currently working as a freelance writer and photographer based out of Durango, Colorado.
JoSh biShoP is a graduate of San Juan College with an associate degree in Digital Media arts and Design. he currently works at Majestic Media as a video producer and photographer.
WhiTNey hoWLe was born and raised in Farmington and is proud to call San Juan County home. The richness of the landscape and the diverse people, culture and traditions are a photographer’s dream. Whitney has his ba in Visual Communication from Collins College in Tempe, ariz. he is a co-owner of howle Design and Photography—a family owned studio offering graphic design, photography, market research and consulting.
publisher Don Vaughan
editor Cindy Cowan Thiele
Clint Alexander Tonya Daniell
designer Suzanne Thurman
writers Dorothy Nobis, Margaret Cheasebro,
MAGAZINE Celebrating the Lifestyle, Community and Culture of the Four Corners Vol. 9, No. 1 ©2016 by Majestic Media. Majestic Living is a quarterly publication. Material herein may not be reprinted without expressed written consent of the publisher. If you receive a copy that is torn or damaged call 505.516.1230. 6 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
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Mapping out the future
Sarah Ellsworth settled comfortably in a chair, completely at ease with the reporter sitting across from her. By Dorothy Nobis
23 Holiday Happenings
A guide to all the sights and sounds our area has to offer this holiday season.
Two sheep ranchers in La Plata, N.M., are rebuilding two rare breeds that might go extinct without the efforts of ranchers like them. By Margaret Cheasebro
Giving a Voice
There is a culture in Farmington that has been ignored – its history mostly wiped away from a south-side neighborhood, according to Diane McCants, a member of the local African American community. By Debra Mayeux
77-year-old social media whiz
Judy Lake of Aztec is a social media whiz who has helped to put her family’s business, Red Door Vacation Rentals, on the Internet map By Margaret Cheasebro
8 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
38 Expressing Emotion Celtic music is alive and well in the Four Corners area. Devil’s Dram represents the genre with an added touch of rock, blues and American folk music. By Margaret Cheasebro
Behind the Bookcase
“That’s something we’d do in the culinary world,” says Beau Black, owner and proprietor of The Bookcase, looking up as he muddles Peychaud’s bitters and a cube of raw sugar for a Sazerac By Ben Brashear
Teaching is her passion
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics – they are education’s practical applications to life, said Cindy Colomb, a science teacher in the Farmington Municipal Schools District.
Hard times happen to good people
By Debra Mayeux Vicki Metheny, with a cup of espresso in
Blue Moon turns 20
front of her, sat at a table in a downtown coffee shop and counted her blessings. By Dorothy Nobis
Farmington’s iconic ’50s diner and ice cream parlor celebrates it 20th anniversary this holiday season. By Debra Mayeux
The Cowboy Way
The Old West is changing. Trading Posts are now convenience stores. Family ranches are being sold off instead of being handed down, and the sun is setting on a generation of cowboys.
When Trudi Adams isn’t behind the chair in her beauty salon in Dolores, Colo., she’s creating “critters” that she sells in her salon and at craft fairs throughout By Debra Mayeux the Four Corners. By Dorothy Nobis WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 9
Mapping out the future Leadership forum give Sarah Elsworth confidence, career path Story by Dorothy Nobis Photos by Whitney Howle Sarah Ellsworth settled comfortably in a chair, completely at ease with the reporter sitting across from her. Ellsworth, 17, a senior at Bloomfield High School, recently returned from Houston, Texas, where she attended the National Youth Leadership Forum. She was nominated for the forum by her chemistry teacher. Her forum session included 250 students from around the world.
Opportunities and challenges available The forum was held at the University of Houston and lasted nine days. During that time,
Ellsworth, who has an interest in entering the medical profession after graduation, learned firsthand the opportunities and challenges available to her when she moves into her chosen career. “It was a great experience, learning what it would be like (in the medical field) and getting to know how to apply for the program and how to process a scholarship,” Ellsworth said. “I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and the energy in trauma surgery,” she added. “It’s always something new and it sounds like it would be fun.” The young people who attended the forum
were all interested in becoming professionals in the medical field – doctors, nurses, first responders, physician assistants, biomedical engineers and epidemiologists. Seminars, medical school, simulation center visits, and interactive curricula were also offered to the young people.
Moving outside her comfort zone While Ellsworth initially thought she would become a doctor, the forum changed her mind. During the nine days of the forum, she discovered positions in the medical field she hadn’t considered before. WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 11
“It made me think about what kind of medical work I want to do,” she said. “I’m considering nursing, because it is flexible, it requires less schooling and I wouldn’t be on call. I love medicine. I love helping people learn about their body and how to ‘fix’ it. It still interests me. I’d like to be a nurse at a doctor’s office or a school nurse, where I can use those skills, but not as intensely as a surgeon would.” While the forum gave Ellsworth much needed and much appreciated information about her career path, it also gave her something else – self-confidence. “It was a great experience,” she said, “mostly for me on a personal level. I don’t like to talk to people and it (the forum) put me outside of my comfort zone. It taught me that I can do things. I can be independent and I can get to know other people.” “I’d do it again,” she said with pride.
leadership forum was a turning point for his daughter. “She was very nervous before going and wanted to back out of it, but we talked her into following through. After coming back, she seems to have a new confidence in her that wasn’t there before.” “When Sarah came home from Houston, she had a different air about her,” said Ellsworth’s mom, Amy. “She is more focused on her future and she is much more determined to accomplish her goals. She has an even stronger sense of direction in her life than she did before.” Amy Ellsworth said she is not surprised at her daughter’s interest in medicine. “It’s funny to watch Sarah as she gets excited to see surgeries and traumatic medical scenes (in her favorite television shows),” her mother said. “I think she just really enjoys the thrill and excitement in those situations. Sarah has never enjoyed monotony.”
A new confidence
Brad Ellsworth, Sarah’s dad, said the
Cristine Kidd has known Sarah since the
Ellsworth family moved to Bloomfield. Kidd’s daughter has been friends with Sarah and her sister, Hannah. “Sarah has always had a listening ear and an understanding heart,” Kidd said. “Through some of Sarah’s struggles she has shared, it has really helped my daughter.” “I also had the opportunity to teach Sarah in both piano and voice lessons,” Kidd added. “She was a very avid student who would consistently put in the practice time she needed to be able to learn and progress. She has a great love of music and I believe it has a great impact on her life.” “Cristine is a leader in my church and has greatly influenced me,” Ellsworth said of her friend “When I’ve had choices to make, she helped me get there through some hard times. She’s very loving; she’s awesome and I love her.” With her anxieties overcome, Ellsworth looks forward to a career in some part of the medical field. She’s also looking forward to something more important – children. “I want to have a family,” she said. “That’s a priority for me. It would take me 10 years to complete medical school and training, and that would take away from kids.”
Family is a priority Family is always a priority for the Ellsworths. Sarah is the oldest of six girls. Hannah is 15, Bethany, 14, Eliza, 11, Camilla, 6, and Grace is almost 3. “It’s not easy being the oldest,” Ellsworth admitted. “It’s a lot of responsibility. When Mom and Dad are gone, I’m in charge. If a fight breaks out (between the sisters), it gets bad if I don’t stop it. It puts a lot of responsibility on me, but it really prepares me for the future.” “There are a lot of hormones at home,” Ellsworth added with a laugh. “There’s a wide range of problems and emotions, but it’s kind of exciting. It’s never quiet.”
Love and support When Grace was born, Ellsworth said, she took on additional responsibilities. “I can see how my mother raises the two youngest and I’ll follow her example.” 12 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Ellsworth’s mother, Amy, is a teacher, but left the classroom last year to be at home with her daughters. “She quit her job for us,” Ellsworth said. “She’s taught us to explore and learn new things. We do a lot of really fun things, but she teaches us, too.” “I want my girls to know that we support them in all of their endeavors in their lives,” Amy Ellsworth said. “I have always tried to teach them that they can be whatever they want to be, but always to trust in the Lord’s plan and His timing,” said her mother. When asked what it is like raising a family of six girls, Amy Ellsworth did not hesitate with her one word response. ‘Loud,’she said, adding, “The quietest time is in the middle of the night when all the girls are asleep. The challenges of raising a house full of girls are often the blessings, as well. The craziest of days, when we are going every which way, are also the days when the best memories are made and the most fun is had.” “There is a lot of love in this family,” Amy Ellsworth added.
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Role model for her sisters Ellsworth’s dad said Sarah is a role model for her sisters. “They all look up to her and want to do what they see her doing,” Brad Ellsworth said. “We’ve tried to help her realize that and to set a good example for them.” “Sarah is a great example to her sisters in her desire to follow the teachings of our church,” Amy Ellsworth said. “Last year, she completed her Young Women’s Personal Progress Program. She set and completed numerous smaller goals, as well as eight projects that took over 10 hours each.” Ellsworth also appreciates the love and respect her parents have for each other. “I want to have a relationship like my parents do,” she said. “They talk things out and they work things out. I want my (future) husband and me to tolerate each other and to compromise and love each other. I know it can be hard sometimes, but I want both of us to be able to say ‘I may not like you sometimes, but I will always love you.’”
No room for selfishness Ellsworth’s parents, Amy and Brad, said “Date Night” is important in their busy lives. “Date night once a week has to be a priority,” Amy Ellsworth said. “We do a lot of our talking and problem solving late at night, after all the girls have gone to bed.” “I pray that Sarah is blessed enough to find someone as loving, supportive and enjoyable to be around as her daddy is,” Sarah’s mom added “She loves to spend time with family and laugh – Sarah needs someone who makes her laugh.” With family and friends who support her, Sarah Ellsworth’s big blue eyes, once clouded with anxiety, are clearly focused on her future, which includes her own family and a career that helps others. Giving back to the world is something Ellsworth believes in, and she will make it a priority. “My parents teach us not to be selfish,” Ellsworth added. “There’s no room for selfishness.” 14 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
La Plata sheep ranchers revitalize rare breeds Story by Margaret Cheasebro Photos by Whitney Howle
Two sheep ranchers in La Plata, N.M., are rebuilding two rare breeds that might go extinct without the efforts of ranchers like them. Lyn Brown, 65, is a widow, and Sandra Hopkins, 69, is the primary caretaker for her disabled husband. “I’ve been hearing more and more about 16 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
women in agriculture,” Lyn said. “I think it’s just that we all love the lifestyle. When someone passes or gets ill and the burden falls on us, we’d rather do that than go live in an apartment somewhere.” They live two miles apart about 18 miles north of Farmington, and they help each other
whenever they encounter challenges. When Sandra had two major surgeries on her foot and knee and couldn’t feed her sheep for almost a year, Lyn came over every morning to feed them. “Lyn is an amazing woman,” Sandra said. “I’m so blessed to know her. She is brilliant. I just love her to death.”
Sheep lamb in wee hours Sheep often like to lamb in the wee hours of the morning when veterinarians aren’t usually available or are at least a 30-minute drive away. “So you all learn that you’ve got to be your own best help,” Lyn said. “You’re your own mid-wife.” At Lyn’s Shear Perfection Ranch, she raises California Red Sheep in a rebuilding project to repopulate the breed. In 2015 fewer than 500 animals of that breed had been reported to the California Red Sheep Registry. Based on criteria used by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy registry, that number would put California Red Sheep on the critical list.
4-H project leads to red sheep California Red Sheep became Lyn’s focus when her children were in 4-H and wanted a different kind of sheep to raise. They are a cross between the Tunis and Barbados Blackbelly breeds and originated in the 1980s when they were crossed in the hopes of
creating a woolless meat breed. The experiment failed, because California Red Sheep have beautiful wool. People liked the new breed enough that they kept it going. They are one of the few sheep breeds that can tolerate 115 degree heat and temperatures as cold as 32 degrees below zero. “They’re the most wonderful sheep,” Sandra said. “They have got the best temperament and beautiful wool. They’re just extraordinary sheep.” Their coloring is distinct. “They are a cinnamon to palomino color in the face and legs,” Lyn said. “Their wool is an oatmeal color with little red hairs through it. When you spin it, it comes up like heather. You can dye it, and the hair takes the dye darker than the wool does, so you get that heathered effect when you dye it.”
herself with the milk. “Their milk is so rich,” she said. “To a pint of milk I add one-fourth cup of sugar and a drop or two of the Molina Mexican vanilla. If I want chocolate, I add chocolate powder to it. The ice cream is creamy. I don’t use an ice cream maker. I just freeze it.” All her sheep have names, and she can identify them wherever they are on the ranch. Some came already named, like Jamaican Me Crazy. She named others, among them Road Trip, Wooly Nelson, Daisy Dukes, Panache, Lone Star Sumo, Effective Detective (Ed for short), Shearlock Holmes, and Tickle Me Elmo. At one time, Lyn had 75 sheep. She’s now down to 30 ewes and 12 rams. She needs so many rams because of the breed rebuilding program she’s involved with in cooperation with the California Red Sheep Registry Board.
Milk makes great ice cream
Sandra raises CVMs
She milks the sheep, uses the wool, and eats some of the animals. She makes ice cream for
Sandra has only 20 sheep at her Rocky Slope Farm, and four of them are registerable WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 17
rams. The rare breed she rebuilds is called Romeldale/California Variegated Mutant, CVM for short. There are fewer than 2,000 of the breed globally and less than 200 registered in the United States every year, according to the American Livestock Conservancy’s list of endangered sheep breeds. “It was developed in this country from Old World breeds, so there are hardly any CVMs anywhere,” she said. “You say CVM to people and they look at you like you’re crazy. It’s an unknown breed that is a fabulous animal.”
Colorful wool Years ago, someone gave Sandra two CVMs, and she really liked them. The wool of each sheep can contain three or four different colors. She held up wool she’d carded that morning with the colors of light brown, white and subtle gray. “It’s a garment wool,” she said. “It’s soft. You can wear it next to the skin. It doesn’t 18 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
have the guard hairs that some of the other breeds do. Their personalities are similar to California Red Sheep. If you go in a pen and sit there, you’ll have them practically in your lap. They’re not quite as hardy as the Red Sheep, but they are a very desirable sheep. They’re mainly meat and wool.”
Meet in Four Corners Though Lyn was born in Los Angeles and Sandra was born in Denver, their life paths crossed 28 years ago after they and their families moved to the Four Corners area and both women took a spinning class and bought their own spinning wheels. They met again after both families moved to La Plata in the early 2000s. “That’s when we got more together and decided we had a lot more in common than we actually realized,” Sandra said.
Use professional shearer They use the same professional shearer, Nick
Martinez of Monte Vista, Colo., who specializes in hand spinners. Nick, who has been shearing sheep for 35 years, admires the passion Lyn and Sandra have for their sheep. “They love their animals,” he said. “They’ve got names for the sheep, like pets. They’re not just animals to them. They’re like children.” The women were nervous about leading two rams that weighed about 300 pounds each to Nick for shearing. They needn’t have worried. The rams had been show sheep in their youth. “They were the most well-behaved and sweetest rams,” Sandra said. “I was blown away by how sweet those animals were and how they could be led by a collar to the shearer.”
Paragliders scare them Though the sheep take shearing season in stride, other things can scare them. “We had paragliders come in over here, and Lone Star Sumo almost took the whole back
corner off his pen,” Lyn recalled. “It was like pterodactyls were coming after them. I think they’ve finally gotten used to them.” Though Lone Star Sumo is normally a mellow ram, Jamaican Me Crazy likes to bang his head on the wire welds of his pen. “If I go up to the pen to water or do anything, he will come running at the fence like he’s going to head butt the fence,” Lyn said. “Then he comes to a skidding stop and lays his head up against the fence to be scratched. He’s my comedy relief.”
Rebuild stronger, healthier sheep The women work hard to rebuild their breeds so they are stronger and healthier and conform to the characteristics of each breed. For example, the color white is not allowed past the horn line on California Red Sheep. Though Lyn has one ram with a white spot on its head, she’s keeping him because his conformation is gorgeous. “I’m going to test breed him on three ewes this year to see if we can get rid of the white spot,” she said.
WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 19
They’re also breeding bone back into both breeds. “When we first got the Reds, they all had these little deer-like legs, and they were carrying twins and triplets,” Lyn said. “By the time they were five years old, the ewes were breaking down from carrying all that weight. Now they’ve got a little bone. You keep picking out rams that have nice bone, because the ram is 50 percent of your flock if you’re breeding one ram to your flock. You can make big improvements by picking a good ram.” If rams don’t conform to the desired characteristics of the breeds, the ladies sell them butcher ready.
Farmington Growers Market Both women go to the Farmington Growers Market every Saturday morning and sell samples of what they make from the wool. “Lyn is brilliant with her knitting, crocheting, hairpin lace and spinning,” said Sandra. They also sell their handiwork on their online shop at www.skeintrain.com. Their products range from made-to-order wool socks, scarves, hats, vests, wedding pillows, a stuffed lamb crocheted to look like a California Red Sheep, head bands, dog collars and jackets, pot holders, little bags, Celtic knot necklaces, and Christmas stockings. Lyn also sells a sling she designed in which to carry newborn lambs and goats. “Sheep can’t see over their own heads,” Lyn explained. “If you pick a baby up in your arms,
they don’t know where it went. They get frantic and run away. You can lose the mother-child bond real quickly. You put the baby in the sling and walk with it, and it’s right there by mom’s nose, and she just follows you into the barn.”
No more traveling to shows They used to travel to shows out of the area where they would sell their products. After Lyn’s husband died of cancer and after Sandra’s husband had a disabling stroke, the women have to stay home to feed, water and care for their animals. But that hasn’t stopped them.
Several years ago, Lyn organized the La Plata Community Christmas Market so she and Sandra and other crafters could find a market for their handiwork. This season the market will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the La Plata Community Center, which used to be the old school house. They hope to start a co-op of small sheep breeders in the area so they can support each other and learn how many sheep are actually in the area. The numbers have been estimated at anywhere from 3,000 to 13,000.
part, the heel, my grandmother did it for me, so I never learned how to do it. Lyn taught me to knit the heel and the rest of the sock too. She also taught me how to crochet hats.” Though Lyn and Sandy keep busy with their various endeavors, it’s a lot of work without much financial reward. “Basically, I’m running this place on my Social Security, and it does not work on paper,” Lyn said, “but I’ve been able to do enough extra stuff. Somebody’s looking out after me, that’s all I can say, because as I get in trouble the money comes in from somewhere. Just having faith, it’s working out.”
Heartbroken when animals die Teach handiwork skills They also teach handiwork skills. “Lyn is a great teacher,” said Sybille Murphy, a local massage therapist. “She’s very patient. She taught me how to knit socks. When I was a kid in school, when it came to the hard
They feel heartbroken when one of their animals dies. That’s when they wonder if they should keep raising sheep. “Then you wake up the next morning and say, ‘maybe I’ll try it another day,’” Sandra said. “It’s crazy, but it’s a good life.” WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 21
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Itâ€™s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Pack up the family and head to these jolly San Juan County holiday events Itâ€™s a Holly Jolly time of year and if you are looking for some lighthearted holiday activities to get you into the Christmas spirit then San Juan County is the place to be. There are a lot of special events and opportunities for you to get out and join in the Christmas Cheer in the area, so take a look at the ideas below, and get ready for the best Christmas ever!
Christmas soon will be here and Farmington is preparing for the holiday in many fun and exciting ways.
Festival of Trees The kickoff to the season begins Nov. 30 with the opening of the Festival of Trees at the
Farmington Civic Center. There will be a tree purchase party at 4:30 p.m. followed by a public opening at 6 p.m. The Festival of Trees benefits Presbyterian Medical Services, so at the same time there also will be a health fair hosted by PMS. The fun continues Dec. 1, as children are invited in to explore the winter wonderland and enjoy story time and teddy bears at both 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The Teddy Bear Story Time is $5 per person, and is a great event for children and their families. The trees open to the public at 11:30 a.m. and the display remains open until 9 p.m. Also on Dec. 1, there will be a Festival of Trees luncheon at noon, and family night at 5 p.m. During all of these events, people can purchase raffle tickets to win a tree.
Christmas Parade After enjoying the trees on family night, at 9 p.m. Dec. 1 people can head downtown to Main Street at for the annual Christmas Light Parade. The theme this year is Christmas Around the World. The Festival of Trees continues Dec. 2 with events throughout the day including an 8 a.m. coffee break with the trees for $6 per person, a senior social time at 1 p.m. and a holiday happy hour at 6 p.m. for $10 per person. The festival wraps up Dec. 3 with a public viewing from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a raffle at 1 p.m.
24 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Dec. 17, folks can participate in the Reindeer Romp 5k or the 2-mile North Pole Stroll fun run in Historic Downtown Farmington. The event kicks off at Orchard Plaza on the corner of Main Street and Orchard Avenue. Not to be forgotten is Navajo Ministries’ Four Corners Home for Children’s annual live nativity. This is the 31st annual Navajo-style nativity scene recreating the night the Christ child was born. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Navajo Ministries on West Main Street. It is free to drive through, but donations are accepted.
From 6 to 8 pm. on Dec. 2, luminarias will line the Animas River during the annual Riverglo at Berg Park. In addition to the traditional lights there will be carolers and a live nativity. Luminarias are a Hispanic tradition. They are paper bags filled with sand and a candle lit to light the way for the Christ child on his birthday.
Bar-D Wranglers The Bar-D Wranglers will visit Farmington Dec. 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. for a Christmas Jubilee concert at the Farmington Civic Center.
San Juan College Luminarias & Planitarium Stargaze If you didn’t get enough luminarias on Dec. 2, head to San Juan College the evening of Dec. 3 for the annual luminaria display. The college boasts more than 40,000 luminarias on the campus grounds. The San Juan College Planetarium will host a stargaze in the courtyard on luminaria night for those who choose to walk through the display.
Christmas Bird Count. This will be from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 17 at the Riverside Nature Center. Birding enthusiasts can walk the trails and participate in the bird census.
Reindeer Romp 5k Then, that same evening from 4 to 6 p.m.
Aztec will sparkle with festivity during the Aztec Sparkles Christmas Festival Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 8-10.
Thursday Activities will begin on Thursday with an Evening of Lights at the Aztec Ruins National Monument from 6-8 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Hundreds of luminarias will be
Miracle on Main Street The city of Farmington will celebrate the Miracle on Main Street from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Farmington Civic Center. There will be iceskating, Santa and a giant snow globe. If you have ever wondered what the sky looked like more than 2,000 years ago on the first Christmas, the San Juan College Planetarium can help you with its annual Star of Bethlehem show at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the planetarium, located behind the clock tower building. “We use the star projector as a time machine to replicate the night sky around the time of Jesus’ birth,” said David Mayeux, planetarium director. This free event is followed by a stargaze in the courtyard at 8:30 p.m., if the weather permitting. Weather will not stop the birdwatchers in San Juan County. They love to participate in the National Audubon Society’s Annual WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 25
placed in front of the monument. In the part of the monument known as Aztec West, LED lanterns will light the way and illuminate the interior of the great house, also known as the great kiva. “People can walk into the central plaza to view the great house under the glow of lanterns once a year on this night,” said Danielle York, lead interpretive ranger at the monument. Though plans had not been firmed up by Majestic Living’s deadline, there may be hot chocolate and cookies as well as other family fun activities. The monument’s museum will be open, and the park store will have a 15 percent off sale that night. Friday The Aztec Boys and Girls Club, at 311 S. Ash, will have a holiday carnival from 3-5 p.m. Friday. It is open to the public. Santa will arrive during an event at the Aztec Public Library, 319 S. Ash, from 6-8 that night.
26 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
The library invites the community to join in a family celebration featuring, among other things, Santa, free gift books for children, holiday crafts, face painting by Aztec High School Key Club students, light refreshments, and music by Chokecherry Jam, a local bluegrass group. Library Director Kate Skinner said that during December the library will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays. On Friday there will be a Santa’s Gift Bag drawing with items donated by Aztec businesses. Last year it was valued at over $650. “I would expect the value of the bag to be even more this year,” said Mayor Sally Burbridge. People may enter to win the drawing by bringing a receipt for the purchase of $50 or more from any Aztec business to the visitors’ center, library or senior center. Purchases must be made between Nov. 25 and Dec. 16. Any purchases made on Nov. 25 and 26 will earn people a double entry into the drawing. One
person will win the gift bag. There also will be two stocking stuffer prizes of one item each. Saturday Many activities are scheduled all day on Saturday. Vendors will set up in vacant buildings downtown, and stores will be open all day with specials. Tractors will pull hay wagons so that people can have free hay wagon rides. Santa will run up and down Main Avenue, stopping at various businesses. An arts and crafts fair is planned at the Aztec Senior Community Center, 101 S. Park, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring only handmade items. “We will have everything from painted rocks to crocheted doilies,” said Cindy Iacovetto, director of the Aztec Senior Community Center. There also will be a breakfast and lunch concession stand. The 5K Santa Dash will start at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main Avenue and Chaco. The route will continue south on Main to Llano,
then follow Hartman Park, go across the bridge to Riverside Park and proceed under the traffic bridges on Ruins Road to the Aztec Ruins National Monument. At the monument, the route will turn around and come back down Ruins Road, go underneath the traffic bridges and come up on the trail stairway to the Money Saving Bridge, then up Chaco Street and end in front of Aztec City Hall. The evening will climax with the Christmas light parade on Main Avenue beginning at 6 p.m. Lin-up will start at 5 p.m. Theme of the parade will be Aztec Sparkles Christmas Festival, echoing the name of the entire three-day celebration. “Last year the parade began at 5 p.m., but it will be 6 p.m. this year so it will be dark enough for a light parade,” said tourism marketing supervisor Wilann Thomas. She is in charge of the parade. “We encourage people to come out and join us.” Santa, portrayed by Aztec High School teacher Dale Kramer, will ride in the parade. People who want to be in the parade may get parade forms from Wilann at the Aztec Visitors Center, 110 N. Ash, or fill them out online at www.aztecnm.com. “Aztec Sparkles is a wonderful opportunity for the Aztec and nearby communities to celebrate the holiday season and support our downtown shopping areas,” said Mayor Burbridge.
9th Annual Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Parade entry forms can be picked up at the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce office. Call 505-632-0880 for more information.
and candy. You may drive or walk through Bloomfield to view the luminarias that line our streets and parks. Enjoy the free hot air balloon tether outside the Cultural Center while you wait. Call the chamber office at 505-632-0880 for more information.
December 5 – January 2:
“Celebration of Lights,” Christmas displays at Salmon Park, 501 N. 5th St., Bloomfield, N.M. Official lighting of displays will be held immediately following the parade on December 2. For more information or to purchase a display, call 505-632-0880.
“Bloomfield Deck the House,” holiday display judging between 7 to 9 p.m. Pick up an application for your home or business at the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce office. For more information, call 505-632-0880.
Call 505-632-0880 for more information.
December 8: “Bloomfield Santa in the Park,” 4-7 p.m. at the Bloomfield Multi-Cultural Center on 1st St., Bloomfield, N.M. Come visit Santa Claus and share your Christmas wishes with him. Free pictures with Santa and his elves will be taken and the elves will hand out free coloring books
Collecting Food for Families annual Holiday Food Drive. Drop off non-perishable items at the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce office, 224 W. Broadway, Bloomfield, N.M., between 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information call 505-632-0880.
November 11- December 16: “Bloomfield Caring Tree” for Bloomfield/Blanco School District. Select a gift tag from the tree located inside Farmers Market and deliver your gift to the Bloomfield Fire Department or the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce. WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 27
77-year-old social media whiz Judy Lake uses the Internet to put family business on the map Story by Margaret Cheasebro Photos by Whitney Howle Judy Lake of Aztec is a social media whiz who has helped to put her family’s business, Red Door Vacation Rentals, on the Internet map. What sets her apart is that she’s 77 years old. What she doesn’t already know about how to use social media sites she learns by listening to webinars, consulting her 18-year-old granddaughter, Kylie Miller, whom she is raising and homeschooling, or finding the answers on her own. The business rents homes or condos to people as an alternative to hotel rooms. One way Judy attracts people to www.reddoorvacationrentals.com and to its social media sites is by dressing the family donkey, Clementine, in head gear and other attire appropriate for the season. She takes pictures of the dolled up Clementine and posts them with witty comments.
Clementine has mind of her own Clementine isn’t always a cooperative
model. Once she ate Judy’s straw hat. Another time, she discovered the corral gate hadn’t been tightly closed, so she led her fellow donkeys and mules on an adventure down County Road 2900 north of Aztec. Judy began helping with the business after it started in 2002 when her two daughters, Kelly and Kim, and their husbands formed a partnership. Lester and Kelly Foster live in Aztec, and John and Kim West live in Woodland Park, Colo., where John is maintenance supervisor at the hospital there. Lester and John can handle just about any maintenance needs at Red Door’s homes and condos. Besides overseeing his own small ranch and helping others with their farming needs, Lester owns Rafter L Custom Services Inc. John and Kim own a maintenance company, West Almost Anything. Buy houses and flip them When the couples started the partnership, they decided to buy houses and flip them.
Their first purchase was a house in the Colorado Springs area, which they fixed up and sold. With the money they made, their next purchase was a brick house in Cripple Creek, Colo. It was built in 1896 after the town burned down. “It was in very sad shape,” Kelly said. “When we got it all finished, we didn’t want to sell it. We were so proud of our work and everything we had done.” Six months later the foursome bought another house, fixed it up, and didn’t want to sell it either. “We thought, what in the world are we going to do?” Kelly recalled. “So we bought this book about how to rent vacation properties that you own. We followed it letter by letter until we put our houses on the Vacation Rentals by Owner website. Next thing we knew, they were renting. Then before too long they were paying their own way.” They are furnished with everything a family could want except for food and clothes. WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 29
Business grows The business began to grow. “A year or so later” Kelly recalled, “we had somebody ask us, ‘Would you do that to my house?’ and we thought, well, why not? So now we’re up to 21 houses in the Pikes Peak area and four condo units at Cascade Village north of Durango. The next thing you know we had created quite a little business. It keeps us hopping.” They own three of the homes. The other houses they rent for the owners and charge them a commission for booking, cleaning and maintenance services. They’re usually the owners’ vacation homes that otherwise would sit empty much of the year. Depending on the house or condo, it can rent for as much as $360 a night or as little as $65 a night. “That’s cheaper than a motel,” Judy noted.
30 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Family antiques in one house The Cripple Creek house contains many antiques and memorabilia belonging to Judy and her daughters, among them an old player piano and a Victrola. “One couple that homeschooled all of their children stayed there for a few days,” Kelly said. “They got the biggest kick out of that. We had records for the kids to play on the Victrola and scrolls for the player piano.” Thanks to Judy’s expertise on social media, the business is successful even when the economy slumps. “When folks want to go, they go,” Kelly said. “We have never once gone down. Every year it gets busier and busier.” Not long ago, Red Door began renting a new log cabin on behalf of
its owner in a secluded area near Cripple Creek. “It has rented every day,” Lester said. “People like the remote area.”
Renters leave messages Renters leave glowing messages on Red Door’s website about their stay in homes big enough to accommodate several families or small enough for a cozy getaway. The McKeogh family wrote, “Perfect home for our Thanksgiving gathering. The dining table is amazing. The deer in the front yard, all the stars at night are just breathtaking.” Bob and Lindsey confided, “We got engaged on the front porch! Great cabin, beautiful scenery. We loved the privacy.”
Judy slept with reservation phone From the beginning, Judy helped with the business by handling reservations. “I had my phone with me constantly. I even slept with it because I was afraid to miss a call,” she said. “After awhile it got to be too much for me.” They had their own website built in 2004, and in 2013 they chose Liverez with its online booking system to attract renters from all over the nation and several foreign countries, among them Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Thanks to Liverez, Judy doesn’t have to sleep with her phone anymore. “Once a year Liverez has a convention,” Kelly said. “This year Mom went because they have sessions on marketing, social media and other breakaway classes. She visited with a lot of other people who use Liverez and got ideas. Some are very large companies. We’re one of the smallest ones.”
Kylie impressed with grandma Kylie, is impressed by her grandmother’s skills. “For her age, she’s doing better than a lot of older people that I’ve seen in social media,” Kylie said. “She’s very intelligent and she knows what’s going on in our area and what’s popular. She has to know about events when she posts things on social media.” Every year Red Door’s Pikes Peak homes WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 31
are booked solid because of graduation at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. “We’re already booked for that next year,” Kelly said. People are attracted to the social media sites by pictures of a variety of animals that Judy posts. A year ago, Lester and Kelly’s granddaughter found five baby skunks on their land. She picked up one in each hand, ran to Kelly and exclaimed, “Grammy, Grammy, can I keep ’em?” The skunks became family pets.
Judy posts skunk pictures When Judy saw the adorable babies, she took pictures and posted them on the Internet. People loved the skunk photos, and Judy’s efforts have generated almost 2,000 followers. “People can still go back on Instagram and see the skunk pictures,” Judy said. “We have a whole photo album of the photos we’ve put on there. People say, ‘We love your pictures. Keep up the good work. We want to see more animal pictures.’” Besides posting pictures, Judy ties them to
events such as motorcycle races, train rides, and changing fall colors that occur near rental homes. Every morning she uses her iPhone, iPad and computer to check Instagram. She thanks all the people who follow her or like her pictures. In the afternoon she checks Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and the other sites. “I’ll look through all of them every day,” Judy said.
Stroke doesn’t stop Judy When she had a stroke and heart attack on July 24, the second day she was in the hospital she told Kelly to bring the iPad. “I just lay there looking through everything,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of people following me.” “I have no idea what she’s doing,” Kelly said, “but our business is growing, so it’s a good thing.” Computers are nothing new to Judy, who has since recovered. “The first computer I ever ran was for Monfort Feed Lots in Greeley, Colo.” she said. “It took up a whole room. I fed cows with computers. That was probably
47 years ago. Kelly was in fifth grade then.” Eventually Judy’s family moved to the Durango area where her husband worked for a lumber company. “He did all the logging,” she said. “When I wasn’t running a road grader, I was logging also. I had my own chain saw for my birthday.”
Owned café and ceramic shop When her husband became disabled, Judy opened the Candlelight Café on what was then 6th Street, now College Drive, in Durango. The café didn’t bring in enough money to support the family, so after working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. there, Judy waited tables at a steak house on the highway. “I could make a couple of hundred dollars a night waiting tables,” she said. Later, she opened the Mancos Hotel and Restaurant in Mancos and the Rio Hotel in Dolores. She also had a restaurant in Pierce, Colo. Her daughters helped her. “Kelly and Kim stood on milk crates at the sink in all those
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restaurants washing dishes,” Judy said. “They worked from the time they were young. They peeled potatoes, whatever it took.” Later Judy turned the Candlelight Café into a ceramics shop and opened one at the Mancos Hotel as well.
Volunteers in community Judy is no stranger to hard work, and she likes to keep busy. She’s the treasurer for the theater group, Bottom of the Barrel, in Farmington and has taught ceramics to area 4-H kids for many years. Not long ago when 4-H members raised money to travel to Washington, D.C., Red Door donated a stay at a condo north of Durango and at the Cripple Creek house for several nights. “They sold a lot of raffle tickets for the kids,” Judy said. “Us girls, we attribute everything that we’ve ever done to Mom because she’s never been afraid to do whatever it takes to make a living,” Kelly said. “You don’t know till you get out there and try it, so that’s where we come from.”
WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 33
giving voice to tHe PaSt Frances vitali, Diane Mccants preserving african american history of Farmington Story by Debra Mayeux Photos by Whitney Howle There is a culture in Farmington that has been ignored, – its history mostly wiped away from a south-side neighborhood, according to Diane McCants, a member of the local African American community. 34 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
McCants’ family settled in Farmington when she was 2. “When we were growing up we called my grandpa “Daddy” and my grandma “Mama” and we asked them why did they stop here,” she said.
On the Southside Chester Phillips, McCants grandfather, was traveling from Texas to New Mexico in search of work, and there were jobs in Farmington in the 1950s. There was a small Black community.
Vitali said. Her father, Daniel, was a baseball player, who often played with African American teams. “He loved baseball. He would pitch for the Black ball teams,” Vitali said. It was at the ballpark, where Daniel met Barbara. They fell in love and decided against the odds, to marry. At this same time in our nation’s history, there were other interracial couples were separated and thrown in jail for getting married. Vitali shared the story of the Lovings with her UNM students. Richard and Mildred Loving were married July 11, 1958, and were arrested five weeks later. They were forced to live apart until their landmark lawsuit made it to the Supreme Court in 1967. The court ruled that interracial marriage was legal, changing the course of history. Vitali pointed out that her parents were never taken to jail for their marriage, and her father worked as a police officer. “We were groomed in the White world,” she said. “We went to Catholic school, and growing up in Philadelphia – it was very diverse.”
“All of us lived on the Southside, and there were not a lot of resources there,” McCants said. “There were no places to go for dinner and dancing.” There wasn’t even a church. But through hard work and determination, the community managed to secure property and build the Ideal Baptist Church, the only place left in the old neighborhood that displays the history of area. “I look at the Southside, where I was raised and – except for the church – there is nothing there that solidified it as an African American community,” McCants said.
McCants partners with UNM, Professor Frances Vitali McCants, a striking Black woman with long,
red curly hair, was the first African American woman to be elected chairman of the San Juan County Democratic Party. She is on a mission of sorts to preserve what history is left of her community and she is doing this in partnership with University of New Mexico Professor Frances Vitali, a biracial woman, who came to Farmington in 2003. Together they are documenting the African American history of Farmington in a UNM-sponsored oral history project. They met recently in Vitali’s office at Farmington’s University Center on 30th Street. Vitali, a small-framed woman with caramelcolored skin, was raised in Philadelphia, the child of a Black mother and an Italian father. When her parents were wed in 1949, their nuptials were illegal. They traveled to Elkton, Maryland to get married. “My Italian grandparents ostracized my father,”
Still, the seven Vitali children faced racism. “When we would go out with my mother interactions were different. … We would go to restaurants and they wouldn’t seat my mother,” Vitali said. “I knew privilege without knowing the word.” Today, Vitali is working to document Black history, while also helping African American students find a place in the world of education. “When we grew up, we were always groomed that education was our way out of Lambert Street,” she said. Farmington had its own version of Lambert Street in the mid- to late-20th Century, as Blacks couldn’t find housing anywhere outside of the Southside. They had difficulty finding a place to build their church and there were no restaurants where they could eat other than the Black and White Club.
The Black and White Club Lamar Gunn opened the Black and White WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 35
Club as a members-only establishment which allowed both Blacks and Whites to belong. “He wanted to be inclusive,” McCants said. She remembers the Black and White as a place to have a nice dinner, listen to music and dance, but there was a more sordid history with stories of prostitution and other illegal activities at the business. Despite this, Gunn was a well-respected member of the African American community. He not only was a businessman, he did a lot for the children of the community. Gunn organized an annual Easter egg hunt at Brookside Park, where children delighted in finding colored-plastic eggs filled with coins and even dollars. “He would go out during the Christmas holidays and ask for things for underprivileged children,” McCants said. Gunn even did a shoe roundup, gathering shoes, toys and food for those in need. “We, at the time, did not understand the significance of the things he was doing. If we would have, we would have carried on his legacy.”
Lamar Gunn Gunn’s story is one that will be included in the oral history project of the Black community. Another is that of the Ideal Baptist Church, where the African American Community still gathers each Sunday for services. “The people who were raised here still congregate at the Ideal Baptist Church,” McCants said. “There’s nowhere else for us to congregate. We had a Black and White, but they tore that down.”
The houses and apartments in the neighborhood also are gone, but the Black people have stayed. McCants said her grandfather used to say that they came to Farmington, and “haven’t went nowhere since.” Those folks who stayed love their church, which was started in 1959 in Mrs. Butler’s house. The pastor would commute from Albuquerque to Farmington each Sunday to provide the people with church services. When the congregation decided to expand, the members rented some property on Cedar Street, building walls using corrugated cardboard boxes. “They fixed it up, and the landlord evicted them,” McCants said. “He rented it to Lamar Gunn, who put in a Honkytonk.”
Reverend Fleetwood The pastor ended up dying in a car accident, but the church did not come to its end. The pastor’s wife just happened to see Rev. Fleetwood get off a bus in Albuquerque. She told him about Farmington and he came to the town to plant a church. Fleetwood began looking for land to raise a church, but he was met with opposition. “When he went out to procure the land, he was told, ‘We don’t sell land to y’all kind of people,” McCants said. It was the San Juan Baptist Association that ended up buying the land for the Rev. Fleetwood, and once it was paid off, the property was signed over to the Ideal Baptist Church. By the 1970s, the Black community had a neighborhood, a church and a club. Some Blacks were moving into Highland View,
because the oil bust opened up housing there. The Supreme Court had ruled that interracial marriage was legal, but African Americans still could not sit and have a drink or eat at the Woolworths counter on Main Street.
Capture and sharing history There was, however, was a group of young African American men who did a sit-in to try to change this rule. They did not start anything, they didn’t even speak when they were called names and had coffee and other beverages poured on them. Vitali and McCants partnered up in early 2016 to re-enact this at Piedra Vista High School, where McCants spoke to the students about racial slurs and political correctness. “Sometimes trying to be politically correct, we write out history and try to white wash it so much it’s not even history,” she said. Just as history can be white washed, it also can disappear, similar to where she grew up. “There’s nothing other than the church that shows the existence of a community there,” McCants said. “It’s like they wiped it away.” She expressed an ongoing struggle for her people to fit into society. “I’m so excited with Frances with this project to capture this history,” McCants said. “It’s been in my heart for 20 years.” It is Vitali’s hope to build upon this oral history project by providing a voice to a “silenced community, a repressed community,” she said. “We are giving them a voice they’ve never had. These are not just cutesy stories. … We want to begin to tell the history.” WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 36
Expressing emotion on a different plane Devil’s Dram plays Celtic music with a pinch of rock, blues and American folk Story by Margaret Cheasebro Photos by Whitney Howle Celtic music is alive and well in the Four Corners area. Devil’s Dram represents the genre with an added touch of rock, blues and American folk music. The group is not to be confused with the horned and tailed creature wielding a pitchfork. Instead, Devil’s Dram is a whiskey term for the darkest, strongest flavored whiskey at the bottom of the barrel. “The devil’s dram refers to having a wee dram of the devil’s share of the whiskey,” said Lori Schiess. She is a vocalist with the group and sometimes plays the tambourine. She also teaches biology, anatomy and physiology at San Juan College.
All have day jobs Other band members have day jobs too. Lyndsey George, a vocalist and the lead guitarist, is a park ranger at Mesa Verde National Park and lives in Mancos, Colo. Deb Yost, a
licensed master social worker, plays the penny whistle, Irish flute, French flute and tenor sax, and lives in Farmington. The drummer, Doug Whittington, is a truck driver with High Country Transportation and also lives in Farmington. Chip McCormick, who changes oil for a living, plays bass guitar and lives in Bayfield, Colo. John Cater, a contract archeologist who lives in Rio Rancho, recently stopped playing with the group because of a serious shoulder issue. He is a vocalist and song writer and plays the Irish drum, or Bodhram, the Highland bagpipes, and other instruments. “A two- or three-hour gig takes me over a week to recover from now,” John said. “They want to do surgery, but I can’t afford it. I’ve retired from the stage, but I still consider myself a big part of Devil’s Dram. I’m always writing new songs, and if I write a song that fits their sound, I’ll supply them with it.”
Injuries change bands Injuries have a way of changing bands. That’s how Devil’s Dram got started in 2015 under John’s guiding hand. He, Deb and Lyndsey were playing with a Celtic group called Mad Haggis until the group suffered a major setback when the lead guitarist and lead singer were seriously injured, putting the band on hold. So John, Deb and Lyndsey formed Devil’s Dram and attracted Lori and Chip to the group. “It was awesome,” John said. “We started getting gigs right away.” When John’s shoulder kept him from playing, in late September, Doug stepped in as the group’s drummer. Doug hadn’t played in a Celtic group before, but he quickly adapted. “I don’t care what genre it is,” Doug said, “If you do something and it’s truly beautiful and people can feel it, that’s why I create music. I love it when I see people get up and dance when I play.”
First CD, Celtic Slang The group recently came out with its first CD, Celtic Slang. The name came from a comment that one of John’s British prim and proper in-laws made after hearing Devil’s Dram play. “He said the band doesn’t play proper Celtic music, but they play Celtic slang,” Lori recalled. “It was kind of a back-handed compliment.” Lyndsey and John used that comment to come up with the lyrics to a song they called “Celtic Slang.” It’s one of the songs on their new CD, and has had radio play in Scotland. The group hopes to make a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, for the 2017 Fringe Festival, which bills itself as the largest arts festival in the world. It takes place every August for three weeks. “It’s a festival on the streets,” Deb said. “I checked into it last year. We weren’t ready because we didn’t have a CD. It’s a once-in-alifetime opportunity to get into Fringe.”
Fund raise for Fringe trip It’s also very expensive to make the trip even if the musicians stay for only a week, yet, 40 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
they’re serious about going. They received a $1,500 scholarship from the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships to artists who live or work in San Juan County, N.M. That scholarship will pay for their Fringe application fee. “It’s going to take some fund raising to get us there,” Deb said. “We may have to be a trio or a quartet depending on who can financially take time off work and afford the trip.” Devil’s Dram has a following in Scotland, thanks to John, who visits relatives there. The group’s CD was featured on Lionheart Radio in the United Kingdom in July, and three of their songs were played for a world exclusive with Fiona Elcoat, a radio presenter with Lionheart. Devil’s Dram has a following here, too.
Put life into their music “I like them because we’ve known Deb and Lyndsey for a long time,” said Mick O’Neill of Farmington. He and his wife, Amy, attend many Devil’s Dram performances. “I really enjoy Devil’s Dram because they’re fantastic musicians, and they put real life into their music. When we go to a performance, we hear good traditional Celtic music. They have such a deep repertoire that some of the other genres come out when they play, and we like that too.”
The band is becoming better known since it has performed at several festivals and musical events. Among them are the Aztec Highland Games and Celtic Festival in Aztec, Scots on the Rocks in Moab, Utah, the Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and Games, and the Albuquerque Renaissance Fair. “For me, the Moab thing was a really good experience,” said Chip. “We played for two days. We opened for the Wicked Tinkers. What I enjoyed about it was that we made friends with the sound guy, Dan.”
Celtic music new experience Celtic music was entirely new to Chip. “I was pretty intimidated and scared to join the group because I had just done rock and instrumental music before,” he said. “I like to be able to get on with the personalities of the people I play with. I got along with everyone very well right from the beginning. I’ve learned a lot in the last year.” Playing in a Celtic band was a new experience for Lori, too. “I’ve done music all of my life, but more with family, with school, with my college group, mostly college choirs in more of a scholastic setting,” Lori said. She loved performing with the band, and she continues to enjoy the camaraderie with fellow musicians.
Though Doug had never played Celtic music before, he’s been in music for over 40 years, ever since he got a drum set when he was four years old. “I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of genres, so I wasn’t intimidated at all by Celtic music,” he said. “My grandfather was a drummer, and my father was a musician.”
“Comb Your Hair and Curl It” on their CD. “Mom, you’re good at it,” said her seven-year-old daughter Abigail, who plays the violin and fiddle. She performed with her mom and Charles Stacey – musician, recording engineer and producer – at the 2016 Aztec Highland Games to encourage young people to get involved in music.
Drummer adds something new
Work together well
When Doug joined the group, he added something new. “You take a trap set drummer and put him in the mix, and that changes the whole situation,” Chip said. He likes the sound. “It’s more of a rock Celtic band than it was before. The rhythm section is the bass guitar and the drums.” Lori wasn’t sure how Doug’s drumming would affect the group, since Celtic music isn’t traditionally done with a drum set. “I was a little nervous about it at first, until the first rehearsal we had with Doug,” she said. “Man, he’s an excellent drummer!”
“I know all the members of Devil’s Dram because we’ve either played together in various groups or we’ve hung out together,” said Charles. “I was the recording engineer and co-producer on their CD, so I got to work with them on an even more intimate basis. They were constantly working on how they could blend and collaborate musically. They really listen and attend to each other’s parts as well as their own. They honor the deeper tradition of Celtic music but are not restricted by the narrow 19th century English music hall view of what it should sound like.
They’re catching the essence but not using all the traditional instruments.”
Express emotion on different plane Devil’s Dram members have loved music for decades. Taped in Deb’s music book is a statement from John Coltrane, a musician she admires. It says, “My music is the spiritual expression of what I am, my faith, my knowledge, my being.” Deb reads the words with feeling. “That’s kind of where I am with music,” she said. “If I didn’t have music, I would die. I would not be a happy camper. It’s a way to express emotion that’s on a different plane.” Though John misses not playing with the group, he loves to see Devil’s Dram succeed. “They’re awesome,” he said. “A lot of people do Celtic rock, but they have their own sound. We really do bring a lot of different music genres together, and I don’t think anybody else out there is doing that.”
Enjoy each other’s company Because the members enjoy each other’s company, that makes it easier to practice once a week on Thursday evenings. Getting together is a challenge since they all have day jobs and different schedules, but they seldom miss a practice. To get in a little more practice, on Sunday afternoons Deb often goes to Irish Embassy, a bar in Durango that focuses on traditional Irish and Scottish music. “I usually just sit in and play to get practice,” she said. Deb plays a lot of instruments with the band, but she has always shied away from singing. “I’ve been playing music since grade school,” she said, “but when I was a kid I got kicked out of choir. They said they thought I’d do better in the band room. That’s why I picked up clarinet, and then it evolved into sax. It affects kids, and it affects your direction in life if you’re told at a young age that you can’t do something.” The band has helped her gain vocal confidence. She is the lead singer for the song, WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 41
Meet Mr. Black, but first, what’s the password Story and photos by Ben Brashear “That’s something we’d do in the culinary world,” says Beau Black, owner and proprietor of The Bookcase, looking up as he muddles Peychaud’s bitters and a cube of raw sugar for a Sazerac. “You take a standard recipe, French, European, and you riff off of that. You put your own spin on it and make it yours. “It’s the same with cocktails; there are thousands of recipes. Here, though, we experiment, sure, but ultimately we want to bring people back to the basics. Educate them so that they can appreciate how a drink is supposed to look and taste and then they can go out to any bar with that
confidence and knowledge. The joke around here is, ‘If you order a Manhattan and they shake it, get up and walk away. Just walk away,” He laughs. For the uninitiated or for those who are just beyond earshot of the secret password, there sits nestled in a quiet corner behind a sushi restaurant and a western bar at the corner of 601 E. Second Avenue in Durango, Colo., a hustling barbershop. And with the right utterance of words to the doorman, what lies beyond the barbershop is a newly established speakeasy called The Bookcase. The Bookcase is Black’s homage to the
Prohibition era, to the tradition of drink, community, and to the role of bartender as teacher and wise sage. I stepped into the barbershop cautiously, Can the password still be ‘I’m here to see a man about a dog’? it seems like it’s been that for months, I think to myself. Both barber chairs are filled, men getting a straight razor shave and a haircut. The air is warm with the smells of pomade and hot oil from the hard-working electric clippers. Near a large picture window, next to the entrance, sits a hulking man. He wears a blond modern fade haircut and biceps that stretch against his T-shirt. WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 43
The man appears aloof and sits on a wooden chair gazing out at the afternoon street traffic. The barbers briefly look up, nod to me, and then turn their gaze back to the job at hand. My eyes drift toward the back wall of the barbershop and settle on the floor-to-ceiling collection of hardbound books. The collection is a tribute to the bookstore that once – for the past thirty years – operated here. Gold gilded names such as Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Steinbeck are recognizable amid the hundreds of books. I turn back to the barbers only to find myself face to face with Mr. Biceps. He folds his arms and looks down at me. I know that’s my cue, “I’m here to see Beau Black... and a man about a dog,” I say. “Thanks for playing,” the doorman grins and reaches for a hidden latch that opens the bookcase to reveal the orange glow of tungsten lights, a functioning antique crank telephone and framed nostalgic headlines that declare the death of Prohibition. It’s an intimate bar, enough room for 26 patrons to sit; there is no standing. Near the entrance sits a man fresh from the barber chair waiting for a Sazerac, and his wife is thirsty for an Old Fashioned. I take my place at the bar and watch Black as he methodically works bitters and raw sugar, pours a little soda water into the mix to help dissolve the sugar and then adds whiskey into a large stirring glass. Black, raised in Bayfield, Colo., at the age of 18 was anxious to leave his country home to enter into the world of culinary arts. He attended the culinary program at Colorado Mountain College in Vail, Colo. It was an intensive three-year apprenticeship paired with a traditional curriculum in European and Frenchstyle cooking. He remained in Vail, honing his chops at fine-dining establishments such as the Cordillera Club and La Tour. Eventually, though, Black felt the call to come back home. Upon his return he was hired on the spot at Ken and Sue’s in Durango, and after nine years he had worked his way to executive chef. An accomplishment certainly, but he felt it was time for a change. “I’ve always had the idea for a bar or 44 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
restaurant in the back of my mind. I just decided to go for it one day,” Black says. “With Durango’s history, the wild west, stories of underground tunnels and brothels, a speakeasy seemed perfect.” And once he made the decision, he recalls, “It was like 0 to 60 mph – and man, it was awesome. We did all of the work, framed the walls, painted and built the bar ourselves – and as for the barbershop, I like to joke that I selfishly wanted a place to get a shave and a whiskey.” It took six months from drafting a business plan to the grand opening. It was a whirlwind, Black says. He and then co-proprietor Thomas Gibson had finalized their business plan in April 2015, secured the building in July, and opened the doors to the speakeasy on Dec. 5, the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of the National
Prohibition Act. Without any real attention given to advertising or marketing, the men relied solely on word-of-mouth to announce the bar’s opening. “It seemed fitting, since we’re a speakeasy,” Black laughs. “It’s kind of how we still do our marketing.” That first night they had a line of eager patrons that extended around the block. Much of their success is owed not only to the fact that Black created a space for a barbershop that caters specifically to men, but notably to the finely crafted cocktails, which Black attributes to his head bartender, Bridgett Tesmer. Tesmer brings a B.A. in chemistry, years of mixing drinks, and a strong fascination with pre-prohibition and prohibition-style cocktails. “When Bridgett realized that she wanted to dedicate her life to booze,” Black laughs at the double entendre.
“That sounds really bad, but you know, she wanted to find out everything she could about distillation and the whole process. She’s an encyclopedia of knowledge and that is great for me, coming from a culinary background.” With his background and Tesmer’s, says Black, he is able to utilize his knowledge of how to work with and create flavor profiles, how acids react to sugars and how stirring versus shaking will affect taste and “mouthfeel,” and combine that with her superior skill and knowledge as a mixologist to craft the finest traditional cocktails around. Black has entrusted Tesmer to select most of the liquor they stock and the cocktail recipes they will focus on. “A lot of what we bring in is up to Bridgett. She is very in tune with how certain liquors are made and the story behind each one and how they are being produced,” Black says. The liquor and craft spirits they choose depend on how unique the distilleries are, their back-story, if the liquors are available at other bars, and if the distilleries maintain an adherence to tradition. Lining the shelves are several small batch mescals, popular for their smoky ‘campfire’ feel, and rums that you can put an ice cube in and sip like a cognac, says Black. There are bottled-in-bond whiskies and bourbons – liquors that meet federal standards of quality established in 1897. Bottled-in-bond liquors must have traceable batch numbers, have been produced in one distillation season, aged for at least four years under federal supervision, and must be at least 100 proof. What each bottled-in-bond whiskey really does is give Black the chance to inform patrons of tales of adulterated liquor filled with wood alcohol, tobacco and caramel coloring that was being passed off as whiskey during Prohibition. There are resurrected herbal liquors like Cynar, an artichoke liquor from the ’50s, and a large number of whiskies and vodkas from distilleries located in Colorado. For example, Stranahan’s single malt whiskey and Leopold Brothers Three Pins are both from Denver, and Spring 44 Gin and Vodka are of Loveland, Colo., and are producing an amazing product, according to Black.
“Colorado is awesome right now for distilling, and we are trying to cater to that and spread the story,” Black says. He has observed that much of the drinking culture has transitioned from drinking simply to get drunk, has moved from the nescience of Jack and Coke or Red Bull vodkas and into a matured appreciation for each alcohol. People want to know the story of who, what, where and why the alcohol was produced, he says. “The education part is cool. I mean, I can talk bourbon all day with people and I feel it’s that connection with the customer that makes them want to come back and learn more.” Black finishes double straining the Sazerac and moves to peeling a lemon for the Old Fashioned he has yet to make. The wife and husband don’t appear to be in any particular hurry and neither is Black. He is methodic, each movement intent on perfection. “I’ll have an Old Fashioned and something new, something photogenic,” I call to Black as he
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walks the finished drinks over to the couple. The bookcase swings open and sunlight floods into the dimly lit space. A new guest draws everyone’s attention as he removes his hat and greets Black by name. There is something genuine here, I think to myself. I suggest to Black that a speakeasy might serve
a sense of exclusion, a way to keep people out. The odd phenomenon of it all, marvels Black, is that it actually creates a tight-knit sense of community. “Think about it,” he says. “There is a sense of adventure in it all. You know that it’s a small bar – you might have to plan ahead and make reservations, and of course, you have to put the effort into getting the password. It’s fun to see people drinking the ‘Kool-Aid’ and recognizing that what we do here is special,” he says. Black seats the new customer and then returns to the bar to make my traditional Old Fashioned and a cocktail dubbed the Simon and Garfunkel. Aptly named for its use of, you can sing it if you like, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Black hands over the Old Fashioned and then a deceptively small coupe of red liquor garnished with cranberries. They may have called Prohibition the “noble experiment,” but the drinks Black has fashioned are what may be called truly noble. In the clarity of hindsight, it is evident despite all good intentions that Prohibition created an environment ripe for degradation, political corruption, unimaginable violence and organized crime, but it also revealed the ingenuity and resiliency of the American spirit. It might be said then that those trying 13 years have come to reflect the nation’s fidelity to community, cultural heritage, the drink and tradition — the very values that can be found at Black’s speakeasy.
Teaching is her
passion Cindy Colomb’s students learn the connection between science and real life Story by Debra Mayeux Photos by Whitney Howle
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics – they are education’s practical applications to life, said Cindy Colomb, a science teacher in the Farmington Municipal Schools District. Colomb is the 2014 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive the award for which she was nominated and won. While in Washington, she visited the White House and met President Obama’s science adviser and the head of the National Science Foundation.
Introspective and growing middle school students Colomb began her career 18 years ago in Crowley, La., where she taught seventh-grade students in an old high school. She came to Farmington in 2001 and began working with sixth-graders. “I like the age. You get to see them transform as the year goes along. They’re so bright with their future. They’re excited – almost out of control,” she said, as she sat at her desk in a brightly lit, second-story classroom and science laboratory at Hermosa Middle School. Colomb loves the fact that middle school students are introspective and growing their sense of humor. They come in ready to learn. “There’s something inside my kids – they know this is real life,” she said about her science students.
48 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Applying science to real life scenarios
student-centered perspective,” Colomb said, adding it taught teachers how to do Socratic questioning. The company – Anova Science is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and through a partnership with the company, Colomb participated in a scientific inquiry across the ocean. Her class of Farmington students tested water, which was bottled in Colorado, and students in Honolulu tested water from the island. The data was shared in an online Skype between classrooms. The results: “They both had the same components and the same standards,” Colomb said.
Applying science to real life scenarios is what led Kyla Johnson to nominate Colomb for the presidential award. Johnson’s adult daughters had Colomb as their science teacher. “She was just so good with my daughters,” Johnson said. “My daughter was learning and tackling real science.” Johnson, a fellow educator and librarian at Farmington High School, said Colomb always has learning going on in her classroom. “Her approach is to give them a topic and let them explore to find the answer,” Johnson said. “When you talk to her former students they all have good things to say about how she kept them engaged.”
Science fair coordinator Colomb, who is the coordinator for the Farmington District Science Fair, believes in applying science to real-life scenarios. She used to take students on a field trip to Cliff’s Amusement Park to study Newton’s Laws and physics with regard to the rides. More recently she implemented a successful Trout in the Classroom project, in which students raise baby trout and later take a field trip to the San Juan River to release the trout. While at the river, students learn about the river habitat, water 50 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
M&Ms and family dissection night
quality and flow rate and also try their hands at fly-fishing. Colomb began testing area water 16 years ago, after taking over the science fair coordination. She was searching for a way to develop science, technology, engineering and math projects in the elementary school classroom.
Kids participate in scientific inquiry across the ocean “I found a company that taught the components of scientific inquiry from the
Another classroom scenario deals with students writing a research question about M&Ms. They are given a bag of M&Ms and determine what color is most prevalent. “It gives us an opportunity to work with data and creating tables,” Colomb said. Colomb even gets the parents involved by inviting them into her laboratory for family dissection night. This came about after students repeatedly asked her if they would have an opportunity to dissect frogs in their sixth-grade science class. “I would tell them no, because it’s expensive and offensive to some cultures that populate
the school,” Colomb said. Instead of letting the curiosity end there, she created a special situation to allow those interested in dissection an opportunity to try it. Colomb had students sign up to dissect a shark, and then, she invited the parent of their choice in to work with the student as a lab partner. “That has been a hit,” she said.
Real science As a parent, Johnson said Colomb taught her children “real science … all higher order thinking.” Her students love her. “She is a great teacher. I genuinely like her as a teacher. I like the activities that we do,” said Alexander Mayeux, a seventh-grade student at Hermosa, who is in Colomb’s class. “When we were working on cell structure, we had Oreos and sprinkles to represent the different types of phases. Then we got to eat them.”
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And Colomb exudes enthusiasm when she speaks about her students and their classroom learning. Oddly, she didn’t want to be a teacher. “I grew up wanting to be a flight attendant so I could travel,” Colomb said. She studied physical therapy in college, and only realized she really enjoyed being around children after having her own. “I took my kids to Mother’s Day Out,” Colomb said. It was there that she began teaching children. “It came natural.”
Striving to be an effective science teacher Students come into science with a natural curiosity, making them an easy audience, she explained. “We are curious creatures. We walk around asking questions. It’s easy to advance that curiosity and work to develop their problem-solving skills and their analyzing skills.” 52 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
It’s a passion Receiving the nomination for the presidential award and then earning it, validated all of Colomb’s efforts of striving to be an effective science teacher, she said. “It was one of the highest compliments I’ve been paid, professionally speaking.” She, however, pointed out that there are many great teachers in this area and around the nation – some of whom received the presidential award from other states. “I know my kids learn what I teach them, but when you are in a room of 213 people that have the same passion as you, you see you are not the only one putting the effort out,” Colomb said. “I meet a lot of great teachers. You can’t try too hard when you have a passion. It’s the way teachers tick. We don’t do it for the awards. That’s not why we’re teachers.”
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Hard times happen to good people Vicki Metheny devoted to ECHO, grateful to a giving community
Story by Dorothy Nobis Photos by Whitney Howle Vicki Metheny, with a cup of espresso in front of her, sat at a table in a downtown coffee shop and counted her blessings. Methenyâ€™s blessings, however, extend beyond her friends and her family. The blessings Metheny counted included faces that donâ€™t all have names, hearts that hurt and souls that need soothing. Metheny is the executive director of ECHO Food Bank and understands the challenges San Juan County faces with the downturn in the oil and gas industry. She sees first-hand the repercussions the loss of jobs creates in her community. She sees breadwinners who have lost their jobs and have nowhere to turn. She sees people who are ignoring their pride to ask for help for their families. She sees people who are fighting to keep their families together during difficult times. WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 55
Outpouring of support Metheny also sees the outpouring of support for those in need, in spite of an economy that is forcing cutbacks in employees, budgets and benefits. “Everyone thinks that we’re just feeding street bums,” Metheny said with a shake of her head. “But less than 3 percent of our clients are homeless. And they’re not street bums, they’re just homeless.” “Nobody plans on being homeless,” Metheny continued. “Life happens. It doesn’t matter how well we plan. Genetics get in the way and we’re not healthy. People have to retire before they qualify for full benefits.”
Life happens Metheny cited an example. A year ago, she 56 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
said, a man in his 60s came by the food bank for help. “He said he had worked all of his life and saved his money for an early retirement,” Metheny said. “But he had five heart attacks in two years, which wiped out his savings.” The man had never asked anyone for help in his life, Metheny continued. “He and his wife moved in with their kids, who struggled to feed two more people. It wasn’t easy for him to ask for help, but he needed it.” Those stories are all too common for the staff of the food bank. And there are days when the food supply is down and the need for food is great. “I’ll look and see that we need vegetables,” Metheny said. “And someone will come by with vegetables. A year ago a young man came in with a sizable donation. I don’t know who he was and he didn’t want to tell us. He said he had
been saving for a long time (and gave us the money). I was in tears because of his generosity.”
This community helps one another The donations of food, money and time are not out of the ordinary and they are always appreciated, Metheny is quick to say. “This community – these people – respond and support one another. When times are tough, they don’t quit giving and they don’t quit volunteering. They just keep asking ‘How can we help? What do you need?’ “The people we help are your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers. They look just like us,” Metheny said. “I have yet to give a tour to a business group when someone doesn’t relate a story about how a friend or relative benefitted from our food bank.”
Responding to a challenge Help for the food bank comes in many ways. A San Juan College student, who was in a paralegal class, took the challenge of her instructor, who said students would receive extra credit if they did volunteer work as part of their service learning. That student, Marie Jaramillo, went to WPX and asked for a $90 donation for ECHO’s backpack program for students. Backpacks are filled with healthy food and snacks for students in low-income families, Metheny explained.
Oil field companies are good friends “WPX told Marie they would do better than $90 and they gave $3,000. They brought in two teams to fill the backpacks. This year, WPX wants to do it again.” “The oil and gas companies in San Juan County are generous and they are good friends,” Metheny added. “They’re still giving – not as much or as often – but they haven’t quit.”
BP is another oil and gas company who continues to offer support to those in need. “They brought volunteers in to help (at the food bank) and they felt bad because they didn’t give as much money as they have in the past,” Metheny said. “But they still gave us a nice donation.”
People are hungry all year long Fundraising for any non-profit is time consuming. The holidays are a huge benefit for most non-profits, as people in the community open their hearts and their wallets to help others. However, Metheny said, “We have hungry people all year long. We get an amazing response during the holidays, but we need more than two and a half million pounds of food to last us all year, not just at Christmas.” The federal government is a big help to ECHO Food Bank. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has strict guidelines for food provided to those in need. “Food has to be grown by American farmers and
processed in America,” Metheny said. “It’s a win-win, because it supports American agriculture and we get food we need.” While the USDA provides food at a discounted rate to food banks, the organization doesn’t provide help to deliver that food. There are five regional food banks in New Mexico and 16 distribution sites. Statistics provided by Metheny show that 27 percent of Farmington residents receive help from the local food bank; 11 percent of those who live in Aztec get help, 13 percent in Bloomfield/Blanco, and 41 percent who live on the reservation receive food. Another eight percent in northwest New Mexico get food as well.
Conduit or people in need More than 12,000 individuals have benefitted from the program so far this year. The Farmington ECHO Food Bank has 970 volunteers who help the food bank’s staff get food ready for those in need. And it is the paid staff that
WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 57
Metheny credits for the program’s success. “It’s hard for them,” Metheny said of her employees. “They see the need every day. They hear the stories and they have to find out how we can help them. Most of the time the people we see are grateful for our help. Nobody wants to ask for help. And it’s not easy hearing sad stories every day. Sometimes, life isn’t fair and kind, and people need to share their stories. “We’re glad to be part of an organization who can help them, but it can wear you down,” Metheny added. “The best part of my job is being able to be a conduit for people who need help and those who want to help.”
30-year friendship Sara Kaynor is the executive director of Economic Council Helping Others (ECHO) Inc., and has enjoyed a friendship with Metheny for almost 30 years. The two were co-workers at a local title company. That professional relationship morphed into a friendship, which continued after Kaynor was named the executive director of ECHO IN., in 1990. “In 1992, the New Mexico Department of Health asked us (ECHO) to take on a huge new USDA (United States Department of Health) food program,” Kaynor explained. “The Commodity Supplemental Food Program
was for kids, moms and seniors at that time. I realized very early in my tenure that the key to success with any of our programs was having top notch people to run them.” Recognizing Metheny’s abilities, Kaynor asked Metheny to become the director of the food bank and to implement the new program.
She was up for the task “Vicki brings equal amounts of intelligence, creativity, a stunning work ethic, and sheer professionalism (which is very positive) to every task she undertakes,” Kaynor said. “She was responsible for moving the food bank out of the much smaller building on Behrend Street in 1992, to the current location (401 S. Commercial Ave.), as well as developing the new program at the same time.” “All of this would have been daunting, to say the least, for an established food bank director,” Kaynor added. “But Vicki managed it with grace, tenacity and a ‘can do’ spirit that kept everyone going.” Kaynor said she and Metheny have always looked at ECHO as “our company,” “so whatever it has taken to make the company succeed is what we have done. ECHO has taken the art of teamwork to its ultimate level of success. Neither Vicki nor I has ever thought we
“The best part of my job is being able to be a conduit for people who need help and those who want to help.” — Vicki Metheny had all the answers, but we have been most willing to discuss any given topic until we were sure we had the best solution for the company, our clients and our employees.”
Family devotion If Metheny is devoted to ECHO, Kaynor said that devotion extends and is multiplied when it comes to her family. Metheny’s daughter and son-in-law have been in the Colorado National Guard for many years. When her two grandchildren came along, Metheny essentially “joined” the Guard herself. When her daughter and son-in-law’s weekend training and summer deployments overlapped, Metheny became part of the National Guard by caring for her grandchildren. “While it has been a labor of love,” Kaynor said of her friend, “it has also taken just about all of her vacation time. Vicki is also a major Dallas Cowboys fan and she creates incredibly beautiful quilts in her very limited spare time.” Football games and quilting take a back seat to the things that tug at Metheny’s heart. It is the faces of the people who need help that keep Metheny and her staff committed to get the food needed to feed those faces.
said, emphasizing that by “community,” she means all of San Juan County. “We know that we’re not in this (feeding families in need) alone. We have a great community involved.” Sara Kaynor agreed “I believe the community recognizes that ECHO provides incredibly valuable and necessary services through all the food bank programs. Vicki has expanded the programs to the food bank to include the elementary school backpack program, among others, because there was and is such a huge need.” “I believe the community respects the work we have done through the years,” Kaynor added, “and understands that we have been the best stewards of their funds, donated food and volunteer time as it is possible to be.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Farmington ECHO Food Bank is open from 7 a.m.-noon and from 12:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at 401 S. Commercial Ave. For information about the ECHO Food Bank, call 505.326.3770.
Food, time money and support from San Juan County “Forty-one percent of our clients are under the age of 18 who are being raised by a parent that is unemployed or underemployed,” Metheny said. “Many of them are disabled or are being raised by their grandparents or great- grandparents.” But Metheny knows that help – and food – will come from a community that cares. “We live in an amazing community,” Metheny WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 59
’50s themed diner, ice cream shop keepin’ it fresh Story by Debra Mayeux Photos by Whitney Howle Farmington’s iconic ’50s diner and ice cream parlor celebrates its 20th anniversary this holiday season. Blue Moon Diner opened its doors in December 1996 in a strip mall on 20th Street, right next door to the newly opened Animas 10 Cinema.
Stepping back into the ’50s Walking into the restaurant was like taking a step back in time, as ’50s music was piped through the speakers, and red-colored booths and 60 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
chairs were set up around aluminum tables. It even had a soda fountain, an ice cream case and a dessert display. The walls have been covered in posters of movie and television icons, such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Lucille Ball. There are even autographed pictures of such celebrities as Ricky Nelson. And it wasn’t just the décor that brought in the crowds, the restaurant boasted fresh diner food and homemade ice cream. “We were going to be an ice cream parlor at first,” said Mike Ulrich, owner and founder of the restaurant.
Ulrich grew up in rural Indiana, where his father ran a service station and dairy bar. “We were raised with this big love of ice cream,” said Christi Ulrich, Mike’s wife. The couple wanted to make their restaurant a “family passion project” between them and their two children Cassie and Jonathan, Christi explained. First Mike needed to learn how to make ice cream, and a friend told him about a place in Utah that served homemade ice cream. Ulrich went there for two months and learned how to make high-quality ice cream.
menu, Christi said it had to be “from-scratch cooking” in the restaurant, so Mike worked the ice cream and Christi developed a menu.
Better than the old Mesa Drug’s shakes “The ice cream is still a big draw – we have sundaes and floats and shakes,” he said. Mike wanted a place patterned after the old Mesa Drug soda fountain, where you could walk in and order a fresh-grilled hamburger, fries and a hand-scooped milkshake. “I wanted to make a shake better than
20 flavors of high-quality ice cream
Mesa Drug,” Mike said. “We put it in the big
“We use a 16 percent butterfat content and all natural high-end ingredients to make 20 different flavors of homemade ice cream,” Ulrich said. After Mike learned how to make the ice cream, the Ulrichs realized it would not be “lucrative” to serve only frozen treats 12 months out of the year, according to Christi, who said they decided to add food to the menu. At first they searched for a franchise. “We were unable to find a franchise that married high-quality food and high-quality ice cream,” Christi said. “I love to cook and Mike loves to eat my cooking, which has lots of flavor and lots of fresh food.”
tin and serve it in a cup, with a little extra on Mike’s passion to this day is the ice cream, which he typically makes himself or with the help of an assistant. “We do holiday flavors – pumpkin pie and peppermint bark,” he said. Once the Ulrich’s got in the restaurant business, they decided to expand.
Expansion Christi, who works in the senior-living industry, was offered a job on the West Coast, and having been raised in Farmington she wanted an opportunity to explore a different part of the country. She moved to the Northwest and daughter, Cassie soon
From scratch ONLY When they decided to put food on the
followed. While living in Seattle, the two decided to open a restaurant.
A restaurant in Seattle “Cassie was 11 when we opened the restaurant. Her first job was rolling silverware for 10-cents a roll,” Christi said. The restaurant business was in Cassie’s blood and she wanted to open a place of her own. Mom and daughter started the Twisted Pasty in downtown Seattle. The concept was to serve handheld savory pies. “It was very highly rated and successful,” Christi said. The restaurant was ranked No. 10 out of 1,000 restaurants in Seattle. Cassie and Christi ran the place for two years, and then, decided to try something different. On the day they were closing on the sale of Twisted Pasty, Mike came to Christy with a new venture to buy Zebediah’s in Farmington. “I’d been looking at Zeb’s for awhile. It had been a good rival for 20 years,” Mike said.
Christy and Mike buy Zeb’s “We talked about it and looked at it on paper. It’s a great established restaurant with a great customer base,” Christi said. Mike wanted to develop it as a cowboy, farmhouse-themed restaurant. “The fun of running a restaurant is coming up with a concept,” he said. He and Christi decided to maintain the things people loved about Zeb’s but also bring in some new things. “We saw an opportunity and saw that we could do things a little different,” Mike said.
Zeb’s becomes Porters They changed the name to Porters and will focus on steaks and barbecue. “We’re going to have a lot of smoked foods and a lot more fish,” Mike said, adding they are keeping the salad bar. “It’s the best salad bar in the Four Corners, maybe even the state.” Christi wanted to bring in some things she learned in the Pacific Northwest. “We’re going to take the aspects of smoked meats and add different meats and different woods,” she said. They will use pecan wood for pulled pork.” Embracing fresh vegetables was really forward in the Seattle market,” said Christi, who also lived in Portland, Ore., for four years. “There I was exposed to different ways of doing things.” WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 63
She added things such as roasted brussel sprouts with white truffle oil and broccolini instead of broccoli. “We’re taking the things people love and putting an extra finish on it,” Christi said.
Keeping current and staying fresh While Zeb’s is getting a rebrand and some new additions to the menu, Blue Moon also might see some menu changes in trendy items,
according to Christi. “We are constantly challenging ourselves to be better,” she said. One thing is certain, however, the ice cream and traditional favorites will remain a constant at Blue Moon Diner.
sacrifice for perfection Nick Lefleur carries on the homemade ice cream tradition Story by Debra Mayeux Photos by Debra Mayeux and Whitney Howle Why would a lactose-intolerant young man, who has trouble digesting dairy products, want to learn to make ice cream? Maybe because he grew up working in a restaurant that boasts the freshest and best homemade ice cream in Farmington. Nick Lefleur, 22, began working at Blue Moon Diner when he was just 14. He helped out his mother, Angelia Heath, a longtime server at the establishment. He bussed tables a couple of hours each week and as he got older Lefleur was offered the opportunity to take on more responsibilities. He learned to cook, wait tables and run the register.
Time to make the ice cream It was just a few months ago, that Blue Moon owner Mike Ulrich offered to teach Lefleur how to make the ice cream, so he could turn over that part of the operation to him, while Ulrich was busy with other aspects of the business. “I’d always done the ice cream myself,” Ulrich said, adding when he needed some extra help, he asked Lefleur, who can be found there on any given day making up a batch of ice cream.
She added that she wasn’t surprised her
The most popular ice cream flavor is Bavarian
husband decided to teach Lefleur the dairy
Black Cherry followed by a
portion of the business.
mocha-flavored treat developed by Ulrich in
“Mike would always grab Nick to help on other family projects. If we were going to trust
collaboration with Durango Joe’s Coffee. “I make black cherry all of the time,” Lefleur
somebody else, it would be Nick. He under-
explained. “Between this and the Durango Joe’s
stands the quality of the ice cream.”
Mocha, it sells the most.”
200 gallons of ice cream a week
Bavarian Black Cherry
Blue Moon goes through 200 gallons of ice
When Lefleur makes a batch of black cherry ice cream he uses the butterfat mix, followed by
cream each week. It takes about 30 minutes to
a dark cherry syrup and red food coloring.
make 9 gallons of ice cream, using a 60-quart
“Each time the shade is a little different,”
Sharing the dairy
machine in a small room off of the kitchen.
Lefleur said with a smile. The cherries come
“Michael would not turn over the ice cream other than to a family member for 19 years,” said Christi Ulrich, Mike’s wife.
Lefleur starts by pouring in a 16 -percent
next, and the ice cream is filled with them.
64 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
butterfat mixture, followed by flavors and food coloring.
“There should be a black cherry in every bite.”
Holidays mean pumpkin pie and peppermint ice cream With the holidays approaching, he said he would begin making pumpkin pie and peppermint bark ice creams. “I enjoy being creative with the flavors,” he said. Lefleur, interestingly, is lactose intolerant, but he still has to taste the ingredients and the ice cream. “Everything we put in the ice cream, we taste to make sure it is still good,” he said. “You’ve got to try them all, because you don’t want to put anything in the freezer unless you know it tastes right.” Tasting ice cream should be the best job in the world, and even for Lefleur it is. “It upsets my stomach by the time I leave, but I still eat everything” he said with a grin. Because he enjoys making ice cream and getting creative with the flavors, Lefleur asks folks to offer their opinions about the product.
“If anybody has suggestions on the next flavor or an ice cream they would like to see, let us know,” he said. Lefleur added that he looks forward to folks
coming in and trying out his ice cream, because he enjoys his work at Blue Moon Diner. “It’s definitely a good place to work and a good place to eat,” he said with a smile.
WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 65
The Cowboy Way At 90 Maurice Tanner has seen a lot of changes in the old west Story by Debra Mayeux Photos by Whitney Howle
The Old West is changing. Trading Posts are now convenience stores. Family ranches are being sold off instead of being handed down, and the sun is setting on a generation of cowboys. Maurice Tanner, 90, was one of those cowboys, whose story goes the way of a changing western landscape. Born in Kirtland in 1926, Tanner was destined to be a trader and a rancher. “I knew what I wanted to do when I was 14 years old,” he said, while sitting on a brown leather sofa in the living room of his Farmington home. The year Maurice was born his father Arthur 66 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Tanner bought the Aneth Trading Post in Aneth, Utah. Arthur Tanner was born in Tuba City and moved to Kirtland when he was 7. His mother was a Foutz. Maurice’s mother, Elsie was born in Kirtland, and she was a Taylor. “The Taylors, the Foutzes and the Tanners are all related,” Maurice said. His father kept the Aneth Trading Post for 12 years, and then bought a trading post at Chaco Canyon, followed by a purchase of another at Pueblo Pintado. “I’d say I grew up in the trading business,” Maurice said. “I enjoyed it ever since I can remember.”
Maurice and his seven brothers and one sister would spend their summers at Pueblo Pintado working the business, but during the school year. “We would stay in Kirtland,” he said. “Dad would come home each week for a day or two and go back.” Maurice graduated from Kirtland High School in 1944 and entered the Navy. It was World War II, and he was stationed in the South Pacific. He was on the U.S.S. Hancock, an aircraft carrier, before there were jets landing on them and taking off from them. “I was in for two years. I went in the last of May and got out the first of June,” he said. “I came home and I knew what I was going to do.”
“We had no running water, no electricity, and there were only three automobiles in the whole area.” — Maurice Tanner
Maurice went into the trading post business with his father, until he met Esta on a picnic. “Back in the day Maurice and Mark Uselman’s Aunt Opal were going down to the river for a picnic,” said Valerie Uselman, a longtime family friend of the Tanners. “Opal brought Esta, and the two met and fell in love.” Maurice and Esta were married in 1949 and began living in Farmington. “When Esta and I got married, Main Street was paved, but Broadway was gravel,” Maurice said. “It was just small back then. Now, Farmington has stretched out more.” They rented the building on the corner of Main Street and Orchard Avenue and opened the first Sherwin Williams paint shop in town. Not long after opening, the shop caught on fire and Maurice was burned. After his recovery, they began looking for a new business opportunity. 68 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Entering the family business Arthur still had the trading post at Pueblo Pintado, and he wanted his son to consider running it. “We went out and looked at it and decided to work there,” Maurice said. “I love it out there.” They not only began running the trading post, they purchased land adjacent to it with plans to one day build a ranch house. They worked out there and Maurice not only ran the trading post, he also had cattle and sheep. “We had no running water, no electricity, and there were only three automobiles in the whole area,” Maurice said. The trading post had a guesthouse out front, because trips to it were made in horsedrawn wagons. “People would come in with their wagons and spend the night,” Maurice said. It was too long to make the trip in one day. “It was a two-day trip to the trading post.”
What’s a trading post? The trading post was the general store up until the 1990s. The Tanners had everything from hardware and dry goods to clothing. “Anything people used we’d try to furnish it for them,” Maurice said. “When I first went out there 90 percent of the business was on the barter system.” The business to Maurice was much more – it was a place, where he grew an extended, Navajo familyo. “To this day he goes out there and cashes checks for them,” Uselman said, adding in his office the “walls are filled with photos of the Navajo people he loves and continues to serve.” Maurice has special bond with the Navajo. He helped them when they needed it in every way possible. He even found jobs. He helped 50 Navajo get paid to act as extras in the film How the West was Won. He found them work on the Union Pacific Railroad and on farms as far away as California, where they picked potatoes and lemons. “As long as I could keep them working, my business was good,” he said. “That is how our trading post was successful.”
“It’s been a great life. The only thing wrong with it is the gal I had for 65 years is not with me.” — Maurice Tanner
The Navajo also worked herding sheep and cattle for Maurice on his ranch . “The Navajo had their own horses and loved being a part of it,” he said.
The Navajo Medicine Woman In his Farmington home, Maurice has Navajo rugs thrown over chairs and Navajo baskets filled with colored stones on his coffee table. He said he didn’t get into the arts and crafts side of the trading business, but whenever some good rugs or nice pieces of jewelry came in, he and Esta would keep them. Regardless, he enjoys artwork, and several Southwestern paintings cover his walls. Maurice, however, took down a humble photograph of a Navajo woman seated on the floor with tools around her. He said it was his favorite, because it was that of Martha Ramon, a Navajo medicine woman. “She is one of the favorite people in my life,” he said. Maurice thought back to a day, long passed, when he walked into the home of a Navajo woman out near his ranch. Martha was 70 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
sitting on the floor with her tools in front of her and the other woman threw a blanket over them. Martha threw the blanket off and said, “That is my son,” about Maurice. Martha was a regular customer at Pueblo Pintado. She would often come in to pawn her jewelry for various ceremonial items and would later return to pick it up. One day Maurice asked her why she pawned the jewelry. Martha told Maurice that if the jewelry was at home, her children would take it and sell it. “She wanted a place to store it,” he said with a smile in his eyes. Martha gave Esta one of her silver and turquoise pins, which Maurice proudly wears as a belt buckle.
Growing their business and family In addition to running the trading post and the ranch, Maurice worked as a contractor for the Union Pacific Railroad Retirement Board. “I got 50 cents for everyone I signed up for unemployment,” he said. Maurice and Esta worked hard at the trading business and soon had enough profits to expand. They bought the White Horse Trading Post, the Star Lake Trading Post, the Torreon Trading Post and the Tinian Trading Post. Tinian belonged to Maurice’s brother Lynn Tanner, who built it in 1947. “He was a tail gunner on a B-29 on Tinian Island in World War II,” Maurice said of Lynn. He named the trading post after the island, which had one of the U.S.’s largest airbases in World War II. It was from Tinian Island that the Enola Gay and Bockscar flew out with the atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Maurice and Esta worked to build up their trading posts, while raising a family. “We put our first child in school in 1957,” Maurice said, and with that they had to find a place to live in Farmington. In 1966, they built what is now known as Drake Ranch. “It was out of the city limits when we built that house,” Maurice said. “It was a wonderful place to raise our kids.” Maurice and Esta had five children, one died in birth. The other Tanner children are Darren Tanner, of Aztec; Kit Cook, of Gilbert, Ariz.;
“I miss horseback riding. I could ride before I could walk.” — Maurice Tanner Mauria Tanner, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and the late Javen Tanner, who worked the Torreon Trading Post until being diagnosed with cancer and having to sell it. The Tanner kids grew up in Farmington, living on the ranch in the middle of town, until Maurice sold the property to the late Jimmy Drake in 1980. It was then that he and Esta built their dream house at Pueblo Pintado. It is an 8,400-square-foot ranch home, complete with an indoor swimming pool and greenhouse.
A ranch for sale “It is a self-sustaining home,” Uselman said. It has well water, solar panels and wood-burning stoves. There are corrals, a shop, a barn, a
5,000-square-foot warehouse and a landing strip. Maurice and Esta lived out there ranching and running cattle until her death on June 10, 2014. Maurice managed to keep up the ranch until four years ago, when he could no longer ride a horse. “I miss horseback riding. I could ride before I could walk,” he said. “That’s the best life in the world – when I was young enough to handle it – horses and cattle. It was a great life.” The Tanner ranch is now for sale, and Maurice is focused on staying in Farmington. He still drives out each week to the ranch near Crownpoint, but travel is getting more difficult and winter is coming. Uselman, who sells real estate, hopes to have the home and 139 acres of land sold soon, so Maurice can focus on life in town. He, however, misses the old days. “It’s been a great life,” he said. “The only thing wrong with it is the gal I had for 65 years it not with me.”
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72 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTE R 2016
g n i t a e Cr s r e t t i cr Every year Trudi Adams finds something new to add to her collection Story by Dorothy Nobis Courtesy photos When Trudi Adams isn’t behind the chair in her beauty salon in Dolores, Colo., she’s creating “critters” that she sells in her salon and at craft fairs throughout the Four Corners.
Critters Her passion for those critters began when her children were young and she did sewing to supplement the family income, “and I think it saved my sanity,” Adams said with a laugh. The children – Corey, Jen, and Jessica – are adults now and Adams spends as much time creating her critters as she does cutting and styling hair. “It’s like an escape from reality,” Adams said. “I get to make something that makes me feel creative, makes me laugh and makes other people happy.”
Creations for all seasons Adams critters include snowmen, reindeer, turkeys, penguins, cats, witches, ghosts and pumpkins. Each of her creations takes on its own personality, Adams said, and she admitted to having favorites. “Snowmen are my favorite,” she said. “Their faces are all so different when I get them done. I giggle when I look at them and when people see them at a show or in my home, they laugh. They’re cute and make everyone happy.”
Inspiration Adams doesn’t do custom critters, but finds ideas for her designs on the website Pinterest, in photos and other places. She creates her own patterns for
her creations, and will adapt several different patterns to fit her current critter project. Finding the supplies she needs is challenging however. She orders some supplies online, and gets other supplies at hobby stores. “I have a sister who lives in Utah, and she finds things for me and sends them to me,” Adams said.
Glue guns and sewing machines Jen Moffitt, Adam’s daughter, who lives in Farmington, and said her mother has always enjoyed being creative. “I can’t remember a time when the glue gun wasn’t plugged in or there wasn’t a sound of the sewing machine running in the background,” Moffitt said with a smile. “We have always had handmade clothes and ‘mom-made’ decorations. I remember being little and helping my mom keep count of how many times she wrapped yarn around a piece of cardboard to make a Santa face.”
Crafting is her sanctuary While others find Yoga or running as ‘sanctu-
74 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
Ty, got a mini glue gun for his birthday a few years ago, and it was, by far, his favorite gift.” Moffitt added that the mini glue gun was a low-temperature one.
“I like doing home shows the best. There’s more one-on-one time for Lavender homecoming dress A dress for a high school homecoming dance people to talk....” is one of the “mom-made” items Moffitt cher— Trudi Adams ishes the most.
aries,’ Moffitt said her mother finds it in crafting. “It’s so fun to see her face light up with excitement when she’s finished something or when one of her ‘critters’ gets adopted,” Moffitt said. “She is so excited to see their excitement about taking the snowman – or whatever it might be – home to be part of their family.” Adams’ creativity has been passed on to her children and her grandchildren. “My kids have numerous projects they’ve done with my mother,” Moffitt said. “My son,
“It was a light lavender sequined dress and – best of all – no one had my dress,” Moffitt said. “My favorite thing in general is whatever new thing she makes every year.
Something new every year Every year, she comes up with something new to add to the collection and every year, she outdoes what she did the last year! Adams makes small, bald snowmen that have become her trademark, Moffitt added. “They are special because she uses buttons from a button box my great-grandmother had given her. The box is full of thousands of buttons and knowing those buttons came from my
Great Grandma Moss makes them extra special.”
Family her most important critters Adams said that while she is busy with Treasures by Trudi and Trudi’s Salon, it is family that remains the most important “critters” in her life.” “I lead a pretty simple life. My family is important – they are my heart,” she said. “My kids and my husband are what make me, me.”
Lots of interest Adams offers her critters and other items at holiday craft fairs, in her salon and at home shows. “I like doing home shows the best,” she said. “There’s more
WINTER 2016 | MAJESTIC LIVING | 75
one-on-one time for people to talk and it’s a more personal way to let my creations be seen.” Treasures by Trudi has a Facebook page and her work has become popular throughout the Four Corners. And while that’s good for Adams for now, her daughter, Jen, has other aspirations. “I want her to get an Etsy (an online craft shop) account,” Moffitt said. And while Adams is likely to explore that avenue for her critters, she has another vision for her talents. “I’d like to do classes and teach others how to make things for the holidays,” she said. Whether it’s Etsy, classes or continuing on with Treasures by Trudi, one thing is certain. That sewing room and dining room are likely to remain a “mess,” while Adams continues to make critters and treasures that make people happy.
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"!! ! #! '
The greatest gift
Coolest Things Gifts for All Ages
Picking out items for the Coolest Things is one of the highlights of preparing Majestic Living. The Christmas issue is especially fun because we think about our friends and family and what will make them smile this Christmas. But we’ve got all of you beat when it comes to the best Christmas gift because all of you are our present. We are so grateful to this community for advertising in our magazine, for reading the magazine and for all the people who allow us to tell their stories. Have a wonderful holiday season!
Hatchimala National retailer and onlines: Amazon, Target, WalMart, Toys"R"Us For real, this has been one of the biggest secret toys all year after everyone went nuts for it at the 2016 Toy Fair. There are a bunch of different ‘eggs’ you can buy that are all-interactive, your kids can care for them, and then suddenly they hatch with a surprise animal inside. How cool! With Hatchimal names like owlicorn, penguala, draggles, burtle,or bearakeet we ca n only assume these guys are a mix of owl-unicorns, penguin-koalas, and…uh… dog fraggles. $59 78 | MAJESTIC LIVING | WINTER 2016
TROLLING FOR FUN!
DreamWorks Trolls ‘Hug Time’ Poppy www.Toys"R"Us.com …because you know you and your kids will be watching The Trolls movie over and over again. And again. This lovable "Hug Time" Poppy is always up for a hug and speaks 25 phrases every time you give her a little hug and press her tummy. Plus, she plays songs from the movie and even rocks back and forth. Endless joy. $49
EXPANDING LEGO UNIVERSE
THIS IS THE DROID YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
Expanding Lego universe Local retailers and online, Amazon, Toys"R"Us, WalMart, Target.
BB-8™ by Sphero www.Amazon; www.hammacher.com and store.sphero.com
Tired of stepping on the same Lego action figures when you walk through your living room? Here’s some of the coolest Lego People/Figures EVER. You can retire those boring Lego people and replace them with these unique guys and gals. $30
Meet BB-8™ - the app-enabled droid™ that's as authentic as it is advanced. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings.
Stuffecking r Aler t!
$114 to $140
from instagram to marshmallows Boomf.com While other services print your Instagram shots on magnets or postcards, Boomf prints them on – marshmallows! Step one: you select what message you want to send, then you select whether you want confetti, and what kind, or none at all -- though that’s a terrible idea TBH. And then you can select images you want on four sides of the box. For $29 you can send a box of nine vanilla or strawberry marshmallows with your photos! $29
JeWelry’s best friend
sorry to burst your bubble...
structured style www.uncommongoods.com
bubble Wrap calendar www.uncommongoods.com
Keep everyday jewelry artfully available with this sophisticated, industrial dressertop piece. Designed by trained architect Marion Cage, its smooth walnut base features two recessed holders for easy access to bangles and rings, and a lined groove that keeps stud earrings safe and snug. On the rolled steel wall, organize necklaces tangle-free with five re-arrangeable magnets – proving there is indeed a place for everything. A clear matte finish applied to the steel preserves its industrial aesthetic, celebrating the scratches and mill marks of its manufacturing. $70
This clever, poster-size bubble calendar lets you pop your way through an entire year. Very few things in life are as satisfying as popping Bubble Wrap™. Very clever and very fun, this poster-size Bubble Wrap™ Calendar allows you to do just that. Each day of the year has a bubble to pop. All days of the week and U.S. holidays are marked for quick reference. $27
Cord free buds
Plantronics backbeat Go 2 Wireless earbuds www.amazon.com A lightweight pair of earbuds that sound great and are long lasting is an important item for boys to have. The Plantronic BackBeat Go 2 Wireless Earbuds last for up to 4.5 hours of listening and 5 hours of talk time, and their holder doubles as an on-the-go battery charger. They stay in your ears nicely, and sound great. They’re also quite durable. $50.99
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12 and what a tiME it was!
what a difference a date makes calendar www.personalcreations.com An elegant way to celebrate family milestones such as your wedding date and birthdays. Wood frame with glass. Personalize any three names or occasion with up to 20 characters; and any milestone date up to 10 characters. Enter up to a total of six names and dates. Measures 8" wide x 16” high. Choose from burgundy, charcoal, tan or teal. $39.99
goodbyE to holiday strEss, hEllo sMiling MoM
travEl bag nEcEssity
let's get ready to crumble with lush www.lushusa.com
dual lighted lEd travel Mirror www.sharperimage.com
Four reasons to hop in the tub. You’ll want to crumble under the irresistibleness of this one! Four bathing beauties fill this gift, giving you a reason to sink deep into relaxation and refreshment. Big Bang Bubble Bar and Yuzu And Cocoa Bubbleroon will turn bathtime into an energizing and uplifting experience, while The Comforter and Milky Bath Bubble Bars will keep you calm and soothed. Ready to crumble? Yes, please! $36.95
The Dual Lighted LED Travel Mirror makes it easy to touch up your hair or makeup when you’re away from home. This clever travel companion opens to an upright standing position for hands-free use. Enjoy 1X and 10X magnification at the same time, with LEDs illuminating one or both of the 3.5-inch mirrors. When you’re done, fold it down and pack it in your purse or suitcase. Off-white finish. $49.99
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ElEgant way to diffusE thE situation
Essential oil Electric diffuser for ultrasonic aromatherapy fragrance Amazon.com Whether you want to energize in the morning, reduce stress, create a romantic mood, or simply freshen your home, the White Orchid is the ultrasonic aroma diffuser for you. It's powerful enough to neutralize the harshest of odors, yet able to accentuate your most elegant room. Working modes -- three hours / intermittent or six hours continuous modes. Also, whisper silent. $64
Won’t Dilute the gooD stuff
talk to your house anD alexa talks baCk
the Corkcicle ice Whiskey Wedge www.crateandbarrel.com
the amazon echo www.amazon.com
This artfully shaped ice mold creates a custom wedge-shaped ice cube to perfectly chill but not water down your favorite spirits. Designed to melt much slower than smaller traditional ice cubes, Whiskey Wedge helps retain your drink's full flavor. To use, place the silicone ice form over the top of the glass. Fill with water to the line and freeze for at least four hours. Set includes a double oldfashioned glass with the mold. $24
Hands-free, ask Alexa anything and she’ll answer. For real, she has 1M answers. It’s pretty much fun, and helpful, all at the same time. Weather, questions, horoscopes, stocks, traffic – done, done and done. Plus listen to music because, music! Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker — it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. $180
Cover your noggin
www.nogginwear.com For the compulsive hat wearer: Noggin Wear Hat Subscription Members receive a custom designed, limited edition, super cool hat delivered to their door. Choose a three- or six-month subscription with free U.S. shipping. The dudes of Nogginwear – over the last 20 years we have been designing hats of all styles, fabrics and applications for companies all over the world. Their concept is to recreate that feeling of joy and excitement for you each month. We call this Hatisfaction. $25 per month
Don’t just sit there anD Drone on!
hubsan Drone With Camera www.amazon.com This small but mighty drone should not be dismissed as cute. Not only is it fun and easy to fly, it will actually be able to capture video thanks to the built-in HD camera. Great for drone beginners and flying experts alike, the 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity makes it easy to fly stable. Whether young or older, the Hubsan drone is sure to evoke his inner kid on Christmas morning. $51
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Leavitt Group .......................................3 300 W. Arrington, Suite 100 Farmington, N.M. 505-325-1849 www.leavitt.com Magic Roofing....................................76 1206 E. Murray Farmington, N.M. 505-324-1094 www.magicroofing.com Morgan Stanley/Ron Dalley ................13 4801 N. Butler, Suite 14101 Farmington, N.M. 505-327-6201 www.morganstanleyfa.com/ronald.dalley Next Level Home Audio & Video .........77 1510 E. 20th St., Suite A Farmington, N.M. 505-327-NEXT www.327NEXT.com
Sanchez and Sanchez Real Estate.........4 4301 Largo St. Suite F Farmington, NM 87402 505-327-9039 Southwest Obstetrics and Gynecology.57 634 West Pinon Farmington, NM 505-325-4898 www.Southwest-OBGYN.net Jack O. Smalley, DDS...........................83 2650 E. Pinon Frontage Rd., #300 Farmington, NM 505-327-3331 www.smile42day.com
Arlon Stoker ......................................30 2713 E. 20th St. Farmington, N.M. 505-326-0404 Presbyterian Medical Services ............70 www.stokerlaw.net Festival of Trees Sun Glass ..........................................20 505-599-1148 602 West Main Street Raindrops, Inc. ..................................33 Farmington, N.M. 4001 E. Main St. 505-327-9677 Farmington, NM www.sunglassfarmington.com 505-327-7425 Sunray Gaming ..................................62 Red Brick Pizza ..................................63 On Hwy 64. 5150 E. Main St. Farmington, N.M. Farmington, N.M. 505-566-1200 505-326-6222 Theater Ensemble Arts.......................69 Reliance Medical Group ..............12 & 62 Farmington, N.M. 3451 N. Butler Avenue 505-326-2839 Farmington, N.M. Ultraform...........................................41 505-566-1915 209 S Fairview Ave. 1409 West Aztec Blvd. Farmington, NM Aztec, N.M. 505-325-2025 505-334-1772 www.reliancemedicalgroup.com Vernon Aviation .................................31 ReMax of Farmington .........................37 Farmington, N.M. 505-564-9464 108 N. Orchard www.vernonaviation.com Farmington, N.M. 505-327-4777 Visiting Angels...................................58 www.remax.com 1515 E. 20th St. Sage Meadow Realty ..........................59 Farmington, N.M. 970-264-5991 920 NE Aztec Blvd. visitingangels.com/southwesterncolorado Aztec, NM 505-334-4148 Ziems Ford ........................................53 www.sagemeadowproperties.com 5700 E. Main San Juan United Way ..........................46 Farmington, N.M. 505-326-1195 505-325-8826 www.sjunitedway.org
Friday, December 23 6:30 PM Saturday, December 24 2:30 PM | 4:30 PM | 6:30 PM Christmas Day Sunday, December 25 | 10:00 AM
Celebrate the birth of our Savior with us! Located on the Northwest corner of Dustin Avenue and PiĂąon Hills Boulevard in Farmington, New Mexico
505.325.4541 â€˘ PinonHillsChurch.com
Published on Nov 28, 2016