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Citizen Year Unsung Heroes

Section 1 Citizen of the Year:

02 Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios

Unsung Heroes:

08 Becky Torres 10 Benton and Arabella Bond

Section 2 Unsung Heroes:

14 Ernest Ortega 18 Ernesto Martinez 22 Carl Gilmore

Section 3 Unsung Heroes:

26 Medalia Martinez 30 Sonny Spruce

Section 4 Unsung Heroes: 38 Paul Figueroa

35 Selection Committee

Tina Larkin

Citizen of the Year Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios


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HEROES

Tina Larkin

Citizen of the Year Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios BY DAMON SCOTT

T

he resume is long. (She’s served on 30 nonprofit groups). The experience is extensive, to say the least. Her impact on the Taos community is profound.

Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios retired in July as the CEO of the Taos Community Foundation. Being at the helm for 15 years is a big part of her story. The TCF is a leader in moving and promoting charitable investments in Northern New Mexico. The work involves tedious, detailed and important tasks — serving as a resource for philanthropy, building partnerships, orchestrating grantmaking. Crittenden-Palacios left the foundation in a better place than she found it — without question — say her colleagues. “Elizabeth has been an incredible leader in our community. She understands the Taos community as well as most, having dealt with the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Billy Knight, president and CEO of Taos’ Knight Financial Ltd. Knight met Crittenden-Palacios in 2007 and has served on the TCF board, in its committees and on its initiatives. “She

is an extremely hard worker who helped nurture the foundation from the earlier days of struggle with assets of a few hundred thousand dollars, to a strong force in the community with assets of almost $8 million. Nonprofit giving in our community, particularly in areas of health and education, have benefited many individuals and families throughout Taos County as a result of Elizabeth’s leadership,” Knight said. But it’s a bit of a wonder that CrittendenPalacios ever made it to Taos. She lived (a little dangerously) in the Alaskan bush after all, and swam in the Arctic Ocean. She’s helicoptered over White Sands Missile Range and navigated the formidable hoops a teenage mother has to jump through (she raised five children). You get the picture. But that’s not all of it. She’s an entrepreneur, too. In high school, she launched her own leather product

manufacturing business. Later in college, she studied weaving and home economics — what she calls a blending of arts and social concerns. Crittenden-Palacios planned to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973, but she visited Dixon that Christmas holiday. And that’s where the story takes a Taos turn. She said she immediately felt at home in New Mexico, and stayed. She traveled the northern part of the state extensively between Taos, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. During those early years, she developed everything from women’s co-ops to rural businesses — and she taught leadership and business. Through it all, weaving remained one of her first loves, she says. So after three decades of nonprofit sector work — the foundation, Santa Fe

‘Elizabeth has been an incredible leader in our community. She understands the Taos community as well as most, having dealt with the good, the bad and the ugly.’ —Billy Knight Community College, New Mexico Small Business Development Center — The Taos News sat down to throw her a few softballs. CITIZEN OF THE YEAR continues on page 4


HEROES

Congratulations on a job well done!

Elizabeth Crittenden Palacios Citizen of the Year

and all our

Unsung Heroes of Taos! Your commitment, hard work, and perseverance have built a legacy for Taos’ future. ‘Eloisa and Saint Theresa,’ photograph by Bob MacDougall of Eloisa Montoya (who was 101 years old when this picture was taken in 2010) of Las Vegas, New Mexico, at San Miguel del Vado Catholic Church in Ribera, New Mexico. See page 45.

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HEROES

File photo

Crittenden-Palacios, former director of The Taos Community foundation, poses for a portrait in her backyard with some articles from her work in fashion, costume design and weaving.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR ‘. . . Life is not just about self, it is our responsibility to advocate and serve as allies for others. Toward that end I will continue to stay engaged and active.’ —Crittenden-Palacios

Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios

Katharine Egli

A horse-bonding moment in Taos.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR continues from page 2

ARE YOU REALLY LEAVING THE FOUNDATION? WHAT ABOUT TAOS?

“I am not leaving, except to travel. I have lived in the Northern New Mexico and southern Colorado area since coming to New Mexico from Alaska in 1973 and consider it home. Involved? Of course! How can I not be involved in community? My thoughts several weeks into this transition are still formulating. Just what shape involvement will take is organic — land use, nonprofit education, design, leadership, teaching,

cultural competency — who knows? I would like to take on an interesting project — design it, develop it, begin implementation and pass it on. I am poking around. I believe it is important as a person on this earth that we care for our vecinos, and do our best to improve the quality of life in the communities we choose. Life is not just about self, it is our responsibility to advocate and serve as allies for others. Toward that end I will continue to stay engaged and active.”

IS THERE A SUCCESSION PLAN IN PLACE?

“The board of directors is in the process for the selection of a new executive director for

TCF. Hopefully they will be on board by the time of this Tradiciones event. Currently, Lisa O’Brien, the grants director for TCF, is serving as the interim director. [Editor’s note: O’Brien was named executive director on Sept. 14.]”

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THE IMPACT OF TCF?

“Impact is the big question and means different things to different people organizations. TCF works with donors assisting them in focusing their charitable giving, making it easier and more beneficial to them to support the causes they care about. TCF is also a grant-making organization


5

HEROES ‘Connecting with donors in a meaningful way is the biggest challenge that community foundations have for both development and engagement . . .’ —Crittenden-Palacios supporting local not for profits through grants to build their capacity, deliver services, sustain operations and fulfill their missions. As TCF grows, so does its capacity for support of nonprofits. When the nonprofit community can care for and improve all parts of community, we can begin to realize a vision of a healthy society and strong community for families, children, adults and environments. As TCF grows, so does its capacity for support. I imagine the next director will guide the organization in its focus, community investments and impact.”

WHAT IS TCF’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

“Connecting with donors in a meaningful way is the biggest challenge that community foundations have for both development and engagement. There is no natural constituency as there might be with a college, a hospital or an arts organization. TCF donors have a wide range of interests, and while there is commonality in the geographic location, that does not always translate into an effective method of engagement. Donor engagement tends to be around specific issues and even then requires a great deal of one-on-one contact. Stewardship is important, but the effort required forces staff to work with either the most affluent or the most intense. However, Taos Community Foundation has the opportunity to provide creative and courageous leadership for many complex issues like economic development, human rights, access to education, food and

File photo

Crittenden-Palacios goes over a matrix of community input at a past Organization for Change meeting.

services. They can be honest brokers, provide opportunities for innovative solutions, stimulate reform and coordinate charity. They are flexible and can easily seize and foster ideas and change. Community foundations as place-based foundations can fulfill a variety of strategic roles whose value goes far beyond the core mission of amassing and granting financial resources. TCF can help our community become more livable, equitable, sustainable and smart.”

WHAT ARE TAOS COUNTY’S BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN GENERAL?

“The impact of poverty, loss of authentic historic character and balanced open space.”

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT TAOS AND THE PEOPLE HERE?

“Taos has so many things that are spectacular, there is never a bad view nor sunset. We have a multicultural mix that creates a rich complexity to our lives, both challenging and wonderful. I love that Taos is a small town offering me a unique quality of life, from the simple pleasures of watching light and virga on the horizon, to joining friends at great restaurants. The breathtaking landscape, limpid light and natural charms that enchanted early settlers, and Native Americans continue to enchant me day after day.”

YOU’VE BEEN A PART OF TRADICIONES FOR MANY YEARS AS THE FACILITATOR FOR THE FOCUS GROUP THAT CHOOSES UNSUNG HEROES. WHAT ARE YOUR FONDEST MEMORIES?

“Each person in the group took their role very seriously — their intentions and care in selecting the nominations and describing them to the group. Each time it was like magic. A person would nominate one and others in the group, many from very different backgrounds and social groups, and would chime in and offer their input about the nominations. There was always goodwill and respect. Just what it takes to make a community.”

Congratulations! to all the Unsung Heroes who share our mission of making Taos a better place to live, work, and raise a family each and every day. MAKING SENSE OF INVESTING Member SIPC

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HEROES

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios

‘I believe it is important as a person on this earth that we care for our vecinos, and do our best to improve the quality of life in the communities we choose . . .’ —Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios

File photo

George Jaramillo, president of Taos Rotary and Elizabeth Crittenden-Palacios, former Taos Community Foundation (TCF) director, prepared to organize boxes of children’s clothing during a past TCF KIDS Clothing Project for children in need.


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HEROES

Katharine Egli

From top clockwise: The D.H. Lawrence Memorial sits on ranch property; The Homesteaders Cabin at the D.H. Lawrence Ranch; Members of the Taos Historical Society take a tour of the D.H. Lawrence Ranch on July 9.

THE D.H. LAWRENCE RANCH Profound solace BY ANDY DENNISON

Katharine Egli

Unsung Hero Becky Torres at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Club in Taos.


HEROES

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BECKY TORRES

A helping hand in the community BY JOAN LIVINGSTON

A

ll it takes is for Becky Torres to hear someone might be ill or not have enough food in the house, and she gets busy cooking. She’ll drop by later with say a coffee cake, a pot of potato soup or a lemon pie.

“Some of them I do know and sometimes I just knock,” she says. If the person needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment, Torres will drive them. Or if they’re unable to go to the grocery store, she will take their list and do the shopping for them. Then there is her volunteer work with local organizations. “What can I say?” she said. “I’m always doing something for somebody.” And because she is the type of person who is “always doing something for somebody,” Torres, who is 80, is being honored as one of this year’s Unsung Heroes. Stella Mares-McGinnis, a member of the selection committee, nominated Torres because she has seen firsthand what her longtime friend does unselfishly for the community. The two often work side by side as volunteers whether it’s preparing food baskets organized by the local retired teachers group at Christmas or prepping for the monthly fundraiser dinner at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Club. “Whoever needs it the most, she’s right there for them,” Mares-McGinnis said. “I wish we had a lot more women like her.”

ROLE MODEL

Torres and her identical twin sister, Patsy, were born and raised in Taos, the oldest of the late Rebecca and Patricio Esquibel’s six children. (The six siblings remain close to this day.)

Being a twin — “it was a big deal then,” Torres recalls — she and Patsy were a bit mischievous fooling people about who was who, all in good fun, of course. Taos was more rural then. The twins, when they were teens, would walk home nights from their jobs at the Plaza to their home on Ranchitos Road. Dad was a salesman. Mom stayed at home, but she was an angel of mercy in the community, providing food for those in need. Sound familiar? “I think this is how I got my training,” Torres said. “Mother was always cooking. If anybody was sick, there goes my mother. If anybody died, there was my mother.” Torres went to the local parochial schools taught by the Loretto Sisters. She met her husband, Carpio Torres in school. Married 62 years, they have three children, Teresa, Claudette and Roy, plus seven grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren The couple went to New Mexico Highlands University. Carpio had a career in education in the Four Corners area of the state, including over eight years as principal in Thoreau, New Mexico. Torres started teaching when their youngest, Roy, went to kindergarten. She taught first grade in Thoreau, and then in the Title One program, which she said had a successful oral language component. About 90 percent of the school’s students were Navajo. While in Thoreau, the Torreses were involved with St. Bonaventure Church. Torres taught CCD every Wednesday afternoon. The couple moved to the Torres homestead in

Ranchos de Taos 26 years ago when they retired. The home, which they renovated, has a lush orchard and an acequia in the backyard. Right away, Carpio joined the Fraternal Order of the Eagles and Torres became a member of its auxiliary. She has been the auxiliary’s president four times since, including a term that ended in May. (She claims that’s the last.) The Eagles organization assists the community with scholarships for local students. It often pays the bill for someone who needs glasses and can’t afford them. There have been times when the group has bought sneakers for a young basketball player. “Our organization is really about people helping people,” Torres said. Such good deeds require money. The Eagles Aerie and Auxiliary are noted for their steak dinners on the first Friday of the month at the club’s headquarters on Dea Lane. Of course, Torres and her best friend, MaresMcGinnis, are in the middle of the fundraiser dinners along with other volunteers. The best friends buy the groceries and get the salads and potatoes going on Thursday. “On Friday we get over there by 2 p.m. and we are ready to start at 5 p.m.,” Torres said. Then Torres works the floor, greeting people and taking their orders. Naturally, she says, “I love it.”

OTHER ROLES

Torres was also involved — with the encouragement of Mares-McGinnis — with the former Taos County Chamber of Commerce

‘Whoever needs it the most, she’s right there for them. I wish we had a lot more women like her.’ —Stella Mares-McGinnis Auxiliary. Besides serving as treasurer, Torres participated in Taos Day held at the annual state legislative session. The auxiliary hauled boxes of promotional material and artist prints to display at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, and then later that day at Sweeney Hall. That went on 10 years. In addition, Torres was a member of the Holy Cross Hospital Auxiliary for 10 years or so, volunteering at the hospital’s coffee shop. Where else does Torres help? During the annual enjarre of the San Francisco de Asís Church in Ranchos, she is there to bring food or do whatever is needed to assist those mudding the adobe church. Then there is the good work she does on her own — the food she makes and delivers to others who could use a lift. “What I love about that: it’s so neat to walk in the door and you hand them something and their eyes light up,” Torres said. “That makes me happy. That’s what it’s all about: people helping people. And that’s what I do.”


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HEROES

Katharine Egli

Benton and Arabella Bond pose for a portrait on Burch Street in August.


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BENTON AND ARABELLA BOND Years of community service BY MEL A. JAMES

T

he heart of a community depends on its people. Whether it’s a local nonprofit, a chapter of a nationally recognized organization, or a small church group, it’s the people who volunteer, in even small ways, who can make a big difference in their communities. Benton and Arabella Bond are some of those people. At first glance, one might not see their impact — they haven’t made any grandiose gestures or hefty contributions, but rather, it’s the cumulative effect of their years of community service. Their service began with Benton’s family, longtime Taoseños, who instilled in him the need to preserve the history of Taos. His father, Dow G. Bond, sat on a number of boards of directors, worked with the state wildlife commission and his plumbing company, Dow Bond Plumbing and Heating, helped with the restoration efforts of the Hacienda de los Martinez. Benton, along with his wife, Arabella, has continued some of the work started by his father. Currently, he serves as vice president of the Taos County Historical Society. The latest project of the Historical Society is the effort to restore a molino, a Spanish gristmill that used to serve the Ranchos de Taos area. This particular mill was in operation from the late 1800s (the time of its construction) to the 1930s. As Benton says about the Martinez Hacienda work and the restoration of the molino, “Being a part of that is a nice feeling … it’s been very gratifying.” Arabella is currently a member of the Taos Historic Museums board, which oversees the

Martinez Hacienda and the E.L. Blumenschein Home. To them, the structures that represent the history of Taos are worth preserving. Another of Arabella’s projects is with The Taos Opera Guild — she’s been on the board since 2005. One of the guild’s activities is an educational component that allows local children and their parents to attend dress rehearsals at the Santa Fe Opera, free of charge, and the transportation is covered, as well. As Arabella says, “It benefits the kids and exposes young people to opera when they don’t have too much opportunity. The other thing we’ve done is also make free tickets available with little box lunches or something to the Met Live performances at the TCA (Taos Center for the Arts).” Providing opportunities to the young people of Taos is one of Arabella’s driving ambitions. Benton also serves on the El Prado Acequia de Río Lucero organization, which protects the acequia system at the northern end of town. Benton says, “I feel that it’s real important to keep water flowing into that area so those green areas stay green. We have problems with people coming in, buying the land, and wanting to sell the water rights off. Fortunately, we have a state law now, which they have to come through the board before any water rights can be sold. Basically, it’s maintaining the green belt of the northern part of the town.” For a period of about 15 years, Benton served

as a firefighter for the Town of Taos Volunteer Fire Department, which his father helped to found. This is just another example of him carrying on the work that his father started. In addition, Benton was a former president of the Lion’s Club, president of the Taos Winter Sports Club and volunteered for a time with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of America. Arabella has long been active in the museum community, having served as a docent at every museum in town, except for the Millicent Rogers Museum, and then training other docents at various museums. She also worked diligently to help start a children’s museum, and one of their first projects involved building a tiny casita on the grounds at the Martinez Hacienda, all constructed by area kids who created adobe bricks and learned the process from the ground up. While the museum never came to fruition, Arabella gives credit to Twirl Toystore and Playspace for carrying on some of the activities and ideas that the original founders had envisioned. One of Arabella’s other involvements has been with the Los Jardineros Garden Club. She has served as secretary, vice-president, worked on the grants committee and is one of the club’s longest standing members, having been a part of it since the 1980s. The Bonds are also members of the New Beginnings Taos church, where Arabella has been teaching Sunday school since 1980. She also ran a community daycare there from the

Their service began with Benton’s family, longtime Taoseños, who instilled in him the need to preserve the history of Taos. late ‘80s into the early ‘90s. She says, “That’s something I’m really proud of. Again, trying to help those kids. We’ve been really blessed to be a part of that organization.” The church holds regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and has been working closely with Habitat for Humanity by providing lodging for the volunteers who come to town to help build homes. A fellow member of their church, Jamie Tedesco, remarks, “They have a big heart for kids and people in general. They’re just very helping people. They see a need and they try to find ways to fix it.” When asked about their work in the community, Arabella had this to say: “We’re privileged. I’m especially privileged to be a part of the community — he (Benton) grew up here. I’m more the newcomer; I’ve only been here about 38 years. We’ve been involved with a number of wonderful, wonderful people on these projects and it’s really been a privilege.”

Congratulations Elizabeth Crittenden Palacios AND ALL THE HEROES OF TAOS!

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HEROES 2016 Tradiciones • The Taos News

Megan Bowers Avina

Unsung Hero Judge Ernest Ortega.


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HEROES

Megan Bowers Avina

A man, Ernest Ortega, and his truck.

WINNING THE RACE BEFORE IT’S RUN Ernest Ortega takes Taos' kids under his wing BY CODY HOOKS

L

ong before Taos was the outdoors destination it has become; long before the creation of the Río Grande Del Norte National Monument; long before there was a pampered trail along the western edge of the Río Grande Gorge, the dirt path on the rim overlooking ancient volcanic rock and miles of stunning, stark scenery was Ernest “Ernie” Ortega’s favorite place to run. Ortega’s mom took him to the spot where thousands of Taoseños gathered in September of 1965 for the ceremony to officially open the Gorge Bridge. The place stuck with him. Ortega ran track in high school — the 2 mile, back when the actual track at school was dirt,

just like the trail along the rim. In the late 1960s, as he was coming up in Taos, rarely would Ortega be joined on his runs by anyone other than the occasional lone hawk or murder of crows. It was those cold mornings and blistering afternoons running up and down the length of the gorge when he learned that — in track as in life — the race isn’t won the day of the meet.  “You win the race way before the race is run,” Ortega said. “It’s won when you’re alone in the mountains. On those cold days when no one wants to get out, when you train so hard

but nobody knows it.” Fast forward 40 or so years.  Not only has the physical attributes of his old favorite running haunt transformed, but so has its legacy.  The Gorge Bridge has become — at times — a place of profound sadness, when people take their lives. Especially young people.  Young people need kindness now more than ever, because “kindness is always a step in the right direction,” he said.  He’s not one to talk about it much, but

‘Kindness is always a step in the right direction.’ —Ernest Ortega Ortega has garnered a reputation as “The Fan” in Taos’ sports world, for decades showing up to countless games for every sport, talking with parents he’s known since childhood and taking their children under his wing. JUDGE ERNEST ORTEGA continues on page 16


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HEROES

Megan Bowers Avina

Judge Ernest Ortega has been volunteering at TISA for the last four years and is one of the students’ favorite guests.

UNSUNG HERO Ernest Ortega

JUDGE ERNEST ORTEGA continues from page 14

For his work with young people in these changing and challenging times, Ortega has been selected as one of this year’s Unsung Heroes. Ortega’s story of becoming known as “The Fan” is a long and roundabout one. “When I was in high school, all I cared about was my girlfriend, sports and writing for The Taos News,” said Ortega, who for part of his high school years worked as the sports editor and photographer for this publication.  He tried to do it all: run track, play football, wrestle. But working as a sports reporter in the days when the writing was done on a Royal typewriter and the photographs developed in a darkroom kept him tied up. 

“I learned a lot from the camaraderie of a team. But yeah … it got a little dicy at times. It was really hard because you’re writing about your classmates you see every day in school and they might not like what you said. I got in hot water, too, when the guys didn’t like the photos I put in because they didn’t come out looking very good,” he said. Journalism was his aim, one that got him to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque after graduating from Taos High School in 1972. But the Vietnam War — and the social movements of the time — were in full swing.  “I got political and never took a single journalism class,” he said. “That was an explosive time. I thought the war was illegal, immoral and an outrageous loss of life for our country. And I wanted it to end. We expected great things from our country and wanted

Supporting Supporting the the events events that that make our Supporting make our community the events that community Supporting make ourhome. feel feel like like home.

the events that community feel likeour home. make

At U.S. Bank, we’re dedicated to making lasting At U.S. Bank, we’re dedicated to making lasting improvements to our community for the greater good. improvements to our community for the greater good. We believe that if we all play our part, our community We believe that if we all play our part, our community will be better because of it.tousbank.com/community At U.S. Bank, we’re dedicated making lasting will be better because of it. usbank.com/community improvements to our community for the greater good.

community feel like home.

For his work with young people in these changing and challenging times, Ortega has been selected as one of this year’s Unsung Heroes.

great things for our country.” “At one point, I started thinking I couldn’t change the world like I thought I could. So I

came home to make where I live and where I grew up better,” he added.

Ortega, who is now an elected magistrate judge, went to Washington, D.C., for an early career in politics before making his way back to Taos’ District Attorney’s office in the mid1990s. But the DA’s office wasn’t easy. He would work on cases of intense violence. Images stayed plastered on his mind for days, if not weeks and months.  “So I started to go to the games just to let off steam, get that out of my head and just relax,” Ortega said. “I went to all the games, all the sports — football, basketball, volleyball — just to cheer them on. I was always louder than I should of been.”  Part of the fun of attending games is just

THANK YOU

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HEROES

‘What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think … It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.’ —Ralph Waldo Emerson talking to people — parents, grandparents, coaches. But especially the kids. Ortega’s never been a “formal mentor,” he said. “But if I see there’s a kid out there who needs some help, I’m going to help them.”  “When I was growing up here, I had a lot of people help me to stay on a good track and to do good things … to finish school, go to college and learn to be a good person,” he said.  Now he’s trying to be that person for kids who need it.  It might be paying the entry fee for a road race in Albuquerque “so they can get a leg up on

the competition.” Or it may be a pair of shoes. Or maybe it’s just a piece of advice about when the race is actually won.

an edge he never had growing up — namely, technology — is the ultimate double-edged sword.

“Look. There’s a million things that can come up,” he said. “I’m not a millionaire and I can’t do it all. This isn’t a big thing for me. Bottom line is this is my way of being a part of the community.”

“There’s an overabundance of technology and an over reliance on it,” he said. He looks for time-honored inspiration in the older generations, when all the food a family ate they raised, when all the heat they warmed themselves by came from wood laboriously cut from the forest.

Through his work with young people, Ortega sees so much greatness in the Taos community. From traditional sports to the highly competitive world of chess, Ortega is the first to say, “We have the smartest kids in all of New Mexico.”

“Self-reliance … the way (Ralph Waldo) Emerson wrote about it … is a core value,” he said. In Emerson’s 1841 essay titled “Self-Reliance,” he writes, “What I must do is all that concerns

Yet, the tools that give young people today

me, not what the people think … It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” Perhaps this value of Ortega’s got its start long ago, when the trail on the rim of the gorge was little more than dirt and solitude, when he was busy winning the race away from everyone’s eye, when he was a young man himself. Perhaps that’s the core of what he has to share.

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18

HEROES

Katharine Egli

Unsung Hero Ernesto Martinez poses for a portrait near his home in August.


19

HEROES

THE HONORARY ‘MAYOR’ OF TAOS Page Title

THe TAoS NeWS

2013

HEROES

Month X-X, 2010

1 313

Young Taoseno exemplifies the power of perseverance

With the support of the Jesuits, McNichols worked with the AIDS Hospice team of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan.

BY J.R. LOGAN or all of his life, Ernesto Martinez heard “you will never” a lot.

He’s graduated high school. Held down steady jobs. Started his own business. He drives himself in his own car. He’s even been behind the wheel of a big rig.

“You will never ride a bike.”

received a master of fine arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Working with AIDS patients McNichols said about the time he graduated from Pratt, AIDS — then called GRID “You will never drive a car.” for Gay-Related Immune Deficiency — was Despite those warnings, Martinez has in the news. overcome considerable physical challenges to He received a call from Dignity, a Catholic become a beloved member of the community When Martinez was young, Dolores Martinez and an inspiration for those facing their own gay organization, requesting he say Mass for says her mom and sister were a huge help difficulties. in caring for a son with extra needs. The people with AIDS. He had just finished readcommunity has also been supportive. Bake sales ing a book about Father Damien, who worked Martinez, now 27, was born with Apert and fundraisers to pay for medical trips were syndrome — a genetic disorder that affects with lepers in Hawaii, and given the hysteria always successful. the growth of the skull. In Martinez’s case, it then surrounding AIDS, he saw a connection. also caused webbed fingers and toes, breathing In return, Martinez has been gracious with his “I knew when I got the call, this was not problems and aIziah cleft palate. timegives and has been aWilliam model forHart pushing through Romero, 6, of Taos Pueblo Father McNichols a blessing at a just a Mass,” he said. adversity. In high school, he was manager of Much of his childhood was spentreception at hospitals on in Aug. send-off 19, at Holyteam Trinity Parish Hall in Arroyo Seco. the Taos football and the girls basketball Afterward, McNichols was approached by Albuquerque and Dallas, where he underwent team. Katharine Egli wasn’t very good at it because he is “dyslexic people who asked that he help people theyErnesto attends Spanish classes at UNM-Taos. more than 20 surgeries. “As he grew up, they knew who had AIDS. The first man he visited He has also had a strong workabout ethic,directions.” despite his had to do cranial surgeries to give the brain also loves Spanish music. He’s a fixtures at He also a farolito company, making and physical limitations. room to grow,” says his mother, Dolores After his father dissuaded himstarted from going was sotheweak his caregiver fedHe dropsMother’s of delivering luminaries during holidays for thehim annual Day Concert, and he keeps Martinez. “He went through a lot.” intoworks, the seminary, years. went to college orange juice from a straw. tabs on when all the local bands are doing gigs. “When he wants something he even if itMcNichols for Martinez one year. Again takes him a few times,” Dolores says. he heard the message to With the support of the Jesuits, McNichols It was taxing on Martinez and his family. And Until recently, Martinez was best His outgoing and lovable personality has earned there were concerns that he wouldn’t have much be a Jesuit while he was painting. The next workedprobably with the He AIDSgotHospice of of St.friends, many of whom he’s met known in town as a greeter at Walmart. himteam plenty “I couldn’t sit still,” Martinez adds. quality of life. Doctors cautioned the family year, he went to the seminary in Florissant, Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan. with the job right after graduating high schoolinand on He hismet own. That sense of community — his that Martinez would be very limited. When he was just 9, he got aMo. job as a paper he loved it. It gave him people a chance familiar loveabout of Taos and Taos’ love of him — makes of to all see faiths and learned their boy. At 5 a.m. every Thursday, Martinez and his asfaces and chatCatholic with anyone walking through the this a great place for him to thrive. “It’s a safe “They thought there would be a lot of things He was ordained a Roman beliefs. mom would do a newspaper route, delivering front doors of the store. place for him here in Taos because so many wrong with him,” Dolores Martinez says. priest Archbishop Sometimes he saw patients for only onehim,” Dolores Martinez says. papers to doorsteps across town. It by started with James Casey, in Denver, people know “He likes where there’s visit, people and he can just friends and family. Then May neighbors and 25, 1979. sometimes a week or a year. “I wanted But that’s hardly been the case. mingle,” Dolores Martinez says. “He likeshe the strangers started asking if they could be on the McNichols studied philosophy, theology to talk with them,” said. “This was the very ERNESTO MARTINEZ continues on page 20 route as well. attention.” Today, Martinez is a student at UNM-Taos. and art at St. Louis University, Boston College, end of their lives.” Boston University, and Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. In 1983 he Father Bill continues on page 14 “Ernesto does everything like a normal kid, except he has limitations,” his mother says. “He’s smart. He likes to work. And he knows everybody. Ernesto could be the mayor of Taos. Everyone tells me that, all the time.”

“You will never take regular classes at school.”

He came here to change the land, but instead the land changed him.

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J.D. J.D. Powers Powers says says “Chevrolet “Chevrolet wins wins the the most most of of any any manufacturer.” manufacturer.”

Joanne Romero Anderson Aldo Leopold’s work as Ortiz a young ForestEdy Ranger overseeing the Carson National Forest from its headquarters in Tres

Piedras profoundlyEffie changedRomero his views on land ethics and environmental issues and helped shape the modern

Fabi Romero Mark conservation movement. His vision that anOrtega ethical relationship with the land is essential to a vibrant and

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healthy community remains relevant to conservation today and inspires us to work diligently with the community so

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that we may promise our children the inheritance of the

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kind of beautiful and healthy environment that Aldo Leopold envisioned. Thank you for supporting our efforts. says

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20

HEROES

‘If you have a special dream, follow it. And please, do not let anybody say you can’t have it.’ —Ernesto Martinez

Katharine Egli

Ernesto Martinez, left, walks around Kit Carson Park with his friend, Joeseph Guy Santistevan, for excercise.

ERNESTO MARTINEZ continues from page 19 Still, there are some challenges that her son’s optimism and drive simply can’t overcome. Since he was a baby, Martinez has been infatuated with big trucks. So much so, that he recently took a course at the commercial

driving course at UNM-Taos. Martinez loved it. And he was good at it. At the end of the class, he passed the written test. But couldn’t pass the physical. He has poor eyesight, making him ineligible for a commercial driver’s license.

He’s still staying busy. And he stays involved in truck driving as best he can. Martinez tags along with truck-driving friends on out-ofstate trips to keep them company and talk trucks. They joke that he knows more about semis than most drivers.

But he takes those kinds of setbacks in stride.

That ability to adapt to adversity — make

the best of the cards you’ve been dealt — is a lesson Martinez hopes to share with anyone who feels like the things they want are out of reach. “If you have a special dream, follow it,” Ernesto says. “And please, do not let anybody say you can’t have it.”

Elizabeth Palacios

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The Lasting Legacy of Dr. Kate O’Neill UNM-Taos Executive Director 2006-2016

“Education is the great equalier.” – Dr. KATE O’NEill

UNM-Taos salutes our own

Dr. Kate O’Neill and all the other Unsung Heroes who devote themselves to the honorable profession of teaching.

A leader’s intellect, her judgment and demeanor, her compassion, her fearlessness and her work ethic can become the inspired and sustainable vision of the institution she serves.

Thank you, Kate, for your heroic decade of service.

“Let’s not forget: an important part of our mission is to model best practices within our community.” – Dr. KATE O’NEill

“When I look to the horizon I see blue skies.” – Dr. KATE O’NEill

“I wouldn’t have even applied if I couldn’t be sure I could devote at least 10 years to the job. UNM-Taos needs continuity of leadership” “You are not just a passive recipient of education. You are an active participant, and it’s up to you to make it the best it can be.” – Dr. KATE O’NEill

UNM-Taos 1157 County Road 110 Ranchos de Taos, NM (575) 737-6200 | taos.unm.edu

“The public good is good for everyone.”

“What better time to leave an executive position, than when things are running smoothly?”

– Dr. KATE O’NEill

– Dr. KATE O’NEill


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HEROES

Katharine Egli

Carl Gilmore photographed at Taos Ski Valley in August.

CARL GILMORE

Showing people 'a way through the chaos' in medical emergencies BY LAURIE CELINE

I

f you had an accident over the past 35 years, emergency responder Carl Gilmore may have come to your side. If so, you probably remember him in gratitude, and you may be one of the people who stop him in the grocery store to acknowledge the risk he took to help save your life. In addition to his certifications in wilderness and regular emergency services, he is a mountain guide, an expert skier and an elaborately certified scuba diver.

Gilmore is an Unsung Hero to the Taos community for his relentless lifelong work as an emergency medical technician and emergency responder. He worked on the Taos Search and Rescue team with the State Police for about 25 years, and for more than 35 years he has saved lives in the county in many capacities. For six of those years, he ran the Taos County Emergency Services, including running the ambulance,

and helping the fire department in administration from 1985-1989. He is also a member of the Taos Ski Valley (TSV) Ski Patrol, and has been since 1990, where he still rescues injured skiers on weekends. Gilmore also owns a consulting business, where he teaches others wilderness emergency medicine. Gilmore has taught 8,000 to 9,000 students

how to respond in emergencies, he says. “I turn them into ‘lerts,’” instead of “not alerts,” he jokes. Gilmore says Dr. Quigley Peterson is his mentor, who he has worked closely with over the decades. Quigley is a physician, and owns the health clinic Mogul Medical in Taos Ski Valley. Quigley is also the medical director for the TSV Ski Patrol, and was the medical director of Taos County Emergency Services when Gilmore worked there.


23

HEROES

Katharine Egli

Gilmore photographed at Taos Ski Valley Fire Station No. 1 in August.

Gilmore likens his life as an EMT to a river raft guide who controls the raft by staying ahead of the rush of the water. In May, Gilmore retired from his full-time job as a medical sales representative with Bound Tree Medical, which kept him traveling and

helped him raise his family. Although he retired from his corporate job, he continues with his own business: Carl Gilmore Consulting. He began teaching wilderness medicine in 1990. His nationwide students are certified from Wilderness Medical Associates out of Maine.

camaraderie he has with other EMTs.

Gilmore started young in emergency response work. He was in search and rescue in high school in northern Utah when he became a Red Cross instructor for the first aid programs. In college in Arizona, he continued his search and rescue emphasis and became an EMT, and in 1989 he was certified as a Wilderness EMT.

Gilmore likens his life as an EMT to a river raft guide who controls the raft by staying ahead of the rush of the water. “When you’re rafting, if you are slightly faster than the current, you get to choose the direction or how it’s going to affect you. If you’re going with the current, instead of ahead of it, it’s going to do what it wants,” he explains. “What’s fascinating is, I’ve done that all my life.”

There is value in the work. “The relationship that I was able to have through it was so nurturing, in a positive way. People need other people” in these situations, Gilmore says. The most fulfilling part of his work is the

“I’ve got hundreds of friends who do this, and to be honest, they are just the best people in the world. If you go into Roy, New Mexico, or the smallest communities, they are just the best people in the communities,” he adds.

It takes a certain type of person to be an emergency responder, he says. It takes

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someone who is aware of their surroundings in a way most people are not. Gilmore describes himself as constantly planning, never letting his mind rest, “I’d be planning what I need to do,” he says. For the past year and a half, Gilmore has started meditating at the Mountain Institute. “What we try for is momentary glimpses in life. It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve done my whole life, and is tremendously challenging for me, and extraordinarily rewarding, too. It makes me happier,” he says. Gilmore came to Taos in 1977 from a small island off of Martha’s Vineyard, where he met his wife, Elizabeth. She started delivering babies in Taos in the ‘70s and opened the birthing center in Taos in 1981. She was also an Unsung Hero for The Taos News before her death in 2011.


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Katharine Egli

Unsung Hero Becky Torres in her apple orchard.


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HEROES

Katharine Egli

Unsung Hero Medalia Martinez


HEROES

UNIQUE IN NAME AND PROWESS

27

Medalia Fresquez Martinez gets the gold for her spirit BY ARCENIO J. TRUJILLO

C

onnected by beauty and tradition, Taos Valley and its people have seen much change through the last century. But through it all, hard-working citizens and the ever-changing scenery in this semi-arid, semi-desert homeland have created a rich tapestry of a uniquely woven history. Strong in body and spirit, and emblematic of that beauty and tradition is lifelong resident, Medalia Fresquez Martinez — who herself has seen many changes in her lifetime, and has always worked to bolster her share of the load.

MEDALIA SEES THE VALLEY CHANGE

Daughter of Estanslado Fresquez and Amalia Duran, Martinez was born in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, in 1930. She grew up in Upper Las Colonias until she was 9 years old, and attended school in Arroyo Seco. Estanslado used to work as a year-round sheepherder in Colorado. Her mother is 104 years old and lives with Martinez’s sister in Wyoming. As a young girl in the northern reaches of the Taos area, Martinez remembered a time when water had to be carried from the Arroyo Seco River, and electricity was not yet available in the houses. Oil lamps were the way to light homes, and laundry was done by hand in a galvanized washtub. Like many residents in the Taos area at that time, hauling and chopping wood was necessary for heating the house for most of the year. “There was always work to be done,” proclaimed Martinez. “Hauling water was an everyday chore, but we didn’t mind. If we wanted to have a bath, or if wanted clean clothes, we needed water.” Her mode of transportation was on horseback — riding with a friend of her parents every morning to the newly built school near the

placita in Arroyo Seco. At age nine, she moved to Lymon (neighborhood south of Arroyo Seco) and lived with her grandmother into her late teens. Her godmother was one of just a few who owned a carro de caballo (horse and cart) and would make the trip to Taos to sell goods and to buy needed provisions for long periods of time. Martinez said she would sometimes accompany her godmother on her trips into town to buy milk, eggs, cheese and beans. Traveling into the Taos Plaza area was a thrill most kids in the area experienced only a few times a year. Coming to Taos from Las Colonias or Arroyo Seco meant an overnight stay to complete their business. “I would always look forward to trips to Taos because we used to rent a room for the night,” said Martinez. “I remember that it was a small bedroom in a house owned by a woman who lived on Bent Street.” Martinez reiterated that there were locally owned stores and mercantile shops in the Arroyo Seco area, but the main commercial area was in Taos. “And since we never went on vacation anywhere when I was a young child, I jumped at any chance to come to Taos.” she said. “Traveling to Española, Santa Fe or Albuquerque was out of the question.”

MEDALIA GETS THE GOLD FOR HER TIRELESS WORK AND HER ATHLETICISM

“I never worked in a job in my life,” said Martinez, who reiterated that she’s never worked in a job for pay, but has worked hard in her life. “I raised my children — that was my job.”

Martinez had five children of her own and raised two grandchildren as well. Her husband worked to provide for the family — working for different employers like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Taos Ski Valley. When her husband passed away and her children grew to adulthood, she made it a point to serve others and to branch out to other avocations. Martinez began volunteering and found a passion for it through the giving of her time. She worked for two-and-a-half years with Goodwill, and then moved over to the Taos County Senior Center where she’s been for the last 10 years. “I really enjoy working here,” she said. “I come every day, and I do a variety of jobs for the center.” Some of those jobs include the preparing of the dining area for lunch, cleaning the tables, chairs, floors and serving areas after lunch, and as an all-purpose worker for the many activities that take place at the center. According to the center’s director, Mike Trujillo, Martinez has logged more than 400 volunteer hours in the past year. “She has perfect attendance at the center, even though she is just a volunteer,” said Trujillo. “She deserves all the recognition she gets for her work ethic.” Along with work, Martinez has also made it a point to try new things — as an athlete, no less. As a participant in the Taos County Senior Olympics, Martinez has shown that she has the right stuff for this as well. This past year, she brought home the gold medal in soccer accuracy and a fourth place ribbon in shuffleboard at the state meet in Roswell, New

Perhaps it is that spirit of serving others without the expectation of pay, or the spirit of competition in the sports arena that keeps Medalia going. Perhaps it has something to do with her name. Mexico. Her other events include: softball throw for distance, 400- and 800-meter estimated walk, soccer kick for accuracy, huachas (washers) and Frisbee accuracy and distance. Perhaps it is that spirit of serving others without the expectation of pay, or the spirit of competition in the sports arena that keeps Martinez going. Perhaps it has something to do with her name. “I don’t have any tocayas (name twin) here in Taos,” she said. “In fact, in my life I have never met anyone with the same name as mine.” As best as she could tell, there’s no English translation of her name except for the word for medal — medalla. However it translates, and although she is the lone Medalia in these parts, the name suits her well for all she represents and all she has accomplished.

Heroes Come in All Sizes and Shapes

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Volunteer for reception, thrift store, special events

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HEROES

Scott Gerdes

Unsung Hero Sonny Spruce holds some of his creations in front of his shop at Taos Pueblo.

SONNY SPRUCE Pueblo ambassador BY RICK ROMANCITO

S

onny Spruce says he can pinpoint exactly when he began making jewelry. It was in November of 1974 when a fellow Taos Pueblo tribal member — with whom he had been working — had to leave the village unexpectedly, leaving Spruce with a pile of almost-completed jewelry pieces that needed finishing before they could be sold. Spruce already was running his well-known shop and was familiar with Indian jewelrymaking techniques and materials. So, taking what he knew, he dived right in. But, after he finished polishing and soldering the first batch, he discovered he had a talent for creating new works. He’s been making jewelry ever since. One thing he’s also been doing for a long time as proprietor of the “Sonny Spruce Indian Shop,” located on Veteran’s Highway, just north of the Taos Mountain Casino, is helping out people from his village. “It’s hard to make a living these days,” he said. “There’s no jobs, people have bills to pay.” So, on some days there is a veritable parade of folks selling jewelry, bringing in pawn items and making humble requests for help. It’s in his nature to assist when it’s needed. That’s something he picked up at a young age.

“I never asked my mom for money because I knew she never had any,” he said. This is one of the many reasons Spruce was nominated to be an Unsung Hero for 2016. Spruce is also one of those people who can’t help but stand out. Handsome, friendly and wellspoken (and an unrepentant joke factory), he’s one of the those people who seemed destined to make connections outside his village. In fact, during the 1960s, when there was an upsurge in interest in all things Native American, Spruce, the late Irvin Pino and a group of young people from the village put together Taos Mountain Shadows. This was a group that would perform Plains Indian-style dances in full regalia accompanied by drummers and singers. The traditional dances rooted in the Taos Pueblo native religion are never performed outside the village and only within the context of their ritual cycle. However, the Taos people have had a pre-historic relationship with Plains Indians, traveling north to hunt buffalo and for trade. Many would also come to Taos for the annual San Geronimo Feast Day Trade Fair in the fall.

Since the Plains-style dances had been adopted by Taos people and there were no restrictions on their performance, it became the perfect way for these folks to bring a little bit of authentic Native American culture to the rest of the world. Spruce said they contacted friends, tour groups and other cultural agencies and before long they were booked to travel to Russia, Japan, Germany and even Italy. Asked what it was like for Taos Pueblo people to dance in such faraway places, Spruce said enthusiastically, “It was great. It was great, I loved it. The bigger the crowd, the more I loved it. Instead of having a hundred people watching you, I’d rather see a thousand. It kind of pumps you up.” He said he was especially impressed on the trip to Germany. “The German people, they’re so educated with the Native American people, they were right in there with us the couple of times we went there.” Today, he said there seems to be less interest in conducting this kind of grassroots cultural ambassadorship, but he believes the opportunities still exist. You just have to look for them.

One thing he’s also been doing for a long time . . . is helping out people from his village. For himself, at age 69, he’s still spry and healthy, but more apt to stay home and watch over his grandchildren and churn out jewelry at the workbench in his shop. He says he attributes his health to eating right, exercise and giving up alcohol and cigarettes. “Boy, do I feel better,” he said. If you stop by his shop, be sure to take note of its location, which boasts one of the most beautiful views in the valley. It not only overlooks Pueblo Peak above the village, but also the vast expanse of the Taos Pueblo pasture, where tribal ponies roam and far off you can see the tribe’s bison herd. It’s almost like heaven.


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HEROES

Scott Gerdes

Silver and turquoise cuffs are Sonny Spruce’s signature jewelry.

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HEROES

CELEBRATING PEOPLE COMMITTEE SELECTS UNSUNG HEROES CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AND UNSUNG HEROES CONTINUE TO BE THE SILENT PILLARS OF TAOS, LITTLE KNOWN BUT NOT TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

Scott Gerdes

The 2016 Tradiciones Selection Committee, back row from left: Jim Fambro, Jamie Tedesco, Joseph Quintana. Front row from left: Marilyn Farrow, Barb Wiard, Stella Mares-McGinnis, Esther Garcia, Kathleen Michaels, Mary Ellen Ferguson, Mike Trujillo.

I

t takes a committee to choose Unsung Heroes. Since 2001, The Taos News has called upon community members to nominate people who make positive contributions, but never for the accolades. Citizen of the Year and Unsung Heroes continue to be the silent pillars of Taos, little known but not taken for granted.

With a focus group of 10, The Taos News depends on them to nominate candidates and then vote on the final selections. The 2016 Tradiciones Selection Committee included Jim Fambro, Marilyn Farrow, Mary Ellen Ferguson, Esther Garcia, Stella Mares-McGinnis, Kathleen Michaels, Joseph Quintana Jamie Tedesco, Mike Trujillo and Barb Wiard.

Process overseers included Publisher Chris Baker, Editor Damon Scott, Advertising Manager Chris Wood and Special Sections Editor Scott Gerdes. No employees were involved in the selection process nor did we influence any votes. The paper’s management staff, however, did make the final selection for Citizen of the Year from a list of nominees presented by the committee.

The Taos News staff sincerely thanks the 2016 Tradiciones Selection Committee for their time and energy in making this annual series possible — and for bringing so many deserving heroes to light. — Scott Gerdes, special sections editor


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HEROES 2016 Tradiciones • The Taos News

Katharine Egli

Unsung Hero Paul Figueroa poses for a portrait in the Taos Arts Council offices on the second story of the Old County Courthouse.


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HEROES

Katharine Egli Unsung Hero Paul Figueroa is heavily involved in issues related to the arts in Taos.

PAUL FIGUEROA

Champion for the Taos art community BY DAMON SCOTT

L

ike many who eventually discover Taos, it was frequent cross-country road trips during college that paved the way to Paul Figueroa’s journey to the Southwest. And as a college student in the 1960s, he says the allure of Taos was well known. He came and went, but finally stayed in 2010. Figueroa has made a name for himself in the short six years he’s called Taos his fulltime home. He successfully parlayed a 35-year career in the museum field to deep involvement in arts issues in Taos. He’s the president of the Taos Arts Council — a nonprofit that works for the advancement of creative arts in all of Taos County. The Taos News sat down with the 2016 Unsung Hero to ask a little bit about his journey — and what keeps him here in Taos.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND. I was born and raised in Rockville Centre, New York, on Long Island — the largest coastal island of the U.S. On my paternal side, my grandfather, Roy Noel Figueroa, immigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th

century from Jamaica. My maternal side traces its history to 1644 and a subsequent land grant in Connecticut from Governor Winthrop. I attended public schools and my first powwow when a child was at Shinnecock, Long Island. I am a widower with five children in Brooklyn, Connecticut and South Carolina.

HOW ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION AND CAREER?

I obtained a master’s degree in American studies from Pennsylvania State University after a bachelor’s in history from the University of Southern California. My career in the museum field started with the position of curator of education at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina — and continued with the position of executive director at the Gibbes — and then at the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, California.

AND IN 2010 YOU LANDED IN TAOS FOR GOOD.

I arrived in Taos with the winter solstice of 2010. Our Taos residence — I live with Helen Nichols, a dog and two cats — is a location

that stays green all year with a river and an acequia defining the property’s borders. Fruit trees and views are abundant. When people ask me when I arrived in Taos, I usually ask, ‘Do you mean physically or spirituality?’

WHAT KEEPS YOU HERE?

I discovered, or replied to, several organizations with volunteer needs from the start-up Taos Arts Council to the venerable Taos Fall Arts Festival and the Taos County Historical Society. Taos is a unique place — the smallest town I have lived in — but one with a large scale of history and the arts. This keeps me busy, fulfilled and connected to the community.

‘Working together as a town, county, region and among many organizations with a variety of missions is not an easy task.’ — Paul Figueroa

THE WEATHER’S NOT TOO BAD EITHER.

I enjoy the seasons and pace of life. The summer reminds me that I live in a very lively place with many visitors, and after the crescendo of the fall comes, the restful period of winter until spring arrives. The past and people of Taos keep me here and the promise of its future. And the belief that my professional experiences and passions make a contribution to the community.

WERE YOU ALWAYS PRONE TO HELPING OTHERS IN A VOLUNTEER OR PHILANTHROPIC WAY? Early family recollections include Aunt Louie and Uncle Arthur — neither related

PAUL FIGUEROA continues on page 41


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CONNECTING A COMMUNITY

Taos Community Foundation is so incredibly proud of the woman who led us for over a decade. Elizabeth Crittenden Palacios Your selflessness knows no bounds.

www.taoscf.org


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HEROES

Katharine Egli

Figueroa hangs art for the Taos Open on Sept. 20 at Coronado Hall.

Congratulations The Taos County Chamber of Commerce recognizes the hardwork and dedication of this year’s unsung heroes and the citizen of the year. You are an inspiration to all of Taos.

Taos County Chamber of Commerce Makes Business Better 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Taos, NM 87571 575-751-8800 WWW.TAOSCHAMBER.COM

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HEROES ‘Place your passions, skills and knowledge into action and be of service to one another and Taos — Paul Figueroa PAUL FIGUEROA continues from page 38 to our family. But each welcomed as a part of family gatherings, shared meals and social activities. Family members were actively involved in many civic organizations. My initial professional career position, curator of education, involved outreach to the community through school programs, public speaking and participation in various organizations. This led to broader service including the Parent Teacher Association, children’s festivals for the city of Charleston, as well as professional museum and art education associations in the state and region.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING TAOS?

During the past five years in Taos, from attending, listening and learning at numerous community meetings, it seems to me that a challenge is instilling confidence through continuity and competency with several visions and plans for the future — particularly with economic growth. Working together as a town, county, region and among many organizations with a variety of missions is not an easy task. For example, paraphrasing from a community meeting and Land, Experience and Art of Place (LEAP) plan from 2103 — the creative industries, unique past and amazing natural setting in Taos are our strongest assets. Our quality of life

Katharine Egli

Figueroa holds a historical map of Historic Taos Plaza.

and standards of living will be better if our common vision and action both protects and leverages these strongest community assets.

Visiting family and friends provide a chance to test a personal introduction to the obvious and hidden treasures of Taos.

unique 20th century art colony.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT TAOS?

AND YOU FEEL YOU’RE JUST GETTING STARTED?

Place your passions, skills and knowledge into action and be of service to one another and Taos. Focus your energy and avoid discouragement. Also, remember that the youth of today will become the preservationists, artists and historians for tomorrow. When there is an opportunity, engage with them.

I love the size of a small town set in an expansive valley with mountains and vistas. The natural beauty of Taos is endless. I enjoy meeting our many visitors and the chance to share Taos with them whether around the Plaza, at the mural room of the historic Taos Courthouse or when asking directions.

With only five years in Taos, I continue exploring the place and learning from Taoseños. They care about the heritage of Taos and freely give their time, energy and skills to many organizations whether directed to basic needs such a shelter, food and clothing — or the cultural legacy and future of the arts in a

AS A 2016 UNSUNG HERO, GIVE US SOME PARTING WORDS.

TOWN OF TAOS UNSUNG HEROES

Unplug to Recharge The Town of Taos thanks our heroic law enforcement, fire and EMS first responders that keep us safe every day.

THANK YOU Taos Police Department Taos Volunteer Fire Department Taos Fire Department Taos County Sheriff’s Office Taos County EMS NM State Police USFS and BLM Fire Responders

Unplug your cell phone. Unplug your laptop and video games. Unplug your iPod, iPad, iEverything. And reconnect with what’s important. taoscounty.org

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HEROES Congratulations and

Soak in the Celebration, Heroes of Taos! Your service, dedication and unwavering support of community make Taos a better place.

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HEROES

Robert Bruce MacDougall

Everyone has Todos tenemos logros quemilest celebrar.to Prepárese para Be prep celebrate. disfrutarlos al máximo. milestones make the most of ea

Everyone has a los 7 millones deto inversionistas que to celebrate. BeÚnase prepared confían en nosotros sus finanzas futuro. inves Join the nearlyy7sumillion make the most of each one. us with their finances and the Edward Jones ha designado el inglés como el idioma oficial para todos los aspectos de las relaciones con sus clientes.

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HEROES

THE TRADICIONES PHOTOGRAPH ' and Saint Theresa' Eloisa

I

n 2010, Santa Fe transplant Bob MacDougall was photographing San Miguel del Vado Catholic Church in Ribera, New Mexico, one he had visited on multiple occasions while on vacation from his former home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After setting up his tripod, he looked over and spotted Eloisa Montoya of Tecolote, New Mexico. “I saw a beautiful, saintly 101-year-young Northern New Mexico Spanish woman walking around, escorted by her granddaughter,” he recalled.

“My wife (Mary) and I ran over, introduced ourselves, and excitedly asked if I might photograph her,” he said. “She graciously accepted and I placed her directly below the stained glass window that protects the Saint Theresa statue, framed by the stained adobe with the almost Heaven-like reflections of the clouds on the window. I looked through the viewfinder and was absolutely thrilled.” After taking Montoya’s picture, MacDougall and his wife said thanks and provided her

with his contact information. But before they parted ways, “Eloisa gently held my hand and said a prayer for me. As I later looked at the images I knew that I had been given an incredible gift that day,” he said. The couple visited Montoya and her “wonderful” granddaughter, Rita Castellanos, a few months later, presented her with some large prints, and then they all went out for a bite to eat. “At lunch, I asked her if she remembered that

after I photographed her, she said a prayer for me,” MacDougall shared. “I ‘boyishly’ asked her if I looked like I needed to have someone say a prayer for me. Eloisa gave me a glorious smile, took my hand, said another prayer for me and we finished our lunch.” Eloisa Montoya will be 107 years old this November. “Eloisa and Saint Theresa” won first place in the People Category of a New Mexico Magazine contest in Feb. 2016. — Scott Gerdes

“ A Hero is someone

who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” -Joseph Campbell

Everyone milestones Everyone hashas milestones celebrate. prepared to to celebrate. Be Be prepared to to Everyone has milestones make the most of each make the most of each one.one. to celebrate. Be prepared to JoinJoin the the nearly 7 million investors that trust nearly investors that trust make the most of7 million each one. us with theirtheir finances and their aspirations. us with finances and their aspirations.

I’m honored to serve Taos County’s community of heroes. Your dedication and tireless work inspires my service.

Join the nearly 7 million investors that trust us with their finances and their aspirations. Paul M Sands www.edwardjones.com Paul M Sands www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC

Congratulations to Elizabeth Crittenden Palacios and all of the Unsung Heroes.

Jim Fambro

Financial Advisor .

F O R

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Taos County Commissioner • District #1

P A I D

Financial Advisor


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HEROES

PAST CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

and Unsung Heroes

2001 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Luis Reyes

Unsung Heroes

2006 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Jenny Vincent

Unsung Heroes

Shelley Bahr Paul Bernal Beatríz Gonzáles Nancy Jenkins Ida Martinez Celina Salazar Larry Schreiber Stephen Wiard Fred Winter

Francisco Córdova Telesfor Gonzá lez John Holland Vishu Magee Juan Martínez Luís C. Martínez Becky Miera Gabriel Romero Snider Sloan

2002 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

2007 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Eloy Jeantete

Unsung Heroes

Jake Mossman Jr.

Unsung Heroes

Paulie Burt Martha Dick Shawn Duran Lucy Hines Palemón Martinez Theresa and Rúben Martinez Joleen Montoya Mary Olguin John Randall

Chilton and Judy Anderson Cindy Cross Shirley and Jerry Lujan Albino Martínez Max Martínez Ted Martínez Irene Párraz Corina Santisteven Michael and Sylvia Torrez

2003 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

2008 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

Nick and Bonnie Branchal

Cid and Betty Backer

Unsung Heroes

Unsung Heroes

Richard Archuleta Elizabeth Gilmore Bruce Gomez Jane Mingenbach Patty Mortenson and Terry Badhand Cynthia Rael-Vigil Guadalupe Tafoya Bernie Torres Ted Wiard

Crestina Armstrong Mario Barela Art Coca Mike Concha Rose Cordova Jeanelle Livingston Christina Masoliver Jake Mossman Sr. Nita Murphy

2004 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

2009 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Tony Reyna

Rebeca Romero Rainey

Unsung Heroes

Unsung Heroes

Charlie Anderson Connie Archuleta Stephen Cetrulo Victor Chavez Ernestine and Francis Córdova Clay Farrell Dee Lovato Jeannie Masters Rosemarie Packard

Billy and Theresa Archuleta Carolina Dominguez Eddie Grant Mary Trujillo Mascareñas Connie Ochoa Marie Reyna Lawrence Vargas Frank Wells

2005 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

Vishu Magee

Art and Susan Bachrach

Unsung Heroes

Mardoqueo Chacón Juan "Johnny" Devargas Carmen Lieurance Ernie and Frutoso López Roy Madrid Betsy Martínez Isabel Rendón Johnny Sisneros Dr. Bud Wilson

2010 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Unsung Heroes

Candido Domínguez Esther García Michael Hensley Cherry Montaño Mish Rosette Patrick Romero Charlene Tamayó Feloniz Trujillo Malinda Williams

2011 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Jim Fambro

Unsung Heroes

Benjie Apodaca Patrick Delosier Cyndi Howell Alipio Mondragón Chavi Petersen Siena Sanderson Mary Alice Winter

2012 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR Jim and Mary Gilroy

Unsung Heroes

Marilyn Farrow Dennis Hedges Pat Heinen Judy Hofer Phyllis Nichols Loertta Ortiz y Pino Dolly Peralta Lillian Romero

2013 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR Patricia Michaels

Unsung Heroes

Edy Anderson Cynthia Burt John Casali Maria Cintas Father William Hart McNichols Mark Ortega JoAnn Ortiz Effie Romero Fabi Romero

2014 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR Blake Family

Unsung Heroes

Valorie Archuleta Jane Compton Tina Martinez Alex Medina Jean Nichols Lisa O’Brien Louise Padilla Mary Spears

2015 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR Randall Family

Unsung Heroes

Walter Allen Mary Ann Boughton Carl Colonius Liz Moya Herrera Melissa Larson Addelina Lucero Bruce McIntosh Thom Wheeler


For I was Hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. YOU CAN BE A HERO TOO!

Matthew 25: 35

St. James Episcopal Church strives to enable spiritual growth through worship, education, outreach and stewardship for the purpose of restoring all people to unity with God and each other.

Worship

Sunday, 8 a.m. Rite I Service, a quiet, contemplative service with no music Sunday, 9:00 a.m. Sunday School & Nursery Sunday, 9:15 a.m. Rite II Service including choral music Sunday, 5:00 P.m. Family Service – Casual Service WedneSday, 7:30 a.m. Mass to begin your day

Get Involved with Your Community

Food Pantry: Over 1,000 people in need served weekly! FIne HoLIday meaL: Fine holiday groceries assembled and distributed to 100’s of families in need. tHe GIvInG tree: Over 100 foster children are provided with meaningful holiday gifts each Christmas.

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St. JameS epiSCopal ChurCh Taos, New Mexico, 575-758-2790

LAND WATER PEOPLE TIME Northern New Mexico’s 2016-2017 Cultural Guide

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“The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness, the evil man with goodness, the miser with generosity, and the liar with truth.”     - Ancient Indian Proverb

Taos Mountain Casino is proud to honor those who both exemplify the best of the past and who help us weave it into the future. These people are our own links in what continues to be an unbroken circle of tradition at Taos Pueblo.

Taos Pueblo war chief staff members, from left, Lt. War Chief Fred Romero, War Chief Richard Archuleta and War Chief Secretary George M. Track

Citizen of the Year and Unsung Heroes  
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