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Happenstance l i fe h ap p e n s • A p r i l 16 , 20 1 0

My brother, Don, an essay, p 3 Inside look at juried shows, p 4 LV Opera Guild, p 6 LV Literacy Council, p 9 Happenstance Walk About, p 11

Wild verbena

PHOTO: JO RITA JORDAN ©


Happenstance life happens

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E-mail submissions to: happenstance@vandermeer books.com Happenstance is a digital magazine available free from the publisher. Please forward this on to anyone who you think might be interested in receiving it. If you would like to subscribe please e-mail your request to happenstance@vandermeer books.com If you have received this and do not wish to receive it in the future, please send your request to unsubscribe to fsharon@msn.com All comments will be appreciated and considered. Happenstance is intended to appeal to a wide range of readers. Material will be selected based on general appeal to a wide readership, with a focus on Las Vegas, NM, and the area. Thank you for reading Happenstance. Happenstance is a publication of Vander Meer Books PO Box 187 • Las Vegas, NM 87701 www.vandermeerbooks.com Copyright 2010 Material may only be used by permission with appropriate attribution.

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From the editor…

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hanks to Barbara Perea Casey for the wonderful article about the Literacy Council (page 9) and all it is doing for the community. Literacy takes everyone a giant step forward. Thanks as well to Nancy Philo for her interesting submission about juried art shows (pages 4-5). I’ve always wondered how that happened, and now I know. And a great big THANKS to Jo Rita Jordan. Her photo on the front really dressed this issue up nicely! Getting submissions makes my job easier and I encourage others to send articles that will be of interest to readers. I’m particularly interested in history, memoirs, people and, well, shoot, just about anything! I can’t promise I will use everything I receive, but if it ‘happens’ to appeal to me, I’ll pass it on to readers. Also in this issue look for an article about the Las Vegas Opera Guild with an update on the upcoming Santa Fe Opera season (pages 6-7). I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Ursel Albers, someone whose dedication is both admirable and effective. The group has gone from twelve members in 2000 to more than 90 members today. Check out Happenstance Walk About on page 11. I’m realizing I won’t be able to do more that three businesses a week. I enjoyed my visits with Ann at Threadbare, Wayne at BTU Building Materials, and Don at Price’s Furniture. Independent businesses are the heartbeat of our community. Please support them. I have also included a memoir about my brother who died from complications related to cancer when he was twenty. He would have been sixty-seven today. Do you like sandwiches? I have a couple of recipes for fillings on the Happenstance Kitchen page. On a separate note, Happenstance is partnering with Charlie Sandoval at Charlie’s Bakery and Cafe to co-host a Business After Hours on Wednesday, May 19, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Put this on your calendars! Charlie’s talking food and fun. I will be demonstrating how to navigate the magazine feature flip pages. The evening’s events are in the planning stages, but I can guarantee you a great time, wonderful food and a chance to have input about Happenstance content. There will also be drawings for prizes from the Bakery and from Happenstance. Enjoy Happenstance, life happens. —Sharon Vander Meer Ever the Optimist

Happenstance life happens

Vol 1, No. 7, April 16, 2010

Happenstance is a digital publication of vandermeerbooks.com Copyright, Sharon Vander Meer, Vander Meer Books Select content may be used with appropriate attribution: Sharon Vander Meer, happenstance@vandermeer books.com Cover image: Jo Rita Jordan, Wright's vervain (verbena) that turns fields purple in the spring. Photos not credited: Sharon Vander Meer Some images from: clipart.com

Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 2


A M E M O I R O F M Y B ROT H E R

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y brother, Don, was fourteen months older than me. As long as he was in this world he took care of me. His sixty-seventh birthday would have been this week, on the 16th. He died before he was twenty-one; I was barely eighteen. We had grown up as close as twins and nothing hurt so much as knowing he was gone from my life. For years I dreamed of him, alive and well, laughing at my corny jokes, stepping between me and anything or anyone he thought might hurt me. Taking blame, and punishment, in my stead. For a long time I would think I saw him walking on the other side of the street. I would raise my hand to attract his attention so I could ask why? Why did you disappear from our lives? We love you so much. Of course it wasn’t my brother; he was dead and buried. Scores of his friends attended the funeral, many standing outside the church because there was no room inside. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. I can’t hear that song without remembering my brother, not in sadness, but in joy. He lived his life with integrity and compassion. He was someone you could rely on one hundred percent. Don was a funny romanticist. He wrote saucy poetry, played the guitar, and performed in theater while in college. People would never have guessed he and I were brother and sister. As fair as I am in coloring, he was dark, taking after my mother’s Native American and Spanish heritage. He had black as coal hair, warm tawny skin and the most beautiful brown eyes you can imagine. I have a photo of the two of us. He must have been about two and I was about ten months. His hair had been cut using the bowl-and-scissors method, and it shows. He has his arm around me, protecting me even then. The first time he was in the hospital he was probably five or six. I never really knew what was happening, but I recall the adults saying at the time it was to remove a lump in his armpit. I remember sitting in the waiting room; I think my aunt was with me. She dozed off sitting in the chair because whatever was happening was taking a long time. I went looking for my brother. I got as far as a hallway where my mother and dad were waiting. My dad scolded me and took me back to my aunt. He told me everything was going

to be fine. It was, for nearly fifteen years, and then the doctors found a lymph cancer that could not be treated. They tried radiation and chemo, but that was a lot of years ago and the advances in treatment and care were far into the future. He died before his twenty-first birthday. I was numb. My mother was beside herself. My father was stoic. I was so wrapped up in my own grief I can’t to this day tell you what happened, except for the night before my brother’s funeral. Several of his friends came by and picked me up in the hopes of taking my mind, and theirs, off this horrible thing that had happened. Early in the evening I was completely out of it. How does a person behave in the presence of others when someone you thought hung the moon is no longer there for you to talk to, hug, and bicker with? I felt guilty about laughing at jokes, foolishly jealous when my brother’s friends talked about things they had done with him that I had never been part of, and angry because they were alive and he wasn’t. As the evening progressed a storm developed; one of those southern New Mexico summer blows that whip thunderclouds into a frenzy and throw lightening around with exquisite abandon. Rain came in torrents. I was still hurting but the obvious concern these people had for me was having its effect. I relaxed and told one of my brother’s jokes. The minute the words were out of my mouth I felt terrible. I shouldn’t have been joking around! My brother was gone and here I was telling jokes? What was wrong with me? I asked to go home right then. As we drove along I stared at the rain. A flash of lightening split the darkness and thunder rolled, startling all of us. One of my brother’s friends laughed and said, “That’s the sound of the angels rolling back the gates of heaven to let Don in.” Whatever you may believe about death and all that goes with it, I knew then and I know now, that no matter what happens, God in his wisdom brings comfort to the grieving in unexpected ways. For me it was a rainstorm and good friends. —Sharon Vander Meer Sister and friend

Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 3


An insider’s view of juried shows

“The first few times you are rejected, it feels truly awful. If you have worked behind the scenes, and have seen the process, you will know it is often a crapshoot!”

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–Nancy Philo, Artist and juror

any artists and lay people are somewhat mystified about the workings of a juried show. What is it? Why do it? Who gets in? Who juries the work and why? Is it important to exhibit in juried shows? Who decides who the juror(s) should be? In the following article I’ll attempt to demystify the juried show, and hopefully clear up a few common misconceptions. Budding artists often seek to enter juried shows as a legitimate way of building an exhibition history. This is necessary for emerging artists who are building their skills and their reputations. If they are seeking gallery representation, often a gallery will want to see artist participation in local art associations, acceptance into local and regional shows, and some Artist Nancy Philo in her Las Vegas, NM studio. awards. The juried show is the arena in which awards are handed submissions, perhaps there is only exhibition space for forty out for a number of categories. Many times there are multi- works. It is the juror’s task to eliminate one hundred-sixty of ple awards given, such as First Place, Watercolor, or Best in the submissions, and to cull out the forty that will make an Show. It is important for artists to have some juried shows interesting show. Most jurors will silently assess the work by walking under their belts; it shows the work is good enough or interesting enough for public display with peers, and thus lends through the room several times. If it is digital or slide submission, they will silently review the work and perhaps elima degree of credibility to the work. A juried show differs from an open show in that not all inate pieces quickly that either lack quality, are poorly works submitted will be shown. In the juried show all work presented (framing is an issue), or that just do not speak to them in a strong way, or fit the show’s theme. is not automatically accepted; each piece must be juried in. Work is generally submitted by dropping off, but for naIn art association shows, many times all works are accepted for display. These are open shows in which members tional or large regional shows, it may be juried by digital imof the association and others in the community are welcome ages or slides. Jurors always prefer to see the actual piece of to show their creations. Juried shows are selective and subject work, as slides and CDs can be deceiving. I have worked as a coordinator of many shows on the reto the juror’s individual taste and preferences. Most jurors have attained a level of maturity and profes- gional level, and have worked with scores of jurors. Jurors sionalism in their own artistic practice, and are paid for their come in all varieties: some are opinionated; some are easy to time and expertise. A juror or jurors will be hired by the or- work with; some have huge egos. They vary in their tastes, art training and in their biases. I have worked with jurors ganization promoting the juried show. The jurying process can be intensive, often taking a who have a clear vision of what the show should look like; juwhole day or even two days to view the submissions, and to rors who do not care for certain sizes and media, and jurors come up with a solid look for the show. In a show with 200 who work in a fuzzier, more “organic” way, going through Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 4


Showing work builds credibility

“Get back on the horse, vow to remain true to your Muse, and start looking for the next opportunity to get feedback on your work.”

true to yourself, your work, your vision, and choosing, then re-choosing, groupand take your chances. ing, changing their minds, debating I have been excluded from many aloud, then reaching their saturation shows, and I have been an award winner point, and just admitting they are going in many others. The first few times you with what they have. are rejected, it feels truly awful. If you In almost all cases, jurors are enhave worked behind the scenes, and have gaged professionals who try to do their seen the process, you will know getting best at judging the work submitted. into a show is often a crapshoot. If you Sometimes there will be a committee of don’t get in don’t question the decision several jurors, and the comments are or demand to know why your masterheard in an open discussion. Usually it Paintings by artists Nancy Philo piece did not make the final cut. There seems fairer to have three people deand Michele Williams. could be many reasons, none of which bating and deciding on thumbs up or thumbs down. Occasionally there is a very strong difference are a reflection upon you or the quality of your piece. Someof opinion in the process, so of course it will be majority times it just comes down to the juror being overwhelmed or “saturated” or in need of protein or caffeine, or having to rules! Many artists feel that a group of three can make a more leave for another appointment. Get back on the horse, vow to remain true to your Muse, legitimate, fairer decision; with just as many artists preferring and start looking for the next opportunity to get feedback on to take their chances with one juror. When art association or museum professionals are assist- your work. Attend the show opening, even though you are ing the juror(s) it is essential they do not submit their own hurt or miffed or boggled as to why your work is not on the work to the show at hand. They must recuse themselves, as walls. Perhaps you will learn more about the juror, the juror’s it would be perceived by the public to be a conflict of interest. “eye,” and what your peers are showing. It is all a great class I have been paid to be a juror many times, several times in life as a visual artist, and all part of the deal. If you are a young artist, join your local associations and for museum shows back East, and many times for regional art shows. As an exhibiting professional painter it poses enter every show you can. Go to critiques or ask more expeproblems, so I only agree to jury shows where I am less likely rienced artists to take a look at what you’re doing. In most to know the players, and I only assist jurying when I am sure cases they will be happy to help. I am not entering my own work. —Copyright, Nancy J.Philo, the former owner of Hyperbole From time to time I have witnessed unfair play during the jurying process. Artists come in when they are delivering Gallery of Fine Art, Newburyport Massachusetts. She is the their work, and glad-hand the juror, pointedly propping their founder of the Gallery Owner’s Association in Newburyport, MA. pieces up in the best location. Sometimes artists will bring A much published author and illustrator, Nancy currently writes coffee and donuts, or make other overtures to make an im- for The Optic, and Gallinas, as part of her work as an Entreprepression on a juror. This is viewed unfavorably by qualified neurial Educator for the Las Vegas-San Miguel EDC. Nancy exprofessionals. In the same category are artists who comment hibits at Art and Stones on the Plaza, and in her 5th Street studio on Second Saturdays. Her work is also in the permanent collection audibly about fellow artists’ work. Do not try to research the juror with the idea that you of Washington D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Muwill “psych out” the juror’s stylistic preferences. This will seum, along with many American, Asian and European private collections. She and her sister Anne Boucher (also a well known backfire on you and is a terrible waste of time and energy. Any top painter worth his or her salt knows that to Cape Cod painter) have both juried many shows, individually and change one’s style to please a juror and potentially gain in- together. clusion in a show is sad at best, and unethical at worst. Be Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 5


The Santa Fe Opera: An international star right in our own back yard

Season begins with Madame Butterfly, a timeless classic

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pera is a performance venue that carries a lot of assumptions. If you’ve never been to an opera it’s easy to assume it is too pricey, too uppity, too dated, and way outside your comfort zone. For some opera is an acquired taste; for others it is like mother’s milk. As an art form it not only stimulates the senses with lush staging and stirring dramatic performances, the music of voice stops you in your tracks. When you open your ears and heart to the beauty of the operatic tonality and range of the performers, it matters not whether you like Madame Butterfly, the opera, what you appreciate is the music created by the human instrument playing at its highest level. The Las Vegas Opera Guild reminds us that this venue is right in our own backyard. The Santa Fe Opera is recognized world wide as one of the best opera festivals around, right up there with the Met in New York. Why don’t more Las Vegans take advantage of this stunning resource? That’s a complex question and the answer is somewhat imbedded in dollars. The belief is that opera seats are outrageously expensive. To say that the best seats in the house are cheap would be false, but Opera Guild member Ursel Albers said she has never paid more than $30 for a ticket. Is she sitting in the orchestra seats section? No. Does she care? No. “It’s about the music and you can hear that from anywhere in the house,” she said. In some cases, maybe most cases, sitting back from the stage gives a better picture of the overall production. Instead of a microscope you have a telescope, you can narrow the perspective or widen it. Certainly the staging is better viewed from a bit further back. There are benefits to Opera Guild membership, some of which include ushering at a youth performance, which means you get to see the opera for free, and having access to Santa Fe Opera resources for educational purposes. Other benefits include receiving the Guild newsletter, a discount at the Opera Shop (a simply magnificent place to stimulate the shopper in you!), backstage tours, and an opportunity to volunteer at events. The base membership is $35 per year ($60 for a couple). The greater the membership level the greater the benefits.

Las Vegas is one of nine guilds in New Mexico that support the Santa Fe Opera. While funding is part of it, the other role of the Guilds is to promote interest in and attendance at the opera. Youth are a particular area of focus and one nearly every Guild struggles with. “We have fifty tickets for youth night and we’re having trouble getting all the slots filled,” Ursel said. “Thirty of the tickets are committed to the Pecos schools, but that leaves twenty. Louise (Drlik) is working to get students lined up, but it takes time and we must have the reservations in on deadline.” Youth performances are among several activities developed to attract a younger audience, but there are plenty of events to pique the interest of a wide range of opera lovers or the merely curious. “In the summer for the thirteen-week season, each Saturday morning beginning at 8:30 the Opera opens its doors for Opera Insider,” Ursel said. There is a brief talk about the history of the opera, a continental breakfast and a backstage tour. “Usually there will be someone backstage—the props

Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 6


department or costume department manager—to talk about what they do. It is interesting and fun.” The setting of the Santa Fe Opera is a draw in itself. Situated seven miles north of Santa Fe, it is a grand ‘outdoor’ theater, but all under one roof. Opera Readers, small screens that scroll the words of the songs, were installed several years ago that allow you to read in English or Spanish the words being sung on stage in some other language. It adds tremendously to the experience. On nights when nature is at its most spectacular you can watch the magnificence of the production on stage and get glimpses of the light show going on all around. In recent years the Opera has been redesigned and upgraded so the seats are all covered, but there are times on a rainy night when you might get a sprinkle or two of rain. It can also be quite cool so go prepared. To stimulate awareness of the Opera locally the Las Vegas Guild plans a High Tea at the Plaza Hotel ballroom, in cooperation with the Las Vegas Arts Council, at which they hope to have Santa Fe Opera General Director Charles McKay as guest speaker. The event is being planned for the fall with details to be released soon. Tickets for the event will be available beginning in August. Ursel said of the nine Guilds in the state, Las Vegas has the highest renewal rate. “That’s because Klare, (Schmidt) works at it constantly!” Klare is one of the local Guild’s worker bees who keep the mission of supporting the education and outreach programs of the Santa Fe Opera alive and well in Las Vegas. “We would like to have more people who want to take on leadership roles and be active. We appreciate those who send in their memberships; they are important, but we have many events and projects we could do if we had more volunteers.” Aside from everything it does for the Santa Fe Opera the local Guild is a social network that puts old timers and new comers together to network about what is going on in the community and generate additional memberships. Several activities are held during the year, among them an annual Christmas get-together and a summer party. “The most important thing we do as members of the Guild,” Albers said, “is support an internationally known organization that is right here in our back yard.” Ursel Albers came to Las Vegas about twenty-five years ago to teach in the accounting department at New Mexico Highlands University. When she retired Ursel decided to stay on in Las Vegas. “I’ve found my little piece of Heaven.” She has been to every production at the Opera since 1986. Ursel was instrumental in getting a revitalized Guild started in 2000 when she joined with twelve others to get it up and running. The Guild now has more than ninety paying members. For information on how to join contact Ursel at 505 4253230 or e-mail ursel_albers@yahoo.com. For opera tickets and information go to www.santafeopera.org.

The Festival Season (From the website):

Madame Butterfly, Puccini The season opens with a new production of Madame Butterfly, perhaps the most beloved of all operas, which has not been staged here in more than ten years. Kelly Kaduce returns as Puccini’s heartfelt heroine Cio-Cio-San, joined by Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki and Brandon Jovanovich as Pinkerton. Antony Walker and Lee Blakeley make their Santa Fe debuts as conductor and stage director. The Magic Flute. Mozart The powers of music and of love unite to triumph over evil in The Magic Flute, Mozart’s ultimate opera. Director Tim Albery’s production was a sold-out sensation in 2006 and it returns under conductor Lawrence Renes to cast its radiant harmonies over Santa Fe audiences. Joshua Hopkins and Andrea Silvestrelli return as Papageno and Sarastro, joined by Ekaterina Siurina as Pamina, Erin Morley as the Queen of the Night, and Charles Castronovo as Tamino. The Tales of Hoffmann, Offenbach The Tales of Hoffmann is Offenbach’s glorious final masterpiece and it has never before been seen in Santa Fe. Tenor Paul Groves stars in the title role, the poet who duels with the unscrupulous Councilor Lindorf over the most glittering of all prizes—the opera star Stella. This new production, conducted by Stephen Lord and directed by Christopher Alden, features Erin Wall as the four heroines, Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse, and Gidon Saks as the four villains. Life is a Dream, Lewis Spratlan Life is a Dream will be The Santa Fe Opera’s newest world premiere. Based on a towering masterpiece from “The Golden Age of Spanish Drama,” the opera by Lewis Spratlan explores provocative questions about the nature of perceptions and reality—and won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Conductor Leonard Slatkin and director Kevin Newbury lead a cast that features Ellie Dehn, Roger Honeywell, James Maddalena and John Cheek in the leading roles. Albert Herring, Britten Albert Herring proved that Benjamin Britten could create comedies that were just as successful as his dramatic masterworks such as Peter Grimes and Billy Budd. A turn-of-the-last-century English village is shocked to discover that chaste young women are in perilously short supply, so bashful Albert is crowned “King of the May Festival,” only to launch a night of revelry that leaves his elders aghast and his chums impressed. Fast-rising young tenor Alek Shrader stars in the title role, joined by Christine Brewer as the imperious Lady Billows. This new production is conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and directed by Paul Curran. Apprentice Showcase Scenes See the stars of tomorrow! The Apprentice Singers and Technicians are essential to the fabric of The Santa Fe Opera and their exceptional talents will shine on their own on August 15 and 22. The singers take the spotlight center stage, as the technicians command all the production aspects behind-the-scenes. Each evening offers its own unique program of fully staged scenes from popular operas, making both nights’ perfect events for the whole family. Reserved seats are just $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 17.

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H A P P E N STA N C E K I TC H E N

Sandwich sensations

There is nothing like a sandwich for a quick meal that has everything in it: protein, grains, veggies, and if you are a cheese freak, dairy.

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andwiches are a favorite item in our house. When I was working full time it was also an essential, because at the end of the day, I flat out didn’t have any interest in cooking. I’m no longer working (at a paying job, that is), but we still eat sandwiches pretty often. It is the one food item you can’t make too much of! Preparing a meal for two becomes a lot less complicated. The following are a couple of my favorite combinations for great sandwiches. I make no claim these fillings are low fat or ‘healthy’, just that we sure like them at our house. Start with the obvious, a good foundation. We only eat whole wheat bread and I have found that Nature’s Own Whole Wheat sandwich bread is a great choice. If you like denser bread Nature’s Own has that as well. I sometimes use whole wheat wraps or whole wheat tortillas. Any bread that suits you will work as long as it doesn’t fall apart if your filling is a little saucy. Spreads

How you ‘butter’ your bread before adding the rest of the ingredients is important. There are a lot of options that include butter, which makes my arteries seize up just thinking about it, mayonnaise, mustard, specialty spreads and creations of your own. I like to put a dijon mustard on one slice of bread and mayonnaise on the other. I wish I could give you a good reason for this, but it just tastes good. One of my favorite prepared spreads is Alouette Garlic & Herbs. It is a versatile soft cheese spread that sparks up any combination.

Filling The standard sandwich fare of sliced ham, chicken, turkey, beef or bacon is a quick standby when you are in a hurry. Buy quality deli meats to assure a tasty meal. The following are out of the ordinary fillings that will

take the boredom out of sandwich nights and turn them into gourmet dining. Okay, I’ve waited years to say that, but really, it’s a sandwich folks. Olive & Avocado Delight 1/2 C chopped black olives 1/4 C chopped avocado 1/4 C chopped green onions 1/4 C chopped celery 1/2 C finely chopped lettuce 2 - 3 Tablespoons Alouette Garlic & Herbs

Place ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. If you are using a wrap product, spread mixture evenly over the center circle; fold the bottom edge up to prevent drips, and then roll tightly. (This is enough for two wraps). If you are using bread, toast the bread and then spread the filling edge to edge. (This makes one really big sandwich or two smaller ones). Variations: Use as a spread instead of mustard or mayonnaise, and top with the protein of your choice, lettuce and tomato. It’s quite good with deli turkey, ham or chicken. Egg Salad for Two

3 boiled eggs 1/4 C chopped dill pickle (or to taste) 1/4 C chopped celery 1 Tablespoon chopped onion greens 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise 2 Teaspoons dijon mustard Mrs. Dash Table Blend (salt and pepper if you like)

Chop eggs; add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add mayonnaise if mixture is too dry. Spread on toasted whole wheat bread.

Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 8


R E A D I N G A N D L I TE R A CY

Connecting literacy to real world experiences

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Mission Statement: The Literacy Council (TLC), a division of the Las Vegas Arts Council, is organized to promote literacy through projects and activities that involve and support individuals, parents, teachers, and the community at large; that encourage people of all ages to read; and that foster an appreciation of literacy as a means of personal enlightenment and enjoyment.

uring the past two years, The Literacy Council has sponsored events to promote literacy in Las Vegas and the area. Last year’s events included The Arts Celebrate Literacy, which included musical, theatrical and literary events. The largest event last year was the Literacy Fair held at the Abe Montoya Recreation Center. Exhibits, games, United World College students and school participants kept about 300 adults, teenagers and young children entertained while promoting literacy. The final event last year was the Día de los Niños at West Las Vegas High School cafeteria. Participants enjoyed a variety of booths and were entertained by the very talented students of the United World College. The big event this year was the TLC’s second Literacy Fair called Where the Wild Things Are. Once again, the local schools, the Carnegie Library and other organizations participated in the event with informational booths and even a booth where the children could get free vision checks sponsored by the Lions Club. This event also took place at the Abe Montoya Recreation Center. In addition to the public events, the Literacy Council has trained a dozen women to become certified as tutors. They are already providing tutoring for adults and young people in

the community who want to improve their reading skills TLC has been looking for a place to locate the organization and New Mexico Highlands University School of Education has signed a memorandum of agreement to allow TLC the use of the Victoria Sanchez Teacher Education Center curriculum library as a place where the TLC can have not only office space, but also a permanent place where the tutors can work with the people who are utilizing their services. In addition, NMHU School of Education students who are studying to become teachers will have access to TLC instructional materials. The members of the Literacy Council are currently working on a master plan so they can have it in place and ready to move forward with their goals by this summer. The steering committee is made up of Brown Bear, Dorothy Maestas, Carol Winkel, Janet Remenyik, Holly Middleton, Martha McCaffrey, and Barbara Casey. Past members include Duffy Peterson and Janet Maes. The group plans to continue recruiting efforts to build the organization to a point where it can offer full-time tutoring services and expand efforts to promote literacy throughout northeastern New Mexico. For more information call Brown Bear at Tome on the Range: 454-9944.

Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 9

–Submitted by Barbara Perea Casey


T H E B E ST O F T H E W E B

Food & Wine: The finer things

This site is full of interesting recipes, great entertaining ideas and lessons on wine from the experts

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west coasts. I can think his site has a of a few they missed in specific focus Santa Fe and a couple in and its primary Albuquerque. Oh, well, purpose seems geared tomaybe next time. It is a ward selling subscriptions rather fluid list. to the print magazine. I’ve The Restaurant and seen this magazine and it’s Travel tab is all you well worth the investment, might expect and more. with its fabulous articles It lists the finest new about travel, food and enItalian restaurants in tertaining. As an alternathe US and goes on tive the site has a lot to from there with a list of offer. wineries by the sea and One section is about a list of the best restauRecipes and Chefs. On the rants in Europe. day I was writing this reUnder Entertaining view there was a feature and Home there is a recalled Taco World that had ally cool slide show fifteen variations on taco about Market Street in recipes, the top taco spots New Orleans, starting in the US (a couple of with Bryan Batt's shop, places in California and Food & Wine, Inspiration Served Daily. That says it all. The site Hazelnut. Market Street www.foodandwine.com is a delight for the eyes and for the palate with great one in Wyoming, but nothrecipes and interesting ideas for entertaining. has everything from ing in the real southwest European antique where real tacos are made!), Mexican cooking, and taco terms stores to modern eco-style sources. Some of the slides (okay, and toppings. It was mind expanding for a purist who thinks one of the slides), is a little freaky, but interesting nonethefish tacos are a stretch! Be sure to check out the Cooking Guide with its list of less. There are also several wonderful food prep videos that foods that link to more recipes. Links include appetizers, are just fun to watch and you might pick up a trick or two. beef, chicken, desserts, fast prep foods, fish/seafood, grilling, And you can shop! Wine, cooking equipment and cookhealthy fare, pasta, pork, soup, and holiday. Under the Wine and Cocktails tab you will find recom- books galore. I like attractive and interesting websites, and this is right mendations for food and wine pairings, values on wine purup there at the top of my list. The bonus is that there are chases, a blog by F&W wine editor Ray Isle, and more recipes I wouldn’t normally try. I was especially intrigued by recipes. the Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas combination and the Travel and food go hand in hand. The site identifies Asparagus-and-Ricotta Toasts. Both sound yummy and don’t where the best restaurants in the country are located. Sadly look difficult or time consuming to prepare. the closest F&W rated fine restaurant to Las Vegas is in Aspen Bon appetit! and the next closest is in Denver. Most are on the east and Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 10


A H A P P E N STA N C E WA L K A B O U T

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ayne Sonchar of BTU Building Materials is proud of his staff. “I want everyone to know how good our people Wayne Sonchar, of BTU Buildare. They’ve chosen to ing Materials, 900 Mills Ave. Las make this their career.” Vegas, NM. BTU has a little of everything in the store but shoppers can find what they’re looking for online 24/7. They sell locally but have a loyal clientele outside the area as well. BTU Building Materials is starting its 26th year in business. A new kid on the block, Threadbear, at 150 Bridge Street, has been in business about a year. It is the place to go if you love to quilt. In addition to knock-yoursocks-off fabrics, you will also find bright yarns, patterns, embroiSomething different. A quilt dery floss, and kits. store and more. Pictured is Ann Classes are also availSiewert, owner/manager. The quilt show in the upper right is a J. Mi- able, two of which are celle Watts design; kits available. beginning quilting and knitting. If you haven’t been in, you must go by. It is alive with color and I love the window displays, which are changed regularly. Price’s Furniture at the corner of 6th and Douglas has been a Las Vegas mainstay for 53 years and counting. Jess and Gloria Price started the business and have been actively involved since the beginning. The store carries state-of-the art appliances, beautiful contemporary items and custom made furniture from Mexico. “We have furniture, carThe Prices have propet, in-store credit, free deliv- vided furniture and appliances to the area for three ery and guaranteed low generations. Don Price takes prices,” Don Price said. a moment to chat.

Books by F.S. Vander Meer

These books are available in Las Vegas at Tome on the Range Bookstore. Online purchases may be made at Amazon, Xlibris, and Barnes and Noble. Not Just Another Day is a series of daily reflections that celebrate the gift of life. Based on the author’s Christian faith tradition the book uses Bible passages, prayers and readings to capture the common experience of living a life of faith in an ever-changing world. In Future Imperfect conflicting forces control two individuals seeking stability and sanity amid escalating political and environmental chaos. Their lives are fraught with lies, treachery, and an altered environment. In The Ballad of Bawdy McClure short hauler Jake Casey is confronted with the age old question: Who can you trust? From the opening scene in which he finds the body of his murdered friend to the end he is constantly questioning the motives of those closest to him.

Happenstance • April 16, 2010 • Page 11


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