Page 1

Complimentary

Winter ’06

QUITE

SIMPLY

THE

BEST!

15 LONGTIMERS

Share Their STORIES La Capilla

A Dream Becomes Reality

SILVER CITY’S

HISTORIC BUSINESSES

HOMESTYLE Recipes Ghost Stories


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“Trusted care for the ones you love” Luis Terrazas of Terrazas Funeral Chapels in Santa Clara has been in the funeral business for the past 18 years with most of that time serving our community. His goal is to provide excellence in service at an affordable price. Terrazas offers funeral and cremation services to meet everyone’s budget and needs. The staff is dedicated in lending support and comfort to your family. They also have many years of experience that you can depend on, including 2 licensed funeral directors and a full time prearrangement counselor. Terrazas state of the art facility is equipped with 2 chapels. The East chapel is the largest in this area, to accommodate larger families and the West chapel is for smaller gatherings with a comforting and quiet atmosphere. Each chapel is available to serve all faiths and we personalize the service and chapel for each and every family. Terrazas Funeral Chapels also has the only on-site crematory in Grant County, which means your loved one will never have to leave our facility. No matter what service you choose, you will always have personalized, professional, hometown care from Terrazas Funeral Chapels.

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Voted “Best Transit of the Year” in New Mexico. Daily Service (Monday - Friday)

Silver City - Arenas Valley - Santa Clara - Bayard Hurley - Cliff - Mimbres - Deming - Lordsburg

Tuesdays Cotton City - Animas - Rodeo We can get you to Amtrak or Greyhound in Deming and Lordsburg. Also the Grant County Airport.

Regular and Fixed Routes • On Demand Service 524 Silver Heights Blvd. #1 • Silver City, NM

505.388.3180 • 866.934.3866 correcaminostransit.com • bus@gilanet.com Sponsors: All Glass MD Gabriel Ramos Silver Leaf Floral Millennium Therapy Bryan Truck and Auto Hidalgo Medical Service Southwest Collision Repair Gila Regional Medical Center Family Dental Practice - Palomas, Mex.

“Get on the Bus!”


SILVER CITY LIFE WINTER 2006

contents features No One Knows The Country Like We Do!

ON THE COVER:

11 Nine Historic Grant County Businesses. Our then-and-now salute to hometown businesses that have withstood the test of time and continue to offer personalized service. 20 La Capilla. The story of the “little chapel on the hill” with Joe & Senovia Ray and the other members of the “gang of five” who brought it to life.

On a sunny day’s trip through time, Lanny and Jill Olson roll past City Hall and its recently refurbished antique clock in their beautifully restored 1931 Chevrolet Independence fire engine.

24 Grant County’s Long Timers. We look back to a different era in Grant County’s history through the eyes of 15 living treasures who helped make this a special place.

We have 3 locations to serve you. 2 in Silver City.

1 in Rodeo.

Open Weekends!

40 Historic Fort Bayard. Originally a military outpost, Fort Bayard has been an important health care facility for over 100 years. S1-S16 Silver City Source. Shops and Services, Galleries and Attractions, Salons & Spas, Products, Restaurant Menus. 41 Homestyle Recipes. From entrees to desserts, these readers’ winter recipes delight the eye and soothe the soul. 46 Homestyle Cooking. A pictorial feature highlighting downhome dishes from Silver City dining establishments.

Main Office Open Mon.-Sat. 8:30 to 5:30

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48 Silver City Treasures. A special tribute to six departed friends who we hope will never be forgotten. 54 Grant County Ghost Stories. Five local legends as retold by Cobre High School students from 1957 through 1962. 60 Charro Horses. A visit with Carlos Herrera, an amazing man who has trained some equally amazing animals. 66 Extravagant Makeover. The results are in, and they’re impressive. 68 Medical. Gila Regional Medical Center has become one of only 25 hospitals in the country to offer “navigated” knee surgery. 79 The Lighted Christmas Parade. We trace the origins of a downtown holiday tradition.

505.534.4616 877.MIMBRES

departments

Rodeo Office

52 Outdoors. Early pioneers of the Gila region.

199 Hwy. 80 • Rodeo,NM 88056

505.557.1244

www.mimbresrealty.com www.unitedcountry.com/silvercitynm

10 Editor’s Note. A few words from Managing Editor Arlene Schadel.

58 New Faces in Business. 62 Pets. Recent adoptions, a new animal rights organization and a versatile pet-sitting service. 72 The Arts. Profiling Fred Barraza, a prolific multi-media artist born and raised in Grant County. 75 Out & About. Snapshots of local events. 78 Openings, Performances and Special Events.

6 – SILVER CITY LIFE


1310 S ILVER H EIGHTS B LVD. S ILVER C IT Y, NM 88061

505-538-5328 Monday-Saturday 9-6 • Sunday 12-5 Locally Owned and Operated. W W W. S E A R S D E A L E R S . C O M / 3329


SILVER CITY LIFE Terri Menges President & Managing Director

Joseph Burgess Vice President

Arlyn Cooley Staff Accountant

Arlene Schadel Managing Editor

Brett Ferneau Staff Writer

Jean Benzine Joseph Burgess Donna Clayton Lawder M. H. “Dutch” Salmon Pat Young Contributing Writers

Joseph Burgess Photography except where credited

Robin Arellano Jean Benzine John Conners Judy DouBrava Brett Ferneau Barbara Gorzycki

Donna Clayton Lawder Alice F. Pauser M. H. Dutch Salmon Bill Warren Contributing Photographers

Graham Dodd Database Administrator

Friendly Hometown Service With All Your Banking Needs! • • • •

Savings & Checking Accounts Loans ( Installments, Auto, Commercial, Construction, etc.) IRA’s & CD’s Mortgages

LeAnne Knudsen Erin Schadel-Oldham Project Coordinators

Debra Luera Jennifer Rivera Designers

Lynn Janes Arlene Schadel Advertising Sales

Graham Dodd LeAnne Knudsen Distribution

www.fnmbsc.com 505.388.3121 or 1.888.388.3121

FREE On-Line Banking •

Home Of: Copper Country Escrow • 505.388.0668 Two Convenient Locations: 1928 Hwy. 180 East and Wal-Mart.

Sav-On HOBBY R.C. Cars, Trucks and Airplanes 1306 N. Hudson

534-0560 Tues.-Fri. 10am to 6 pm Sat. 10am to 2pm 8 – SILVER CITY LIFE

©Zia Publishing Corp., 2006. This issue of Silver City Life is copyright under the laws of the United States of America. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission of the publisher prohibited. For permission to use any portion of this publication email:info@ziapublishing.com. All submissions of editorial or photography are only accepted without risk to the publisher for loss or damage. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy in the information provided. The publisher assumes no responsibility or liability for errors, changes or omissions.

Special Thanks to: Della Acosta Ben Altamirano Gabby Armendariz Fred Barraza Eugene Bustillos Allison Bateman Jean Benzine Dorothy Blalock Duane Brockett Bob Brockhausen Curtis Bullington Karen Campbell Nick Chintis Patrick Conlin Arlyn Cooley Margaret Crumbley Sharleen Daugherty Richard Deaton Judy DouBrava Tommy Foy Juanita Franks Ray Garcia Consuelo Gonzales Barbara Gorzycki Grant Co. Humane Soc. Mike Harris Carlos Herrera Holley Hudgins Rosie Humble Paul Hunter Pedro Iniguez Chris & Bobby Jackson Jane Janson Nancy (Thompson) Johnson Scott Kennedy Michelle Kessler Dr. Shelby King James Koons Donna Clayton Lawder Jimmy McCauley Dorothy McCray Sunny McFarren Judy & Vernon McOsker Albert Madrigal Marla Mead Christy Miller Bobbie Neal Jim and Debbie Nennich Harold Oberg Erin Schadel-Oldham Joanne Perez William Perez Joe & Sanovia Ray Beverly Redwine Sue & A.D. Richins Linda Rowse Sudie Kennedy-Ruhne Murray Ryan Arlene Schadel Jim Schadel Esther Scherf Dr. John Sherman Jan Sherman Whitney Shoup Jean Spears Brittany Topmiller Mikey Torrez Nancy Trinkel Carrie Wallin April Weitlauf Cray Werner John Werner Frankie & Moose White Jan Whitfield Dr. John S. Wilson Silver City Life is published bi-annually by Zia Publishing Corp. with offices at: 611 N. Hudson Street Silver City, NM 88061 Phone: 505-956-1560 Fax: 505-956-1580 e-mail: info@ziapublishing.com Website: www.ziapublishing.com Subscriptions: $7.00. Add $2 for subscriptions to Canada or Mexico. $3 for other countries. Back Issues $3.50. Subscription telephone: 505-956-1560


308 N. Bull ard • 505.388.54 28


EDITOR’S NOTE AS WE WERE CLOSING THIS ISSUE, I KEPT THINKING, “WHAT IN THE WORLD WILL WE FOCUS ON FOR THE next issue that we didn’t already do in this issue?” I think they feel like that after every issue. I can’t tell you how exciting it has been learning about all these folks who have lived here all or most of their long lives! These long timers know so much of the history of our area, I am just sorry that we only had room for fifteen of them. We are planning to continue our feature on at least one Silver City long timer in upcoming issues. It was really important to me to do our tribute to our Silver City Treasures that have left us within the last year or so. Jo Dunn, Coach Fox, Willie Gonzales, Walter Biebelle, Bill Acosta and of course Johnny Banks were such special people and they have all touched my life as well as many others I’m sure. Thank you to our old businesses that have served our community for so long! You are the main stay of Grant County. You support our local clubs and organizations, our schools and have hung in there through good times and bad. The story on Senovia and Joe Ray and their passion for the La Capilla Project makes the whole project that much more important. I can’ t tell you how much I’ve grown to love this couple, who work so desperately on a daily basis to move this project closer to reality. And my friend Fred Barraza has done so much for our community through his beautiful spirit as well as his art. Duane Brockett, thank you so much for sharing your precious ghost stories with us. We know how much they mean to you. I was so glad to include Carlos Herrera, a truly magical man who is so humble and certainly talented with his own secret language in working with his beautiful horses. It has been such a pleasure working with the talented crew of designers and writers at Zia Publishing. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with all of you and especially Terri Menges, who is a genius! Thank you to all the advertisers, without you this book would not be possible! I truly hope that the advertising in this book serves you well! God Bless,

Arlene Schadel Managing Editor

10 – SILVER CITY LIFE


9

Looking Back at HISTORIC

Grant County BUSINESSES

THE HISTORIC HERITAGE OF OUR AREA IS APPARENT NOT ONLY IN ITS PEOPLE, CULTURE AND BUILDINGS, BUT IN ITS DEDICATED AND DYNAMIC HOMETOWN BUSINESSES. BY JEAN BENZINE, BRETT FERNEAU AND DONNA CLAYTON LAWDER

above, left to right, top row: The Buckhorn Saloon, circa 1985 The Palace Hotel, circa 1900 Blackwell’s Jewelers in 1958 Lusk Flower and Gift Shop in 1986 Home Furniture in 1946 bottom row: Sav-On Drug Store, circa 1957 Werner Tire Service in 1965 The Drifter Motel in 1966 Snappy Mart Stores in 1965

You won’t see much corporate fraud in Grant County. Stock swindles and hostile takeovers are activities in which we don’t seem to engage. While cutthroat competition, overseas outsourcing and slipshod service practices are commonplace throughout the world, we have been blessed with an abundance of local and family-owned businesses that have stood the test of time. Perhaps it isn’t so remarkable that such enterprises still exist as it is that we have so many of them. Join us on a stroll through a few of our historic hometown establishments, where personalized, friendly service is still just part of “business as usual.”

www.ziapublishing.com – 11


THE

BUCKHORNSALOON BY JEAN BENZINE

VISITORS TO PINOS ALTOS SOMETIMES hesitate to enter the Buckhorn Saloon due to its timeworn façade, but according to manager Karen Campbell, “When they come inside they are impressed with its authenticity.” The old wooden bar was brought over the Black Range by horsedrawn wagons. The antique National cash register, paintings of dance hall girls brandishing guns and the pot-bellied stove that has stood there since 1867 all transport patrons back to the days of the Old West. Then, there are the “residents” of the Buckhorn; “Indian Joe,” a sullen wooden figure seated at the end of the bar, and “Debbie ‘DeCamp’ Moore,” a mannequin outfitted like that notable lady of the night, welcoming visitors from her seat on the balcony. The Buckhorn has been a part of Pinos Altos for over a century. Karen explains, “It’s one of the original bars, dating back to the silver/gold mining era of the late 1800s.” In its heyday, P.A. boasted six or more saloons but the others succumbed to fire. Today’s Buckhorn offers a full bar and two different menus. The bar serves casual fare like Buckhorn Burgers and Blackened Chicken Salad, while the dining room has a first-class full menu including seafood, choice steaks and homemade desserts. “The dining room serves 120-150 people on an average weekend, not counting the people who choose to have a burger in the bar,” Karen is pleased to report. Karen also has a long history with the Buckhorn. She began as a bus girl in 1967 and became manager in 1998. When asked about her long-term association with the Saloon and P.A., she states simply, “I never thought about leaving.” top: Main Street in Pinos Altos. The Buckhorn is on the left. inset: Manager Karen Campbell. 12 – SILVER CITY LIFE

THE

PALACE HOTEL BY JEAN BANZINE

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE, OLD-WORLD CHARM AND A great downtown location make the Palace Hotel a favorite lodging choice for visitors. It is the oldest surviving hotel in Silver City, housed in one of the oldest buildings in the historic district. The building didn’t start out as a hotel, however. In 1882, Hartford Meredith and Henry Ailman purchased the property at the corner of Broadway and Bullard to build a bank. The bank opened in the spring of 1882 and was in operation until December of 1887. The building was then purchased and remodeled by Max Shutz. In 1900 he converted the second floor into 40 hotel rooms, the first floor into a lobby and


BLACKWELL’S JEWELERS

BY DONNA CLAYTON LAWDER

dining room and opened the Palace Hotel. In 1928, the building, then known as the Clark Hotel, once again underwent a major exterior and interior renovation. In 1988, on a trip through Silver City, Nancy and Cal Thompson saw the real estate listing and began discussing purchasing the building. A year later, they returned to Silver City and saw the building was still for sale, so they purchased it to once again be used as a hotel. They rehabilitated it back to its 1928 appearance and named it the Palace Hotel once more. In addition to its location and charm, owner Nancy Thompson Johnson says she and the long-time staff of the Palace believe that their success lies in providing the personal touch. “This is truly a familyrun business and we treat our guests like family. We have many repeat customers and a high occupancy rate, so that speaks for itself.”

top: A large wood-burning stove stands at the foot of the staircase in the lobby of the old Palace Hotel. inset: Owner Nancy Johnson.

IN THE EVOLUTION OF BLACKWELL’S JEWELERS, A SILVER CITY FAMILY BUSINESS the name is the constant that lets current owner Curtis Bullington trace the store’s roots. Across the glass cases, he spreads black and white photos, ancient postcards, bills of sale, and newspaper clippings — all lovingly preserved. Records of old Blackwell’s piano and typewriter rentals are written in fountain pen. John and Mary Blackwell were the founders of Blackwell’s Books, and the earliest evidence of them and their business is a sales slip dated July 23, 1924. Watchmaker Earl Patton bought Blackwell’s Bookstore and turned it into a jewelry store. He was a partner with William Droke, the man who took over the store, married Curtis Bullington’s mother and eventually brought her son into the business. Curtis Bullington became a watchmaker-jeweler and developed that aspect of the business, buying Blackwell’s from his widowed mother. His son Keith, one of the company’s current three employees, is a Jewelers of America Certified Senior Bench Jeweler. Blackwell’s has resided at 218 Bullard Street since the 1950s, just down the street from its first location at 300 Bullard. Huff ’s Dress Shop and Lusk Flower and Gift Shop (still a downtown Silver City business) were next door. Curtis plans to rearrange the store to reflect the “old style jewelry store” layout, with customers shopping in an outer ring, between glass-topped counters and glass wall display cases. The staff will work from the center of the circle of cases. In addition to quality goods, Blackwell’s has a reputation for fine jewelry repair. Underscoring his business philosophy, Curtis says, “You’ve got to give your customers good treatment.” top: In a 1958 photo, William Droke identifies recovered jewelry taken in a robbery. Left to right: Mr. Droke, Police Chief Stewart Pinkerton, Patrolman Danny Dunagan and Assistant District Attorney Dave Serna. inset: Curtis Bullington at the jeweler’s bench. www.ziapublishing.com – 13


LUSK FLOWER & GIFT SHOP BY DONNA CLAYTON LAWDER

ESTABLISHED FOR 77 YEARS, LUSK FLOWER AND GIFT SHOP IS SILVER City’s oldest continuously operated business. Frankie and Moose White purchased the store in 1985 and moved it to the lovingly restored former home of Moose’s grandparents, Alvin N. and Louise White, where it has been located for the past 20 years. The shop has two employees and occasional temporary help, “except for holidays, when we might have up to 17,” Frankie laughs. She describes Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day “rushes” when the long-time temporary staff joins in to fill the orders. “It’s busy, and very satisfying,” she says. “People who buy flowers are making someone else happy, and it’s great to be a part of that.” The shop is also a purveyor of fine gifts, and the exclusive Silver City outlet for Dolona Roberts originals and serigraphs. Sweet teddy bears, baby gifts, fine works in Nambé, crystal and porcelain provide the gift-giver a plethora of options. Lusk Flower and Gift Shop celebrates Good Neighbor Day annually by giving away over a thousand flowers in increments of one dozen. “Each person gets to keep one flower, and they must give away the other eleven,” Frankie explains. “I hear back from people things like ‘I gave my flowers to patients in the hospital’ or ‘I gave mine away to total strangers and it made them smile.’ ” “Customer service makes a difference,” Frankie declares. “We’ll deliver outside our normal delivery area and beyond store hours if it pleases the customer. Excellent service is our greatest asset. That’s how we’ve built our reputation.” Moose adds that they try to apply the shop’s motto, “Simply the best… since 1928.” top: the remodeled home originally belonging to Alvin N. and Louise White. inset: Owners Frankie and Moose White. 14 – SILVER CITY LIFE

HOME FURNITURE BY JEAN BENZINE

HOME FURNITURE HAS BEEN OWNED AND OPERATED BY the same family for 68 years and counting. It began in 1937 when Nelson Wygant of Silver City and E.L. McCoy of Hanover opened the Home Furniture Co. at 202 N. Bullard Street. As a young girl, Nelson’s daughter Sudie Wygant Kennedy recalls traveling with her father on furniture-buying trips. “The railroad depot was right next door,” Sudie recalls. “Twice a year we’d just walk out the door, step aboard the train and go straight to Chicago from Silver City.” In 1941, Nelson bought out Mr. McCoy and thoroughly remodeled the store. In 1948 he opened a second store, the Bargain


HOME FURNITURE APPLIANCES & CARPETING

Family owned and operated in historic downtown Silver City since 1937 Annex, featuring reconditioned used furniture and appliances. In 1967, the Home Furniture Co. was sold to a Deming concern and closed. Nelson’s son Paul managed the Bargain Annex until he passed away in 1975, when Sudie and her husband Richard Kennedy moved back from San Diego to take charge. Their son Scott joined the business in 1986 and the Bargain Annex celebrated its 50th anniversary a year later. Scott took over as manager after the passing of his father in 1989. In 1990, the business readopted the original name Home Furniture and the building’s façade was redone to a Main Street design. These days Scott still manages the store and his wife Denise is also very much involved in the business. Sudie divides her time between Silver City and Santa Cruz, CA and the Wygant/Kennedy family continues the downtown business legacy and tradition of community involvement at Home Furniture. With 26,000 square feet of showroom space, the store carries a full line of furniture, appliances, bedding, floor coverings and electronics. top: The home appliance department of a bygone era. Inset above: Scott Kennedy Inset below: Sudie Kennedy

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1-800-456-3132 • 505-538-2931 www.silvercity-realestate.com www.ziapublishing.com – 15


SAV-ON DRUG STORE

BY JEAN BENZINE AND ARLENE SCHADEL

IN BUSINESS, THE SECRET TO SURVIVAL IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET CAN SOMETIMES BE AS simple as providing superior customer service and doing what you love. This formula seems to have worked well for pharmacist Rosie Humble and business manager Ray Garcia, owners of the 55-year-old Sav-On Drug Store. Over the last half-century, the proliferation of chain-store pharmacies has forced small independent drugstores to reinvent themselves. “In addition to stocking the typical items, we had to find a unique product niche. Adding the hobby line seemed the logical choice and it has worked well for us,” states Ray. A radio-controlled racing enthusiast himself, his knowledge of the hobby field made the line a perfect addition to the store. Sav-On Drug was established in 1950 at 1306 Bullard Street. In 1965, pharmacist Dr. Whitney Shoup and his wife LaVera purchased the business, moving the store to its present location at 316 N. Hudson in 1976. Rosie began working there in the early 80s and Whitney became her mentor. With his encouragement she became a pharmacist, and with Ray’s help she carried on the Sav-On customer service legacy. Rosie sustained injuries in a 2003 accident and in October, 2005 the pharmacy portion of Sav-On was sold to the Medicine Shoppe so that she could have time to heal. “We had to sell the pharmacy for health reasons” says Ray. “We just have to get Rosie better. Sav-On Hobby will still carry on the Sav-On name and good customer service.” The store will offer a full line of radio control cars, trucks and airplanes along with other hobby items. It’s just one more step in the evolution of a small-town business. The Medicine Shoppe of Silver City, located at 1123 N. Pope Street, will gladly be servicing all Sav-On Pharmacy customers. top: Customers relax at the old drug store on Bullard Street. inset, top: Business manager Ray Garcia. inset, bottom: pharmacist Rosie Humble. 16 – SILVER CITY LIFE

WERNER TIRE SERVICE BY DONNA CLAYTON LAWDER

W H E N WERNER TIRE S E R V I C E relocated from the hub of the business district on Bullard St. to its present location on Highway 180 East in 1962, some people questioned the wisdom of the move. “People thought we were crazy, moving so far out of town,” recalls Cray Werner, who co-owns the business with his brother John. “City limits were at the bottom of the hill. There was almost nothing up here back then. Now look at it!” Silver City’s growth aside, the biggest change in their tire business has been in the auto industry itself. “When dad started the business, there were maybe seven different sizes in a 16-inch tire,” Cray says as he scrolls through pages of tire models on the Internet.


Hometown Community Spirit Hometown Community Pride

“There are more like a hundred today!” He notes that Werner Tire can get “pretty much anything in the next day.” Excluding engine work, the shop does everything mechanical for vehicles, including shocks, brakes, alignments, front-end work, mufflers and, of course, all brands of tires. The brothers pride themselves on their capable, long-term staff. “One of our front-end men worked for us for 27 years,” Cray says. Employees aren’t the only ones who remain loyal. On a busy Thursday morning, the brothers greet customer after customer by name. “I’ve been bringing my cars here for 20 years,” a senior gentleman announces proudly. “Wouldn’t go anywhere else!” The company services all kinds of vehicles. “Our guy is going to Cliff right now to service a backhoe,” John says. “We do everything from a wheelbarrow on up.” Both brothers enjoy doing business in Silver City, where the best things, they agree, are “the mountains and the people!” top: A representative from Goodyear™ presents the Werners an award on the business’s 25th anniversary in 1985. That’s Don “Pop” Werner receiving the plaque, Cray to the right of Pop, and John on the far right. inset: John and Cray in their showroom.

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www.ziapublishing.com – 17


DRIFTER MOTEL

SNAPPY MART STORES

BY JEAN BENZINE AND BRETT FERNEAU

BY JEAN BENZINE AND BRETT FERNEAU

THE

A ROOM FOR A NIGHT OR A MONTH, A PLACE TO enjoy a cocktail and listen to live music, a heated pool for exercise, a game room and pool tables for entertainment, and a restaurant serving all three meals including breakfast anytime - all this available at The Drifter Motel. Manager Carrie Wallin attributes these amenities, along with the personal service, to the business’s long-term success. Kenneth and Gyland Wallin built the original structures in 1962, adding a second wing in 1963. Carrie began working at the motel in 1977 and has been there ever since. Hays B. and Patricia D. May, known to all as Mr. and Mrs. May, bought the establishment in 1978. Mr. May passed away on December 31, 2004 leaving the business to Mrs. May. Last remodeled in 1988, the motel is again undergoing major changes. “We are replacing all the furniture and bedding and buy locally whenever possible,” says Carrie, adding that she only buys U.S.A. made towels and linens. Carrie takes pride in the level of service the staff offers. “We like to give things a personal touch. We help visitors plan their stays here, letting them know what there is to see and do. We also do a good job of remembering our repeat customers. A man told me that it had been 10 years to the day since his last stay with us and that when he walked into the lobby, he was greeted with, ‘Welcome back, Leonard.’ We want this to be a home away from home. We have a salesman who has been staying with us for 35 years, so we must be doing something right!” top: The Drifter in its early days. Note the wideopen spaces around it. inset: Manager Carrie Wallin. 18 – SILVER CITY LIFE

SNAPPY MART STORES, INC. BEGAN IN 1965, WHEN OWNERS WESLEY and Della Mae Little opened their first store on Market Street. Wesley, a butcher, ran the meat department and the store also offered deli and grocery items. The couple soon opened Snappy #2 on 12th Street, which later moved across the street to where it stands today. Snappy #3 opened around in 1966 in Bayard. In 1967, Wesley and Della Mae’s son Steve, Sr. became involved in the company, managing Snappy #4, which stood where Geronimo’s Restaurant is now. It was later relocated to the corner of Hudson and Broadway. The Snappy Mart chain added links quickly. The first corporate office was housed in Snappy #5, where Laurent’s Shoe Store now operates. Snappy #6, also known as the “Hilltop Snappy” is still at the same location on Hwy. 180 East. Snappy #7, on College Avenue where the Grinder Mill is today once sold hamburgers called – what else? – “Snappy Burgers.” In all, Snappy


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Mart opened 19 stores throughout southwest New Mexico. Steve, Sr. took over the company in the early 1980’s, moving the corporate offices to Hwy. 180 in 1991. Current owners Jim and Debbie Nennich bought the company in 1999 and formed W & N Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Snappy Mart Stores. W & N Enterprises acquired Bailey’s Food Market in Bayard in 2000, and the Silver City Furr’s Supermarket in 2001, renaming them the Food Basket stores. Jim and Debbie credit much of the success of this long-term business to its employees, saying, “We recognize that our greatest asset is our people.” The company offers insurance and bonus/incentive plans to its workers, and currently employs 130 people.

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top: One of nineteen Snappy Marts. Those gas prices look pretty good. inset: Debbie and Jim Nennich www.ziapublishing.com – 19


JOE & SANOVIA RAY

LA CAPILLA BY PAT YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUDY WUTHRICH

above, top: The “little chapel on the hill.” above: A close-up of La Capilla’s inscribed plaque. opposite, top: Joe and Senovia Ray. opposite: A walkway leading to the chapel.

20 – SILVER CITY LIFE

THE HEART OF LA CAPILLA PARK IS “THE LITTLE CHAPEL ON THE HILL.” But at the inception of this Silver City park, the pulse of the project beat within Joe and Senovia Ray and three other people who became known as “the gang of five.” Most of them grew up in the shadow of Chihuahua Hill, where the park is located. Joe Ray, 77, has lived here since he was 6 months old. Senovia, 74, moved here in 1941. Standing next to the rebuilt chapel at the top of Chihuahua Hill, the Rays can literally point to every home, including their current home for almost 40 years, where they grew up or raised four children. They can even see the downtown area, where Joe’s mom had a restaurant and Joe and Senovia ran a grocery store. Willie Gonzales, a gang of five board member, also grew up in the historic Chihuahua Hill residential area. According to Earl Montoya, another of the “gang,” Willie would find arrowheads and pottery shards when he roamed the hill as a child. “So the hill must have been special to the Indians, too,” says Montoya, who moved to Silver City in 1943 and grew up near Chihuahua Hill. The fifth member of the gang of five was John Luna, who grew up in nearby Kingston,


YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS BY PAT YOUNG

but moved to Silver City as a young man. About five or six years ago, the town of Silver City acquired approximately 23 acres of land that included Chihuahua Hill for the Trails and Open Spaces program. Part of this land had previously been earmarked for a construction yard. When the city solicited proposals for the land, the gang of five galvanized. “The more I heard about it, the more I thought about it,” says Senovia, a bundle of energy with bright bespectacled eyes, cell phone in one hand and walking cane in the other. The five original board members for La Capilla Park got together and came up with 16 elements, according to Montoya, who says he suffers from “OAI” (over active imagination). It was Montoya who suggested a park rather than just trails, and the Rays who suggested rebuilding the chapel. The board wanted to get the city’s attention. Montoya says, “nothing would get their attention like telling them a gang is coming to make a proposal.” The title stuck. They went before the city, stunned them with their comprehensive plan, and La Capilla Park started on the road to reality. Before going to the state legislature to tackle monetary issues for the park, however, the board metamorphosed into the La Capilla board of directors. Montoya grins and says that “board” appealed more than “gang” for that task. The Rays, the only original members still on the board, remain sparkplugs for La Capilla Park. Senovia enthusiastically displays an artist’s rendering of the park illustrating all 16 proposed elements - the rebuilt chapel, trails, picnic areas, grottos, gardens, a unique retaining wall and more. Main goals for the park include cultural, historical and educational aspects, as well as lowmaintenance features and tourism. “We want something for everyone of all ages,” says Senovia, who currently serves as board chairperson. From the beginning, she wanted the chapel to be the heart of the project. She walked

When a “gang of five” area residents made a proposal to Silver City fathers to develop 23 acres of land into La Capilla Park, the idea met with enthusiasm. The “gang” then went to Juvenile Probation to see if they could help provide labor. According to Gary Stailey, chief juvenile probation officer with Juvenile Justice Services, Youth and Family Services, this turned out to be a timely request. Concurrently, he says, the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) request for proposal came out. “We saw that as an opportunity to dovetail (the La Capilla project) with YCC, where kids could actual-ly get paid for their work,” he says. He explains that YCC partnered with Cobre and Silver school districts to reach youths who might be encouraged to apply. The city, Juvenile Probation and school districts interview youths between 16 and 25 years of age who have either dropped out of school, are at risk, and are unemployed. YCC has provided labor for everything completed at La Capilla Park except the chapel, which was constructed by HolRay Construction, with adobes provided by Mule Creek Adobe. “By helping build (the park), it creates a sense of ownership,” Stailey says. “They’re part of it and it’s part of them.” Some of the YCC participants have told Stailey that they look forward to taking their own children to the park someday. www.ziapublishing.com – 21


above: The chapel has a panoramic view from Chihuahua Hill.

22 – SILVER CITY LIFE

this area with her children, and recalls seeing remnants of the original chapel foundation. Chihuahua Hills is special to those who have lived here so many years, both the Rays and Montoya say, as is the original chapel and the stories and legends that go with it. Two sisters, Hipolita and Beatriz Manquero, journeyed here from Chihuahua City, Mexico in the1800’s, and eventually commissioned the building of the original adobe chapel, dedicated in 1885. Whether they were prostitutes, as some claim, or just single Mexican women who were alone, as others say, and whether the chapel was built out of love, guilt, or to spare the older sister who became ill, it became a beacon for Mexican-American residents living in the Chihuahua Hill area of Silver City, according to Larry Godfrey, former La Capilla board member. The chapel was dismantled in 1914, but never forgotten by residents. La Capilla board members lobbied in Santa Fe for funding. Joseph Gendron, coordinator of Trails and Open Spaces, was able to get an EPA grant to help. Other help came from the Youth Conservation Corps (see sidebar). The “little chapel on the hill” was dedicated in May 2004. Red brick walkways lead to this adobe replica, situated next to scant remains of the historic original chapel. Metal artwork on the windows includes flowers and hummingbirds. Heavy wooden doors invite visitors into a simple chapel with polished wooden pews.


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“The chapel connects us to the past,” Senovia says. “We all have connections to the past. That’s why we’re here.” She continues to envision new ideas for the park, and hopes to see many of them completed “before God calls me.” To Senovia, “nothing is impossible.” La Capilla chapel keeps silent vigil over continuing work on the park. This year, walkways, pavilions and picnic areas near the adjacent Senior Citizens Center and El Refugio will give these facilities easy access to the park. Many of the 16 elements for La Capilla Park are still hopes and dreams. But then, aren’t hopes and dreams what started this whole chain of events so long ago when two sisters arrived from Mexico?

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A tribute to

15

Grant County

LONG TIMERS BY BRETT FERNEAU AND JOE BURGESS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE BURGESS AND BILL WARREN

WE LOOK BACK TO A DIFFERENT ERA IN GRANT COUNTY’S HISTORY THROUGH THE EYES OF 15 LIVING TREASURES WHO HELPED MAKE THIS A SPECIAL PLACE.

above, left to right: Juanita Franks age 39 Jim McCauley age 9 Tommy Foy age 25 Dorothy McCray age 19 Nick Chintis age 24 Paul Hunter age 22 Dorothy Blalock age 23 Murray Ryan age 23 Jim Schadel age 58 Gabby Armendariz age 36 Ben Altamirano age 20 Dr. John Wilson age 26 Beverly Redwine age 16 Bobbie Neal-Little age 41 Harold Oberg age 33 24 – SILVER CITY LIFE

They were artists, businesspeople, cattle drovers, doctors, miners, ranchers and teachers. Some speak of days when men paid for groceries with raw gold. Others remember an era when horses were ridden often, but seldom for pleasure. Though such times may seem worlds away, it all happened in Grant County within just one lifetime of the present day. In a modern culture that seems to worship youthfulness, our community’s long-time residents deserve recognition as part of the foundation of our life here and now. They endured their share of poverty and hardships, and many displayed more than their share of courage. All of them were just ordinary people, dealing with events as they happened. Their stories remind us that Silver City was once just two miles across in either direction, and nobody bothered to lock their doors. To cover paydays, mining company storekeepers – without armed guards – regularly made huge cash withdrawals at the bank in broad daylight without incident. Children cheerfully worked at the jobs of grown men away at war and considered it simply as ‘doing their part.’ Through good times and bad, the people on these pages have remained joyous about life and the place they chose to live. At Zia Publishing, our staff compiled a list of questions we wanted to ask 15 of these people, whose combined experience totals over 12 centuries. Some of those questions and individual answers appear on the pages that follow. Together with the stories and photos, they provide a glimpse into the lives of 15 Grant County long-timers who helped make this area what it is today “a wonderful place to grow up, live and raise children.”


102-year-old Juanita Franks lives with her loyal dogs Cocoa and Butch on a ranch originally homesteaded by her grandparents, Swiss immigrants Christian and Anna Flury. Juanita’s parents, William C. and Maggie Franks, were ranchers near the Continental Divide, where Franks family members still raise cattle today. Juanita and her husband established the Rocky Mountain School for Boys at the ranch in 1928. In 1932 Juanita changed the school to a boarding house and restaurant, which later became Bear Mountain Lodge. Juanita was a social worker and supervisor for the American Red Cross during World War II. Stationed at a London hospital during D-Day, she remembers the hundreds of wounded soldiers who came through the ER afterward. With no time for paperwork, nurses used their lipsticks to write the letter “P” on the foreheads of their patients, indicating that the young men had been given the new wonder drug penicillin. After the war, she was a social worker at Fort Bayard and later served as the director of the Grant County Welfare Office for many years. Long before the civil rights movement gained acceptance, she was responsible for a policy reform that was instituted at government hospitals nationwide. Under the new policy, patients were assigned to floors in the hospitals based on the nature of their ailments rather than their race. Juanita is the oldest living graduate of WNMU, then New Mexico State Teachers College. A confirmed lifetime voter, she plans to vote for a woman for president if a woman runs next time. “Women should be given a chance at everything,” she says.

JUANITA

FRANKS BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 102. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Ivanhoe, NM. It was a mining town located between Hurley and Santa Rita. It’s under one of the tailings dumps now. I’ve lived in Grant County off and on my entire life. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? We worked, because we lived on a ranch. Ranch people have to help each other. We made our own games. We took care of horses, cattle, pigs and chickens and had fun doing it. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? I don’t remember one. My mother was a wonderful person. She kept us busy with all sorts of chores, but none of them was disturbing to us. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? Population growth would be the biggest thing. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? Diane’s Restaurant is a wonderful place. I like to go there in the mornings when Diane is there. She’s a great person. I also like the Buckhorn in Pinos Altos. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? No. I have a hard time with movies these days, and all the old movie stars have died off. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Travel, travel, travel. I’ve never taken a trip I didn’t enjoy. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? The Hispanic population has increased tremendously, and I think that’s been for the good. They are interested in politics and community affairs. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? I can’t think of one. Right now I’m interested in getting a plumber out here to fix the pipes and in getting my dog well. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? All of them. I enjoy life. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? I bought a computer and tried to learn to use it, but I saw I couldn’t do it. It just didn’t click. I eventually gave up and gave it away. My 12-year-old great-great niece is a whiz with one. She’s a bright little girl; I think all the kids are these days. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Get a good education. www.ziapublishing.com – 25


JIM

McCauley BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 92 this November. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born here when there was no hospital. Except for four years in the army in World War II, I’ve always lived here. What sort of work did you do? I feel that I was lucky to be able to be a rancher. Were the “good old days” really all that good? In a way. It had drawbacks too, but I liked the independent life. I’ve never answered to a whistle. My dad was the only boss I ever had, and that was when I was a kid. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Riding horses with my dad. I started when I was six. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? Well, there’s building fence. I’ve dug a few thousand postholes, that’s not fun. There are 200 postholes to a mile of fence. Also, I never liked going back into the hot kitchen with my sister after supper and washing dishes. Was life better/simpler then? Simpler, pretty much. We just worked all the time. We got two days off per year: Christmas and the Fourth of July. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? There are a lot more people. They’ve covered up a lot of good ranch land with houses and trailers. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? The Kountry Kitchen. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? I’d only seen two picture shows before I went into the army. Will Rogers was a comical guy. In the army I saw Judy Garland, and I liked her. On the ranch, we could listen to the radio back then, so that’s mostly what we did. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Give it away. Hell, I couldn’t spend it. A lot of people like to travel. I like to sit here and look up the hill. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? The war (WW II) changed everything. It had a tremendous impact on Grant and Luna Counties. We lost our finest young men. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? You can burn ’em up as far as I’m concerned. (Laughs.) There are too many dumb people entering stuff on computers and messing up the computers. I did learn to use one of those hand adding machines. I used to like TV shows like ‘Bonanza’ and ‘Green Acres’ but TV hurts my eyes now and most of the shows are filthy. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? One thing: be honest. I don’t believe in being a liar or a cheater. Learn how to do something and give an honest day’s work for a day’s pay. When my grandfather was ranching, there were a few thieves among the homesteaders. My dad was complaining about it one day, and my granddad told him, “Don’t worry about the thieves. They won’t be around long. You can’t make it around here unless you’re honest.” I believe that. And you know what? That was in 1901, and the thieves weren’t around long. The honest families are still there today. Be fair with your fellow man and you’ll have no trouble in life. 26 – SILVER CITY LIFE

When 21-year-old Jim McCauley entered Silver City’s first professional rodeo n 1934, he rode his horse from White Signal just to reach the rodeo grounds to compete. His father was a cattle rancher, and Jim never wanted to be anything else. At that time there were no trucks to take the cattle to market. Cattle shipped by rail, and they had to be herded to the railheads by drovers on horseback. On Jim’s first cattle drive – to Whitewater at age nine – the men rounded up brush cattle along the way and made camp near the corrals at Hogback. During the night the half-wild cattle spooked and tore the corrals down. After the stampede, cattle were scattered across a 15-mile radius around the camp. Jim rode horseback to attend various county schools. He carried a lunch, but preferred to visit the Diamond A Cattle Co. chuck wagon if it was nearby. The cook, Sourdough Johnson, specialized in steaks with sourdough Dutch oven biscuits and gravy. Attending high school in Silver City, Jim spent three hours daily riding the school “bus” – a pickup truck with metal side-panels, curtains and benches mounted in the back. “You wouldn’t think we could get 35 kids in the back of a half-ton Dodge pickup,” he said, “but we did. On warm days there’d be five kids sitting on the tailgate.” Ranching is a hardworking life, but Jim has few regrets. “I feel sorry for kids today who don’t know what they want to do in life. I was doing it by the time I was nine.”


Many New Mexicans who survived the horrors of the Bataan Death March returned to fill leadership roles in their state. Former attorney, bank co-founder, district attorney and longtime state legislator Tommy Foy is one such man. Tommy grew up in a local ranching family. “I grew up loving horses and jumped at every chance to help my uncle whenever he was moving cattle,” he says. He attended high school in Silver City and went on to Notre Dame, where he worked at a variety of jobs to help with expenses. After serving his country in World War II, Tommy returned to continue his law practice and to court his future wife, Joan Carney. The couple was married in 1948. “We raised five children and had a wonderful life,” he adds, noting, “She was an amazing woman.” In 1946, Tommy saw the need for a bank in the mining district, where he has lived all his life. He drew up the papers establishing Grant County State Bank, became one of its first officers, and served as Chairman of the Board for 14 years. He also served two terms as Grant County District Attorney and was a charter member of the Bayard Lions Club. Tommy entered state politics in 1970, serving in the State House of Representatives. There, he chaired the Judiciary Committee for 16 years, and was appointed to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1987. He retired from the legislature in 1998 but he is still a member of the state bar and The National Conference of Commissioners.

TOMMY

Foy

BY JOE BURGESS AND BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 91 in October 2005. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Silver City and lived my entire life in the mining district. What sort of work did you do? I am a retired attorney. I am a retired chairman of the Board and one of the co-founders of the Grant County State Bank, which is now Bank Of America. I served 28 years as a state representative and two terms as district attorney. I served my country during World War II and am a survivor of the Bataan Death March. Were the “good old days” really all that good? I will answer “no,” because during the depression, Dad had to work several jobs just to take care of the family. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? I loved to ride horses and enjoyed helping round up the cattle. I also loved baseball and served as mascot for the Ft. Bayard Vets. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? I was part of a cohesive family and had a car, so there was really nothing I didn’t enjoy. Is life better/easier now? Life is much better, now. My family helped educate me, my wife was a great influence on my life and we raised five wonderful children. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years? There has been a noticeable growth in the number or organizations and individuals promoting the area and it is making a difference. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? Joan and I enjoyed dining at the Country Club and at El Paisano. Whenever I was working in town, I would eat at the Manhattan Café. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? John Wayne, Gunsmoke, Matlock, Perry Mason… I have more time for television, now. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I want to be comfortable and I want my children to be comfortable, beyond that, I would simply do what I am doing now, give to my church, my school, veterans organizations and help my war buddies. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? In a broad sense, I would like to see children have equal opportunities for the best education and training to suit their abilities. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? World War II took a huge toll on New Mexico and Grant County by eliminating the cream of the crop of a whole generation. Those of us who returned have contributed as much as possible to the state. What decade did you enjoy the most? The period that included returning from the service alive, meeting Joan and raising a family. What do think of current technology? I haven’t learned how to use that “whatever-it-is” (laughing and pointing at a laptop), but I can still use a typewriter. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Get a good education, work hard, have a good moral compass to guide you, and serve your fellow man. Accept responsibility for the good that you do as well as the mistakes that you make. Enjoy life. www.ziapublishing.com – 27


DOROTHY

McCray

There was never any doubt that Dorothy McCray was

BY BRETT FERNEAU

an artist. She began drawing and painting as

Your age? I turned 90 in October. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in South Dakota. I came here from the University of Iowa to teach at Western New Mexico University. That was in 1948. What sort of work did you do? I’m an artist, of course. Were the “good old days” really all that good? I enjoyed them. They weren’t necessarily better than present times, but they were different. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Painting, drawing, swimming and playing tennis. Mostly painting and drawing. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? Math. I wasn’t good at it and panicked. I avoided it all the way through school. I still do. Is life better/easier now? It’s never been hard, has it? It’s always been interesting, but that doesn’t mean it’s always been pleasant. Was life better/simpler then? For me it was completely different when I was teaching. Teaching is a very involved occupation, and I was doing my own artwork as well. It was a very busy time. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? The university campus and student body have grown considerably. There’s been a dramatic population growth around the outskirts of town, and an extreme surge of interest in the arts in the last 15 years or so. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? Right here. (Indicates her gallery.) If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I’d probably put it into animal shelters and scholarships for art students. Possibly medical research, but that’s too distant. It’s really not a practical question. I certainly wouldn’t buy anything. I’ve got enough stuff. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? Of course. All the paintings and prints I haven’t done yet. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? The mine strike in the 50s certainly had an impact on the area, and the Big Ditch – I wasn’t here then but that must’ve been something. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? Well, the 50s was the most exciting time, because of the students at the university. A lot of them were ex-GI’s. There was a spirit of experimentation and excitement among them. In the 60s there was more unrest. It was an interesting and frustrating time. In the 70s I got my own etching press and did a lot of traveling in the summertime. I retired from teaching in ’81. What do think of current technology? Oh, it’s not going to go away, is it? I have a digital camera that I use to photograph my artwork and upload it to my website. It’s all quite amazing, but I could live very nicely without it. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Be curious about things. Use your imagination. Whatever you wonder about, try it. It takes a lot of courage, but it’s worth it.

a young girl. Now 90, she continues to

28 – SILVER CITY LIFE

pursue her passion and shows no signs of being ready to quit. Dorothy was hired as an art instructor at New Mexico State Teachers College – now WNMU – and moved here with her husband in 1948. At that time, she says, the grocery stores were downtown, there were prospector’s burros on the streets and some people still carried guns on their hips. The Murray Hotel was the swankest place in town and the Branding Iron Saloon was in its heyday. Laughing, she adds, “I guess that makes it sound like a long time ago.” Dorothy taught for 33 years and several of her students became wellknown artists. She enjoyed teaching, but viewed her retirement in 1981 as an opportunity to spend more time on her own artwork. She calls herself an “action painter,” meaning that she doesn’t set out with a precise plan in mind, but allows the painting to evolve as she works. She is also an expert stone lithographer and has her own etching press at her home studio. Her work sells well at her Atelier Gallery on Broadway, but that’s not the only reason she displays it. “People look at my larger pieces and say, ‘I love it, but I don’t have space for it.’ I tell them ‘You don’t have to take music home to enjoy it; you can just enjoy it where you are.’ It’s the same with the visual arts.”


Like several of his teammates, Chicago-born Nicholas Chintis

NICK

came here from Indiana in 1938 on a basketball

BY BRETT FERNEAU

scholarship to New Mexico State Teachers

Your age? 88. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Chicago and came here from Indiana. I was recruited to play college basketball. I also played football. Except for the war, I’ve been here since then. What sort of work did you do? I was a teacher and supervisor for Grant County Schools before I joined the staff at Western New Mexico University. At WNMU, I worked in everything from student recruitment to the Alumni Association. So I’ve had the chance to know a lot of students throughout their entire careers. Were the “good old days” really all that good? In some respects they were, although that includes my years as a POW. It was a different atmosphere then. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? (Chuckles.) Exactly what I’ve been doing. The field of education is not known for making money, but it’s gratifying. I enjoyed the work. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? Not really. I think my work in education pretty much ran the gamut of things to do and accomplish. I feel good about my history. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? For me personally, it was being a prisoner of war. A bunch of us from the university joined the National Guard. The whole football team signed up together. We signed up for one year. There are only four or five of us left now. We were the most decorated regiment in World War II. We received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and three presidential citations. When I was working at the shipyard in Yokohama, we witnessed the air raids on Yokohama and Tokyo. They incinerated Yokohama. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? I don’t use them. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Get an education. You’ve gotta have it. It’s a necessity – not just from the standpoint of knowledge, but of social integration, of fitting into a way of life. I was always student-oriented. I’d try to see the student’s side of a controversy, and give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Some people aren’t student oriented; they’d rather kick them out than keep them in. I’d rather keep them in.

College, now WNMU. The 1939 team beat UCLA, won the Rose Bowl invitational and was ranked 10th in the nation. Nick recalls his first trip to Silver City: “Indiana is pretty green, and the farther west we got the more desolate-looking the landscape became. We were having serious misgivings until we pulled into the T&H drive-in restaurant at the edge of town, where Miko’s Tacos is today. The carhops were girls in white Stetsons™ and white cowboy boots. They were the prettiest things we’d ever seen. We decided then and there that this was the place for us.” In 1941 Nick joined the New Mexico National Guard, becoming part of a chapter in history that is too often forgotten. Captured by Japanese forces in the Phillipine Islands, he survived the infamous Bataan Death March and spent the remainder of World War II laboring in a shipyard as a prisoner of war. Returning in 1945, Nick resumed his studies at New Mexico State Teachers College, graduating in 1948. He taught at the county school in Bayard, and then served as Grant County School Supervisor from 1951-53. A 20-year career in the administration department at WNMU followed. Nick earned M.S. degrees in both Administration and Counseling, which eventually led to the position of Director of Admission – Placement and Field Services. He retired in 1973. Nick’s 1939 basketball team, the best in the school’s history, was inducted into the WNMU Hall of Fame in 1993.

Chintis

www.ziapublishing.com – 29


PAUL

Hunter BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 85. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. My father was a World War I veteran with tuberculosis. In those days there was nothing to do for TB but move to a dry climate. We came here when I was a young boy. I’ve lived here off and on ever since. Were the “good old days” really all that good? Yes. People helped each other. Our doctor made house calls. It was the attitude of the people that made the west such a good place to be. As a child, what did you enjoyed most? Sports. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? One of my jobs was to carry the woodstove ashes out. I hated it because that fine dust would get in my eyes and nose and everywhere, and then I had to clean that up too. Is life better/easier now? It’s better in a lot of ways. There have been a lot of technical advances. There are no ashes to carry out. But I think the values of people have slipped a lot. Was life better/simpler then? It was certainly simpler. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? People are not interested in politics like they were in the early days. We had better, more effective people in state and municipal jobs, even though many of the early jobs had no pay. So many things were done with a handshake then. The big ranches traded back and forth, and nothing was ever written down. I’m not saying there weren’t some big court actions, but the general atmosphere was one of mutual trust. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? The Kountry Kitchen for coffee and food. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? I always liked John Wayne. Jane Russell went to UCLA at the same time I did. She didn’t make many movies but I thought she was great. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I’d try to spend it wisely and do good things politically. I’d certainly donate to the Salvation Army, and I’d be very active – I’d spend all it took – for research to find a medical cure for alcoholism. It has ruined so many good people who just couldn’t stop. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? I’d like to have a big thoroughbred horse that would run in the Kentucky Derby and win. (Chuckles.) That goes along with having all the money in the world. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? For me personally, it was when Kennecott selected me to go to the University of Pittsburgh to get a master’s degree. It was a special program for large company executives. I was away from my family for three or four months at a time. The course was taught by experts in a variety of fields from finance to law. It taught me to think differently about what motivates people. What do think of current technology? It haunts me that telecommunications have changed to the point where it actually discourages communication. With large companies, you can go weeks without getting in touch with the person you’re trying to reach. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? I think today’s young people should be provided with a more realistic education in business. To get ahead, you have to realize how to get ahead. That’s done by satisfying demand. For example, the work you do in school is done to create a demand for your employment later on. Never overlook the importance of demand. 30 – SILVER CITY LIFE

If Paul Hunter owned a different hat for every occupation he’s had, he’d need a bigger house to hold his collection. He’s been a professional football player, a new car dealer, a miner, an executive, a public servant, a broadcasting entrepreneur and an author. He estimates that he and his wife Gene – short for Imogene – have moved 25 times, but they always returned to Silver City. “It was a great place to grow up,” he recalled. Young Paul Hunter made his mark here as the first freshman ever to earn letters in three sports during his first year at New Mexico State Teachers College, now WNMU. Following navy service during World War II he played pro football for the Washington Redskins, who paid him a whopping $50 signing bonus. Returning home, he founded a successful Nash automobile dealership here before going on to a career in various aspects of the mining industry. He served as a city councilor, on the WNMU Board of Regents and was appointed to the U.S Labor Department Advisory Board. Paul is probably best remembered locally as the past owner and driving force behind radio station KNFT-AM and FM. He told us he wasn’t looking to get into the broadcasting business, but just looking to get some breakfast at the Kountry Kitchen when he learned that the station was for sale. “I’d been a part-time disc jockey at KSIL in college,” he said, “The price was right, so I said, ‘I think I’ll buy it.’ I bought it over breakfast. It was a lot of fun.”


When economist Dorothy Blalock came to New Mexico Western College, now WNMU – to teach in 1950, the student body totaled 270, about one-twelfth its number today. She taught there for over 42 years, and says that one of the greatest rewards of an educational career is hearing someone say, “I’m using what you taught me.” Dorothy was recently honored at a reception hosted by Dr. John Counts, President of the University, and his wife Barbara. Professor Blalock received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” issued by the WNMU Alumni Association and the WNMU Foundation for her many contributions to the school and community. She also received a commemorative plaque to be displayed on WNMU’s newly established Wall of Honor. “It’s very humbling,” says this great-great grandmother. “There have been so many good teachers at WNMU.” As a student, Dorothy interrupted her education to join the U.S. Navy in 1942. Since she’d already completed secretarial school and knew shorthand, she expected to be assigned as a yeoman or a storekeeper. Instead, tests showed she had an aptitude as a mechanic. She served as an aviation machinist’s mate until 1945. Returning to school after the war, she graduated from the University of Minnesota during an era when many still considered economics to be exclusively a man’s field. “People thought I should be at home, cooking,” she says with a laugh. “I was cooking at home. I happen to be a good cook!” Why did she choose economics? “We live it every day. It’s changing every day. It’s the essence of what happens, the center of the social sciences.”

DOROTHY

Blalock BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? Closer to 90 than to 80. Were the “good old days” really all that good? Every age is a good age. You just have to accept change. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? I enjoyed learning, going to school and reading. There are many lakes around Duluth. We could go swimming in the summer and iceskating in the winter. Is life better/easier now? Look at all the paved streets, and all the additions. The boundaries of the old historic district were only a mile in each direction from the intersection of Broadway and Bullard. The town had no sewer system east of Hudson Street. Was life better/simpler then? Simpler, maybe. There were no washers, driers or dishwashing machines. Those solar-powered clothes driers were more work. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years? An increased tendency toward acceptance of all peoples. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? I think Shevek & Mi has marvelous food. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? Well, I haven’t taken the train from Toronto to Vancouver yet. I haven’t been to Japan or India. I’d like to spend a week on a dude ranch in Colorado. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? I think one such event was when the railroad stopped passenger service to Silver City. The train never had real passenger cars, but there were seats in the caboose where you could ride. Since Silver City was at the end of the line, the train always backed into the station here. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? I enjoyed all of them. One should do that as you go along in life. You don’t say, “I wish I were again.” What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? They are necessities today. I do not have a cell phone yet, but I was one of the first professors at the university to have a computer in my office. What do you know about people and life today that you wish you had known when you were younger? I always kept up with my generations. You have to change with change, but don’t let go of what was good in the past. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? It’s important to obtain an education. It’s also important to have a faith for guidance.

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MURRAY

One of Murray Ryan’s childhood memories of Silver City

BY BRETT FERNEAU

was watching the circus train unload at the depot

Your age? I turned 83 in July. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Central. The town is called Santa Clara now. I’ve always lived in this area, except for my years in the military. Were the “good old days” really all that good? Yes. There was more collegiality. There was more mutual support and respect in the community. I think there was also more effective community leadership. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Weekend picnics with Dutch oven biscuits. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? I can’t think of anything. I really had a marvelous childhood. Our entertainment was all self-designed: marbles, kites and rubber gun battles. Is life better/easier now? It was easier then, less strife and stress. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? We have a changing population, and a marked difference in cultural diversity. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? We’re fortunate to have several excellent restaurants. There is also a variety of art and cultural possibilities sponsored by both the Mimbres Region Arts Council and Western New Mexico University. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? I’d say my favorite movie was “Shane.” My favorite actor would probably be Jimmy Stewart. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? First I’d provide a secure financial future for my four children. Then I’d support some very important charities, such as cancer research. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? Not specifically. I wish I had more time to travel. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? The 40s. After West Point, I was part of the occupation forces in Europe. My wife and I did quite a bit of traveling. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? To my embarrassment, they’ve all passed me by. What do you know about people and life today that you wish you had known when you were younger? Most individuals tend to take a very short view of things instead of looking ahead into the future. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Never give up your confidence and optimistic view of the future.

in the late 1920s. The handlers unloaded the

Ryan

32 – SILVER CITY LIFE

elephants and used them to push the wagons up the hill. Murray’s maternal great grandfather, Timothy Murray, was a civil war veteran who brought his family to Fort Bayard in the 1880s. His son, W.D. Murray, started a general merchandise business in Central (now Santa Clara) where Murray Ryan was born. Murray’s parents named him for his mother’s family surname. He was educated at West Point, graduating in 1945. The family had built the Murray Hotel in 1938, and in 1960 the hotel assumed sponsorship of a little league baseball team. “Having a restaurant, they felt they were in a good position to supply the team with hamburgers, fries and sodas,” says Murray with a smile. He and lifelong friend Jack Hill coached the team and are well remembered by former players. Murray is a director at 1st New Mexico Bank and had a 20-year career with Kennecott Copper Corp., but he’s probably best known for his other career: 30 years as our state representative, beginning in 1969. He notes that he usually made the treks to Santa Fe accompanied by his family and dog, Snoopy. Murray also served as State Chairman of the Republican Party in 1973, which led to personal meetings with the president, vice president and two future presidents. These days, Murray volunteers at the Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Center that bears his name. You’ll find him there every Thursday. Drop by and say hello!


The closing of Schadel’s Bakery in the early 90s was the end of

JIM

an era in Silver City’s lifestyle. For 87 years, the

BY BRETT FERNEAU

family-owned bakery provided the area with countless fresh donuts, rolls and loaves of bread. Jim Schadel’s uncle bought the business in1906. His father took over when his uncle died and ran the business for another 35 years. Jim grew up in it, wrapping and delivering bread before and after school. He estimates that he personally made 4,000 wedding cakes during his own tenure as owner. As a kid working in the bakery, I knew two things for certain,” he says. “When I grew up, I never wanted to live in Silver City and I never wanted to be a baker. It only took me seven years to realize my mistake.” He moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma as a young man in order to be near his future wife, Carolyn. They were married in 1949 and Jim worked as a delivery driver for WonderBread™. In 1955 the couple came back to Silver City to stay. Jim went back to work at the bakery, starting his workdays at 2 a.m. Jim took over the operation in 1965. His sons Steve and Jeff worked at the bakery growing up, and Jeff later returned to work there for another 10 years. Jim retired in 1993. Jim and Carolyn have been married for 56 years. They were cofounders and charter members of the Silver City Country Club, where they enjoyed many a round of golf together. These days they enjoy fishing and RVing.

Schadel Your age? 77. Were the “good old days” really all that good? Not necessarily. I enjoy retirement. When I was working, though, I’d work from 2 am to 12 or 12:30 pm. My wife and I would go play nine holes of golf, and then I’d sleep for two or three hours. We’d have a normal evening, and I’d go to bed about nine. I did that for 20 or 30 years. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Going to the picture shows. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? I never enjoyed school. If I hadn’t had some lenient teachers I’d probably still be in high school. Was life better/simpler then? Yes, simpler. There have always been wars and threats of wars, but it seems like the world is in worse shape now than it’s been in a long time. Or maybe it’s just that I have more time to think about it. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? The weather. When we moved back here in ’55 there was no air conditioning and we didn’t need any. We always wore sweaters outside at night. We didn’t even buy a swamp cooler until we put the addition on the house about 30 years ago. When people talk about global warming, I believe them. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? (Chuckles.) Probably sit right here. It’s a nice home, and it’s still a nice neighborhood. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? I think we enjoyed the time we were age 40 to 60 the most. We were very social then. Along with about 20 other couples, we helped start and open the country club here. We played golf and went to the dances there. We’re charter members. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? It’s great. I should mention that we have a computer that does nothing but play solitaire, and we have a cell phone that we don’t understand, but we carry it with us when we travel because we know how to dial 911. But it’s fantastic what they can do now. When we used to listen to the radio, you’d tune in your favorite program and then sit and stare at the knobs. Now there’s television. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Yes. If you’re going to succeed you’re going to have to work, and if the job requires going in at 2 a.m. then that’s when you go in. No matter what job you have, you’re still going to have to work at it.

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“I was only eight when I began selling home-made

GAVINO (GABBY)

Armendariz

bread, tortillas and piñon door to door to

BY JOE BURGESS AND ARLENE SCHADEL

Your age? 76 on October 5, 2005 Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Hurley and spent most of my life in the Mining District. What sort of work did you do? I managed Bailey’s Market and later, along with son Steve, owned both the market and Bayard Shopping Center. Were the “good old days” really all that good? We enjoyed life and each other more than the newer generations. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Baseball…we would walk to Hurley, Central and Santa Rita to watch weekend baseball games. I have since attended two World Series games. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? Chopping wood in winter. It was one of the few things my parents had to keep after us to do. Is life better/easier now? Modern conveniences make life simpler today but, of course, younger generations don’t realize where we have come from. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? There have not been too many changes. We appreciate the peacefulness of the area, but we suffer from lack of jobs to hold the children here. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? Rosenda and I used to go regularly to Mi Casita for Mexican food. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? Since you are allowing me to include baseball… the old Brooklyn Dodgers and now the Diamondbacks, Don Drysdale, Luis Gonzales and Mike Garcia. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I would give to charitable organizations that help people in need, especially victims of hunger. We help as we can through our church and support an orphanage in Chihuahua. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? I would like to have obtained a college degree. We encourage the grandchildren to finish college. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? World War II impacted our business because the nation needed lead, zinc and copper. A lot of people from northern New Mexico came here to work in the mines. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? I enjoyed the early 50’s when Rosenda and I were starting our lives and our families were making the adobes for our house. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? It is all very good, and very frustrating. I don’t understand how so many cell phone conversations take place at one time without getting all jumbled up. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Be honest, apply yourself to whatever you do and complete your education.

34 – SILVER CITY LIFE

help the family,” says Gabby (Gavino) Armendariz. “When I was a sophomore at Hurley High School in 1946, Vivian Wright told me she needed help at Bailey’s Food Market. She hired me as a carryout and I’ve been in the grocery business ever since.” Gabby was eventually made partner in the business with the owners, Mr. Roy Bailey and his daughter, Mildred. Years later, Gabby with his son Steve formed a corporation that would own the Food Market as well as the entire Bayard Shopping Center. The store was known to carry what the mining district people liked, including the best in red chili and “Mexican type baked goods and breads”. They always carried credit business, which eased the pain of the strikes for many mining families. Gabby says, “good credit is better that cash… you see, good credit lasts when cash runs out.” He says it worked well for his store, as most of his customers were good honest people. Customers were like family as they patronized the store for generations, as were some of the long time employees that worked there for decades. Gabby retired officially in 1998 but could still be spotted at the store working from time to time until 2000, after which the store was sold to Jim and Debbie Nennich. “Taking care of people’s needs was the key to our success in the grocery business,” Gabby continues. “We served two and three generations of people in the mining district. Conversely, God took care of us and we never had to leave the area.”


State Senate President Pro Tempore Ben Altamirano’s first job – hauling water after school – paid five cents a day. “A nickel isn’t much,” he chuckles, “but in those days it kept me in Taffy Giraffes.” At seven, Ben began working at W. A. Watson General Mercantile near his home in Pinos Altos. Along with cash, the store accepted raw gold brought in by miners. In the early 60s Ben opened his own grocery store and meat market, Benny’s Market in Silver City. He borrowed money on his 1949 Dodge truck in order to stock the cash register with change. Like many other businesses, Benny’s offered store credit accounts, and not long afterwards a mine strike began that lasted eleven months. For the duration of the strike the store had no cash flow, but Ben carried his customers’ accounts and kept them supplied with fresh meat and vegetables until the strike ended and they were able to catch up. His public service career began about that same time, when he was appointed to the city council. Re-elected, he served on the council for ten years and then served two terms as a county commissioner. Elected to the state senate in 1970, he has been there ever since. He is the subject of a CD produced by El Centro de la Raza at UNM and has even had a song written about him.Ben’s wife Nina was a successful businesswoman in her own right. For many years she owned Nina’s Guys and Gals, a downtown store. retired

The from

clothing couple the

clothing business in 1997.

BEN

Altamirano BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 75. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Silver City and grew up in Pinos Altos. I’ve lived in Grant County except for four years in the Army. I joined when I was 16. What sort of work did you do? I’ve worked in retail grocery, retail clothing, insurance, timbering, cattle roundups and I was a firefighter for the Forest Service. Were the “good old days” really all that good? You know, those days were kind of a hardship time. My family was very poor. But I can’t remember an unpleasant day as a child, so they must have been the “good old days.” Everyone was friendly then. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Just growing up in Pinos Altos. Rabbit hunting, trading comic books, ordinary things. We’d walk over to a swimming hole on Cherry Creek about four miles away and get so tired swimming that it was hard to walk back. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? The industrial phenomenon. New Mexico’s economy used to be based strictly on ranching, mining and farming. With modernization has come a change in people’s lifestyles. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? The movie would be “Air Force.” I like Sean Connery as an actor. I liked the old comedians a lot too. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I’d build a compound full of nice houses where we and all our kids and grandkids could be together. The rest would go to a number of charitable causes. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? I always dreamed of being a coast-to-coast semi truck driver. I also wanted to attend law school and become a pro bono lawyer. If I had the education and could afford it, I’d have a free law office and just help people. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? When they detonated the A-bomb at White Sands in the 40s, we felt the tremor in Pinos Altos. I think that was when I realized that while planning is necessary, you’ve got to go one day at a time and not take things for granted. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? I enjoyed the years I was in business, when my kids were growing up. My wife and I were able to work together. Those were busy times. Besides the city council, I worked with LULAC and was on the hospital board. What do think of current technology? I can’t operate a computer yet. I like to type a letter on a typewriter, then sign it and mail it. I think you lose the personal touch doing everything by Email. When Nina and I travel, we listen to a lot of audio books. We enjoy those very much. One thing is certain: technology is here to stay, and keeping current with information technology is a big issue in state government. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Just a basic thing: Get educated. Go to school. Technology is here and it’s become a way of life. Nina and I got married young in 1949. I did some college work in night school, but never got a degree. I think the more educated kids get, the sooner we’ll get rid of the gangs and drugs. www.ziapublishing.com – 35


DR. JOHN S.

Wilson BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 74. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. I’ve been here for 42 years. Were the “good old days” really all that good? I think it’s a matter of selective memory. As you grow older you forget the trials of a younger age, and remember good health. There’s probably no such thing as the “good old days.” As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? My father was a doctor, and he made house calls. I started going along with him as a child. When I was little I had to wait in the car, but when I got older he let me carry his bag. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? Delivering newspapers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the wintertime. We went there to stay with my grandmother while my father served in the navy during the war. I had a paper route. My fingers were always frozen. Is life better/easier now? There are more opportunities for young people, more scholarships and support. When I was an intern I made $25 a month and sold blood to get by. On the other hand, there are more and greater hazards now. Substance abuse is more apparent. Was life better/simpler then? When I had my practice, life was more regimented. There was more of a routine. I was married for 47 years, and my wife took care of a lot of things. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years? The climate. There’s less snow now. We have a more affluent community. It’s easier to get water. The people are not all that different than they were. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? The Little Walnut picnic ground. It’s quiet and there are lots of bluebirds there. I’m a birder, too. I have 475 on my list. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? Gary Cooper in “High Noon.” John Wayne. Linda Darnell. Most movies now are made for kids 14 and under. There are very few movies made for adults, and I’m not talking about pornography. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? I was injured recently and postponed a trip to the Lake District in northern Italy. I’ll go next year. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? There was a steelworker’s strike at the mines in ’68 or ’69. Times were hard. The opening of the Tyrone Mine was a shot in the arm, and retirement and tourism have brought revenue to the area. The Chamber of Commerce has successfully marketed Silver City as a good place to come to. What do think of current technology? We’re continually confronted with a tremendous amount of knowledge, and it’s hard to concentrate on what’s important. I think in ten years all phones will be cellular and the landlines will be gone. I hate to see people driving and talking on cell phones, though. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Be optimistic about life. Try to see the bright side of things. Psychologists call it “learned optimism.” Survive your difficulties. Things will work themselves out if you keep on plugging. Friends are important. Personal relationships are important. 36 – SILVER CITY LIFE

Dr. John Wilson always knew he would become a man of medicine, as his father and grandfather had done. He started ‘making the rounds’ with his father as a boy. At 14, he began volunteering at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, his hometown. Accepted at several universities, he trained at the Columbia School of Medicine and performed his internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York and Hartford Hospital. Dr. Wilson came to Silver City in 1963 after serving in the U.S. Army Burn Unit at Fort Sam Houston. At that time there were virtually no medical specialists in the area, and he saw an unfilled need for a surgeon. “I came here to work hard,” he told us, and that’s exactly what he did. He attended to his own practice during regular hours and worked in the hospital ER at night. Despite the long hours, he grew to appreciate Silver City and never left. Dr. Wilson assures us that old age is not for sissies, but don’t take this wiry 74-year-old lightly; he’s in better physical shape than many people half his age. This swimmer, runner, weight lifter and bicyclist has competed in 25 marathons and can still run a seven-minute mile. He has climbed the higher peaks in the U.S. and Europe and once bicycled from San Diego to New York City in 51 days. “On that trip,” he said, “I learned what a good place Silver City is. I plan to stay here. It’s a great place to live, and the people make it so.”


In the years following World War II, downtown Silver City was a busy and exciting place. With three theaters, three drugstores and a multitude of restaurants and businesses, it was a shopping and supply hub for all of the area’s ranchers and miners. Beverly Redwine’s mother, O’Bera Click, bought the Model Shop in 1946. The women’s clothing store would become a downtown Silver City tradition for the next 55 years. Located on Bullard Street, it had an apartment at the rear of the building where the two women lived while Beverly was growing up. O’Bera became the first female member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. As her business grew, she bought the Circus Shop, a children’s clothing store across the street. The two stores were later combined under one roof. Young Beverly worked in her mother’s store, eventually assuming ownership in 1981 while O’Bera remained active in the business until age 87. “She enjoyed every single day at the Model Shop,” says Beverly. Beverly was active in the Main Street Project and on the Street Light Committee. She helped to organize Silver City’s first Lighted Christmas Parade and still chairs the Parade Committee 15 years later. She, like her mother, is a prolific, accomplished artist; her home is filled with her own exquisite porcelain art objects and an array of O’Bera’s paintings. Beverly remembers life in the 40s and 50s well, but her fondness of the area isn’t confined to memories. “Silver City was a wonderful place to grow up, live and raise children,” she says. “I think it still is.”

BEVERLY

Redwine BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 72. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Ft. Worth, Texas. We moved here in 1941 so that my father could receive medical treatment. Were the “good old days” really all that good? They were wonderful. Silver City was a fun place during those times. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? Living downtown in the back of the Model Shop. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? I can’t think of anything I didn’t like, growing up here. Is life better/easier now? I don’t know if it’s better. Being retired is easier. Was life better/simpler then? Life was really good then, even though things were tough. The townspeople were united. It was a wonderful relationship. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? One big change has been the reduction in mining and the influx of retirees to the area. Because of that, new people are coming in with new ideas. I feel that they’re very supportive of the community and contribute a lot to it. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? I like to go to the Mimbres just to get out and see the country. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? “An Affair to Remember” with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I’d give a lot to charity and see that my great grandchildren had a really good education. I’d still live right here in Silver City. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? As far as accomplishments, my goal is to be a fine porcelain artist. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? The 40s and 50s. There was a lot going on here. People were more tolerant of each other. Everyone worked together. It may have been an effect of the war. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? I kind of like them. They’re both necessary. I really like cell phones. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? Just be kind and tolerant to your fellow man. Set your goal and try to achieve it.

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BOBBIE

Neal BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? I turned 70 on Flag Day, June 14. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born here. We lived briefly in Deming and Shreveport, Louisiana. Other than that I’ve always lived here. What sort of work did you do? Real estate. I got my license in 1968. Were the “good old days” really all that good? I thought they were. There wasn’t as much fear. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? We had animals, and we got to be in the 4th of July parades. We raised the flag every morning at the fire station. My father blew the noon fire whistle so people knew when it was time to eat lunch, and I occasionally got to ring the evening curfew bell. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed least? Taking out the garbage was a fearful adventure. We had to get from the back door to the back of the property, and we had a mean rooster that would flog you. You had to keep the garbage can between you and the rooster at all times. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? I’d have to say the rapid population growth in just the last six years. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? The museum. I volunteer there part time. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? These days, not really. I’m kind of disgusted with the whole thing. When I was a girl, the mayor owned the movie theater and we were down there every Saturday. My favorite actors were John Wayne and Roy Rogers. I didn’t like Dale Evans because she married Roy. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I’ve thought about that. I’d police the Big Ditch and redesign the whole length of it to make a river walk. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? I’ve seen most of the United States, but not all of it. I’d like to do that. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? I was a member of the Grant County Sheriff’s Posse for years, and Southwest Horseman’s Assn. when they got pro rodeo started here. I also feel the Main Street Project is very important. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? Sometimes it stinks. It’s wonderful in one sense, because I can talk to my grandchildren instantly on my computer or cell phone. There’s way too much information coming in, though. I don’t like to watch war as it happens. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t need to know, because I can’t do anything about it. What do you know about people and life today that you wish you had known when you were younger? I think it would be to try to focus more on myself and what I’m doing wrong than on other people and what they’re doing wrong. Looking for someone else to blame is not a good idea. Just deal with what’s happening. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? I teach junior high and high school Sunday school, and young people today seem to want proof of everything. I would urge respect, courtesy and less emphasis on material things. 38 – SILVER CITY LIFE

Bobbie Neal-Little was born in what is now the gift shop in the Silver City Museum building. At that time it was the Silver City Fire Station and the residence of her parents, Fire Chief Rowland Ball and Bessie Violet Ball. Volunteer firefighters lived upstairs. In the back yard, which ran to Yankie St., the family kept horses, chickens, rabbits and an occasional cow or pig. Bobbie remembers young men stopping in to say goodbye before leaving to fight in World War II. A Saturday movie matinee cost 25 cents then, including popcorn and a cola. Residents didn’t lock their doors. Youngsters were off the streets by 9 p.m. when Rowland rang the fire station’s curfew bell. Bobbie married Meredith Neal in 1956. After careers spent working for others, the couple opened their own business, Neal Real Estate, in 1980. “I’ve sold most of the buildings downtown at least once,” jokes Bobbie. Meredith passed away in 1994. Bobbie later married Dr. Howard Little, a Silver City native. These days she volunteers at the Chamber of Commerce and the Silver City Museum, and was instrumental in raising money to build a permanent memorial to well-known local resident Johnny Banks. Bobbie and other Silver City longtimers are also trying to locate a set of wooden posts and panels that were erected at the fire station during World War II. The panels were inscribed with names of local soldiers, and Rowland added gold stars to the names of those killed in action. The markers are still believed to exist, but their location is unknown.


Daily Press photo by Jack Walz

Harold Oberg’s parents, Ernest and Almeda S. Oberg, brought him here at age five. Ernest, a veteran, was treated for tuberculosis at Fort Bayard Veteran’s Hospital. As a young man, Harold recalls square dancing with his future wife Greta and a group of others around the flagpole in front of the Silver City firehouse. He and Greta were married in 1959. Harold worked for the weekly Silver City Enterprize as a printer before beginning a 20-year career at the Silver City Daily Press in paper makeup, as a linotype setter, in circulation and other functions. For several years during that time he was also the projectionist at the Silco and Gila Theaters, and later became a partner in the Southwest Offset print shop. Greta, a career schoolteacher, says of Harold’s years as a projectionist: “Harold is a good man. He took a second job so I could be home while our two sons were growing up.” Harold has battled diabetes since childhood, finally losing his eyesight to the disease in the early 1980s. Despite health problems, he has spent his life backing up his belief in community service with personal action. Formerly active with the Cowboy Poets Jamboree, he is a lifetime member of the Silver City Optimist Club and the Western New Mexico University Club, where he was the number one ticket salesman for the annual Car Party until just two years ago. “When we moved here in 1944, my mother thought we were coming to the end of the world,” he says. “Today I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

HAROLD

Oberg BY BRETT FERNEAU

Your age? 66. Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived here? I was born in Pierson, Iowa. I moved here with my parents when I was five. Were the “good old days” really all that good? I think we just lived the best we could on the money we could make at the time. That was all anybody could do. As a child, what was one of the things you enjoyed most? We always went to Cherry Creek above P.A. for picnics. We’d look for Indian artifacts. There were no laws about that then. We’d be out all day Sunday, even in the coldest months. If you were cold you could always find a low arroyo and build a fire. What has been one of the biggest changes in southwestern New Mexico over the years, and how do you feel about it? The amount of people, traffic and stop signs. Also, Western High School used to be run by Western University. I remember when it changed over to Silver High. That was a significant change. What is your favorite place to visit in Silver City? Mi Casita for dinner on Friday nights. It’s a family tradition. Greta taught school for 33 years, and she didn’t need to be cooking by the end of the week, so I’d take her to dinner. We also go to the Grinder Mill for coffee. Do you have a favorite actor or movie? John Wayne was the one we all went to see. I don’t think they can replace him. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Live off the interest. Is there something in life you’d still like to do? Drive downtown. (Laughs.) My activities have been curtailed by blindness, but I think I did all that stuff already. What event or occurrence do you feel had a large impact on our area or on you personally? When my father was in the hospital at Ft. Bayard, we’d go to see him but they wouldn’t let kids in. So my mother would go see my father and I’d go outside and talk to the caretakers or the fireman. They were all German prisoners of war. That experience gave me a much bigger view of the world. What decade did you enjoy the most? Why? The 60s. I was woodworking then. I made a lot of the furniture in this house. What do think of current technology, like computers and cell phones? I guess it’s all fun, but I don’t want any part of cell phones. Is there something helpful you would like to say to young people who are just starting out? I’d politely suggest that everyone turn off their TV sets and get involved in their communities. Is there something helpful you would like to say to someone who has just found out that they have diabetes? Fight it. Keep your blood sugar under control. It seems like the days you try the hardest are the days you can’t do it. What works today might not work tomorrow. It’s a constant battle, but it’s something you must do. I’ve had 14 eye surgeries, but if doctors had known what they know today when I started having eye problems, I’d probably still be able to see.

www.ziapublishing.com – 39


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40 – SILVER CITY LIFE

04/02

Located 8 miles from Silver City, Fort Bayard is not only an important part of our area’s history, but an important part of area health care as well. It began as an encampment during the Apache wars in 1866 and was part of a line of posts across southern New Mexico. After the surrender of Geronimo and his people twenty years later, it was no longer need as a military post, and was eventually abandoned in 1899. That same year, Surgeon General George M. Sternberg proposed that Fort Bayard be transferred to the U.S. Army medical services, due to the healing properties attributed to high altitude and a dry climate. It became the first sanatorium dedicated to treating Army personnel suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and hosted a number of important research discoveries. Under the Veteran’s Administration in 1922, the sanatorium became a central veterans’ hospital. German prisoners of war housed there during World War II helped maintain the grounds and buildings. The State of New Mexico assumed control of Fort Bayard in 1965, and the present day longterm health care facility employs about 400 people. The adjoining military cemetery became a National Cemetery in 1976. Fort Bayard was named a National Historic Landmark in 2004.


BY DONNA CLAYTON LAWDER PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE BURGESS AND DONNA CLAYTON LAWDER

A delicious recipe is made all the more precious and enjoyable when it is a family recipe handed down with love and tradition. Here, Christy Miller offers two special recipes that were handed down to her from her mother, Minnie Triviz Horcasitas, and her grandmother, Guadalupe Cuaron Triviz. Make something traditional this season! You’ll be glad you did!

Grandma Horcasitas’ Biscochitos Christy Miller 1 lb. lard 4 cups flour 1 jigger wine 1 tsp. anise flavor or anise balls 3 ⁄4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 ⁄2 tsp baking powder 1 ⁄4 tsp. salt Cinnamon sugar mixture to roll cookies in Cream lard. Add sugar, cream again. Add eggs, wine and anise. Mix. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the combined dry ingredients. Knead. If dough is too sticky to form into little balls, add more flour with a little baking powder.

Minnie’s Flour Tortillas 4 cups flour 2 tsp. baking powder 11⁄2 tsp. salt 11⁄2 cups warm water 3 Tbsp shortening Sift all dry ingredients together. Add water and shortening. Knead dough until thoroughly mixed. Form into balls. (Size of balls will be determined by how big a tortilla you wish.) Roll out into round, flat cakes and cook on griddle, first one side and then the other, until both sides are spotted medium brown. Makes about 12 or 13 tortillas, depending on size. www.ziapublishing.com – 41


Rubbed Holiday Roast Rob Connoley For many families, the holiday feast is not complete without a perfectly cooked roast. Crisp dark brown on the outside and juicy on the inside, the secret to perfection is in two things: temperature and timing. Putting the prepared meat into a very hot oven for the first 20 minutes is key to searing in those precious juices and ensuring a satisfying crisp exterior. Then the cook must lower the oven temperature and simply keep an eye on the clock and meat thermometer. Rob Connoley, co-owner of the Curious Kumquat with his partner Tyler, shared his “secret family recipe” for holiday roast with a simple dry rub, which adds delicious sweetness and spice to the roast’s crusty outer layer. Rob said he sometimes likes to add a twist to the holiday tradition by substituting buffalo tenderloin for the beef. “Buffalo is one of the best meats around - lean in fat, heavy on flavor,” Rob said. “Tenderloins are a great introduction to buffalo as long as you remember to go ‘low and slow’ by not overcooking. With so little fat, it’s easy for the meat to dry out.” Cooks who want a short-cut can substitute a purchased dry rub mixture for the spice recipe below. Rob favors a sweet and spicy blend called “Mama Africa” by Cape Herb Company. Enjoy this holiday favorite!

Spice Mixture: 1 ⁄2 Tbsp salt 1 Tbsp sugar 1 ⁄2 Tbsp ground cumin 1 ⁄2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper 1 ⁄2 Tbsp chili powder 1 Tbsp paprika (or if you prefer buy a spice mix such as the Cape Herb Co. rubs) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If using buffalo, thaw tenderloin completely. Mix the spices in a bowl. Press spices into meat by rubbing all over firmly. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower to 325 degrees. Roast until internal temperature is 120-130 degrees (about an hour and a half). Let stand 10 minutes and serve with roasted root vegetables (carrots, onions, parsnips, new potatoes). 42 – SILVER CITY LIFE

Scalloped Winter Vegetables Donna Clayton Lawder This rich cold weather vegetable casserole is actually low in fat! Delightful to the eye, it makes a wonderful impression at the holiday table and is wonderfully easy to serve--four vegetables and a creamy sauce, all from one dish! “This is a family favorite that has been handed down at least four generations,” said Donna Clayton Lawder. “My Great-grandma Clayton had written it down, thank goodness!, but with less than specific details, like ‘put in enough potatoes to feed your family.’ “ “My family farmed, and we grew and stored all our own vegetables, including mountains of potatoes which we stored in the root cellar. I remember going down there with a colander and bringing up as many potatoes, parsnips, carrots and beets as we needed for that evening’s meal.” Though Donna’s Great-grandmother served this dish for holidays or company “because it was ‘special’,” Donna likes to serve it “as soon as the temperature drops, because it warms the house as it cooks, and it’s just so satisfying!” Donna worked as a cook at Green Pastures Estate, a retreat and conference center in chilly New Hampshire, where this hearty dish was always welcomed on the buffet table!

1 medium onion, peeled, top and bottom removed 1 bay leaf 2 cloves (whole) 1 Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for oiling baking dish 11⁄2 Tbsp unbleached white flour


Great-Grandma’s Favorite Cranberry Sauce

Updated Cranberry sauce:

Donna Clayton Lawder

What’s old is new again! This traditional holiday side dish gets a spicy update in this treatment from Brad Diemer, a chef at the famous Biga on the Banks, among other eateries along the historic River Walk. He recently moved to Silver City from San Antonio, Texas. Brad’s recipe capitalizes on the cranberry’s tartness, adding zing with Red Zinfandel wine and spicing things up with whole black peppercorns.

Donna Clayton Lawder grew up near New Jersey’s southern shore, land of the Pine Barrens and cranberry bogs. “There were still plenty of bogs when I was a child, and every year I went cranberry bogging with my Dad and grandmom, scooping our own berries for the Thanksgiving table,” she says. “We made my great grandmother’s recipe, scrawled on a yellowing piece of paper. Great-granny liked her sauce smooth, and put the berries through one of those big metal sieves. But I like whole berry sauce with the skins and all, so I don’t strain mine.” “Great-granny’s recipe was not too specific. Well, none of her recipes was,” Donna laughed. “She’d written things down like ‘put in enough sugar so it thinkens up right’ or ‘cook it just long enough.’ The only way I can reproduce these heirloom dishes is by adding my memories to the written recipes. How lucky I was to grow up cooking at her elbow and seeing what she’d done!” An old-fashioned traditional cranberry sauce, this dish fills the house with wonderful holiday smells as it cooks. Donna said her family’s holiday table wouldn’t be complete without several bowls of cranberry sauce to satisfy everyone’s craving for their favorite style, chunky whole-berry or smooth

11⁄2 cups apple cider (fresh, if available) 11⁄4 cup sugar 2 cinnamon sticks 5 whole cloves 16 oz. fresh cranberries 1 ⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh orange peel In a medium heavy bottomed pot, combine all ingredients except the cranberries and orange peel. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat so the sauce is just simmering, and let simmer for at least 20 minutes. With a large slotted spoon, remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add the cranberries and chopped orange peel, and cook over medium heat till the berries burst. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold. Serve well chilled! It’s nice to scoop the sauce out in large dollops into a serving bowl.

11⁄2 cup evaporated skim or fat-free milk (unsweetened) 1 ⁄2 cup water 1 ⁄4 tsp dried thyme 1 ⁄8 tsp nutmeg 3 ⁄4 tsp salt 1 ⁄4 tsp ground black pepper 21⁄2 cups thinly sliced potatoes, about 3 potatoes (peeling optional. I like to mix yellow, white and red potatoes!)

Brad’s Spicy Zinfandel Cranberry Sauce Brad Diemer

13⁄4 cups red Zinfandel 1 cup brown sugar 3 whole black pepper corns 5 whole cloves 5 whole allspice 2 cinnamon sticks 12-16 oz fresh cranberries 3-4 inch strip of orange peel In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except the cranberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat so the sauce is just simmering. Reduce the sauce to about 13⁄4 cups. Strain the sauce into a large saucepan. Add the cranberries and cook over medium heat, till the berries burst. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold. Serve well chilled.

1 cup peeled and thinly sliced parsnips 1 medium sweet white onion, peeled and thinly sliced, top to bottom 3 ⁄4 cup thinly sliced carrots (1-2 carrots, peeling optional) 1 ⁄2 cup unflavored bread crumbs 1 tsp onion powder 1 Tbsp Fines Herb Mix

Affix the bay leaf to the whole onion by stabbing it with the 2 cloves. Set aside. Make a simple roux, as follows: In a small, heavy-bottomed pot melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the tablespoon of olive oil. When the butter starts to bubble, stir in the flour to completely combine, keeping on the heat and stirring for two minutes, being careful not to scorch. Whisk in the milk, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Lower heat. Drop in the prepared onion, cover pot and simmer mixture on very low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. By now the mixture will be quite thick. Remove the onion, whisk in the water, cover the pot and set the mixture aside, off heat. Combine the bread crumbs, onion powder and herb mix in a small bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a 11⁄2-2 quart baking dish. Layer the sliced vegetables into the dish. Pour the sauce mixture evenly over the top. Cover tightly with foil or a tight fitting lid and bake for 40 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees, uncover, and sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top. Bake for about 30 minutes more, until vegetables are tender and top is golden. www.ziapublishing.com – 43


Mammaw’s Rum Pie Arlene Schadel Until now, this favorite dessert that has been a favorite of the Schadel family for generations has remained a family secret. When Ella Schadel wrote down the recipe she purposely left out an important part that would ensure the success of the dish. Within the last couple of years, Ella’s aging daughter-in-law sat her own granddaughter down to pass on this family secret.

Crust: 12 double graham crackers 4 eggs, separated 1 ⁄3 cup of melted butter/margarine 1 envelope of Knox Gelatin Filling: 4 eggs, separated 1 envelope of Knox Gelatin 1 ⁄2 cup of undiluted canned milk 1 cup of sugar 4 Tbsp of rum

Topping; Whipped cream Grated semi-sweet chocolate Roll double graham cracker until fine crumbs; mix with melted butter or marg. Press mixture to line bottom of square baking dish. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Stir egg yolks, then add 1 envelope of Knox Gelatin and

Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing Alice Pauser Not needing to serve Scrooge’s huge holiday goose, Alice Pauser took an old family recipe for cornish hens, and stuffed them with an old fashioned wild rice stuffing. “Cornish hens are great little birds,” Alice said. “People don’t often think of them, but they’re tender and succulent, truly worthy of the holiday table. And they make such a presentation on the plate, each person getting his or her own perfect little bird! I got this recipe from my father’s mother. She’s the one who taught me how to cook cornish hens, and a lot of other wonderful things!” An award-winning culinary professional, Alice learned her love of the kitchen from cooking with her grandmother. This special holiday recipe incorporates Alice’s trademark fresh herbs. The wild rice stuffing is an exciting alternative to cubed bread, and the seasonal cranberries add a sweet-tart surprise!

4 game hens, rinsed and giblets removed, pat dry 4 cups prepared wild rice 1 cup dried cranberries 1 ⁄2 cup minced shallots 1 Tbsp fresh minced rosemary 1 ⁄2 cup butter or margarine Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter and rosemary together, rub hens with butter. In a bowl blend together rice, cranberries, shallots and remainder of butter. Stuff cavities of hens with mixture. Cover ends of drumsticks with foil. Place hens on rack or broiler pan so juices go into drip pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes. Check drumstick area to make sure juices are clear. If not, bake an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve whole on a plate with rosemary garnish. 44 – SILVER CITY LIFE

1 ⁄2 cup of sugar. Last, add 1⁄2 cup of undiluted canned milk, then place over boiling water and beat for 6 minutes. Cool! Beat egg whites and 1⁄2 cup of sugar until stiff. Add cooled custard & rum. Pour over graham cracker crust. Set in icebox three hours before serving.

Serve with whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.


Bear Mountain Spice Cookies Esther Scherf As many cooks do, Esther Scherf brought recipes from home to work, including one for spice cookies that her family has long enjoyed, especially at holiday time. “The cookies are a real hit with the guests,” said Maura Gonsior, manager of Bear Mountain Lodge where Esther cooks. With inviting chunks of fruit and nuts, the cookies “just draw people to them,” she said. A nice compliment to any holiday feast, Esther’s Holiday Spice Cookies would be most welcome to a holiday cookie exchange or given as a present in a cheerful tin! 1 ⁄2 cup unsalted butter 4 Tb molasses 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp cinnamon 1 ⁄2 tsp ground cloves 11⁄2 tsp ground ginger 1 ⁄2 tsp salt 13⁄4 cups flour 1 Tbsp baking soda 1 cup medium chopped walnuts or pecans 1 ⁄2 cup dried tart cherries or cranberries extra sugar for rolling and a small bowl of cool water

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Cream together the butter, molasses and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, spices and salt. Mix well. Add flour and soda, then nuts and dried fruit.

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Freeze for half and hour or chill several hours in the refrigerator. Roll into small 1inch balls. Dip tops of dough balls in water, then sugar. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or spray sheet with vegetable coating). Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. NOTE: For altitudes over 5,000 feet, add 3 extra tablespoons of flour.

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46 – SILVER CITY LIFE

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.

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t t o u o e o a g , t t. a e h the

www.ziapublishing.com – 47


WRITTEN BY JEAN BENZINE AND ARLENE SCHADEL PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FAMILIES

These “Treasures” are truly remarkable people whose legacy has, and we hope will, continue to inspire generations to believe in themselves, their heritage and their community.

48 – SILVER CITY LIFE


Many people have made Silver City and Grant County what it is today. This group represents a cross section of individuals, each of whom has left their indelible mark and unique contribution to the community. Many will recognize these names as people who were either experts in their fields,

champions for the “common man,” strong community supporters, or simply friends to all of humans (and animals) with whom they came in contact. While

individually

different,

a

commonality in all, was a strong support network of giving family and friends. The contributions made would not have been

• Power Lift Recliners • Orthopedic Supports • Bathroom Safety Aids • Motorized 3 Wheelers • Diabetic Care Supplies • Hospital Mattresses & Beds • Oxygen & Respiratory Equipment • Personal Healthcare Disposables

possible without the love and support of wives, husbands, daughters, sons, friends and a caring community. Many thanks to all those who opened

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their hearts, homes and offered assistance in gathering information for these pieces

505.534.4013

especially Bobbie Neal Little, Bobby and

866.534.4013

Chris Jackson, Marla Sue Mead, Consuelo

910 E. 32nd St. • Silver City, NM

Gonzales, Della and Billy Acosta. www.ziapublishing.com – 49


BILL ACOSTA

WALTER BIEBELLE

1941-2005 BY BRETT FERNEAU

1922-2005 BY ARLENE SCHADEL

FOR 36 YEARS, RADIO PERSONALITY BILL “THE LEGEND” Acosta’s cheerful voice was a familiar sound in Silver City’s homes, businesses and autos. Listeners who were feeling sad could always count on Bill’s ready wit and love of life. During his long career he hosted three different evening shows, including “Serenata Mexicana,” after putting in a full day’s work at Texas-New Mexico Power Company. Bill was also an active and enthusiastic promoter of live music, responsible for bringing many top Tejano, Mexican, and Country Western artists to the area. He believed in preserving local culture and encouraging the exchange of ideas, and always had something good to say to people. A dialysis patient himself, Bill was also instrumental in raising public awareness of the need for a dialysis center in Grant County. A mayoral proclamation declared September 8, 2005 as “Bill Acosta Day,” citing “his selfless dedication to his family, friends and community.” In speaking of Bill’s legacy of laughter, fun and music, State Representative Dianne Hamilton said, “He was so loved because he loved so.”

AFTER WALTER BIEBELLE’S MOTHER GAVE BIRTH TO HIM at Mimbres Hot Springs in 1922, she placed him in a shoebox and returned with him by horseback to the family ranch in Gallina Canyon. It was a singular beginning for a man well loved for his sense of humor and community involvement. Walter was a World War II Veteran serving in Army Intelligence with the Navajo Code Talkers. He was held as a prisoner of war while in the Philipines and later served on the War Crimes trails at the conclusion of the war. Mr. Biebelle claimed to have been chased from California to the waters of Florida but he couldn’t swim and that’s how Frances his wife of 60 years caught him. They left Florida in 1947 to return to the Gallina Canyon Ranch. He was a rancher and a farmer and spent the rest of his life promoting both occupations through teaching and the numerous clubs and organizations he served. Those who knew Walter will always remember him by “NO BAD WORDS” and “YA MERRO”.

50 – SILVER CITY LIFE

JAMES “COACH” BAIRD FOX 1912-2005 BY JEAN BENZINE AND ARLENE SCHADEL JIM FOX TAUGHT MATH AT WESTERN HIGH SCHOOL AND New Mexico Western College (now Western New Mexico University) and for a year at Silver High School. But it was coaching, which he did in some way, shape or form from age 19 to 92 which earned him the title of simply “Coach”. He coached football and track at NMWC and WNMU and also formed the Votress Running Team. Under his leadership and guidance, many area youth competed at state, regional and national USA track and field competitions. He inspired and coached a local man, George Young, who competed in the Mexico City Olympics. ““Coach” was an excellent coach of course,” states Nancy Trinkel who assisted him for the last ten years while her daughter ran with Votress. “But the main thing that he taught the kids was the value of being a good person. He gave them a focus whether they had talent or not. He made them feel good about who they were.” Coach always said, “I try to always remember that I do not coach events that I COACH KIDS.”


WILLIE GONZALES

JO DUNN

1925-2004 BY JEAN BENZINE

1915-2004 BY ARLENE SCHADEL

“HE WAS ALWAYS VIGILANT IN HIS SUPPORT OF ANYONE - OR ANY cause - he saw to be the underdog, the under-represented, or simply the average citizen, the common man. He was a hard worker, devoted family person, proud of his heritage, his family and his home.” According to Consuelo, his wife of 58 years, that quote from friend Carol Beth Elliot sums up the life of Willie Gonzales. “He was short man who would never back down to the tallest man if he believed in the cause. He spoke his mind and his truth,” Consuelo says. Willie valued education, and to instill that value in his children he attended WNMU, graduating at the age of 46 while continuing to work two jobs. He was one of the original “gang of five” behind the La Capilla project (see page 20.) Willie also enjoyed working with his hands and used his mastery of masonry, woodworking, carpentry to build the family home, a home full of wonderful memories for his wife Consuelo. “He loved working on this house, being with his children and grandchildren,” she says. “I feel his presence here.”

MARTHA JOSEPHINE MILLS (JO JACKSON DUNN) LIVED A LIFE full of love and laughter. She met the love of her life, Bobby Jackson of Silver City, at Whittier College in California. She moved to Silver City to marry Bobby when her life changed drastically as Bobby went to fight for his country in WWII. He was captured by the Japanese and held prisoner while Jo waited for him to return for five very long years before they were finally reunited and married. Jo was widowed in 1969. She soon returned to WNMU and received her Bachelor’s degree and moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where she received a Master’s in Art. She was an artist in painting with oils, chalk, and pencil as well as an avid weaver and welding sculptor. She loved playing tennis, golf and most of all, dancing. Jo traveled near and far but always loved coming home to Silver City. While at home her community time was spent energetically. Jo lived by the saying “Thy Will Be Done”.

JOHNNY BANKS 1925-2001 BY JEAN BENZINE IT TAKES A SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON TO ATTAIN THE TITLE of “Silver City’s Ambassador of Goodwill and Hospitality” and that’s who Johnny Banks was. “Johnny Banks (was) a character in town for decades, the man with the jaunty step, a hundred hats, an uptown wardrobe, and a smile and a greeting for anyone…” stated Stephen Siegfried, in an article for the Silver City Daily Press. Siegfried successfully nominated Johnny for Citizen of the Year, saying, “Banks did more to promote Silver City and good will in this community than anyone else.” Johnny took in and fed numerous stray cats and dogs, and was a source of encouragement to three generations of local children. He attended most athletic events in the community to cheer for the teams and was named president of the unofficial “Western New Mexico Fan Club.” The student government presented him with a WNMU class ring, making Johnny an honorary student and permaent member of the campus community. “Everybody looked after him. He was a fixture in town and everybody’s friend,” according to long-time friend Bobbie Neal-Little. www.ziapublishing.com – 51


Photo from M.H. Salmon collection.

Outdoors

Mountain men in camp. Left to right, Jack Thompson, Ben Lilly (with beard), Walter Hotchkiss, Stokely Ligon.

MOUNTAIN MEN and other Pioneers of the Gila BY M.H. Salmon

VARIOUS REGIONS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS HAVE THEIR OWN HISTORIES AND TALES OF THE MOUNTAIN MEN, MUCH OF THE INFORMATION PASSED DOWN AND RECORDED AS ORAL history and campfire tales. Southwest New Mexico is unusual in that so much of our mountain man history and lore has been put into print. These were some of the most interesting, inscrutable, and controversial characters in Western History and we can read all about them. James Ohio Pattie, 1804 -- ? was the first of the anglo mountain men to explore the Gila forest. A failed beaver trapper, and nebulous Indian fighter, he nonetheless ranks high in mountain man history for leaving a document, The Personal Narrative of James Ohio Pattie, that gives vivid images of the Gila Wilderness before European settlement. James Kirker, 1793-1853 was quite successful as a beaver trapper and later infamous as a scalp hunter. His descendents still live in southwest New Mexico and carry the Kirker name. His biography was ably told by William McGaw in the book Savage Scene, an old West tale that might seem unbelievable if it were so well documented. Montague Stevens, 1859-1953 was the most literate of the Gila mountain men and was of Catron County. A one-armed British adventurer and graduate of Cambridge University, Stevens ranched, fought the Apache, and hunted grizzly bears with hounds. His memoir, Meet Mr. Grizzly, is a master work of frontier life. 52 – SILVER CITY LIFE


Ben Lilly, 1856-1936 was the most well known character of the Gila Mountains. Another hound-man, and hunter of bear and lion, Lilly followed the pack on foot, wouldn’t hunt on Sunday, and took on peculiarities that endeared him to contemporaries and historians alike. His hunting diaries and letters are preserved in Ben Lilly’s Tales and his biography was finely done by J. Frank Dobie in the Ben Lilly Legend. Nat Straw, 1857-1941 was the congenial mountain man. Virtually all his contemporaries liked his company, his story-telling ability, and admired his facility in living in the mountains as hunter, trapper, and prospector. Carolyn O’Bagy Davis has collected his life in Mogollon Mountain Man. Nat’s tall tales will make you laugh but his real life was a series of remarkable adventures. G.W. Dub Evans provides a transition to a more modern era. He ranched in the Beaverhead area into the 1950s and left a strong memoir of his hunts for grizzly, black bear and lion in the book Slash Ranch Hounds. He writes of a time when ranching was king, lions and bears were varmints, and the few remaining wolves were the scourge of the western range. Not all modern readers will align with his point of view but anyone can appreciate his narrative skills in describing a wilderness that is still with us today. Our mountain men and other characters are not lost to time but live on in valuable books available today in bookstores new and used.

Photo Courtsey Bob Pellum

James “Bear” Moore, 18501924 came by his nickname honestly. After wounding a grizzly bear cub in the San Mateo Mountains, he was attacked by the mother bear. He killed the bear with a knife but was left mutilated and disfigured in speech and face. Shamed, and turning a bit mean and very reclusive, he lived out his time as a hunter and survivalist in the wilder reaches of the Gila Wilderness. Recollections of those who knew him can be found in Wilderness of the Gila by Elizabeth McFarland.

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Duane Brockett’s Aunt Rebecca came to Silver City in 1934. After graduating from New Mexico State Teachers College – today’s WNMU – in 1939, she taught English at Cobre High School. Each year, one of the assignments she gave her students was to write their own short version of a local ghost story. When she retired in 1973, Rebecca Mahala Curty Gamblin had accumulated 576 pages of ghost stories, painstakingly retyped by Millie Clark at WNMU. Duane, a master mechanic, moved here in 1976 and eventually became the owner of the only surviving copy of the book. Rebecca’s sister-in-law, Helen Curty of Phoenix, painted illustrations for some of the stories, including “La Llorona” shown here. Edited for space and content, here are a few local stories according to Cobre High School students from 1957 to 1962. Some, like La Llorona “the weeping woman,” are told with local variants in many locales in New Mexico, while others such as the famous “chicken woman” of the Beehive Bar seem to be pure Grant County. Several claim to be true, and to have happened to friends or relatives of the storyteller. Others are retold or handed down ancestrally. In others the names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Meanwhile, though, the fire has died down. The moon has gone behind a cloud, and there’s a soft moaning in the trees. ¿Quien sabe? Who’s to say what’s real and what’s not? Settle back, relax, and enjoy a few Grant County ghost stories.

54 – SILVER CITY LIFE


La Llorna by Helen Curty

AT THE

DEVILbee hive By Horacio Garacia English II May 2, 1957

Several different people have told me this same story. The incidents happened a few years ago during a Saturday night dance at the Beehive Bar. The dance had started around nine o’clock and everything was going along fine. All the men that were present had been drinking for quite some time and by now were drunk or “feeling good” as one would say. At about midnight a beautiful woman appeared in the middle of the floor. Her complexion was very delicate and her face had an irresistibly haunting quality. She wore an alluring red dress which was embroidered around the skirt with black satin. Her hair was a light brown color and long enough to reach down to her waist. Her figure was almost “perfect” as termed by the men that were present at the

dance. Everybody stared at her, but nobody had seen her enter through either door. All the men wondered who she was and from where she came. Anyway, they all wanted to dance with her but were afraid to “break the ice.” Finally a drunk, who was falling all over the place, invited her to dance. While dancing, the man happened to glance down and saw that the woman’s feet appeared like those of a rooster. They were very scaly and dry and gave him a shivering feeling when he looked at them. When he saw this, he got so scared that he sobered up and left immediately for home. He was afraid to talk about it, and besides he thought it probably was because of his drinking too much. Later on another drunk invited the woman to dance and after they finished

dancing he invited her out to his car. Suddenly everybody inside heard crying and yelling coming from the car. When they all went out to investigate, they saw a big ball of fire inside of the car. They were about to extinguish the fire when it suddenly went out by itself. They found that the woman was no longer there and that the man’s face was all scratched up. He told them that while they were alone the woman had turned into the devil and scratched up his face. The people that heard this sobered up and decided to leave for home after they had doctored up the man’s face. To this day nobody knows whether it was the devil or not, but the people that were present say it was the devil himself. — Maybe it was only an illusion. ¿Quien sabe? www.ziapublishing.com – 55


The Snake

By Frank Contereras march 9, 1960

My paternal grandmother told this story to my mother, who in turn has related it to me. In Casas Grandes, Mexico around the year 1910, there lived a certain Doña Carlota. She was the beautiful and loving wife of Don Martín and the devoted mother of three young boys. Juan was a dashing gentleman from Mexico City. Several years before, he had visited Casas Grandes and had fallen in love with Doña Carlota. She had spurned him, however, so he had returned to his home in dejection. Now in the summer of 1910, he came once again, hoping that he could return to Mexico City with Doña Carlota. He hoped in vain, for Carlota would never leave her loved ones. Juan swore that she would pay dearly for rejecting him. Soon Doña Carlota began to have very severe headaches, especially during the night. Many doctors were consulted but none of them could find even a clue to what ailed her. One of her friends was said to be a sorceress, so Doña Carlota’s relatives asked this woman to help the sick lady. But the sorceress said, “He who has our friend in his power is far superior to me. There is no remedy for her.” Then one evening the people of Casas Grandes saw a huge burning sphere suddenly alight on top of Doña Carlota’s house. Soon the entire town was there to put out the fire. But the flames did not abate when water was thrown upon them, yet they did not spread. Around midnight, when all but a few had gone, the woman caring for Doña Carlota stepped into the kitchen intending to get some coffee. But just as she entered the kitchen door, she heard a terrorizing scream coming from Doña Carlota’s room. She hastened to see what was the matter. She found Doña Carlota dead, and turning toward the door that led to the garden, she saw a snake crawling away. On Carlota’s arm were the fang marks of the snake.

LA LlORONA LLORONA

By Albert Lopez English II October 9, 1958

I heard this legend from one of my friends on a night when we boys gathered to tell stories to each other. Many years ago, during a long period of famine, many families were living in despair. It is only logical that people driven by hunger sometimes act insanely. It was during this time that a mother of two children couldn’t find enough food to keep herself and her children from starving to death. One day, maddened by hunger, without consciousness of what she was doing, she drowned them by dropping them into a well, so that she might be rid of the thought that they would die of hunger. After this, she thought she would also die, but somehow she lived. As time went on she had almost forgotten the hunger she had suffered in her past years, but she never forgot the children and she began to repent having drowned them. So for the rest of her life she lived with the thought of the mortal sin she had committed. When she died her soul was not admitted into the Dominion of Heaven nor was her sin pardoned. The only way she could ever go to heaven would be by finding her two children. So on all rainy nights or wherever water can be found, she has looked for them. Many people claim to have heard her shrill cry and her mournful wail. Perhaps you too have heard her while she was searching for her children and you have thought it was just the shrieking wind. 56 – SILVER CITY LIFE

Rosa Maria By Cecila Lucero March 5, 1959

This story was told to me by mother, and for the convenience of telling it I have named the characters in my story. Alberto and Juan had just come home from the army about a week before. It was Saturday night and there was a dance at the local dance hall. They decided to go, for it had been a long time since they had attended a dance in their hometown. On their way to the dance as they were driving along a deserted road towards town, they saw a girl going the same direction. They felt sorry for her and gave her a ride. After they had been driving for a while in silence, Alberto who had like the girl right away, asked her name and why she was walking to town all by herself on a deserted road. She told him that her name was Rosa Maria and that she was walking to town because her parents wouldn’t take her to the dance. When they got there, the dance had already started. By this time Alberto was in love with Rosa Maria and made sure that Juan didn’t get a chance to dance with her. They danced all night until the early dawn. After the dance was through, Alberto asked Rosa Maria if he could take her home if she didn’t have a ride. Rosa Maria accepted since she didn’t have a way. On their way to Rosa Maria’s house, she said she was cold and Alberto lent her his jacket. When they got to Rosa Maria’s house, Alberto walked her to the door. There he declared his love for her and found out that she loved him too. Before he left, he tenderly kissed her goodnight. He left his jacket there as an excuse to come again the next day. Alberto was very happy, for he had found a beautiful girl who loved him the way he loved her. He had met her but a few hours before, but he knew she was the one for him. The next day before he went to see Rosa Maria, he decided to ask her parents for Rosa Maria’s hand in marriage. When he arrived, he intended to knock on the door but didn’t because he saw an elderly woman sitting on the porch sewing. He asked her if Rosa Maria was home and if he could speak to her. After a moment’s hesitation, she told him that Rosa Maria was dead and had been dead for five years. Alberto told her that it was impossible because he had danced with Rosa Maria the night before and had lent her his jacket when he had brought her home because she was cold. The woman asked him in and showed him a


The Blacksmith The following legend was told to me by one of my friends, who heard it from his grandfather. The grandfather, being very mean, claimed he heard the story from old “Scratch” himself. The incidents of this story took place in a small village in Northern New Mexico in the late 1840’s when the gold rush was occurring and much blacksmith work was required to keep the wagons rolling. The village blacksmith, Dan, had a small but booming business in and around the community. He was known for his honest and hard work. Any time of the day a person could go by Dan’s shop and see him toiling very diligently. But it seemed as though he was never happy. Every evening after he went home his wife was always nagging and griping at him. She griped and complained until Dan, driven into a maddened rage, choked her to death. No one ever saw his wife very much so her disappearance was hardly noticed. As he went to work the next morning, he was thinking how he could enjoy his work and not have to worry about a nagging wife after a hard day; however,

ROSA MARIA continued picture of a girl. She asked him if that was the girl he sought. Alberto said that it was Rosa Maria, and that she was just trying to keep him from his beloved. He told the lady that it was no use because he would find another way to see Rosa Maria. The lady saw that it was useless to argue with Alberto and told him that she would take him to Rosa Maria. They got in Alberto’s car and she told him to follow a certain road. They were passing a cemetery and the lady told him to stop. There in the cemetery she showed him to a grave. On top of the gravestone, there was Alberto’s jacket and the words on the gravestone read: “Rosa Maria, born 1928, died 1945.” Alberto just stood there, too stunned to say anything After the trip to the cemetery, Alberto seemed to be in a state of shock. Soon after that, he died. It was believed that he died because he went out of his mind from thinking that he had danced with, kissed, and fallen in love with a spirit.

By Larry Hatler English III April 17, 1962

he became very irritated when he realized that he could not sit in his old rocking chair when a break came in his work. It seemed as though his blacksmith shop had become a gathering place for all the men who weren’t busy at the time. It was a place where everyone that wasn’t busy would come and discuss anything that came to their minds. Nevertheless, Dan ignored them and started back to work. But as he started, he could not find his hammer. He went outside and found it lying beside a pile of rock where some child had left it. That afternoon when a man was taking his horse from the shop he cut off a branch from a little willow tree that grew out front. This also angered Dan very much because he watered the tree every morning and had grown to love it. As he was about to lock up at the end of a very trying day, a stranger came to the door and asked if Dan could put him up for the night. Dan consented and told him he would bring him some supper in a little while. The man turned out to be Saint Peter, who said to Dan, “Because of your kindness I will grant you three wishes.” Dan thought for a minute and said, “I wish when anyone grabbed my hammer that it would start hammering and the person holding it couldn’t let go until I gave him permission. Also, when anyone sits in my rocking chair that it would rock until I told it to stop.” Saint Peter said, “Okay, and what is your last wish?” Dan thought a minute and said, “If anyone cuts another branch from my willow tree that the branch will whip the person who cut it until I have given the branch permission to stop.” Saint Peter granted the three wishes. Now Dan was very happy and he started enjoying life. He would laugh heartily at anyone who got caught in his traps. People left him alone after the first few got their punishment for angering Dan. One day down in hell the Devil told one of his helpers to go get Dan. He left and came to earth, found Dan and told him he had come for him. Dan was

busy shoeing a horse and he said to the Devil’s helper, “If you will take this hammer and help me we can leave sooner.” The Devil’s helper took the hammer and it started hammering. After two hours, the helper begged Dan to let him go back. So Dan let him go back after he had promised not to bother Dan again. The helper got back home and told the Devil what had happened. The devil then sent another one of his helpers to get Dan. When the second helper got to the earth, Dan was again using the hammer. When Dan asked him to help, the second helper said to Dan, “You are not going to fool me that way so I will just sit down over here in this rocking chair and wait.” He soon found that he too was tricked and after one night he began begging Dan to let him go. Dan, thinking that he had already outwitted the Devil, let him go. When the second helper got home, he reported to the Devil on his failure. The Devil, being very dissatisfied, decided to go himself. When he arrived Dan was again working. After trying to pull the same two tricks on the Devil unsuccessfully, Dan thought he had seen his last day on earth. But the Devil, getting very impatient, told Dan to hurry up or he was going to cut himself a switch from the tree outside and switch Dan all the way to hell. The Devil cut off a branch from the little willow tree and it started switching the Devil. After a little while, the Devil also begged Dan to let him go and promised he would never bother him again. Dan lived happily the rest of his life. When he died, he tried to get into heaven but was refused. When he knocked on the door of hell, the first helper answered the door, looked at Dan, and fainted. The second helper came to see what was causing the draft and when he saw Dan, he ran to the other end of hell. Finally the Devil himself answered the door. Seeing Dan, the Devil said to him, “You are too mean to come in here so you must go find your own place to spend eternity.” With that he shut the door and that was the last that was known of poor Dan. www.ziapublishing.com – 57


SERVING SILVER CITY, GRANT COUNTY & SURROUNDING AREAS

FACES IN BUSINESS WRITTEN BY BRETT FERNEAU PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL WARREN AND JOE BURGESS

James Koons AllGlass MD 1775 Hwy. 180 East Five years ago, Detective Sergeant James Koons took a year’s leave of absence from the Silver City Police Department to try his hand at auto glass repair. With a customer-oriented service philosophy, AllGlass MD grew into the largest full service glass shop in southwest New Mexico. “We go out of our way to help our customers,” he says. Meanwhile, James has kept informed on law enforcement principles and techniques. He plans to run for Grant County Sheriff in 2006.

APRIL WEITLAUF Executive Director Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce 1775 1775 Highway Highway 180 180 East East

“I’m happy to be back in New Mexico,” says April Weitlauf. The native Oregonian brings 18 years of hospitality, tourism and business experience from around the country to her position as Executive Director of the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce. “I’m excited about collaborating with Grant County’s businesses and organizations to forge a stronger, sustained community,” she continues. April’s priorities include increasing membership benefits and promoting visitor activities such as ecotourism and motor coach tours.

Albert Madrigal & William Perez Satellite Solutions & Cellular 1780 Hwy. 180 E., Suite A Albert and Pamela Madrigal’s career in satellite television sales began with two satellite dishes. “I sold them both in an hour,” Albert recalls, “so I got five more.” Their store, Satellite Solutions & Cellular, soon became the #1 Pegasus TV dealer in the state, ranked third in 2700 nationwide. Pursuant to other business interests, the Madrigals have recently made longtime employee Will Perez a partner in their satellite division, while Jerry Gonzales heads up cellular phone sales. 58 – SILVER CITY LIFE


Judy & Vernon McOsker Curves 2045 Memory Lane Experienced Curves™ franchisees Judy and Vernon McOsker visited Silver City for three hours and decided to live here. “It was partly the climate,” Judy says, “but mostly the people.”Curves™ features a 30-minute workout combining sustained cardiovascular activity with strength training through safe hydraulic resistance. With benefits that include weight loss, increased energy and improved quality of life, Curves™ supports women in achieving their goals. The McOskers recently moved their Silver City facility to a larger location on Memory Lane.

Patrick Conlin, CRS Prudential Silver City Properties 120 E. 11th St. “We’re a new real estate business, but we’re not new to real estate,” says broker/owner Patrick Conlin of Prudential Silver City Properties. Patrick notes that his staff is comprised entirely of seasoned real estate professionals specializing in residential and commercial property and land sales. Located in a crisply remodeled historic adobe house, the pleasant office is an interesting mix of local artwork and high technology. “The technology frees us to concentrate on what we do best,” he explains.

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Richard Deaton Gila House Gallery & Hotel 400 N. Arizona St. The recently opened Gila House Hotel and Gallery 400 offers a three-room bed and breakfast and spacious gallery. “Located in the heart of downtown Silver City, The Gila House Hotel is an excellent choice for those desiring to be walking distance from galleries, restaurants, and nightlife,” says Richard Deaton, proprietor. This renovated historic territorial adobe is fast becoming is a popular gathering place. Guests should expect a buzz of activity and may have the opportunity to meet local artists. www.ziapublishing.com – 59


&

Carlos Herrera

his

CHARRO HORSES WRITTEN BY BRETT FERNEAU AND LEANNE KNUDSEN PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUDY DOUBRAVA

SAJAMALI THE ARABIAN STALLION ENTERS

THE

ARENA

WITH

THE

attitude of royalty. He prances, rears, whirls and dances sideways, but never bucks. With the reins held in the teeth of his rider by a handkerchief, he walks backwards in a straight line for 200 feet without hesitation. On a cue he bursts into a forward gallop that ends in a 29-foot long sliding stop. After a series of these maneuvers, he politely sits down on his hindquarters, front legs stiff and head erect, and allows his master to dismount easily. The man moves alongside the horse’s shoulder with arms outstretched, and the crowd cheers. The ornately dressed charro with the silver mustache standing beside the silver-gray stallion is Carlos Herrera of Charros de North Hurley. He began training Sajamali in the proud traditional style of Mexican horsemanship when the horse was just a colt. He explains that while the stallion was yet unborn, he agreed to purchase the foal based on the appearance of its mother. After the foal was born Carlos went to Wilcox, Arizona to pick him up. Carlos was in for a surprise. The colt was dark brown, not gray, and didn’t resemble his mother at all. left: Carlos Herrera of Charros de North Hurley takes a bow beside Jit Ku. Carlos still trains and performs with the horse, now owned by Gilbert Mora. opposite: Carlos spins a lariat while standing atop Sajamali. Later in the performance he will crawl underneath the horse and around the feet while Sajamali stands perfectly still. “I trust the horse,” he says. 60 – SILVER CITY LIFE


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“He was so ugly. Skinny body and a big head. But we had already made the deal, so I took him.” Carlos took the ugly little horse home and patiently began the training process. Sajamali gave his first performance at a family gathering at age 21⁄2. By that time, his coat had turned gray and he had grown into the conformation of a classic Arabian stallion. Carlos has been working with horses all of his life. He shod horses and broke riding horses to saddle for other people before deciding to train his own performing horses some thirty years ago. He has trained five so far. Quiet and soft-spoken, he moves with an easy, unhurried manner around his animals. His training methods are his own and he does not discuss them. Though he is a humble man, his pride in his horses is obvious. He starts the training when the horse is still a colt, explaining that it is much easier for the animal to learn to sit and lay down before it gets to be too heavy. He does much of his training in the open, without benefit of a corral to confine the animal. Sandy arroyos are excellent training areas, and riding the unshod young horses in the mountains develops the leg strength that they will need as performers. The horses and their trainer are in demand for performances and parades around the region and have performed by invitation in El Paso. At age 73, Carlos is looking to start and train another colt. “My friends say ‘Carlos, you’re old for this,’” he says, “But it’s what I do.”

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Happy

Endings Written and photographed by Donna Clayton Lawder

Silver City Life thanks the people on these pages for the chance to hear and feature their stories, and to meet the wonderful animal companions they have taken into their homes. All are tales that remind us of the critical needs of the animals in our Animal Shelter -- dogs and cats, puppies and young kittens, all looking for homes and a second chance at Life. It is a pleasure to share these Happy Endings, and to remind pet lovers in our community that rescuing an abandoned animal and adopting it into a warm and loving home enriches our own lives.

Gus Rob & Michelle Kessler

Mo Jean Spears

Michelle Kessler went to the Grant County Animal Shelter looking for a dog to keep her mother company. Instead she found Gus, an 8week-old mostly Chocolate Lab for herself and husband Rob. “They said he’s a Lab mix, but he seems all Lab to me,” Michelle laughed, noting Gus’ energy level and playfulness. “He has these beautiful blue eyes, and he ran right to me that day.” Michelle said the household’s two adult cats “might like him better when he gets older and settles down!” Rob and Michelle are looking forward to spending lots of time outdoors with Gus.

Jean Spears began walking dogs at the Grant County Animal Shelter a few years ago. What started as a kindly volunteer gesture for Jean ended in a happy adoption for Mo, a husky mix. Asked how she picked Mo, Jean laughed, “I didn’t! He picked ME!” “I just walked Mo a few times,” she said. But after those few walks, Jean said she happily lost her heart to Mo and opened her home, where he was easily accepted by her three adult cats. Mo now delights seniors and hospital patients as well, as a visiting therapy dog.

18 Ethel Lane Silver City, NM 88061 505-388-2269 lynn@signalpeak.net

Harry and Linda Bright

(505) 388-1911 Fax: (505) 388-1600 H-L-BRIGHT@Qwest.net 210 W. College Avenue P.O. Box 1258 Silver City, N.M. 88062 62 – SILVER CITY LIFE

Bandit Margaret Crumbley

Augustus, Catron, Ulysses Jane Janson

A self-proclaimed “cat person,” Margaret Crumbley saw Bandit’s picture in the newspaper, called the shelter to see if he was still available for adoption, and told them not to let him go. “My daughter-in-law and I hurried down and got him,” she said. Rehabbing a broken hip, Margaret didn’t need a kitten underfoot. Thirteen-year-old Bandit, a Birman cross with “beautiful blue eyes” has turned out to be “a total lap cat” and the perfect companion. Bandit is an indoor cat who enjoys the view from Margaret’s enclosed patio, where he sits with her for coffee every morning.

Jane Janson’s cats have risen from humble beginnings to royalty, in name and with the royal treatment at home! Living in San Francisco in 1998, Jane adopted an older cat, Ulysses, and a kitten she named Ike, at one shelter visit. Living in Silver City and walking dogs with a friend, Jane heard a cry from under a bush, reached in and pulled out a bedraggled kitten, now Augustus Caesar. Catron the Great, a Siamese, was abandoned at a campground. Catron’s healthy coat today shows no sign of her impoverished beginnings.


Digby & Blaze Bob Brockhausen Since opening the Silver City Brewing Company just over a year ago, Bob Brockhausen decided Blaze, the rat terrier who moved with him from Seattle, needed company. “I work a lot,” he explained. Digby, a wire haired Jack Russell terrier about a year old, seemed a good match. “There were only a couple of small dogs at the shelter that day,” Bob said, “and he seemed the most excited.” A bit of an escape artist at first, Digby’s recent tangle with a skunk “seems to have encouraged him to stick closer to home,” Bob said.

LeRoi, Princess Grace Betty Grimaldi Jane Janson When her adoption of a pure breed terrier fell through, due to the tragic death of the litter, Jane Janson said the puppy came to her in a dream. “He said, ‘What are you doing, adopting some pure breed? Go to the shelter!’ “ At Grant County Animal Shelter, Jane found LeRoi, a Rottweiler-Chihuahua cross. LeRoi has appeared in the $1.98 Follies and Silver City Pet Parade, and is “the happiest dog in the world,” Jane said. LeRoi loves romping with his royal “sister,” Princess Grace Betty Grimaldi. Both “tolerate well” Jane’s four cats!

Codah Brittany Topmiller

Gus Jean Benzine

Codah, a Blue Heeler mix, didn’t realize he was auditioning when Brittany Topmiller came to check out dogs at the animal shelter. “Our house was broken into, so I wanted a dog who barked a lot for security,” said Brittany. “He barked a lot, so I picked him!” Named after a character in the Brother Bear movie, Codah was shy around the family’s horses at first, but has gotten used to them. “The entire family has fallen in love with him. He keeps us entertained,” Brittany said of the energetic pup. “He really makes my brother laugh.”

Two paws on her shoulders and a lick on the face were all it took for Jean Benzine to decide she’d found a new animal companion in Gus, an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mix. “I was living alone in Wind Canyon and wanted a watchdog,” Jean said. “He’s a good barker, if a little overprotective.” Jean said she’s sure Gus had been a family dog who was lost or abandoned, as he already knew how to sit and shake hands. Thanks to Gus’ genes, he sometimes tries to herd Jean’s two cats, with whom he gets along well. www.ziapublishing.com – 63


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Dogs Deserve BETTER BY BRETT FERNEAU

Grant County animal aficionados have a new venue for helping man’s best friend. Silver City Dogs Deserve Better is part of the national non-profit DDB organization, which seeks to

1155 Hwy. 180 East Silver City, NM 88061

improve public understanding of the Open: M-Sat. Phone & Fax: (505) 538-9001

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64 – SILVER CITY LIFE

perils – to both dogs and humans – of chaining or penning dogs for life. The group explains that a dog’s mind instinctively equates ostracism with death. This results in a variety of

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abnormal or obsessive behaviors, including aggressiveness. Chained dogs are 21⁄2 times more likely to bite.


FRUMPY

FOX

WRITTEN BY BRETT FERNEAU PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY BARBARA GORZYCKI

From October 2003 through the present, 51 children in the U.S. have been killed or seriously injured by chained dogs. Besides being inhumane, forcing a dog to live outside alone for life is downright dangerous. Dogs Deserve Better does more than talk about the problem. Wherever possible, it provides materials and volunteer labor to help owners build fences and housetrain their dogs, or it will foster and return or relocate the dogs. Silver City DDB representative Judy DouBrava emphasizes that the group seeks to augment the efforts of other humane organizations, not to compete with them. Participation

on

all

levels

is

welcomed. You can meet other local members

on

the

Internet

at

groups.msn.com/silvercitydogsdeservebetter, or view the national website at www.dogsdeservebetter.com.

above: Pet-sitter Barbara Gorzycki is shown caring for a variety of critters. From top: donkeys Ely and Cisco, formerly owned by the LeBlond family; Magic, a BLM mustang owned by Cassie Carver; Smokey, a Boxer belonging to Kate Watson and Tim Garner; an assortment of Karen Carr’s goats – note the one eating Barbara’s shirt! – and Desmond the Pug, who belongs to Amelia R. Barbara.

“Had I known this was so much fun I’d have started doing it sooner!” Barbara Gorzycki is speaking of Frumpy Fox Pet Sitting LLC, the company she started last April. She named the business after Frumpy, the female fox who visits occasionally from the national forest that adjoins the Gorzycki’s property. Barbara and her husband Tom first bought land in Wind Canyon in 1986, knowing that they would want to retire here one day. Over a period of two years they built their own house here, finishing it in 2003. “It took a lot longer to do it that way,” she says, “but we’re proud of it.” With the house finished, Barbara found she had time on her hands. Wanting a part-time business, she started Frumpy Fox Pet Sitting, which quickly grew into a fulltime occupation. The service is an outgrowth of Barbara’s enjoyment of her own dogs, cats, donkeys and chickens. “Yes, we do chicken-sitting too,” she says with a smile. Her brochure also mentions fish, gerbils, goats, horses, llamas – you get the idea. Besides offering in-home care for a wide variety of animals, Barbara waters plants, picks up mail and newspapers, and manipulates lighting and sound sources to give absent owners’ homes an “active” appearance. Pet owners are updated daily by e-mail or phone messaging. The corporation is bonded, insured and a member of the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce. It has also been accepted for membership in Pet Sitters International, an educational and trade association comprised of over 6,600 professional pet sitting services around the world. Initial consultation is free, references are gladly provided and rates are available on request. www.ziapublishing.com – 65


Silver City’s

Extravagant Makeover WRITTEN BY BRETT FERNEAU

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SILVER IMAGING

Look who’s smiling now! REMEMBER JOANNE PEREZ FROM THE LAST ISSUE OF SILVER CITY LIFE? SHE WAS the young woman who refused to smile for her own wedding photos because of her crooked teeth. Or Allison Bateman, with low energy levels and sore feet? Those women don’t exist any more. The new Allison and Joanne transformed themselves into the women they are today with the help of the Silver City Extravagant Makeover team. The Extravagant Makeover project grew out of the inspiration and passion of its organizer, local top left: Allison Bateman (top) and Joanne Perez show of their new figures and outfits. top right: a smiling Allison (left) and Joann with makeover organizer Dr. John Sherman. above: hard at work in the gym with trainer Pedro Iniguez.

66 – SILVER CITY LIFE

cosmetic dentist Dr. John Sherman. Courtesy of several local businesses, the two-year-old program selects deserving area residents and treats them to the works. This year’s head-to-toe makeovers included physical training, nutritional counseling, cosmetic dentistry, a new hairstyle, makeup advice and color matching, laser hair removal, safe tanning and new clothes with accessories. Joanne’s dentistry was a labor-intensive project for Dr. Sherman. Basic repair, including reshaping her gums, had to be done before her teeth could be straightened to prepare them for the application of


Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry John B. Sherman, DDS 3115 North Leslie Road, Silver City 505.388.2515

Laser Bleaching • Smile Makeover • Orthodontics • White Fillings • Porcelain Veneers and Crowns American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry • Academy of General Dentistry

ZOOM™ tooth whitening and Gold Dust™ porcelain veneers. Dr. Sherman found a cooperative patient in Joanne. “Adherence to doctor’s instructions is the key to great results,” he says. “Joanne’s results speak for themselves.” Allison also received a new smile, and lost an impressive total of 28 pounds during the program. She likes both the people and the equipment at Iniguez Physical Therapy and Fitness Center, which provided the physical training and nutritional counseling for the makeover. “Allison is focused, responsible and committed,” says owner Pedro Iniguez. “Since the makeover she’s joined the fitness center on her own, and continues to work toward her long-term goal of losing another 20 pounds.” “I’d have never done it on my own if not for the makeover,” Allison affirms. “I’ll keep going to the gym.” With thousands of dollars in goods and services involved, the Extravagant Makeover team places a high priority on selecting candidates with the desire and commitment to see the program through. The makeover isn’t a lark. It requires time, temporary discomfort and plain hard work from the recipients. The results, however, are dramatic and long lasting. Many of the health benefits are permanent. Besides Pedro Iniguez and his staff, Allison, Joanne and Dr. Sherman would also like to thank á la mode fine fashions etc., Broadway Boutique, Shear Reflections and Sparks Laser Hair Removal Center for their help with this year’s Extravagant Makeover.

above: Dr. John Sherman has been trained in the latest techniques and technology available in cosmetic dentistry today including the Hornbrook Group. He is a member of many aesthetic societies including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Orthodontic Society, Southwest Aesthetic and Restorative Dental Society, American Dental Association, New Mexico Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Southwest District Dental Society and the Silver City Dental Society.

www.ziapublishing.com – 67


Gila Regional Medical Center

Leading the Way:

Navigated Knee Surgery BY BRETT FERNEAU

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK ERICKSON

MEDICAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IS CONSTANTLY IMPROVING, and Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City continues to help point the way toward the future. This past year it became the first hospital in the state of New Mexico to host a “navigated” knee surgery. Dr. Brian Robinson of the Southwest Bone and Joint Institute was the first and is still the only surgeon in the state to perform the operation. To date he has done 27 of the computer-assisted surgeries, which eliminate the need for jigs to hold the patient’s leg in position during knee-joint replacements.

above: Dr. Brian Robinson and a surgical team prepare to perform navigated knee surgery at Gila Regional Medical Center. 68 – SILVER CITY LIFE


In this procedure, two electronic sensors

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are attached to the leg, one to the femur – the thighbone – and one to tibia, or shin bone. Infrared light beams capture images that are transmitted to a computer, which helps create a precise reference point for the placement of the prosthesis and provides a simulation of the resulting range of motion. The difference in results using surgical navigation is not immediately apparent, but becomes more so with the passage of time. An artificial knee is subject to stress and friction just like any other moving part, and a difference of just two or three degrees of rotation in the placement of the prosthetic will affect how long it will last before it

SILVER CITY OB/GYN

wears out. While orthopedic surgeons are

Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

extremely skilled at aligning the bones and

DONALD H. MONTOYA, M.D.

joints, the virtually perfect alignment that

Board Certified

results from the navigated procedure means

PROFFESIONAL • CONFIDENTIAL • CARING

that a replacement knee can last up to 50

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longevity of the population is greater than ever and increasing, this benefit will only become more important as time goes on. The technique is a new application in joint

replacement

surgery,

but

Dr.

Robinson is no stranger to surgical navigation. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he was educated at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and also completed his internship and residency in orthopedics there. It was at UNM that Dr. Robinson first used surgical navigation to repair pelvic fractures. “This new technique is an amazing complement to knee surgery,” he says. “It helps us determine the best prosthetic fit for each individual patient and is particularly helpful with patients who have abnormal bone

structure

or

mal-alignment

problems.” Gila Regional Medical Center is one of only about 25 hospitals in the entire country using the new technique. www.ziapublishing.com – 69


“BRINGING CARE HOME” • Skilled Nursing Care • Physical Therapy • Infusion Therapy • Certified Home Health Aides • Medical Social Services • Speech Therapy • Occupational Therapy Covered by Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurances

Serving the Grant County area since 1996.

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70 – SILVER CITY LIFE

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Toll Free:

Dr. Shelby

KING BY BRETT FERNEAU

DR. SHELBY KING ESTABLISHED HIS GENERAL PRACTICE HERE IN 1967. THE TYRONE MINE HAD just reopened and Silver City was a boomtown. Dr. King is one of the physicians locally remembered for making house calls, and often recognizes area adults that he saw professionally when they were children. Among the thousands of visits in his career, he recalls making two night house calls to Millie’s. The nighttime madam had acute asthma episodes but was unable to leave the establishment because Millie didn’t trust the girls. Dr. King treated her symptoms and waited there until she felt better. If anyone in the community saw his car parked outside, no one ever mentioned it. Silver City eventually became “too crowded,” so Dr. King moved his practice to the Mimbres Valley in 1981 and “semi-retired” there in 1985. These days he fills in at the Mimbres Clinic, and still makes an occasional local house call. “You don’t want to completely retire,” he told us. “You lose your purpose in life. That’s when you start to get old.”


G R E G O R Y K OURY , M. D .

Dr. Whitney

SHOUP

FA M I LY P H Y S I C I A N A DU LT • PE D I AT R I C • PR E G N A N C Y CA R E O B U LT R A S O U N D • M I N O R S U R G E R Y • VA S E C T O M Y

AC T I V E LY

I N V O LV E D I N YO U R FA M I LY ’ S P R I M A R Y H E A LT H C A R E .

BY BRETT FERNEAU

“LAVERA AND I ORIGINALLY PLANNED TO STAY IN SILVER CITY for two years,” says well-known area pharmacist Dr. Whitney Shoup. He chuckles and adds, “That was 41 years ago.” Whitney and LaVera Shoup purchased the Sav-On drugstore on Bullard St. from Bobby Jackson, Sr. in 1964. They built the current store on Hudson St. in 1976 and were there for another 20 years before selling the business to their longtime employee, pharmacist Rosie Humble, and her business manager Ray Garcia. The Shoups are semiretired now, but seem as busy as ever. Whitney returned to the University of Arkansas, earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1998. He is a consultant pharmacist for several community organizations and also a volunteer astronomy teacher in the public schools. Both he and LaVera are past presidents of the Community Concert Association and are active in community affairs. Before they both became semi-retired, Whitney and Dr. Shelby King (see opposite page) shared numerous adventures together piloting a light airplane back and forth f rom Silver City to care for patients at the Playas Clinic.

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www.ziapublishing.com – 71


fred BARRAZA BY PAT YOUNG

BOOKS LINE THE WALLS AND COLORFUL ARTWORK brightens the office of Fred Barraza, manager of Rural Bookmobile Southwest and a multi-media artist born and raised in Grant County. Landscapes and clouds, even bookmobile patrons, forever frozen in time by Barraza’s skilled paintbrush, are testimonials to a love of art he has pursued since grade school. The books, on the other hand, illustrate his love for a job that just fit after he graduated from Western New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Academic Studies with an emphasis on art. He has been with the bookmobile for over 20 years. Barraza, 50, was born in Silver City and raised in Santa Clara (formerly Central). He 72 – SILVER CITY LIFE

above: Artist Fred Barraza stands in front of his oil painting entitled “Lower Mimbres.” left: Fred’s alabaster sculpture called “Encontar.” opposite, top: opposite, top: Fred enjoys working with bronze, which is his current focus. opposite, bottom: A wood sculpture named “The Song of Meloncholia” is evidence of Fred’s versatility. far right: From Fred Barraza’s Bookmobile Series, a pen and ink rendition of “Jack Vreeland and Friend.”


will

travel HAVE BOOKS

BY PAT YOUNG

lived part of his childhood at Fort Bayard where his mother, Susie Yniguez, served as personnel director. Except for a four-year stint with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1973-77, he has lived nowhere else. “Grant County has been my home,” he says. Barraza, whose art has been displayed in a number of area galleries, paints in a variety of mediums (oil, acrylic and watercolor). He also does linocut prints and sculpture. “I think with every medium I do a little different style,“ he says. “But I do love sculpture more than anything. There’s just not enough time to devote to it.” At the Arenas Valley home he shares with his wife, Jennifer, and two sons, Scott, 18, and Luis, 16, he has an art studio, an etching press for print making, and a foundry for casting bronze. In addition to cast bronze, he does welded metal, stone and wood sculpture. His office is filled with posters and art he has created for Tour of the Gila, the U.S. Forest Service, Fort Bayard, El Refugio, N.M. State Library and Rural Bookmobile Southwest, to name a few. He has illustrated thirteen southwest books and one children’s book. He was also the lead artist on the Salt of the Earth mural recently created on the union hall in Bayard. (See sidebar.) He even used his art to create posters for the Marines when he was in the service, with military

His pictures tell the Rural Bookmobile Southwest story. Fred Barraza, bookmobile manager and a well-known local artist, does the artwork for all of their schedules and information. Actual bookmobile patrons provide the inspiration: grandfather and grandson, mothers and children, a wheelchair-bound woman, elderly folks and young home-schooled students, all rural patrons of a welcome service that brings the world on wheels practically to their door. The Rural Bookmobile program, part of the New Mexico State Library, is divided into four areas, southwest, west, east and northeast, serving over 132 communities around the state. The program has about 22,400 registered users who check out well over a million items a year. Barraza says the Rural Bookmobile Southwest logs about 20,000 miles a year, serving six counties, Catron, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Otero and Sierra. He and two other staff members take turns driving. Unwelcome snowstorms and “breakdowns in the middle of nowhere” happen occasionally, but this personable bookmobile manager says the patrons provide great experiences. “You get to know them by name. They are almost like family.” More information on the bookmobile program can be obtained by calling 534-4617 in Silver City, or by email at rbsw@stlib.state.nm.us. www.ziapublishing.com – 73


Fr

X UNION HALL

vehicles instead of southwest scenery as

HISTORY

the focus. While attending WNMU, Barraza

BY PAT YOUNG

says artists/instructors Cecil Howard,

Just off Highway 180 in Bayard, a moment from history is visible, painted across the side of the Bayard Union Hall. From old photographs recording a miners’ strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in 1950, local artist Fred Barraza sketched the mural on butcher paper. His sketches were scanned and projected onto the side of the building. This is where teens in the Youth Mural Arts Project brought the artwork to life. Barraza and Diana Ingalls Leyba, another local artist, provided mentoring and finishing touches. The Youth Mural program began several years ago, spearheaded by Ingalls Leyba. It is sponsored by Mimbres Region Arts council and Grant County DWI. It involves youth in a positive community activity, and perhaps enlightens them on area history and culture as well. The 15-month-long miners’ strike was made famous by the film “Salt of the Earth” in 1954. While going through the old photographs, Barraza even found his own grandfather in the picket line. If anyone recognizes someone pictured in the mural, please contact Ingalls Leyba at 388-5725. She would like to put names with this piece of history.

Dorothy McCray, Ruben Gonzalez and

top: The historic mural along US 180 in Bayard was created by Fred and applied by participants in the Youth Mural Program of Grant County. right: Fred Barraza provided the artwork for the linocut print entitled “Filman Blues Technique,” created for the Silver City Blues Festival. 74 – SILVER CITY LIFE

Claude Smith were his inspirations and pushed him to do his best. Still with ties to the university, he has served on the WNMU Foundation since 1995 and as president in 2002-04. He also served for five years as part of a group working with New Mexico Arts in Santa Fe, reviewing applications for funding from art organizations around the state. Barraza says inspiration for his art frequently comes from scenery and skies he observes while driving the bookmobile, or from hiking southwest New Mexico all of his life. He has fond memories of going out to Big Tree, Twin Sisters and the petroglyphs while living at Fort Bayard, or backpacking along Sapillo Creek. When he does retire, he says he is thinking of writing and illustrating a children’s book, mirroring his own childhood adventures roaming area canyons and creeks. The title, he says, with an easy smile, might even be “Further Up the Creek.”


Frank & Betty Quarrell and Brett & Greta Kasten

Xout

Christine Rickman and Michael Metcaf

& about

Out and About is about the people, people who support community functions. We managed to catch a few of those folks out enjoying Silver City events. The Mimbres Region Arts Council Weekend at the Galleries Wine Gala held this year at the Ikosaeder Gallery was a huge success. We caught Frank and Betty Quarrell visiting with Brett and Greta Kasten , Christine and Michael Metcaf, Bruce Helmig with the Elemental Spa gals Mari King and Lynette Hanson. You can tell that everyone was having a great time with the smiles on Jennifer and John Mahl’s faces, as well as the faces of Chris and Sally Rafael, Gabe and Utta Ortiz with Larry and Joan Debickish, Faye McCalmont with her twin sister Raye, and Sudie Kennedy and husband Carl Ruhne. Also enjoying the gala were Bobby and Theresa Carillo, Suzi Calhoun with David Mulvenna and Jane Jansen, and Desert Exposure’s Lisa and David Fryxell. Out and about the galleries during Weekend at the Galleries were Henry and

Miriam Cwieka, with Frank Milan and Jay Hemphill, Debbie Harrington and friend, Sue Ann visiting from Texas. Don and Karen Hamlin were checking out some of the extraordinary art and artists Lois Duffy and Michael Metcaf pose with fellow artisan Robert Winston. Also posing for our camera was Marsha Smith with featured artists and John Gary Brown and Turid Peterson and Marsha’s husband David Fiernas. Winners of the Kurious Cumquat Cook Off Contest during Taste of Downtown were Babara Striepeke, Lisa Burgess, and Joan Debickish. Proud as he can be is Mike Casaus showing off his car at the Run for Copper Country Car Show. Shelly Crook and Richard Deaton threw a great bash at the opening of their new B & B and Gallery, Gallery 400 and The Gila House. During our cover shot we also caught a pose from Mike Gutierrez and his car. Spectators line the streets early one

Bruce Helmig, Mari King and Lynette Hanson

Jennifer and John Mahl

Chris & Sally Rafael

Gabe & Utta Ortiz and Larry & Joan Debickish

Faye McCalmont with twin sister Raye

Bobby & Theresa Carillo

Suzi Calhoun, David Mulvenna and Jane Jansen

Lisa & David Fryxell

Sudie & Carl Ruhne


Mike Casaus

Mike Gutierrez

Shelly Crook and Richard Deaton

Henry & Miriam Cwieka, Frank Milan and Jay Hemphill

Tour of Hope Red Hat Ladies

Debbie Harrington and friend Sue Ann from Texas

Karen & Don Hamlin

Robert Winston, Lois Duffy and Michael Metcaf

morning hoping to get a glance at Lance Armstrong as the riders came through town on their Tour of Hope. We’ve got quite a few groups of Red Hat Ladies in our area and they always seem to be having a good time. Speaking of a good time, that’s what is happening with Mike Elgin, Rita Piedras, John Brinker and Pattie Reed at the DouBrava wedding. We caught Byrl Wilson being served wedding cake by bride Judy DouBrava and then we see Diane Hamilton posing with the happy couple, Judy and Jesse. Getting ready to perform for the Alumni in the WNMU Homecoming Talent Show we caught Christy Miller and Laurie Romero Jones. April Weitlauf and Leon Brown were on hand with Richard Deaton for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Gallery 400. Enjoying a nice sunny day at the Farmers Market are Eloy and Ida Perea and Ruben and Dolores Castillo. All dressed for the occasion we captured Lisa Fryxell, Barbara Gorqychi and Arlyn

Cooley at the Fort Bayard Tea during Fort Bayard Days. Out and about the Pinos Altos Festival we found Jack Galbrath from the Copper Thistle Bag Pipe Band, Brandon Perrault entertaining the crowds and our gun fighters Dana Smolens, Jim Jones, Frank Ferrara and Skip Thacker. Those Red Hat girls sure like to have a good time. Jan Sherman and her friends are taking a Corre Caminos bus trip to have a Victorian lunch at the Customs House in Deming. Then we found Jan Whitfield and her Red Hat Friends with her Red Hat Car. The WNMU Coaches Party brought out a lot of people in support of our university sports, including girls softball coach Freddy Flores, Dr. Farren and Belinda Mills. Also on the scene were men’s basketball coach Mark Coleman with his wife, Jenny and supporters Dena Flores and Jenny Montoya. Dr. John Counts wouldn’t miss this party nor would Valerie Yniguez, Jackie Cullen, Jessica Johnson or Jan Cullen. Football coaches Chanelle Jones and Lonnie Phillips were also on hand, as were Linda Bright and Maryjo Calendar.

Marsha Smith, John Gary Brown, Turid Pedersen and David Fiernas

Mike Elgin, Rita Piedras, John Rinker and Pattie Reed

Barbara Striepeke, Lisa Burgess and Joan Debickish

Byrl Wilson and Judy DouBrava

Diane Hamilton and Judy & Jessie DouBrava

Christy Miller and Laurie Romero-Jones April Weitlauf, Leon Brown and Richard Deaton

Eloy & Ida Pena


Jack Galbrath

Lisa Fryxell, Barbara Gorqycki and Arlyn Cooley

Bob Mallins

Brandon Perault

Dana Smolens, Jim Jones, Frank Ferrara, Skip Thacker

Jan Sherman & Red Hat Ladies Jan Whitfield & Red Hat Ladies

LaVera and Whitney Shoup and Karl and Barbara Giese were at the Chamber of Commerce to welcome April Weitlauf as the new chamber director. That’s where we found this crazy quartet of Janey Katz, Suzi Calhoun, John Rohovec and Jane Jansen as well as Judy Ward, Christine Stailey, Richard Deaton and Mary Tarazoff. Cameras were flashing at the Open House at Elemental Day Spa with Dale Lane, Jan Sherman, Neysa Pritikan, Murray Ryan and Laure Pankey. We also photographed Tom and Christine Stewart, Quinn and Gwen Martin and Ward Rudick. Last but not least a big congratulations ribbon cutting photo of Patrick Conlin with staff Tracy Bauer, Jennifer Fleming, Karen Sheean, Lisa Parker and Carol Gardner of Prudential Silver City Properties.

Freddy Flores, Dr. Farren and Belinda Mills

Jenny & Mark Coleman, Dena Flores, Jenny Montoya

Dr. John Counts

Valerie Yniguez, Jackie Cullen, Jessica Johnson and Jan Cullen

LaVera & Whitney Shoup, Karl & Barbara Giese Chanelle Jones and Lonnie Phillips

Judy Ward, Christine Stailey, Richard Deaton and Mary Tarazoff

Ruben & Dolores Castillo

Janey Katz, Suzi Calhoun, John Rohovec & Jane Jansen

Patrick Conlin and crew at Prudential Opening

Linda Bright and Maryjo Calendar

Dale Lane, Jan Sherman, Neysa Pritikan, Murray Ryan and Laure Pankey

Tom & Christine Stewart, Quinn & Gwen Martin and Ward Rudick


SILVER CITY AREA PERFORMANCES & SPECIAL EVENTS NOVEMBER Nov 1-2. Dia de los Muertos. In Historic Downtown Silver City. 534-8671. Nov 4. 7:30pm. Ollabelle. At WNMU Fine Arts Center. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Nov 6. Open House at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. 536-9461. Nov 12. 9:30am. Tour of Historic Ft. Bayard. 388-4477. Nov 15. 7:30pm. Quatrocelli Ensemble, Community Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-0203. Nov 18. 7:30pm. Gretchen Peters. At Pinos Altos Opera House. 538-2502 or 1-888-758-7289. Nov 26. 7:00pm. Main Street 15th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. In Historic Downtown Silver City. 534-1700. Nov 28. 7:30pm. Babes in Toyland. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Nov 30. 7:00pm. WNMU Orchestra and Band Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-6612.

DECEMBER Dec 2. 7:00pm. The Western New Mexico Thundering Herd in Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center. 538-6617. Dec 5-10. Festival of Trees. 534-0261. Dec 15. 5-9:00pm. 21st Annual Victorian Christmas Evening. At the Silver City Museum. 538-5921. Dec 9. 5-6:30pm. MRAC Gallery Exhibit reception for Seth Goodkind. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. New Construction • Additions • Remodeling • Restoration •

JANUARY

• Concrete • Masonry • Landscaping • Demolition

Chris Arzate

Free Estimates

Bus: 505.388.4675

Cell: 505.313.6941 303.618.4968

A&E Diesel & Gas Repair Quality Work by Professionals

• Electrical • Hydraulic • Final Drives • Foreign & Domestic • Computer Diagnostic • Tractor Trailer Brakes • Transmission Overhauls • Extensive/Engine Overhauls

Danny Graziano, Owner

505.388.2533 Fax: 505.388.2533

8:30AM - 6PM • MON. - SAT. 24-Hour Emergency Road Service • 505.313.5675

3010 Pinos Altos Road • Silver City, NM

Jan 7-8. 9:00am. 3rd Annual Red Paint Powwow. At WNMU Intramural Gym. 534-1379. Jan 13-14. 7:30pm. Greg Brown. At Pinos Altos Opera House. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Jan 16. 7:30pm. St. Petersburg Classical Ballet, Community Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-0203. Jan 27. Membership Drive Dinner with Commander Dr. Bushnell by Dr. John Bell. At Fort Bayard. Jan 28. 7:30pm. Circus Luminous. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289.

FEBRUARY Feb 4. Friends of the Library Book Sale. 534-4210. Feb 9. 7:30pm. Franc D’Ambrosio’s “Broadway”, Community Concert. 538-0203. Feb 10. 5-6:30pm.MRAC Gallery Exhibit reception for Jan Gunlock and Audubon Show. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Feb 11. Chocolate Fantasia. In Historic Downtown Silver City. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Feb 17. 7:30pm. Christine Kane. At Pinos Altos Opera House. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Feb 19. Instrumental Recital. At the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. 538-9532.

MARCH JuMar 3. 7:30pm. The Coats: A Capella Vocals, Community Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-0203. JuMar 4. Victorian Tea. At Fort Bayard. Mar 9. 7:30pm. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-2505. Mar TBA. 6-10pm.Silver City Main Street Dinner Dance. In Historic Downtown Silver City. 534-1700.

APRIL Apr 2. Medieval-Renaissance Recital. At the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. 388-4764. Apr 7. 7:30pm. Tracy Grammer. At Pinos Altos Opera House. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Apr 14. 5-6:30pm. MRAC Gallery Exhibit reception for Alicia Edwards. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Apr 20. Earth Day at Penny Park. 534-0261. Apr 22. 7:30pm. Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289. Apr 26. 7:00pm. WNMU Orchestra and Band Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-6612. Apr 28. 7:00pm. The Western New Mexico University Thundering Herd in Concert. At WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. 538-6617.

MAY ‘ May TBA. 8:30am. 9th Annual Celebration of Spring Festival. In Historic Downtown Silver City and Big Ditch Park. 534-1700. May 6. Friends of the Library Book Sale. 534-4210. May 6. Premier Yard Sale to support spaying/neutering in Grant County. At the Animal Shelter. 538-9261. May 26-28. Annual Blues Festival. 538-2505 or 1-888-758-7289.

78 – SILVER CITY LIFE


SILVER CITY’S LIGHTED

CHRISTMAS PARADE A Downtown Tradition BY BRETT FERNEAU

ON THANKSGIVING WEEKENDS IN the early 1990s a horse-drawn trolley ran downtown from north Bullard Street to Home Furniture and back again. Tickets cost $1.00. On one such weekend, three schoolchildren came into the Model Shop asking owner Beverly Redwine how they could ride the trolley. In the Christmas spirit Beverly gave them three tickets she had. They returned afterwards to thank her. “Their faces were flushed and their eyes were sparkling,” she recalls. Beverly wanted to see that excited look on the faces of all the area’s youngsters. Her inspiration was the beginning of what would become Silver City’s largest annual event: the Lighted Christmas Parade. In conjunction with the Main Street Program Promotion Committee, she helped organize the parade and has been its chairperson ever since. “We have a wonderful committee,” Beverly says. “The people are cooperative and involved. It has been a real joy to do it.” It’s also a joy to watch. Grant County’s Christmas season would be incomplete without the nighttime event, which features about 40 floats and draws some 10,000 spectators yearly. above: A horse-drawn carriage is the theme of the 1st New Mexico Bank float at the annual Lighted Christmas Parade. www.ziapublishing.com – 79


1310 SILVER HEIGHTS BLVD. • SILVER CITY, NM 88061

505-538-5328 Monday-Saturday 9-6 • Sunday 12-5 Locally Owned and Operated. W W W. S E A R S D E A L E R S . C O M / 3329


We are proud to be listed by the Small Business School as a respected and reputable business in our community and industry.

Member of: National Home Builders’ Association New Mexico Home Builders’ Association Las Cruces Home Builders’ Association Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Three Valley Business Assocation

505-313-5140

8 8 8 - 2 17-79 6 2

W W W. T I M B E R L A N D C O N S T R U C T I O N . C O M


The Gold Standard in Silver City At CENTURY 21 Thompson Realty, find experienced CENTURY 21 professionals who are dedicated to making the process of buying or selling your home as easy and as successful as possible. Log onto www.silver-nm.com today to find out more.

Thompson Realty

1-800-358-0021 607 N. Hudson Street Silver City, NM 505-538-0021 www.silver-nm.com www.century21.com www.dosgriegos.com

Silver City Life Winter 2006  

Featuring the best of what Silver City New Mexico has to offer in the way of unique people, businesses and lifestyles. Includes the Silver C...

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