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Winter 2016









Headaches & TMD • Neck & Back Pain • Hip & Leg Pain Shoulder & Arm Pain • Disk, Muscle & Joint Pain • Sciatica & Chronic Arthritis • Post Surgical Rehab MEDICARE AND MEDICAID AND MOST OTHER INSURANCES

Suzanne Thomas • MPT, BS, BA.


310 W. 11TH • SILVER CITY • 575-534-1187 • Se Habla Español

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SILVER CITYLIFE Terri Menges President & Managing Director

Joseph Burgess On the cover: La Capilla at Sunrise “The Little Chapel” on the hill graces the skyline as the sun rises over Silver City on a Sunday morning. Photo by Robert “Jaime” Ramirez.

Vice President & Photo Journalist

Arlyn Cooley Staff Accountant

Denise “Gabbie” Davenport Mark Erickson James Edd Hughs Eugene Lewis Mike Rowse Christine L. Steele Judy Wuthrich Contributing Writers

Joe Burgess Denise “Gabbie” Davenport Mark Erickson Robert “Jaime” Ramirez Debra Sutton Judy Wuthrich Dale Zimmerman Contributing Photographers

Terri Menges Yessica Nograro-Borquez Debra Sutton Designers

Denise “Gabbie” Davenport Robyn Hood Mary-Catherine Meek Robert “Jaime” Ramirez


Advertising Sales


Features 12 Mike Trujillo. A 46 year banking career that led him to the top by making it about the people he works for and with. 14 Silke Schneider. A lady with horse sense and a sense of adventure – from the circus to the Australian Outback – and Silver City! 22 Shannone Rivera. A passionate advocate for children has found her calling. 26 M. Fred Barraza. From Bookmobile to creating art, pursuing a lifelong passion for drawing and clay. 28 Doug O’Dell and Ryan Wenzel. Lifelong friends treat customers like family, giving them a reason to come back!


Departments 10 Financial. Controlling your emotions to avoid ill-advised investment decisions.

30 Sculptor Michael Metcalf Inspired by the rugged New Mexico landscape, WNMU professor’s sculpture reaches new heights.

18 People Making a Difference. Whether it’s providing professional real estate services or physical therapy here are a few individuals who are communityminded citizens.

32 1st New Mexico Bank. A true community bank with a down home feel, First New Mexico will make you feel welcome.

24 Recycle. Turn bicycle tire inner tubes into fashionable tote bags.

34 Brooke & Ray Cressler. Fate brought this nature loving musician and artist to Silver City via a Google search and Jumping Cactus Coffeehouse was born. 40 Gila Regional Medical Center. A Multi-Specialty Network has been established to expand access to primary care and specialty services to the community.


25 Advertisers Index. 25 Winter Birding. The Common Black Hawk is an iconic southwestern riparian bird. 36 Out & About. Snapshots of recent local events. 38 Happy Endings. Local Vets share stories of companionship after combat.

Special Thanks Michael Metcalf Tamera Ahner Dr. Nicholas Mittica M. Fred Barraza Doug O’Dell Paul Ciano Sean Ormand Patrick Conlan Frank Quarrell Brooke & Ray Cressler Shannone Rivera Mark Erickson Silke Schneider Tenisha Flowers Dr. John Sherman Holley Hudgins Rosalee Sirgany Ashleigh Garcia Sherry Terrazas Richard Griffin Suzanne Thomas Dr. J. Hal Hopson Mike Trujillo James Edd Hughs Abe Villarreal Brett Kasten Ryan Wenzel Joe Kellerman Julie White Scott Kennedy Judy Wuthrich Johnathan Leicht Mary Ybarra Dani Maier

CORRECTION: Silver City Life Summer 2015: The Pinhole Resource website is Silver City Life is published bi-annually by Zia Publishing Corp. P.O. Box 1248, 116 McKinney Rd. (deliveries only), Silver City, NM 88062-1248 Phone: 575-388-4444, Fax: 575-534-3333 e-mail: Silver City Life Online: ©Zia Publishing Corp., 2016. This issue of Silver City Life is copyrighted 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: 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.

Residential, Commercial and Land

Professional Service

YOU CAN TRUST Allow Us to Introduce You to Our Community Our membership in the Silver City Multiple Listing Service gives you internet access to all properties for sale region wide, including Silver City, Mimbres, Bayard, Santa Clara, Cliff, Tyrone, Grant County and more...We can sell any property for sale in the Silver City New Mexico area, regardless of who the listing agent/broker is. Use our website to search all listed Homes and Properties for sale in the Silver City, NM area.

1628 Silver Heights Blvd. Silver City, NM 88061 | 575-388-1921 | 800-368-5632 |


Did you know? is a non-profit organization. 100% of ReStore proceeds go towards building affordable homes in Grant County. ReStore runs strictly on donations given to us by the community. ReStore is a giant recycling center. Items donated to the ReStore are re-sold, re-purposed, and recycled. ReStore saves TONS of unwanted items from entering the landfill all year long. Please help us in our efforts to recycle. Bring your useable items to the ReStore first, not the landfill.

Shop! Donate! Volunteer! We Accept: Furniture, Hardware, Appliances, Household Items.

Denise “Gabbie” Davenport has found the perfect balance working with Zia. If doing what you love is the best work in the world, then she’s doing it! She’s a relationship-builder and brings both academic degrees and personal passion to her work. Her ‘gift of gab’ invites you to share your love and tell your stories!

Mark Erickson has shot just about everything in his 50-plus years of photographing Silver City. One fabulous memory is photographing the famous golfer Billy Casper when he returned to Grant County to put on the benefit Billy Casper Classic for many years. “Mr. Casper autographed every image as well as caps and golf balls. He was a great fellow,” Mark says.

Miss a Day, Miss a Deal!

The more you donate the more homes Habitat is able to build.

Call to schedule a pickup (575) 534-9727

704 W. Market St. Silver City, NM Open Wed-Fri 1-4pm & Sat 9am-1pm Eugene Lewis began serious birding in eastern Kansas in the 1950s, eventually roaming the entire state in his pursuit of the avian species. Upon retirement in 1991 he moved to Silver City, where he has continued his lifelong quest.

Mon - Sat 7am - 6pm • Sun 8am - 3pm

601 N. Bullard, Suite A • Silver City, NM • 575.534.9229 8 – SILVER CITYLIFE

Robert “Jaime” Ramirez, Zia Publishing’s new senior photographer and New Mexico sales manager, earned a BFA in Art with an AA in Graphic Design this spring from WNMU. He believes that “if you have a vision and a strong urge to share it, it’s merely a matter of time and hard work to find a way to express yourself.”

Mike Rowse born in Silver City, Mike and wife, Linda met as students at WNMU. Careers took them around the western U.S. but they returned home in 2001 to run KSCQ radio. Their two daughters worked in the business making a true family affair. Mike is now with Farm Bureau insurance.

Boston born and raised, Christine Steele fell in love with the Southwest and calls Silver City her “adopted home town.” She’s been telling mostly true stories since she was a chubby grade school kid. She turned to journalism as way to get through college and her divorce in 2003. She’s addicted to road trips, Western skies, and good green chile anything.

Judy Wuthrich is a local cosmetologist. Her interests include writing, photography, creating dolls, making jewelry from recycled material and supporting the ethical treatment of animals. She lives in Silver City with her dog Gizelle. Dr. Dale A. Zimmerman is an ornithologist, botanist, naturalist and Professor Emeritus of Biology at WNMU, where he taught for 31 years. He is also a recognized bird illustrator, nature photographer and author with field experience on every continent.





What’s the biggest obstacle to your ability to invest successfully? Is it the ups and downs of the financial markets? Political events? The fact that you weren’t born rich? Actually, the chief hurdle you face is something over which you have control: your own emotions. Your emotions can lead to a variety of ill-advised investment behaviors, such as these: • Cutting losses. Declines in the financial markets can lead some investors to try to “cut their losses” by selling investments whose price has declined. Yet, when prices have dropped, it may actually be a good time to buy investments, not sell them, especially when the investments are still fundamentally sound. • Chasing performance. In the investment world, the flip side of “fear” is “greed.” Just as some investors are propelled by fear of loss, others are motivated by quick, big gains. They may pursue “hot” investments, only to be disappointed when the sizzle quickly fizzles. Instead of trying to “score” that one big winner, you may be better off spreading your investment dollars among a range of vehicles – stocks, bonds, government securities, certificates of deposit (CDs) and so on. While diversification can’t guarantee a profit or protect against loss, it may help reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio. • Focusing on the short term. When the market is down, you might get somewhat upset when you view your monthly investment statements. But any individual statement is just a snapshot in time; if you were to chart your investment results over a period of 10, 15 or 20 years, you’d see the true picture 10 – SILVER CITYLIFE

of how your portfolio is doing – and, in all likelihood, that picture would look better than a statement or two you received during a down market. In any case, don’t overreact to short-term downturns by making hasty “buy” or “sell” decisions. Instead, stick with a longterm strategy that’s appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. • Heading to the investment “sidelines”. Some people get so frustrated over market volatility that they throw up their hands and head to the investment “sidelines” until “things calm down.” And it’s certainly true that, when owning stocks, there are no guarantees; you do risk losing some, or all, of your investment. But if you jump in and out of the market to “escape“ volatility, you may take on an even bigger risk – the risk of losing some of the growth you’ll need to reach your goals. Consider this: If you had invested $10,000 in a package of stocks mimicking the S&P 500 in December 1979, your investment would have grown to more than $426,000 by December 2013. But if you had missed just the 10 best days of the market during that time, your $10,000 would only have grown to less than $206,000 – a difference of about $220,000, according to Ned Davis Research, a leading investment research organization. The bottom line? Staying invested over the long term can pay off. (Keep in mind, though, that the S&P 500 is an unmanaged index and isn’t meant to depict an actual investment. Also, as you’ve no doubt heard, past performance is not a guarantee of future results.) Our emotions are useful in guiding us through many aspects of our lives, but when you invest, you’re better off using your head – and not your heart. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Copyright © 2014 Edward Jones. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. This site is designed for U.S. residents only. The services offered within this site are available exclusively through our U.S. financial advisors. Edward Jones' U.S. financial advisors may only conduct business with residents of the states for which they are properly registered. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every state.

James Edd Hughs, AAMS® Financial Advisor 210 Hwy. 180 W, Suite 100 Silver City, NM 88061 (575) 534-1221


Mike Trujillo “There is nothing like working for and with people you know.” WRITTEN BY MIKE ROWSE PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROBERT “JAIME” RAMIREZ

Shortly after graduating from New Mexico State University, Mike moved to Los Angeles to work at Cal Fed Bank as part of a management trainee program. While the experience cemented his desire to pursue a career in banking, it also made him realize that big city life was not for him. It might have been that the outdoor lifestyle he loved was so far away or maybe it was all of the people, but he and his wife Taffy knew they didn’t want to raise a family there. After being called to active duty and serving in Vietnam, Mike returned to southern NM taking a job with Deming Federal. Six months later, he was transferred to the branch in Silver City and he’s never given serious consideration to leaving our town again. Mike has seen a lot of changes since then, mostly in the signs on the door. From Deming Federal to Home Federal to Sun West Bank to Boatman’s to; well you get the idea. Mike watched the hometown banker get pushed aside by the corporate banks. He recalls having to explain to some faceless corporate number cruncher what green chile is and why he had to go out and count a rancher’s cows. Darn city slickers. When an opportunity came to join a new, locally owned bank, Mike gladly made the leap to AmBank leaving ‘corporate’ banking behind. There is nothing like working for and with people you know. There’s so much more to banking than just numbers, it’s about the people and knowing them that makes it rewarding. When you walk into Mike’s corner office it’s apparent right away that Mike’s focus isn’t about the career accomplishments, it’s about his family, his community, and his hobbies. There are pictures of his three kids and three grandkids everywhere. The drawings and statues represent the diversity of our Southwestern culture. Some of his hunting trophies adorn the wall as well. Change never stops and a year ago, Ambank became First American Bank. This wasn’t another corporate bank, FAB is a community oriented bank that has been around since 1903. The transition has been easier than some Mike experienced because of their focus on community. After 46 years, Mike will soon retire. Of course he’ll play tennis, hunt and spend time with family, after he cleans out his garage. Oh the retired life! They will definitely stay in Silver City!

William J. PERKINS




DA N I E L B . D i et z e l


• •

Mobile Home

C at h ry n L . WAL L AC E

D av i d M . Lopez


Motorcycle •


Worker Compensation

Bob and Alma Carson, Owners / Agents

Corner of 19th & Swan • Silver City, NM


A new home? We just found ours! Silver City Properties joins the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Family

Patrick Conlin, Broker/Owner 120 E. 11th St. • Silver City 575-538-0404 2991 Hwy. 35 • Mimbres 575-574-8798 Better Homes an Gardens is a registered of Meredith corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC.Equal Opportunity Employer. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.




hat better adventure after high school could there be than to run off with a circus leading two Lippizan horses and a pony. At eighteen, in Hamburg, Germany, Silke Schneider had joined the American Circus as an elephant rider and it was just in time, her acceptance letter to the University of Hanover was in the mail. Even though it was named the American Circus, it was owned by Italians but the trucks had American license plates and the tents were decorated with stars and stripes-all part of the show. Silke moved from elephants to working with the Lippizans, descendants of Spanish horses. When she later started working with the Wilbur-Cruce horses years later she discovered that they, like their cousins the Lippizans, were athletic, people loving, and had the same big heart. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, another adventure was about to begin. In the early 1980s on her gray Arab horse “Samir”, she explored two of the famous historic cowboy trails: The Santa Fe Trail from Santa Fe to Dodge City and the Chisholm Trail from Dodge City to Fort Worth. 1200 miles in seven weeks. Having arrived at the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center in Fort Worth at High Noon on the day of their grand opening she and the wagon master were paid their expenses as part of the challenge.

The Next Adventure Silke then accepted an offer to work at a 300,000 acre open range cattle and horse station in Western Australia. She states that most of the fences washed away during the floods so it took weeks of daily long hours in the saddle to bring in the semi-wild horses (mostly WILD) in the vast outback of Western Australia. Magical colors at sunset and dawn…every day was worth a lifetime, every day a new adventure! The animals, plants, and nature all around were her friends. Her job as a jillaroo (cowgirl) was to move the 35 or so workhorses that had been selected from camp to camp over the next three to four months. Every morning just before sunrise, about twelve Aboriginal stockmen, the station manager and a couple of jillaroos would ride out to round up, or muster, as they say in Australia. The Aboriginal stockmen would come through with a round of applause and lots of laughter when another young cowboy would stay on his horse…or had fallen off. The outback station work led her back to the USA where she accepted an offer to work as Animal Systems Manager for the Biosphere II project in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona.

opposite: Silke with Juanita.


My Real Estate Company “Experience Matters” Paul J. Ciano

Broker/Owner Former Realtor of the Year Helping People with Real Estate since 1995 Associate Broker

Rosalee Sirgany Search Listings, Rentals & the MLS at

575-388-1449 524 Silver Heights Blvd. ◆ Silver City, NM 88061 VETERAN OWNED & OPERATED

Sales ◆ Property Management ◆ Home Staging

Our professional technicians have been serving Silver City, Grant and Hidalgo Counties for 40+ years.

Locally owned, licensed, insured, and certified by the National Association of Wastewater Transporters, Inc. • • • • • •

Sanitized, ADA-Compliant Portable Restrooms and Hand-Wash Stations for short or long term construction and special event rentals.


Michael D. Rowse Agent

575.597.0206 215 W. College Ave. Silver City, NM 88061

575-538-2152 • 1-888-538-2152

I make insurance simple.®

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Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company* | Western Agricultural Insurance Company* | Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company* *Company providers of Farm Bureau Financial Services Health insurance policies are underwritten by an insurance company that is not affiliated with our companies.


While working on the design, construction, and daily operation of the prototype animal production system, she met the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy when she was desperately trying to find chickens that could still scratch for worms and hatch their own young. Fortunately the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy had been working since 1977 to preserve the old breeds unique to North America. So when the Conservancy rescued the Wilbur-Cruce Spanish Barb herd in 1990, there was another crossing of trails. In the mid 90s Silke graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Animal Sciences and started to work with the nonprofit Drylands Institute as Research Associate and Director of Desert Rare Breeds, preserving heritage breeds of livestock and poultry adapted to arid lands. In this book Silke gives the history of the Spanish Barbs and the historical significance of the Arizona herd. She formed Heritage Breeds Southwest in 1998, is on the Board of Directors of Rare Breeds International as well as being a full member of the Longriders Guild and the secretary of the Spanish Barb Horse Association. In February of 2004, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Silke is currently an elementary teacher in Silver City, New Mexico and lives with her partner botanist Richard Felger. ................. Information about Silke Schneider has been taken from her personal biography and Arizona’s Spanish Barbs by Silke Schneider, Outskirts Press, Denver Colorado. ISBN-10:1-59800-849-4 who kindly gave permission to use material from the book. above: Lucy.


Most people in Silver City knew Linda Kay Jones as accomplished businesswoman and economic development leader, but few knew her as intimately as her longtime cosmetologist, Judy Wuthrich. “I saw Linda go from rags to riches, but she was always a genuine person,” said Judy. “Even with the money, she was still a down home type of girl.” Linda Kay loved her family and often talked about her four grown children and what they were doing. She also had a talent for entertaining. “She was such a busy person but she always made me laugh because as busy as she was she would have 20 people over for dinner and that was her way of unwinding and relaxing,” said Judy. Linda Kay had a passion for cooking and even went to Italy to take a cooking class. “She would always be dying to try her latest recipes out on a new crowd and the crowd would always be willing because she was an awesome cook!” When Dr. Joseph Shepherd became president of WNMU, Linda Kay hosted a dinner for 50 women, reaching out her welcoming hand to help introduce Dr. Shepard’s wife Marcela to the community. And even as she battled the cancer that eventually took her, she always looked fabulous. “That’s something she always paid attention to, style and detail,” Judy said. “She was always so strong and overcame everything that was presented to her,” Judy said. “Nothing was going to keep her down. But even though she was a powerful business woman, she was truly a warm and genuine person.”

See me for Car and Home Insurance and save. Chuck Johnson, Agent #1 Ranch Club Road • Silver City, NM 88061 Bus: 575.538.5321 • 888.616.0884 • Cell: 575.590.7746 LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR STATE FARM IS THERE. Providing Insurance and Financial Services State Farm Fire and Casualty Company • Home Office … Bloomington, Illinois

Taste the Difference Fine Dinin Steaks - Seafood - Pastas - Salads - Gluten Free Entrées Decadent Homemade Desserts - Fine Wine - Beer Full Catering & Event Planning

Parlor Light Fare & Live Entertainment Tues-Fri 11am – 10pm • Sat & Sun 9am-10pm

find us on facebook

510 N. BULLARD • 575.538.8722 • 211 W. Broadway Silver City 575.388.4647 YOGA • MOVEMENT • MEDITATION


It’s the

People... Making a Difference in Silver City!


Drawn to Silver City for its artist community, lower cost of living and slower, relaxed pace, Patrick Conlin launched his real estate career shortly after buying his first home here. “I had just sold a home in Seattle and bought a home here and I enjoyed that process,” he related. “I knew one person who lived here at the time,” Patrick said of his new community. “I found it to be a welcoming, diverse community that had a lot to offer for a town of its size.” Patrick started selling real estate in Silver City and the surrounding area in 2000 and five years later founded his own firm, Prudential Silver City Properties. “We had a ten year contract with Prudential Real Estate and and when that contract was up we looked at other options. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate approached me and they seemed to be a good fit,” he said. “It’s a small but growing franchise, and a name that has been around since the 1920s from the magazine. It’s a fresh, new reinvented franchise that is very consumer focused and offers a lot of technology.” The newly named Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Silver City marries the brand’s warmth and style with Patrick’s passion for and knowledge of the Silver City market. One of the nice touches Patrick and his team of affiliated real estate professionals offer their clients to welcome them to their new home is a gift subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine. For someone who had never sold real estate before he moved to Silver City, Patrick rose to the top by following a few simple rules. “I work hard, I give good service and live by the golden rule to treat others the way I want to be treated,” he said. His knowledge of the market and directness have made him stand out. “I’m a numbers person so I’m constantly analyzing stats,” he explained. “I have a really good handle on the market and, I’m honest. I don’t sugar coat things.” That combination of knowledge, customer service and hard work helped make him the #1 producing broker (53 transactions) in Silver City in 2014, according to the Silver City Association of Realtors. Whether you are a longtime Silver City resident looking for your new home or a newcomer looking to make the Silver City region your new home, Patrick and his team of professionals can help you find the perfect fit for your personality and budget. From their Silver City office at 120 E. 11th St., housed in a historic 1880s adobe house or their rural office in the Mimbres Valley, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Silver City serves all of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo and Luna Counties. “We are excited to be affiliated with a new brand,” Patrick said. “Our affiliation with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate truly elevates us to Silver City’s lifestyle real estate brokerage firm. The many tools and resources that come with the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate affiliation will help us better meet the growing needs of the homebuyers and sellers we serve.


Paul Ciano & Rosalee Sirgany My Real Estate Company WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY DENISE DAVENPORT

Paul fell in love with Silver City the first time he visited and he has made it his home for twenty-eight years. His professional experience spans the continuum, and while it could have begun with his twenty-nine year career in the military military, it was more probable that it began at the tender age of 13 when he started playing guitar! He was a Private Investigator and a Security Consultant. Upon arrival in Silver City, he owned a newspaper publication and then began his real estate career. His motto is “Helping People with Real Estate since 1995”. He had been doing it a long time and decided to open My Real Estate Company in July of 2013 in partnership with his wife, Rosalee, who is an author, Associate Broker and home stager. She is also the greatest source of his healing. There’s a risk to go into business for yourself. Any business owner will attest to that. There’s a lot at stake, a lot to lose. There’s also a lot to gain. When it comes to your life, however, the odds are a bit different. They can change in a matter of minutes and it changes everything. When that happens, we see what it means to be a local resident in a small community. We see what it looks like when someone we know and love is hurting. We watch as friends come forward to help and family members take over our office because we’re at the hospital for days that turn into weeks that turn into months. Such has been Paul and Rosalee’s journey this past year. They are a married couple that is a team, in real estate and in life. They have credentials, they have experience and they have integrity. They also have love…and they’re beating the odds! 20 – SILVER CITYLIFE


On 11th Street, tucked in between two historic homes, is a quaint building called Desert Springs Physical Therapy. Suzanne Thomas Graves got her start as a lab technician while serving in the Army Reserves. She became a commissioned officer after graduating with her Master’s in physical therapy. Suzanne moved to Silver City to manage Millennium Physical Therapy, later buying the practice and renaming it Desert Springs Physical Therapy. She keeps up with changes in the field by constantly training and learning new techniques. For the past 16 years, she has mentored students from Western New Mexico University who are pursuing careers in medicine and physical therapy. She also serves as a clinical instructor for doctoral and Physical Therapy Assistant students at University of New Mexico and the Pima Medical Institute. “I give students the opportunity to get hands on experience and teach them manual therapy techniques which helps enrich their classroom learning,” she explained. “Our mission statement is ‘Caring people, caring for people. The environment I like to foster is “Team members play nice in the sandbox.” One of Suzanne’s goals is to help prepare students for their professional life after graduation. Recently, one of those former students, Alexi Charter, returned to join Suzanne’s practice after graduating from UNM with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. In 2006, Suzanne heeded the call to return to the military and closed her practice to serve as Chief Assistant of the Physical Therapy Program at Reynolds Army Community Hospital in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. She returned to Silver City the following year and reopened Desert Springs Physical Therapy. For the past four years, she has been the title sponsor of the Gila Monster Gran Fondo, a fundraiser for the Tour of the Gila. No longer in the military, Suzanne retired as a Major in 2011. Outside work, she enjoys rock hounding, gardening, cycling and hiking some of the Gila’s less traveled trails. Her latest project includes helping her husband Allen and stepson Wyatt restore a 1982 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.




Ask someone what they do for a living, if you see their eyes shine and smile come across her face, you know she’s found her calling. Shannon Rivera, Executive Director of the nationally recognized Early Childhood Program at WNMU is one of the lucky people to have found herself in an occupation she loves, living in a place she loves, and helping create the futures of our children and our community.


he road to Silver City and a career in education wasn’t necessarily planned but she set out on that path early in life. At the age of 11, Shannon began reading ‘The Babysitter Club’ series of books. Following that lead, she began babysitting. Soon she was taking care of the children of several families on a regular basis and she loved it. During her junior year in high school, she paid a visit to her uncle, Bill Winkley, in Silver City. The sun, the fresh air, the outdoor activities, and the diversity caused her to fall in love with the town. Shannon and her mom moved to Silver after graduation. She soon realized that she needed an education to provide for herself and her kids. It was tough for a single mom, but Shannon took advantage of the Early Childhood Education program at WNMU and obtained her associate’s degree. Much of what she learned in the educational process reaffirmed what she knew from being a parent, a babysitter, and a nanny. Shannon’s varied path continued after getting a degree in elementary education. Life took her down a winding road with stops as a kindergarten teacher, home daycare owner, early intervention counselor, adjunct professor. One thing was constant, Shannon continued to combine her education and practical experience to help children and parents improve their lives. In her current position, Shannon inherits a program that is nationally recognized as a leader in early childhood education. The First Born Program was instrumental in encouraging Shannon to pursue her education in Early Childhood Education. Governor Martinez recently appointed Rivera to the newly established Early Learning Advisory Council which will advise the Governor and legislators on programs and issues affecting early learning in children. Shannon can’t imagine being in another place. She and her husband Steve have 5 kids between them. Isaiah, Joseph, Jacob, James, and Julia. They are all active and love the outdoors, taking advantage of the recreational opportunities in the area. One thing is certain, the children of Grant County and NM have a passionate and caring advocate working on their behalf. SILVER CITYLIFE – 23

Try This


Green Project


top: Inner tube cut lengthwise, cut into sections and then sewn together. above: Blue tape holds the seams together for sewing.

Bike Tire Flats into Fashion 24 – SILVER CITYLIFE

New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment because of its beautiful mountains and desert landscapes. The desert can be a bit prickly though as some of our cactus are called ‘prickly pear.’ We also have the plant called the goat head that can make bicycling and just plain p walking a pain. After fixing holes in your bicycle inner tubes several times from riding through a blanket of goat heads, you may pronounce the inner tube irreparable. i After awhile you get a stockpile of unusable inner tubes so why tu them into fashion items. not turn T make the purse shown here, you’ll need inner tubes, a sewing machine To equip equipped with a leather needle, blue painters tape, thread, fabric for the lining, scisso pins and any other paraphernalia you may want to add to your purse. scissors, Y u may Yo m use a pattern but I created this purse freeform. The bicycle tube is not You tha wide so I cut the width of my purse 6 times so I could sew 3 sections toall that gether gethe and then the other 3 sections together making each section about 1 foot by 1 foot. f I used another strip to run down the sides and bottom. To sew the inner tube sections, I used blue painters tape to secure the seams; top and underneath, derne to keep the sections from slipping as you sew and to help the presser foot o on the sewing machine slide better. Using each section as a pattern; cut out lin fabric leaving a little extra on the top edge to be folded over the edge. the lining Sew the t side and bottom section of the purse to the front and back sections. th same method for the lining. Put the lining into the purse and fold the top Use the section sectio over the edge of the purse and sew the lining to the purse. I used pins to keep it in place on this part. To jazz up my purse, I cut left over parts of inner tube and constructed a flower. For the handle, I used stripped bike gears dipped in melted ultra thick embossing powder and sewed them on.

Winter 2016

Index of Advertisers Advanced Veterinary Care . . .38 American Dental Care . . . . .S53 American Legion . . . . . . .38,S41 Angelwings Home Care . . . .S57 Azurite Gallery . . . . . . . . . . .S27 Bayard Mercantile . . . . . . . .S25 Bear Creek Motel & Cabins . S13 Bear Mountain Lodge . . . . . .S13 Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Silver City . .13,S9 Big O Tires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Blackwell’s Antiques & Gifts . S24 Bright Funeral Home . . . . . . . . .23 By Pass Self Storage . . . . . . . . .29 Carson Insurance Agency . . . .13 Casitas de Gila Guesthouses . S37 Cassie Health Center for Women . . . . . . . . . . .3,S61 CATS - Community Access Television of Silver City . . .S15 City Cuts Barbershop . . . . . .S35 Dandelion Wish . . . . . . . . . .S25 Deming Luna County Chamber of Commerce . . .S49 Deming Luna Mimbres Museum . . . . . . S49 Desert Springs Physical Therapy . . . . . . . . . . .2 Diane’s Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Diane’s Restaurant . . . . . . . . .17 Edward JonesJames Edd Hughs . . . . . . . .10 Enriquez Wealth Management of Raymond James . . . . . .S49 Farm Bureau Financial Services Mike Rowse . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Farm Bureau Financial Services Susan Sumrall . . . . . . . . . .S41 Farmacia Express . . . . . . . . . .53 Finn’s Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . .S26 First New Mexico Bank . . . . . .33 Furniture Gallery . . . . . . . . . .S47 Gila Eyecare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Gila Hike & Bike . . . . . . . . . .S24 Gila Cardiology . . . . . . . . . . .S61 Gila Family Medicine . . . . . .S61 Gila Interventional Pain Management . . . . . . . . . . .S61 Gila Regional Medical Center . . . . . . . .41,48,S59,S61 Gila Surgical Services . . . . . .S61 Griffin’s Propane/ Fuel Centers Plus . . . . . . . . .35 Grinder Mill, The . . . . . . . . . .S21 Habitat for Humanity ReStore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Hacienda Realty . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Hang “EM” High . . . . . . . . . .S24 Hester House Candy & Gifts .S25 HMS Hidalgo Medical Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Holiday Inn ExpressSilver City . . . . . . . . . . . . . S11 Horizon Home Health . . . . . . .43 Horizon Hospice . . . . . . . . . . .43 Humphrey’s Enterprises, Inc. . .16 Infinity Hair & Nail Salon . . .S35 J & S Plumbing & Heating . .S13

Javalina Coffee House . . . . .S15 La Mexicana Restaurant . . . . .35 Laws & Co., LLC . . . . . . . . . . S19 Life Quest New Mexico . . . .S57 Living Harvest Bakery . . . . . .S45 Lois Duffy Studio . . . . . . . . .S26 Lopez, Dietzel & Perkins, P.C. . 13 Lotus Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Manzanita Ridge . . . . . . . . . .S24 Manzano’s RV Park . . . . . . . .S11 Melinda’s Medical Supply . . .43 Millie’s Assisted Living Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Millie’s Bake House . . . . . . .S17 Mimbres Region Arts Council .S21 Mirror Mirage . . . . . . . . . . . .S35 Mis Amigos Pet Care Center S41 Molly Ramolla Gallery . . . . .S27 My Real Estate Company . . . .16 Original Prints & Drawings . .S27 Rage Hairstudio, The . . . . . .S35 RE/MAX Silver Advantage . . .23 Rose’s Place . . . . . . . . . . . . .S35 Seedboat Center for the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .S26 Sherman Dental . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Silver City Care Center . . . . . .45 Silver City Food Co-op . . . . . S17 Silver City Floral . . . . . . . . . .S24 Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce . . . S47 Silver City MainStreet Project .S15 Silver City Museum Store . .S17 Silver Trailer & Truck Accessories . . . . . . . .S9 Soul River Studio . . . . . . . . .S26 State Farm Insurance Chuck Johnson . . . . . . . . . .17 State Farm Insurance Jon Saari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Stone McGee & Co. CPA’s . .S41 Structure Metal Roofing . . . .S47 Super Salve Co. . . . . . . . . . .S57 Syzygy Tileworks . . . . . . . . . .S24 The Marketplace . . . . . . . . . .S25 The Pink Store . . . . . . . . . . . .S53 Three Questions Coffee House . . . . . . . . . . .S45 Tree Spirit Gallery . . . . . . . . .S26 Tres Amigos . . . . . . . . . . . . .S37 United Country Mimbres Realty . . . . . . . .S19 UPS Store, The . . . . . . . . . . .S11 Victoria Chick-Cow Trail Art Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . .S27 Victoria J. West . . . . . . . . . .S27 Walk for The Heroes . . . . . . .S41 Western New Mexico University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Western New Mexico University Museum . . . . . .SC4 Western Stationers and Office Supply . . . . . . .S25 Whitewater Motel . . . . . . . .S37 Windows, Etc. . . . . . . . . . . . .S19 XYZ Ranch Estates . . . . . . . . . .4 Yoya’s Bar & Grill, Market, Station & Car Wash . . . . . . .S2


In the Summer 2015 issue of Silver City Life, the story I wrote had the theme of black birds. I will continue with birds that are black and that may or may not have black as part of their names. The first I will mention is the Common Blackhawk which nests in this part of New Mexico and has been found nesting along San Vicente Creek. It is also found in the summer at Mangas Springs and along the Gila River. Since they like to grab things like crayfish and other such things they stay close to water much of the time. I suppose they wouldn’t mind something else once in awhile. Also here in the summer is the Zone-tailed Hawk. It is black but without black in its name and can be confused with the Common Black-hawk if you aren’t careful. Common around here, again in the summer, is the Turkey Vulture and it is black, of course. There is a Black Vulture but I have never seen it in New Mexico, considering it has had only two confirmed sightings in the state. I have seen them in Arizona and Texas but why don’t they come to our state? I wish I knew. Two kinds of cormorants can be seen around here, always around water. The Double-crested is the most common, and nests in this area, but the Neotropic Cormorant can be here as well. Careful attention to their heads and length of the tail can help tell them apart. If they are together the Neotropic is the smaller of the two. If you were to go to Bill Evans Lake or Lake Roberts you would doubtless see American Coots swimming not far away any time of the year but especially in winter. I will mention Black Tern even though it is uncommon here. I have seen them but not often, and usually not in its black breeding plumage. And that brings up a question that has bothered me for a long time. Why put black in a name of it isn’t black all the time. Or what about those birds where the male is black but the female is some other color? The latter seems to be sexual discrimination. Of course, when birds were named probably 150 years ago, that term didn’t exist. A final bird that has black also has a white head and tail of all things. Of course it could only be our national emblem, the Bald Eagle. They can be seen in our area. Just try Bear Canyon Lake or Lake Roberts in the winter. Happy Birding!

The Common Black Hawk. This iconic southwestern riparian bird photo was shot on Kodachrome film along the Gila River near Cliff, by Marian and Dale Zimmerman on June 15, 1969!


M. Fred Barraza Life After the Bookmobile WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARK ERICKSON Fred relates that he took an early interest in art when living at Fort Bayard and Santa Clara where he would go down into the creek and make pots and clay reliefs from the clay that he found there. He also felt the need to draw all of the time. During his first year in the Marine Corps he was doing a lot of drawing for fellow soldiers and was approached by a Lieutenant who told him that he’d seen a lot of his artwork and wondered if you would like to be a Marine Corps artist. They would have to discuss this situation with the battalion commander though. Unfortunately he was told that the battalion was stretched too thin and that it wasn’t going to happen. Fred then decided to either think about reenlisting as a Marine Corps artist or to leave the service and go to college. He attended WNMU and needed a day job to help him buy materials such as an etching press and other necessities. That day job was with the NM State Library’s Rural Bookmobile Southwest. He figured he would stay with the State Library Rural Bookmobile for five years and then become a starving artist. This turned into twenty-five years of service, with 22 of those years as the Director, and he finally retired in 2008 and began teaching at Western in 2009. He taught for five and a half years and is now pursuing art in his studio in Arenas Valley. His influences at WNMU were Cecil Howard, Dorothy McCray, Claude Smith and Ruben Gonzalez. He has been painting and illustrating and providing the artwork in a new children’s book: Sand Dune Daisy: A Pocket Mouse Tale by Lili DeBarbieri. He also states that he wants to do more sculpture which requires a large block of time. He says he will miss the interaction with the students but is now free to pursue his art full time. We’re looking forward to seeing his new work.


Doug O’Dell and Ryan Wenzel WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY DENISE “GABBIE”DAVENPORT When lifelong friendships transform into business partnerships, it’s no surprise that customers of the Silver City Big O are treated like they’re family. Doug and Ryan grew up together in Silver City. After eight years in the Army, Doug returned home and began his employment with Big O, where he spent sixteen years. Three years ago, he transitioned from employee to co-owner, when he partnered with John and Dolly Wenzel and purchased the business. Ryan joined the business and together, they live the Big O motto of “The Team You Can Trust”. Avid supporters of local businesses, organizations and activities, they put small-town heart into everything they do, whether it is running their business or raising their families. Many of you know John, Ryan’s father, who was the local vet at Arenas Valley Animal Clinic for several years. Ryan’s brother Cal, and his wife Megan, run the Deming Big O. They are lifelong residents who own and operate a local business with a big name. When you buy from Big O, you get a nationwide warranty. You also support local business, something this partnership values from the inside out. Our Silver City Big O Tires is more than just tires! This past November, they celebrated the Grand Opening of their new 28 – SILVER CITYLIFE



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location at 2716 32nd Street By-Pass. A full-service shop, the guys say it’s “Top to bottom, front to back…less the body.” In addition to tires, services include mechanical, lift-kits, shocks, struts, brakes, check-engine lights and alignments. Ted Martinez joined the team as the glass expert, so glass and tinting is now added to the list. Ryan says, “We honor the choices that our customers have and we give them a reason to come back.” Big O offers you the choices; Doug, Ryan and their team’s service guarantees your return!

• Computerized Gates • Completely fenced

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575-388-2200 • 888-829-7277 SILVER CITYLIFE – 29


The ruggedness of the New Mexico landscape has left its imprint on Silver City sculptor Michael Metcalf and his work has left its imprint on the land that inspired him. A practicing sculptor in the Washington D.C. area when he was hired in 1995 to teach art and sculpture at Western New Mexico University, Michael was immediately enamored with the New Mexico landscape. Inspired by rocks, from grains of sand to giant boulders, he found the Land of Enchantment to be a sculptor’s delight. “I grew up on the East Coast, where all the rocks are covered by vegetation and dirt,” he said. On his way into Silver City, he stopped at The City of Rocks State Park, and was amazed by the giant, sculptured rock formations created by a volcanic eruption and weathered over time. “During my interview, Claude Smith told me to drive the Inner Loop up to Pinos Altos and out to Mimbres and that was a really important tip for me,” he said. “The diversity of the landscape, nature and trees was really inspirational.” 30 – SILVER CITYLIFE


uring his first two or three years in Silver City, Michael was focused on his teaching and reestablishing the sculpture studio at WNMU. Later, he got involved with the Mimbres Region Arts Council and became its president. “That really opened my eyes to the diversity of art and culture that is in Silver City,” he said. “That’s when I really got to see what the community had to offer.” As a sculptor, Michael explores the juxtaposition of contrasting elements, combining stainless steel, bronze, stone and wood - sometimes on a grand scale - to form graceful pieces that connect the manmade with the natural. In 2005, he beat out more than 100 applicants from across the nation who answered the call for submissions from the City of Albuquerque's Public Art Program with his piece “The Positive Energy of New Mexico.” The twin pieces each feature three gently curving 30’ tall bronze spires that reach up in the New Mexico sky, gracefully encircled by sleek, stainless steel “energy forms” that rise like a fountain from a Gila National Forest boulder. The pair of sculptures stand at either end of the I-40 and Louisiana Boulevard interchange, one of the busiest in Albuquerque, one flowing clockwise, the other counterclockwise. In 2013, he earned another commission from Albuquerque Public Arts, beating out many others with his work “Suspense,” in which a 1,260-pound granite boulder from the Gila National Forest is suspended between two gracefully curved 14-foot tall stainless steel spires by ten sleek, stainless steel curved tubes. It stands in front of the Bellamah Community Center in Albuquerque. At his home in Silver City, where he is in the process of building a sculpture garden, Michael is currently working on his latest piece, a 9 ½ foot tall bronze and stainless steel commission called “Icarus” for a private collection near Anthony, N.M. His work can be seen locally at the Seedboat Center for the Arts. He is also currently serving as the chairman of the Expressive Arts Department at WNMU, where his students see him as a caring, approachable, hard-working, hands-on professor willing to share his wealth of knowledge with them. “Not only can he do, he can teach,” said recent BFA graduate Jaime Ramirez, who studied under him for the past four years. “If you ask him something, he knows it. He keeps on studying and keeps on learning. He went to Rome and Florence to see the Davids and many other significant sculptures and he keeps expanding his knowledge.” In the summer of 2010, he expanded his cultural awareness lecturing about western sculpture and visited the major historic sites near Xi’an in China. “As humans, the major way we determine the quality of a past civilization is by analyzing the amount and quality of the art and architecture they created,” he explained. “The Chinese dynasties are all over the map from Qin’s expansive terracotta warriors to the reconstructed Buddhist Famen Temple destroyed by Mao’s cultural revolution.” “Students love him,” said Jaime. “He really cares about them and goes out of his way to help them find jobs, get scholarships and is always looking for opportunities for them to stay in the community. He is always thinking about ways to improve the program and the community. He wants WNMU and Silver City to thrive.”

opposite: Michael working on Icarus, a commissioned sculputre for a private collector. above, top: Positive Energy of New Mexico, fabricated bronze, stainless steel and granite 29' x 20' x 20' located at I-40 on Louisiana Ave. in Albuquerque. above: Suspense, fabricated stainless steel and granite 14’x 11’x4’ located at 11516 Summer Avenue NE Albuquerque.






First New Fi N Mexico M i Bank’s B k’ k roots in i the h community i run deep. d Chartered Ch d in i Grant G County C in i 1983 as First Fi State S Bank, B k the h charter was bought by First New Mexico Financial Corporation in 1990, and First New Mexico Bank of Silver City was born. The bank has retained its local charter to this day instead of becoming a branch of another bank, keeping with its philosophy of true community banking. While the bank is celebrating 25 years of serving the community, its roots in Grant County stretch back a lot further than that. Founding directors Sam Weston - the bank’s first president - Dr. J. Hal Hopson, Murray Ryan, Charles Hamilton, Bob Kasten, and President Sean Ormand all have lifelong ties to the community, which make them uniquely qualified to serve the local area, along with current directors Frank Quarrell, Scott Kennedy, Brett Kasten, and Richard Griffin. The bank has grown since its inception from $17 million in assets to over $106 million in assets today. In 2009, they opened a second location with a drive through at 1110 N. Hudson St. The main branch remains at 1928 Highway 180 East. Most of the bank’s two dozen employees also have deep ties to the community and have been with the bank for many years. “So, not only are we a locally chartered bank, most of our employees are local, home grown people,” said Senior Vice-President Donna Monzingo, who herself has been with the bank for nearly a decade. 32 – SILVER CITYLIFE

First New Mexico’s connection to the community doesn’t stop with its people. They sponsor many Silver City events like the Wild Wild West Pro Rodeo, which they have supported since the rodeo began, proudly taking on the role of title sponsor four years ago. They also sponsor the Tour of the Gila Citizen’s Race and have done so since its inception, and the bank and its employees have a long term partnership with the students and teachers at Sixth Street Elementary School. Through their Partnership in Education, First New Mexico and its employees provide school supplies, coats and shoes, and sponsor the school’s year end party. Employees donate to a Jean Fund to wear jeans on Fridays and that money helps buy Christmas presents for all the Sixth Street students. “It’s our employees who make it possible for the bank to support these great kids,” explained President Sean Ormand. “We are making an investment in the future of our community.” Sixth Street teachers and students decorate the Christmas tree in the main branch’s lobby with ornaments made by the children, and every year, instead of buying stock Christmas cards, First New Mexico chooses one drawing from each class to be on a card and sends those to all of their customers. First New Mexico Bank of Silver City also supports the Jr. Livestock Sale at the Grant County Fair as well as the Hidalgo and Catron County Fairs. They hold a customer appreciation day each fall with music, food, raffles and giveaways and an open house each December, with breakfast and lunch so employees can sit and visit with their customers. First New Mexico also supports local Silver City charitable organizations like Single Socks, a non-profit, community-run thrift store that funds antihunger projects in Grant County, and El Refugio, the only local domestic violence shelter in the county, founded the same year as First New Mexico Bank, demonstrating that First New Mexico is truly a community bank that cares about its customers and its community.

opposite, from left: President, Sean Ormand; Directors, Frank Quarrell, Scott Kennedy, Brett Kasten, Dr. J. Hal Hopson and Richard Griffin.



The timing was right; the feeling was right; the Jumping Cactus was born.

Brooke and Ray Cressler lived about 15 minutes apart in Eastern Pennsylvania. They always had a feeling that they wanted to move to New Mexico. There wasn’t a specific reason, just a feeling that NM is where they belonged. Maybe it was the reputation as an art community or the beauty of the wide open spaces that attracted them. Ray is a musician, Brooke is an artist; both love nature, so maybe it was ‘logical’ for them to be attracted to the Land of Enchantment. Fate gave them their first clue after a Google search for art communities in New Mexico introduced them to Silver City. The more they read, the more they knew our town had to be on their short list. When they arrived in Grant County, they set up camp in the City of Rocks. The view of the sky and the stars at night was beautiful, like nothing they’d ever seen. Walking around Silver City during the Tour of the Gila was a surprise. The vitality of a small town, with so much going on, art galleries, farmer’s market, the friendly people, made a quick impression. Brooke walked into Three Dogs to ask if they were looking for help, Trudy was more than happy to offer her a job. Fate had intervened again. A couple of months later, as Ray was contemplating what he might do, Trudy said she was ready to move on and asked them if they wanted to buy the coffee shop. The timing was right, the feeling was right; the Jumping Cactus was born. Brooke and Ray love what they do, but it’s not just about serving great coffee and delicious pastries or sandwiches. It about the community they’ve built in their shop and the people they see around town, ready to greet them with a hug and stop for a friendly conversation. Stop into the Jumping Cactus and you’re likely to find a philosophy group discussing the topics of the day or an impromptu jam session. If there’s not an ‘organized’ group, there’s always a good conversation to be had. Fate has a funny way of working out sometimes. If you keep an open mind and listen to the universe, you’ll be amazed at where life takes you and what adventures await. Visit the Jumping Cactus, you never know what adventure might start there with a cup of coffee.


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575-388-4433 800-924-4437 SILVER CITYLIFE – 35

outout&&about about Mark and Lorraine Jaramillo's wedding on October 31st at the Infant Jesus Catholic Church in Hurley. Photos

Halloween brought out the WNMU Business Office Staff as Rosie the Riveters, Eric in his tall hat and the Oversouls band at the Buckhorn.

by Denise “Gabbie” Davenport

Mike Teer at his favorite spot.

send us your photos We want your photos of recent local events. Send to: materials Include the name of the event, a description and the names of people in the photos.


James Edd Hughs sponsor of Rodeo Queens for the 2015 Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo with Staci Trehern, 23, Miss Turquoise Circuit 2015 and Brigitte Kenneson, 18, Miss Teen Rodeo. Photos by Mark Erickson.

Jaime captured Dr. Shepard and his wife Marcela and along with the Homecoming Art Club float the 2015 WNMU Homecoming Parade .

Taking first place at the 3rd annual CLAY Festival Poker Tournament Lee Miller won a seven night stay at the hilton Grand Vacations Club at Sunrise Lodge in Park City Utah. Photos by Robert “Jaime” Ramirez

or the ehern, neson, Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery hosted a weekend event in celebration of the traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest. Photos

David and Toni Roads and Nancy Ramirez and Yessica NograroBorquez at Diane’s Restaurant. Photos by

by Mark Erickson.

Robert “Jaime” Ramirez.

Dancing to Illusions Band at Little Toad Creek’s Oktoberfest 2015. Photos by Denise “Gabbie” Davenport.

In conjunction with Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery, the Virus Theater held a fundraiser to fund its lease at the El Sol Theatre. Among the nearly 400 in attendance were Dennis and Denise Miller with Teresa Dahl-Bredine, Julie Enos and Othy Aldrich, and Rebecca Martin and Geoffrey Hawley.

left: 2015 WNMU Graduation. above: 2015 Expressive Arts Summer Museum Tour to LA to visit major museums and galleries. Photos by Photos by Robert “Jaime” Ramirez.



appy H E s



Big City Medicine with Small Town Care • Preventative Care • General Surgery • Internal Medicine • Dental Care • Digital X-Rays • Ultrasound • Orthopedic Surgery • Geriatric Care

HELPING PEOPLE HEAL PETS 3801 Pinos Altos Rd. • Silver City, NM 88061

(575) 388-1503

Ray and Trinity

Our Vets and Their Pets Stories of companionship after combat Serving the Community’s Veterans, Active Duty Military Families and Youth Programs.

Ray Davis • 956-5153 Gil Choquette • 534-1643 38 – SILVER CITYLIFE

When you see a story r about companionship after combat, you might be inclined ry to think of our military r veterans and the companionship of their furry ry r friends. ry friends The greatest source of inspiration from writing this article has been the awareness that many of our animals experience a combat of their own too, and it is our veterans that bring them home, who understand their needs, empathize with their anxiety and provide them a safe place to call home. Similarly to the statistics regarding PTSD in our combat veterans, it will take time before we will fully understand the frequency and impact of stress-related trauma that occur in our animals due to neglect and abuse. It is the face of combat that is experienced every day, yet contrary to the idea of combat being a fight between armed forces, our animal companions are the unarmed soldiers, oftentimes finding themselves in a fight for survival for which they have no skills and no support. It should be of no surprise that veterans and animals make amazing companions after combat. They are our heroes of an unspoken, often misunderstood journey where in the company of each other, they find trust and love, once again.

Robin and George At first glance, the image that comes to mind is a tough guy and his tough dog. When you meet them, however, nothing could be further from the truth, at least not in the way you expect! When Robin retired from his 22year Navy career, he wanted a bulldog for his companion. As soon as he saw George, he knew he was the one. A very special and gentle Old English Bulldog, George had experienced an unknown combat of his own. While bulldogs tend to battle many different physiological ailments due to their body structure, his psychological signs of trauma, those of mistrust, avoidance and anxiety began to show themselves as he and Robin spent more time together. Over the years, Robin has learned what George needs to feel trusting and safe. In turn, George has given him his loyalty and his love, a daily blessing for each of them!

Bonnie, Ray and Trinity A wounded warrior of her own, Trinity has traveled the journey from trauma to triumph. She represents the first-ever animal abuse case that resulted in a conviction in the state of New Mexico. It is a story that began when she was just a puppy in 2007, and one that gathered the momentum of national exposure over the next four years. Tortured, shot in the head, starved and sick at nine months old, her spirit to live was greater than the odds stacked against her. Her loving heart touched the lives of many, but it was Ray Davis, an Air Force Veteran and Commander of N.M. Post 18, whose heart was won. Eight years ago, he and his wife, Bonnie, took Trinity off the battlefield and into their home. She will forever be a member of their family, sharing her ever-present message of love and forgiveness.

Mike and Sugar

Doug and Dallas Military life is volatile and oftentimes, stressful. Families move frequently and are uprooted unexpectedly. When Doug ended his eight-year Army term, one of the first things he and his wife Jennifer did was begin to add their animal family members. For them, their presence completes the house and makes it a home. Frequent shelter visits, always good for the animals, were also good for their autistic son. Buddy, their now 10-year old Golden, was intended as a therapy dog for him when just a puppy. Instead, he bonded immediately with their other son. The O’Dell’s believe that animals find their own partners. Christopher underwent two heart surgeries and Buddy was with him every step of the way. It was as if he knew. Their family now consists of four dogs and two rescued cats, but it is Dallas that is Doug’s baby, following him everywhere and always by his side!

It’s been twenty years since Mike Lopez ended his 15-year service in the U.S. Army, yet there are days, like it is for many of our combat veterans, when it can feel like yesterday. For him, the animals are his source of calmness and comfort. He and his wife, Liz, have a house full of four-legged family members, but two-year old Sugar has been with him since she was a puppy, found alone and abandoned on the side of the road. She is always full of love, wanting to give it and receive it in her beautiful, unconditional way. Mike knows firsthand how the companionship of his dogs has brought him back up from a dark place that he has now begun to understand as PTSD. His wish is to see more of the organizations that offer our veterans the same light and love that his dogs have offered him.




Some exciting things are happening at Gila Regional Medical Center. Silver City’s community hospital has established a Multi-Specialty Network to expand access to primary care and other specialty services in the community. Current services include Cardiology, Cancer Care, Interventional Pain Management, General Surgery and Family Medicine. The hospital is also leading the way in building a Clinically Integrated Network, a physician-led initiative aimed at addressing the changes in healthcare delivery through the Affordable Care Act. The initiative brings together healthcare organizations, physicians and other medical providers in a collaborative way. Members work together to share patient information, coordinate and deliver high quality care at greater value, leading to better health of the community overall.

Ashleigh Garcia Practice Manager, Gila Family Medicine Ashleigh began her career with Gila Regional Medical Center in 2012, serving as the coordinator for the hospital foundation and project manager in the operations department before taking on her latest role. As the new Practice Manager for Gila Family Medicine, which opened in early 2015, Ashleigh oversees the daily operations of the hospital’s new family medicine practice. With a staff physician, nurse practitioner, three medical assistants, a phlebotomist, two support specialists, two medical billers and a hospital registration specialist, Gila Family Medicine is committed to providing increased access to quality primary care in the community. In her new role, Ashleigh has the opportunity to serve patients in a new way. “I'm truly enjoying my interactions with them, helping them get the best care in a nurturing environment,” she said. “I work with the most dedicated and compassionate professionals who love what they do and are committed to serving our community.” Ashleigh was born and raised in Philadelphia. She makes her home in the Mimbres Valley with her husband Lawrence, a Grant County native and former Navy combat medic, and their four dogs, Mabel, Harvey, Cowboy, and Torch.

Holley Hudgins Director, Gila Cancer Center and Gila Surgical Services Practice For the past 12 years, Holley Hudgins had been the face of Gila Regional Medical Center’s marketing team. “I have had the good fortune to be on the hospital’s administrative team for many years, and my understanding of hospital operations has helped me to serve our MultiSpecialty Network,” she related. In her new role, Holley oversees the daily operations of Gila Surgical Services, where she assists the hospital’s hired general surgeon, Dr. David Friedman. Holley also collaborates with the on-site manager 40 – SILVER CITYLIFE

from the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque to provide the best quality cancer care in Southwest New Mexico. Through a partnership with the New Mexico Cancer Center, Gila Regional Cancer Center provides medical and radiation oncology services in Grant County. “We bring the experts here so patients can receive quality cancer treatment locally without the hardship of travel,” Holley explained. Holley’s leadership and knowledge have led to process improvements to better serve patients in the community. “I’m committed to this community and the hospital and all of those we serve,” said Holley. “It’s an honor to be able to serve my community in this new capacity.” Holley lives in Silver City with her husband, former State Representative Rudy Martinez, and their two standard poodles, Santos and Avery.

Small Home, Millie’s Big Heart Assisted Living Community A small, family-owned and operated assisted living center serving Grant County since 2003. Extensive community involvement and daily activities. Small pets welcome.

600 N. Hudson St. • Silver City, NM 88061

575.534.9172 • SILVER CITYLIFE – 41

Jonathan Leicht Director, Gila Cardiology and Gila Interventional Pain Management Jonathan managed medical practices in Texas, Arizona and Kentucky, before moving to Silver City in 2013 to help start Gila Cardiology. At Gila Cardiology, Dr. Norman Ratliff treats patients through medication and lifestyle management. “He has had a large positive impact on the community already,” said Jonathan. “He has a good working relationship with the New Mexico Heart Institute in Albuquerque, where we send patients who need bypass surgery or a pacemaker.” Gila Interventional Pain Management opened in April 2014. Dr. Craig Leicht, Jonathan’s father, treats degenerative issues of the spine, shingles, and other nerve related issues. “Hundreds of our patients have experienced pain relief for the first time in years, enabling them to get back to an active lifestyle,” related Jonathan. Jonathan’s role as practice director involves coordinating staffing, booking surgeries, developing and maintaining interdepartmental relationships, and making sure the physicians have what they need to practice. “They are both extremely happy working here in Silver City,” he said of both doctors. “Having a positive impact on the community and its residents is very rewarding for both of them.” Jonathan enjoys Silver City life with his wife Angela, and their three children, Jonathan Jr., 14, Noah, 12, and Abigail, 8.

Tamera Ahner Senior Director, Multi-Specialty Network Gila Regional’s new Multi-Specialty Network helps expand local access to medical specialists so patients don’t need to leave Silver City to find that care. “It’s about having that immediate and local access to care when you need it,” Tamera explained. “In the past, there was only part time cardiology coverage and many patients had to go to Las Cruces, El Paso, or Tucson. Now, we have full time cardiology here.” As the Senior Director, Tamera provides oversight for all of the hospital’s multi-specialty services and works closely with the hospital’s leadership on strategic initiatives. “I love what I do,” Tamera said. “We have a very innovative and proactive leadership at the hospital. They have a vision to provide the best health care to this community. It’s a privilege for me to be a part of it.” Tamera and her family have called Silver City home since 2009. Her husband Eric is the Director of Aldo Leopold High School, where their daughter, Olivia, 16, is a student. Outside the office, Tamera loves playing tennis, bicycling, and backpacking in the Gila Wilderness.

• Oxygen & Respiratory Equipment • Incontinent Supplies • Power Lift Recliners • Hospital Mattresses & Beds • Bathroom Safety Aids • Diabetic Care Supplies • 24 Hour Emergency Service • Orthopedic Supports • Medicare, Medicaid & • Motorized Scooters • All Natural Supplements Private Insurance Accepted • Koi Scrubs for Men & Women • Sanita Nursing Shoes • Medicare accredited through The Compliance Team. Inc. • Mastectomy Products • We Deliver

910 East 32nd Street • Silver City, New Mexico

575.534.4013 • 866.534.4013 nursing visits medications delivered ♥ medical equipment ♥ emotional support ♥ respite ♥ 24 hour availability ♥ ADL assistance ♥ chaplain services

bereavement support experience ♥ compassion ♥ medical supplies ♥ confidentiality ♥ volunteers ♥ local cultural knowledge

Open 8am to 4pm Monday - Friday

High Quality, Experienced and Compassionate Care.

Serving Grant & Hidalgo Counties

Medicare, Medicaid, VA, private insurance & self-pay accepted

Medicare Hospice Benefits cover all services

“Taking care of you in the comfort of your own home.”

575-534-1800 • Toll Free: 877-534-1801

Joint Fx: 575-388-1768 • Commission Accredited 2584 N. Silver St., Bldg. A • Silver City, NM 88061

“Taking care of you in the comfort of your own home!”

• Certified in Manual Techniques for Geriatrics • Offering Mobility Therapy, such as Kinesic Taping • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy • Speech Therapy Contracting with and accepting ALL Insurances!

Victor Nwachuku, MD Medical Director / Owner

Melissa Nunez, RN Admin / Owner

(575) 388-1801 Fax: (575) 388-2742

Speech Therapy • Occupational Therapy 1260 E. 32nd St. • Silver City, NM 88061 Skilled Nursing • Physical Therapy Certified Nursing Assistant



Valerie Hunter brings more than 30 years experience in public health, education, and long term care to her new role as administrator of Silver Care Center. With her roots in southern Arizona, Valerie also worked as nursing home administrator on the coast of Oregon and in Flagstaff, Arizona, before moving to Silver City this summer with her husband, Ron. Valerie has worked extensively with vulnerable populations, including the developmentally disabled, seriously mentally ill, and seniors. Her background includes extensive experience in the theory and practice of integrative/complementary healthcare and she has developed and implemented a wellness curriculum for independent living seniors that focuses on these practices. Throughout her career, Valerie has served in key administrative roles within several public health projects. Her career path includes experience as a health educator and senior support services consultant and she has demonstrated great leadership in her roles. She is passionate about the well being of seniors and committed to providing them with the highest quality of care. In 2013, she became a Certified Eden Associate of The Eden Alternative, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to creating quality of life for elders and their care partners. At Silver Care Center, Valerie oversees the operations of the 100-bed skilled nursing facility and all of its 81 employees. “I’m also responsible for the facility’s relationship with the community, as well as for the people who live and work here,” she related. Valerie said she is excited about the future of Silver Care Center. “We have some very strong and competent team members here,” she said. “I feel inspired to help them and I’m excited be a part of this organization.” The Silver City community has already made Valerie feel welcome, both personally and professionally. “Gila Regional Medical Center and some of our other partners have been very welcoming and eager to collaborate and that has been really rewarding and something I look forward to furthering,” she said. As an avid gardener, Valerie has gotten involved with the local permaculture group and she and her husband are enjoying and appreciating Silver City life. “We love the diversity of people, the artist culture, and touring and exploring the Gila Wilderness and surrounding communities,” she said. “We are really happy to be part of the community and looking for opportunities to get involved with community groups and initiatives.”


When you can’t be at home… We’re a good place to be!


THERAPY, RESPITE CARE, WOUND CARE AND RESTORATIVE NURSING Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy. Short term stay for administered care during caregiver time away. Care for surgical wounds, knee and hip replacement and open areas to skin. Maintain physical function of resident after therapy.

ALZHEIMERS AND DEMENTIA UNIT Memory Care Unit with 24 hour supervision with private dining room and patio area.

IV THERAPY AND RESPIRATORY MANAGEMENT Administer and monitor intravenous medication and fluids. Maintain adequate oxygen levels via oxygen and medications.

SOCIAL SERVICES & PHYSICIANS VISITS Patient advocate for legal, appointments and discharge. Physician visits for care.

• Professional Welcoming Team • Daily Dressing and Hygiene • Medication Administration • Pleasures of Daily Life • Friendly Atmosphere • Clean Environment • Social Interaction • Dining Room • Activities • Family Members and Pets welcome • Off Site Transportation • Cable TV • Wireless Internet • Beauty and Barber Shop

DIETARY NEEDS AND DIABETES MANAGEMENT Special diets for low sodium and food allergies. Diabetic diet, and monitoring blood sugar levens to maintain optimum level of health.

We highly encourage the community to come for a tour of Silver City Care Center. Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance & self-pay accepted. Professionally Licensed as 100 bed facility.



FAX: 575.388.4061


Darrick Nelson, M.D. Chief Medical Officer

Dani Maier, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Hidalgo Medical Services - HMS

Hidalgo Medical Services - HMS


Originally from a small mining town in Arizo Arizona, ona, Dr.r.r Darrick Nelson moved to Silver City in 20 2010 010 from the Te T Texas xas Gulf Coast to serve as Chief MedMe edical Officer Off f icer of HMS. The former Army combat ff comb bat veteran directs the patient-centered care at alll 12 locations in Grant and Hidalgo Counties, and has h been interim CEO since September.r.r “We wantt to provide the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost to anybody regardless of their ability to pay,” he said of HMS. Dr. Nelson was also instrumental in developing a family medicine residency program at HMS and serves as the program director. “The whole goal is to train family medicine physicians in a rural environment in hopes they continue to practice there,” he explained. “It’s really our small contribution in helping to address the primary care physician shortage in New Mexico.” Launched in 2013 in partnership with the University of New Mexico, HMS hosts two residents a year who practice at HMS facilities and do rotations with other doctors in the community and at Gila Regional Medical Center. “The whole community is helping to train these residents,” explained Dr. Nelson. “They do rotations with community specialists so the community has effectively come together to help train these family medicine physicians.” In his continued drive to bring high quality healthcare to rural places, Dr. Nelson recently joined the board of The National Rural Training Track Campus Collaborative, a newly established nonprofit organized to sustain medical education in rural places. In 2012, Dr. Nelson was named "Community Health Center Medical Provider for the Year" by the New Mexico Primary Care Assn. The former Army sergeant served from 1986 to 1992 and patrolled the East-West German border - when there was one - and was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. When not working, Dr. Nelson enjoys spending time with his two young daughters Mauri, 12 and Lola, 9, and hiking, backpacking and hunting in the Gila National Forest. 46 – SILVER CITYLIFE


Dani Maier moved to sunny Silver City, New Mexico from Portland, Oregon. As a nationally board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with HMS, Dani is accredited to treat clients of all ages with medications and therapy. “It was an easy choice,” she said of choosing HMS and Silver City. “The group of professionals I get to work with at HMS are excellent,” she said. “And we are ten minutes from a National Forest.” Dani’s practice philosophy includes involving the patient and their family in decisions about the patient’s care. She collaborates with patients to help educate them and coordinate their care with other medical and mental health providers. “We are really working hard to integrate mental and behavioral health with primary care medicine,” she explained. She and her husband, Cody Bartol, an animator and artist-inresidence at WNMU, are enjoying the sense of community that Silver City has to offer. “We have a great arts community and a downtown that is trying to be more culturally diverse,” she said. “When you walk downtown, you have a feeling that there is a community here and I could belong.” Her work at HMS while at times challenging, is also very rewarding, she said. “I feel like I do good work here in the community and I know that I am needed and valued and helpful.” When not treating patients at HMS, Dani and her husband enjoy hiking in the Gila National Forest, watching movies with their cat, Ed, and soaking up the New Mexico sunshine.

Hidalgo Medical Services - positively impacting the health, well-being and quality of life for the people of Southwest New Mexico

You are part of the HMS family. We accept private insurance, Centennial Care, Medicare, and offer individuals a sliding fee scale.

HMS provides our patients with timely, affordable, and quality health care services to help you and your family stay healthy or return to health. § §

Primary Care Pediatric & Adolescent Care

Neighborhood Community Health Centers

School-Based Clinic Locations


Animas Valley Clinic


Cobre Schools Health Center


Bayard Community Health Center


Lordsburg Schools Health Center


Silver Schools Health Center


Women’s Health


Cliff/Gila Community Clinic


Mental Health


Lordsburg Community Health Center


Dental Care


Mimbres Valley Clinic

New Mental Health Locations


Med Square Clinic


HMS New Beginnings Recovery Center


Silver City Community Health Center


HMS Community Mental Health


Ena Mitchell Senior and Wellness Center

§ §

Family Support Specialized Services

Hidalgo Medical Services is a non-profit Health Care & Community Development Organization that improves the quality of life of the people of Hidalgo County and Southwestern New Mexico since 1994.

Silver City Life Winter 2016  

FEATURING • Mike Trujillo • Silke Schneider • Shannon Rivera • M. Fred Barraza • Doug O'Dell and Ryan Wenzel • Michael Metcalf • 1st New Mex...

Silver City Life Winter 2016  

FEATURING • Mike Trujillo • Silke Schneider • Shannon Rivera • M. Fred Barraza • Doug O'Dell and Ryan Wenzel • Michael Metcalf • 1st New Mex...