Thursday, July 1, 2010

Old Timer’s Reunion

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – No matter what the weather – come rain or come shine- nothing puts a damper on the fun locals and visitors can have at this year’s Old Timers Reunion weekend.
The annual three day village party returns for its 39th year with rodeos, music, family fun, and, of course, the barbecue.
In the very beginning the Old Timers Reunion was a small event.
Juan Gutierrez, who was Magdalena’s mayor in 1972, said no one expected it to grow larger over the years.
“It was just a few people who started it,” Gutierrez said. “Cecil and Vera Owsley I remember were part of it. But just about all the old timers are gone. We’re the old timers now.”
He was owner of the West Bar until he closed it in1994, and has seen many changes in the town since the first Old Timers Reunion. Gutierrez is a Socorro County Commissioner now, but his involvement in local government goes back to the late 1960s, when he was on the Magdalena Village Board of Trustees. From 1970 to 1974 he was Socorro County Clerk. He was also county road superintendent from 1966 to 1970.
Things get underway Friday, July 9, when vendors will be open for business at the rodeo grounds with cuisine to please every palate.
The Arts and Crafts building (Community Center) is the place to register for a quilt donated by the Magdalena Quilters who are making the quilt.
From the rodeo arena to the Indian Village to the Spanish Village to Magdalena Schools’ Fine Arts Building, visitors will find something to entertain them throughout the weekend.
Activities at the rodeo arena start at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning with the Stick Horse Rodeo, where toddlers and Kindergarten age kids are seen riding their wooden steeds in a variety of contests that simulate traditional rodeo events.The grand entrance for the Kids Rodeo happens 9 a.m. Friday when the older ones, ages 6-18, get the chance to ride and rope for the spectators in the grandstand.
The popular Murillo Brothers’ band provides the entertainment for the Street Dance beginning at 9 p.m. Friday near Village Hall on North Main Street. No alcoholic beverages are permitted, and families are invited to join in the fun.
The most attended event during the Old Timers Reunion weekend is the parade down First Street (Highway 60). The parade beings at 10 a.m., and Highway 60 traffic will be diverted on the east side of town at Chestnut, and on the west side at Highway 107. Old timer Bobby Baker, a retired Forest Service employee, is the Grand Marshal this year and will be leading the parade.
Immediately after the parade the annual barbecue lunch begins serving, generally at about 11 a.m. Pat Trujillo is head honcho of the barbecue who gets much needed help from Charlotte and Chad Perkins. The beef is cooked in a pit starting Friday afternoon. The price of the complete meal is $9 for adults and $6 per child, and includes a drink.
The Century Rodeo and Roping gets underway immediately following the crowning of Darlene Pino, who has the honor of being this year’s Old Timers Queen, in front of the grandstand at noon.
For those wanting to learn what the old days in Magdalena were like, Old Timers story-telling will be held on the old railroad loading dock outside the public library at 1 p.m. The Old Timers Reunion Saturday night dance commences at 8 p.m. at Magdalena Schools' Fine Arts Building. Music is provided by DJ Heavy C Carlos Vega. Admission is $8 per couple, $5 single, and children under two are admitted free. Refreshments will be available at a concession booth manned by the Yucca 4-H club. A silent auction is to be held in conjunction with the dance. No alcohol is permitted. Bright and early Sunday morning the air around the rodeo grounds will be filled with the cooking of sausage, bacon, and pancakes cooking on the grill. The pancake breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and the $5 price goes to helping Magdalena’s volunteer fire department. Follow the aroma to the grandstand kitchen at the rodeo grounds. Pancakes will be served until the batter runs out.
At 6:30 a.m. eager runners will sign up at the new Village Hall to participate in the Magdalena to Kelly 7K Run/Walk, and hopefully make it back to town before the pancakes run out. Entry fee is $10.
The final event in the rodeo arena starts at 9 a.m. Sunday when the roping competition begins.

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