Friday, January 29, 2010

Farr Chronicles His Experiences On The Magdalena Stock Driveway

Mountain Mail Reports

This is part two of a series resulting from an oral history interview with Catron County rancher Dave Farr conducted by the Bureau of Land Management in Socorro, in 2008.
As the 150th anniversary of the 1862 Homestead Act approaches, the Socorro Bureau of Land Management’s Cultural Resource Program is increasing emphasis on oral history collection, particularly as it relates to homesteading.
Farr brought in the last herd of cattle on the storied Magdalena Stock Driveway, or Magdalena Trail, in 1970. Just one of countless drives for him, this cattle drive marked the end of the 85-year history of the trail.
Collected and transcribed by Brenda Wilkinson, Archaeologist, BLM, Socorro Field Office. The following questions are asked by Wilkinson, and BLM Assistant Field Manager Mark Matthews.
This article focuses on the trail drives and the Stock Driveway.

Did you ever hire anybody on, just to help move the herd?

Dave Farr: Oh, we’d work these cattle in the fall and maybe there’d be four of us, five. And then them same fellas’d take the cattle to Magdalena. Way back there, you were talkin' about early 1900s. Why, I'd have to assume they'd have several bunches of livestock on the driveway at once. You know they could start out with the lambs and then, I don't know if they - I certainly doubt if they'd mix the old ewes with the lambs, and there’d be another bunch of sheep, and then they'd have a bunch of cattle goin' in. And then for some reason, the old cow market gets better around Christmas, so they'd always ship a load or two of old cows about Christmas. And that could be just oh, not many head, so there'd be two men with a pack horse.
Montague Stevens’ grandson told me about Montague, drivin' some big steers, you know,
4-year-old 'n up, to Magdalena. I don't know what year this was, but they were gonna load them on the train. And Montague got on his mule, and he was - you know - he's up and drivin' 'em. And a few days out of Magdalena, he pulled out ahead and got on the telegraph to the people, trying to sell these big steers. Anyway, he got in there and telegraphed Denver, St. Louis, St. Joe, Chicago, and he finally got an offer of seven bucks a head for these steers. And this was the delivery price - he had to pay the freight. So they figured with the agent that it would cost 'im nine dollars to get 'em there. So Montague got back on 'is mule, went back and met the steers, and he told them fellas, “I don't have any money to pay ya.” They all had homesteads, ya know. He said, “Take 'em back home. Divide 'em up among yourselves. That's all I can pay ya.” And he went on home. And that was on the driveway. Well, it wasn't an official driveway then. It was just open range. Eventually he went broke here, you know. I guess he was profitable for a long time. They had a good manager runnin' the ranch for them. He used to come visit my grandmother. He'd sit there all day tellin' about hounds, this hound and that hound, and, I'd get up and leave, [laughing] I'd had just about enough hound stories. But those where tough times.

Did any Indians from Alamo work for you?

Dave Farr: Oh, you bet, well, in later years. They’re good hands. You had to have somebody that would move the horses, slow. Keep ‘em quiet, so they wouldn’t want to run back home. An’ those Indians had the patience, they just take the horses so slow, keep ‘em quiet.

Can you tell us more about the cooks?

Dave Farr: I read a California book and he said they hired their cooks - not if they could cook - didn’t have nothin’ to do with it. They had to hire a man to drive the mules, so if he could cook was immaterial. And so they got some bad, bad cooks you know, and we did too. And it was hard to find a man who could hook up a team and drive the mules, and then finally we give up and used a pickup with a trailer and then we got to where we couldn’t even find a cook that way, and then my brother started cookin’. But the pickup was a bad deal. We never got stuck that way, but the team could always make it to camp you know. But you get a pickup and trailer and it gets to rainin’, why you can get stuck and you don’t have any camp when you get there, so the mules were good.
We had a Fred Harvey cook too. Well come to find out he was a Fred Harvey fry cook. He didn’t cook their extravagant meals, but he’d fry eggs in the mornin’ in the dutch oven. And he’d use a big tablespoon to get the grease over them eggs and then he’d fish the egg out and put it on your plate with a lot of grease, and sometimes he’d ask you “Do you want a extra spoon of grease?” [laughing] So man, it was greasy. But he could make sopaipillas and tortillas.

Do you remember his name, the Fred Harvey cook?

Dave Farr: Luna. I don’t remember his first name. Well, we had a cook from Roswell…what the hell was his name? He was a pretty good cook. And he told us a story - his father was a freighter, he hauled freight from Fort Sumner to Roswell and back, with an ox team, and his father happened to be in the saloon at Fort Sumner in the evening before they shot Billy the Kid. He was right with him. And that night they shot Pat Garrett, shot Billy the Kid, and this Otero - Otero was his name - so he went and looked at the body the next mornin’, and he knew Billy real well and, he swore it wasn’t Billy that they buried.

You heard the story from the cook?

Dave Farr: Well, he heard it from his father. He emphasized that they shot the wrong man, you know, and you hear that forever.
Yeah, one time Work Reed was the cook - you remember Work? He’s from Sweetwater, Texas. He’s a pretty good cook. Damn Work, pulled up in camp, and threw our beds off in a pool of water that deep, and it was foggy and, we had some corrals there that old Red Jackson had built, and had to go down this canyon and top over a ridge, and down another canyon to the corrals. So foggy you couldn’t see any landmarks, and I went down the next canyon to the right and, well, we got down there and we knew it wasn’t wrong and you could see this light coming over the hill - the fog was let up. So we went over the hill and found the corrals. The light was from the campfire and we got the cattle right up there and corralling them.
And something scared ‘em and they run, and my brother run to head ‘em off. And his horse run through a rat’s nest in the dark and fell with him, and boy, then we had a stampede. And dark, dark. Couldn’t see in the fog - no stars. We headed ‘em off as well as we could, corralled what we could, slept there in our wet blankets. And two Indians, they wouldn’t go to bed. They stood by the fire all night and they’d chatter a whole bunch of Navajo and it’d end up “Damn Morgan Salome waterproof hats!” Well, they were wearin’ staw hats and Morgan told ‘em they were waterproof. Then we got up and had a count in the mornin’ and Work didn’t wake up in time and we - all we got for breakfast was what water we could pour out of the water bucket that had rained in it. Went on and found the rest of the cattle but we’s short about 90 head. Got away in the dark. That was a miserable trip. And, anyway, we loaded the cattle and I brought the horses back to - even with Montosa. That was probably around the 1960s. Work was a pretty rough old guy. I remember one spring we went in and the wind was ablowin’ - I mean big time, and he couldn’t keep his hat on. And he took a barbed wire, a old rusty barbed wire and wrapped it around his head and twisted it. [Chuckling] Well, he could of at least found a balin’ wire! But - and he’d lisp you know - he said “Wis wimper sonofa bitch wath about ta beat me ta death.” His hat.
Sometimes the cook was drunk and he’d leave town drivin’ that team and hell, after years a lot of people knew him. He’d be so drunk he’d fall of the wagon - well that’s dangerous you know, them old iron tires run over you, but he’d used them same mules for so many years, when he’d fall off they’d just stop.
And somebody’d come along - he’d be right by the highway - a long ways from Magdalena, and they’d shake him around and wake him up and put him back in the wagon seat and he’d go on ‘til he fell off again…he’d have a bottle in his pocket. Yeah, it was a trip. We never knew where he got the whiskey you know. Well, we tried to keep it away from him you know, but he just, well, tried to fly to the moon.

In next week’s Mountain Mail, Farr talks about changes to the driveway over the years, water wells, and minor disasters along the way.

Photos courtesy of the Farr family.

Magdalena Speeder Caught Going 90

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - Officers from Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley’s office assisted the U.S. Border Patrol in the arrest Monday of a Louisiana man who was speeding through the village at 90 miles per hour. In his vehicle were two men without documentation.
Jose Luis Caro, 37, of Crowley, La., was arraigned in Magistrate Court Tuesday on the charges of Aggravated Fleeing a Law Enforcement Officer, a fourth degree felony, and Reckless Driving, a misdemeanor. He was also charged with driving without a license, and speeding at least 35 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. The speed limit on First Street (Highway 60) in Magdalena is 30.
In an interview with the Mountain Mail, Cearley emphasized the danger the driver presented to pedestrians and other drivers.
“You don’t see car coming at 90 miles per hour when you’re pulling out onto the street,” he said.
Cearley said there were several people walking on First Street, and that midday traffic is normally busy in Magdalena.
“He passed two vehicles and almost broadsided another vehicle near the corner of First and Main,” Cearley said. “That intersection is always busy that time of day – people coming in and out of the bank, Winston’s, the bar, or coming from the Village Hall and library area.”
According to the criminal complaint, Deputy Terry Flanigan was informed by Border Patrol agents that they were eastbound on Highway 60, in high speed pursuit of a white 1997 Chevrolet Blazer heading toward Magdalena.
Flanigan radioed Cearley, who attempted to stop Caro by cutting off his vehicle at mile marker 111, at the west end of the village.
“I was driving toward him in an attempt to force him to stop, but he swerved completely off the roadway and passed me without slowing down,” Cearley said.
Cearley then followed Border Patrol units as the Blazer maintained his high rate of speed, while several people were pulling in and out of businesses along First Street.
“The roadway was heavy with traffic when the driver flew past them at a high rate of speed,” the complaint stated. “…Flanigan was coming westbound and clocked the vehicle at 90 miles per hour on his radar while the driver passed two vehicles in a no passing zone inside Magdalena.”

Wild Winter Weather

Sustained high winds and strong gusts last Thursday night in Magdalena were responsible for downed fences, street signs, and roof damage to structures in town. Troy Mechanical suffered the most, with a large section of metal roofing blown onto the ground on Fourth Street. Roofing crews were hard at work repairing the damage by Friday afternoon.

Photo by Bill Fuller

Snow, Power Outages Plague Catron County

Mountain Mail Reports

Last week’s winter storm packed a wallop in Catron County that most residents won’t soon forget.
Quemado and surrounding areas were buried under two and one-half feet of snow. Areas around Armijo Springs Campground, had power outages for more than 30 hours and some phone disruption on Saturday.
“We did experience several outages in Catron County due to icing and snow build on the power lines of Friday,” said Richard Lopez, the engineering and operations manager for the Socorro Electric Cooperative. “We had outages in Alamo, Quemado, Mangus and Adobe Ranch/Beaverhead area. Crews were out late Friday restoring service to all but a hand full of customers who were restored Saturday morning. There was up to 2 feet of snow in some places.
“Our crews were having problems driving in those weather conditions and after several vehicles were stuck in snow and mud we proceeded to patrol line on foot in the snow. We had six crews working until all consumers were restored.”
It was much worse in Reserve, where electric power was down from 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, to Sunday, Jan. 24 at 4:15 p.m.
David Plumb, a Navopache Electric Cooperative spokesperson, said a radial transmission line broke, putting about 3,000 meters out of power. This 69,000 volt line broke in two places, causing widespread electrical outages to Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico.
“System wide at the height of the outage, approximately 10,000 consumers were without electricity,” he said.
For the first time in recent
history, Navopache used a helicopter to identify the breaks in the line. A crew would work 16 hours straight. As one crew rested, another would take its place.
“The biggest problem they faced was snow drifts in excess of eight feet,” Plumb said. More than 46 employees in the Operations Department worked night and day to fix the problem. Up to six administrative employees manned the telephone lines during this emergency to update consumers.
“A generator was considered as a stop-gap solution, but this was not necessary as repairs were holding,” Plumb said.
“The phone calls we have received late Sunday and Monday were of congratulations. Many thanks to everyone for helping us through this situation,” Plumb said.
Reserve residents, meanwhile, did the best they could to deal with the situation.
Snow was over a foot in most places, with daytime temperature hovering around high 30s to lows in the teens after dark. The grocery store, gas stations, bank, and eateries were closed except Ella’s Café.
The post office remained open, even though it had no heat. Black Gold, a grocery/gas station, brought in a generator Sunday afternoon to pump gas. Except for ice cream, stores did not report losing meats or dairy or other food products.
Village of Reserve residents did have water, but residents surrounding the village melted snow for water.
For three days, the hum of generators could be heard throughout the Reserve area.
Neighbors hauled generators between houses for three hour periods, keeping foodstuff cold.
Those without generators placed refrigerator items in the snow. Car batteries with inverters powered computers, pellet stoves and other electrical items.
Camping items normally used in the forest were common items in the house. Flashlights, butane heaters and lights, kerosene stoves all were utilized.
As one resident said: “The only thing missing in my house is the pup tent.”
The County Courthouse, powered by a generator, served as a haven for those in need. “We opened the doors for anyone who needed a place to stay warm,” said county manager Bill Aymar. In addition, Hometown Oxygen, out of Silver City, left extra tanks at the courthouse in case any consumer needed special attention during this period.
In Quemado, storms hit the area with snow, sleet and ice. Residents reported flickering and brownouts on Friday but no total outages.
Snowfall was around eight inches on Thursday with about four inches each of the next two nights. Saturday’s basketball game against Mountainair and the homecoming festivities were canceled.
The Quemado Lake area received a little over a foot and a half of snow, and power was out for around 15 hours. Besides having to shovel off decks all weekend, several of the residents were concerned about the trees breaking from the heavy accumulation of snow and ice on the branches.
Not all fretted the weather this weekend. An area near the Quemado landfill became a playground where children and adults were sledding and driving 4x4's.
Debbie Leschner, Richard Torres and John Severance contributed to this story.

Photo: Snow, wind buffet the area around Armijo Campground in Catron County.
Photo by Debbie Leschner.


New Mexico Tech Connects To Supercomputer

By John Larson

SOCORRO – New Mexico Tech was one of eight universities to be connected to the state’s supercomputer, Encanto, Monday, giving students and researchers access to one the most powerful computers in the world.
In a computer classroom in Tech’s computer center in Speare Hall, professors, researchers and students gathered to be part of the inaugural linkup with Encanto, featuring a live video conference with Gov. Bill Richardson and other state officials, including New Mexico Tech President Dan Lopez.
Professor Lorie Liebrock, chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department, told the Mountain Mail the Supercomputer’s 3-D capabilities will be used for research, educational activities, training, and business modeling in the areas of energy, environment, digital film, aerospace, and biotechnology, among others.
“Economic development is also priority for the Supercomputer’s use,” Liebrock said. “This involves local Socorro businesses as well as statewide.”
She said Encanto uses 28,700 gigabytes of memory - compared to a typical home computer’s two-to-four gigabytes - and can perform 172 trillion calculations per second.
“One of the Supercomputer’s most important capabilities will be to create 3-D graphics, allowing the student or researcher to understand a concept or exercise easier,” Liebrock said. “Another very exciting application will be to study water flow in New Mexico, which could benefit local agriculture. Climate change is another area that can be modeled three dimensionally.”
In a prepared statement, Richardson said these initial “gateway” sites will be utilized by the universities and local businesses that need high performance computing for design and modeling purposes.
“The opening of these Supercomputer gateways is significant to New Mexico’s economic and high-tech future,” Richardson said. “We’re bringing the highest level of supercomputing to every corner of the state, giving New Mexicans the opportunity to tap in to its remarkable educational and economic possibilities.”
He said economic possibilities included the film industry, and that movies like “Avatar,” which relied heavily on computer animation could easily be handled by the Supercomputer.
The Supercomputer is housed at Intel in Rio Rancho at the New Mexico Computing Applications Center.
The founding institutions for the Center are New Mexico Tech, University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.
“We now have the fastest publicly available computer in the world to aid in our research and planning,” Tech President Dan Lopez said. “There are many important environmental challenges, such as the new energy grid, that will make much more significant progress with the Supercomputer.”
That confidence was supported by Jami Grindatto, Director of Corporate Affairs at Intel for the Southwestern U.S., who spoke during the live video hook-up Monday.
“The Supercomputer will provide remarkable new educational opportunities in high performance computing throughout the state at the Gateway sites," Grindatto said. "This network of sites gives supercomputer access to all New Mexicans and will help create the high-tech workforce of the future.”
The other seven gateway sites include UNM, NMSU, Eastern New Mexico University, Western New Mexico University, Santa Fe Community College, San Juan College, New Mexico Military Institute, and Eastern New Mexico University at Roswell.

Top photo: Tech officials and professors are joined through a video link with the governor and participating universities at Speare Hall Monday.
Photo by John Larson.

Lower photo:Those attending the “Connect New Mexico” event Monday were treated to a video showcasing the 3-D capabilities of the supercomputer, Encanto.
Photo Courtesy of New Mexico Tech.


Tumbleweed 4-H Club Elects Officers

The Socorro County Tumbleweed 4-H Club held elections Wednesday, Jan. 20, for officers for the 2010-2011 at the Socorro County Extension Office on Neel Avenue. Tumbleweeds members chose as their new president, Madline Chavez, a student at Sarracino Middle School. Other officers include: Vice- President – Jaden Jones (Socorro High School), Secretary – DeeKota Chavez (Midway Elementary), Treasurer - Tyler Zuni (Socorro High School), Reporter – Marinarae Rosales (Midway Elementary)
Pledge Leader – Samantha Maldanado, Song and Recreation Leader – Mara Rapson (Parkview), Council Representatives – Marinarae Rosales (Midway Elementary), Savannah Rivera (Sarracino Middle School), Jose Chavez (Zimmerly School)

School Board Acknowledges Help With Projects

Mountain Mail Reports

SOCORRO -- Assistant Superintendent Anton Salome asked the Socorro Consolidated Schools Board for their approval of signage acknowledging the City, County and Socorro Electric Cooperative’s help with projects at the High School which was unanimously approved.
Salome spoke to the board and advised them that he received an email from the South Central Council of Governments stating that the Legislative Finance Committee would be meeting at 1:30 p.m. today to review documentation submitted by the SCCG to contemplate the idea of sustaining funds acquired for all projects that are already in place in Socorro for different planned projects. One of which is a new softball field for the school system.
Charter School representative Mary Cox reported that they were on budget and everything was going good. A short report was given on the schools audit completed by JJ Griego & Associates along with findings and managements response to those audit findings.
Salome advised the board that it was again time to apply for a local government road fund program from the Department of Transportation. This years funding request will be for the renovation of the Saraccino Middle School front parking lot.
The project must be completed by December 31, 2012. Board member Bob Markwell asked if the island located in the front parking lot could be landscaped with the funds and Salome stated that it could be done in the process of making repairs to the whole parking lot.
Assistant Superintendent Janice Argabright presented and requested that the board look over and consider proposed changes in several areas of school policy such as attendance, discipline, hazing, sexual harassment, health screening, self medication, maintenance of all school records and other policy updates needed and suggested by administration.
Parkview School Teacher Janice Jaramillo has been nominated for the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico 2010 Award for Excellence in Teaching. Cottonwood Valley Charter teacher Karen Gram was also nominated. The annual award includes a $1,500 stipend, a $4,000 grant for personal development, a laptop from Intel and admission into the Golden Apple Academy of Fellow.
Two resignations were announced. Fran Hazelwood, a SMS health teacher and Lynette Phipps, a SMS Special Ed Teacher. Two new hires were announced. Thomas Culbertson will work at SHS Behavioral Modification and P.E. Teacher and Matthew Carrejo will teach P.E. at San Antonio and Midway schools.
After 37 years with the Socorro school system Linda Perdue will retire in June. The school board expressed their thanks for the many years of Ms. Perdue’s service to Socorro and its children.
Superintendent Cheryl Wilson announced and encouraged everyone to look for the first Mountain Mail Express in February which will have a full page dedicated to news at every school in the district each month and will also include important dates, school stories, photos and reports on school board activities and meetings and reports from the Superintendent. The next school board meeting will be Feb. 9.

Official: 2010 Census Much Easier To Complete

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The 2010 U.S. Census will be less intrusive this time around. That’s according to Tom Chegoya of the Las Cruces Census office, who gave a presentation to the Socorro City Council Jan. 4.
Chegoya said the Census this year is one of the “critical tests in our nation’s history, given the recession and current state of our economy.
“For every person counted it means money coming to the community,” he said. “Funding for infrastructure, education, affordable housing. Money that should come here.
Chegoya said the 2010 census questionnaire will be simplified compared with the 2000 Census.
“This year is so different. There’s only 10 questions,” he said.
“All the information collected is strictly confidential. That’s the law. It can’t be shared with any other governmental agency, even Homeland Security, for example. It’s about the count.”
He said the Census does not care about some of the detailed information that has been asked previously.
“We don’t care about the personal things. We want the count,” Chegoya said.
The City of Socorro has partnered with the county government to “make sure everybody gets counted.”
Councilor Gordy Hicks stressed that a complete count means more funding for the city and the county.
“Those cities and counties that have a higher count will have more,” Hicks said. “They don’t care about families living together or whether someone has papers. I encourage everyone to please respond to the questionnaire.”
Chegoya said the 2010 Census also means employment for local residents.
“There will be many job availabilities here in the county and surrounding areas,” he said. “We figure about 800 are needed as temporary federal workers. Enough to cover the whole county.”
The temporary positions will be needed for door to door follow-ups on those residents that did not send back the form, he said.
The 2010 U.S. Census forms will start going into the mail this week.
More information, and a sample questionnaire, can be found on the Internet at

Magdalena Marshal's Blotter

Information for the following items was provided by the Magdalena Marshal's office.

Jan. 13
U.S. Forest Service officers asked for assistance at 8:10 p.m. on an arrest at mile marker 13 on Highway 169. The Marshal’s office took a male subject into custody on a outstanding warrant from Socorro Municipal Court.
An officer took a report at 11 a.m. of a stolen power washer worth $125. A suspect was found and charged with the Burglary, Larceny, and Disposing Stolen Property.
Jan. 16
An officer took a report at 2:45 p.m. on Cedar Street where a subject reported his prescription pills had been stolen. The case is open and a suspect has been located. Charges are pending.
An officer was traveling on First Street at 6:30 p.m. when a vehicle approached from the other direction. The officer turned around and stopped the vehicle. The Arizona driver was arrested for DWI, and blew a .10 blood alcohol level.
Jan. 21
An officer attempted to stop a vehicle on Forest Road 354 near the cemetery. The vehicle was stopped near the Post Office on a back road. The driver was arrested for driving on a suspended/revoked license.
Jan. 23
An officer stopped a vehicle at 9:40 a.m. at First and Pine, and the driver was arrested for driving on a suspended/revoked license.
An officer stopped a vehicle at 5:05 p.m. at Third and Oak, and the driver was arrested for driving on a suspended/revoked license.
Jan. 25
An officer was called at 9:15 a.m. to mile marker 11 on Highway 169 on a report of an elk stuck on a fence. The officer put the animal down and contacted the New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish. The animal was sold to a willing recipient.
An officer assisted a couple who were having car trouble at mile marker 115 on Highway 60. They were transported to a doctor’s appointment at the Magdalena Medical Clinic. The vehicle was towed to Socorro for repairs after the doctor’s appointment.

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

The following items were taken from reports at the Socorro County Sheriff's Department.

Nov. 11
A woman from Aurora, Colo. reported at 5:15 p.m. that she was driving southbound on Interstate 25 when the left driver’s side window shattered. She thought that the window had been shot out. The officer processed the vehicle and did not find any evidence of a gunshot.
Nov. 20
A man in Veguita reported at 4:20 p.m. that the suspect brandished a hand gun and assaulted him with it. He said that the man placed the gun to his head and threatened him. He further stated that he picked up an ax in self-defense. He said the suspect then left his yard and took the ax with him. The deputy met with the suspect, who said the victim chased him with the ax and he took the ax away from him. The suspect gave the officer the ax and allowed his vehicle to be searched for a weapon. No weapon was located.
Nov. 28
A Veguita man reported at 6 p.m. that an unknown vehicle had struck his fence, damaging a fence post. The man did see dust in the air but did not see the vehicle, which fled the area.
Nov. 30
A man in Veguita reported at 8:10 p.m. that persons unknown entered his property by cutting a hole in his fence. The suspects then entered a storage shed and took two propane tanks.
Dec. 8
A man on Community Road in Polvadera reported that the suspect applied for, and obtained, credit cards using him as a co-signer. The suspect was able to accumulate a large debt and the victim is being called by companies in regards to payment.
Dec. 9
An officer responded at 8:20 p.m. to Pino Road in San Antonio on the report of a death. OMI had pronounced a man deceased, and it was learned that a heart condition was the cause of death.
Dec. 13
A vehicle was northbound on Interstate 25 at mile marker 174 when the driver fell asleep at 3 a.m. The vehicle travelled into the median and rolled, causing extensive damage. The driver was complaining of injuries but refused transport to a hospital.
Dec. 14
A Las Cruces man reported at 2 p.m. that he had rented a motor home to the suspect, who failed to pay rent and left the vehicle parked on private property in the 600 block of Second Street in Socorro. He went to pick up the motor home, but was denied by another man, who stated that the motor home was on his property and the suspect also owes him money. The owner of the motor home noticed damage had occurred to the motor home and he wanted to pursue charges against the suspect.

In Socorro, It’s All About Training

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Fred Hollis has a challenge ahead of him.
The Socorro County Fire Marshal is in charge of getting all county and city personnel to take emergency preparedness training courses. The National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) requires this so if there is an emergency, the city and county of Socorro can apply for more money from FEMA.
“There are 260 people who are eligible to take these courses,” Hollis said after the Socorro County Commission meeting Tuesday night at the County Annex. “If we can get 50 percent, we would be well within the guidelines established by NIMS.”
Hollis said Socorro gets $72,000, but if it falls under the NIMS guidelines “we could get a couple hundred thousand.”
Hollis said all the counties in the state are in the same boat, trying to train its city and county employees in emergency preparedness.
“I hope you support us and help get all of us trained,” Hollis told the commissioners.
Hollis was the main attraction at Tuesday’s meeting. He spoke on behalf of the Socorro County Emergency Responders and the new organization wants the county to act as its fiscal agent.
County attorney Adren Nance said there should be a service agreement in place so the commission decided to do just that, passing a motion that an agreement would be drawn up so the county would act as a fiscal agent for the emergency responders when it comes to applying for grants and not petty cash transactions.
“If we are not doing the little things and just be doing grants, that’s great,” county manager Delilah Walsh said.
In other business, the county:
• Approved the TFC Construction contract for the Veguita Fire Station Improvements.
• Approved and appointed Socorro County fire chiefs.
• Approved a mutual assistance agreement with Dona Ana County.
• Directed Walsh to complete membership with CES, which offers discounted prices for the county in its construction dealings.
• Considered new county jail planning and directed Walsh to begin speaking with Gerald Martin, an Albuquerque construction company.
• Wished a speedy recovery to commissioner Rumaldo Griego, who recently underwent knee surgery.
• Approved Studio D and Government Center Project while in executive session.
• Purchased recycling and cleanup supplies for Loretta Chavira, a La Joya girl who started a recycling project in her community. Walsh said the county will apply for another grant in the spring.
Also, Socorro County was awarded $10,000 in funding through the 2009-2010 Wildlife Risk Reduction Grant Program. The funds will be used to continue the Wildland Fire Education, Prevention and Outreach Activities implemented by the Socorro County Fire Marshal’s Office as part of the Socorro County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. All grant activities identified in the grant application must be completed by June.

OBITUARY: Cynthia S. Romero-Naranjo

Nov. 12, 1963 - Jan. 21, 2010

Cynthia S. Romero-Naranjo, 46, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 21, at her home in Socorro. Cynthia was born on Nov. 2, 1963 in Belen to George L. and Mary (Taylor) Romero.
Cynthia is survived by her husband, Santiago Naranjo Jr. of Socorro; parents, George and Mary Romero of Socorro; sons, Anthony Romero and wife, T.J. of Capitan; Jimmy Naranjo of Albuquerque; David Naranjo of Socorro; brother, Lawrence Romero and wife, Jessica, of Albuquerque; sisters, Emma Romero of Albuquerque; Georgia and husband, Bobby, of Rio Rancho; and Nadine Romero also of Albuquerque; and five grandchildren, Rosie Naranjo; Seve Naranjo; Santana Rose Naranjo; Jessica Naranjo; and Seth Naranjo.
She is preceded in death by her father-in-law, Santiago Naranjo Sr.; and sister, Debrah Carabajal.
A Rosary was recited on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at San Miguel Catholic Church. A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated on Monday, Jan. 25 at 11:30 a.m. at San Miguel Catholic Church with Father Milan Garcia as Celebrant. Burial took place in the San Miguel Cemetery in Socorro. Pallbearers were David Silva, Chris Romero, Seve Naranjo, Raymond Carabajal Jr., Willie Lucero, and Rick Griego. Honorary Pallbearers were Stevie Griego, and Thomas Henderson.
Arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro. 835-1530.

EDITORIAL: Code Of The West Offers Some Answers

By John Severance
Mountain Mail Editor

Let’s start by saying that no one out there should be shooting or maiming cows or chasing them with their cars.
Those people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is no justification for any kind of animal cruelty.
Socorro County adheres to the open range law. Ranchers are allowed to let their cattle roam and they are free to go wherever they want.
If neighbors do not want cows on their property, they need to build a fence around it to keep the cows out.
The situation in northern Socorro County (Veguita, Rio Grande Estates and Tierra Grande Estates), though, is getting ugly.
And there is no solution in sight.
Residents, though, seem to be taking matters into their own hands in their dealings with cattle and that is not right.
It might be wise for those people to take a look at the Code of the West.
In 2005, the Socorro County Commission adopted a resolution for its version of the code.
Here is a sample.
“The Code of the West was first chronicled by the famous western writer, Zane Grey. The men and women who came to this part of the country during the northward expansion of Spain and Mexico and the westward expansion of the United States were bound by an unwritten code of conduct. The values of integrity and self reliance guided their decisions, actions and interactions. In keeping with that spirit, we offer this information to help the citizens of Socorro County who wish to follow in the footsteps of those rugged individualists by living outside city limits.
“Life in the country is rich and rewarding, treasured by both Socorro County residents who have been here for generations, and those who have recently moved here. It is important for new residents to know that life in the country is different from life in the city. County governments are not able to provide the same level of service that city governments provide.”
Here are some other highlights from the Code of the West.
3.15.- You are responsible for keeping your dog on your own property. New Mexico law allows the shooting of dogs when they kill, injure or chase livestock or wildlife. It is the right of any owner of livestock so killed, injured or bothered by the actions of any dog to kill the dog while it is upon property controlled by the owner of the livestock. Avoid the potential for tragedy and do the neighborly thing at the same time: keep your best friend in his own yard.
5.11- Livestock may cause odors and noise that are objectionable to some people. If you find them annoying, you may want to find a parcel in another area of the county.
5.12- Livestock are occasionally moved on public roads. When you encounter a livestock drive, please pull over to the side of the road and allow the drive to pass. Or, if a rider directs you to move forward, do so slowly. The delay will cost you only a few minutes. Enjoy the scene; this is that “real west,” and is a critical part of your neighbors’ ability to make a living.

In the Sam Way story on page 3 of last week’s Mountain Mail, Lisa Way emailed the newspaper to say Sam didn't want to "save" me, he wanted me to get saved. Only Jesus saves. Also, when asked what happened with the medical team, he said "Sam Harris gave me my bill."

OPINION: Explore, Listen, Speak Up

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

First you have freedom of speech. Lucky? You live in a culture that doesn’t want to listen. We don’t want to hear different ideas. Understandably, we don’t want someone else telling us what to think. However, listening is learning.
Often in our United States culture, we listen long enough to know if we are on the “same page” and that often means the same team. If not, we just don’t want to hear it.
One of the few things that can put us all on the same page is our compassion and empathy. I’m not surprised that the people of the United States will or have matched what our government has pledged to Haiti. It’s nothing however in terms of what we spend on war and big business.
Our culture, our nation is built on love of the individual and a love of teams. We love competition. We respect and value the power of teamwork. Yet we are most famous for our generosity and compassion. We are a complex people.
Don and I are pleased when people tell us they enjoy our column.
We don’t write to tell people what to think. We always hope our expression of thought will be a take off point for the reader’s own thoughts.
We’re not a “should be” kind of couple. We even have trouble with “should do”! We do have one “should” we share. We would like to see more exploration of concepts and traditions.
Don has been so frustrated in theater. After University he explored big time theater and that meant unions. Unions were not for him. Staying with non-union stage work, he found himself doing “comfortable” and “acceptable” plays. He loves theater that wakes you up, rips with truth and emotion and challenges the brain. Friends and mentors who would do courageous theater left the country to work elsewhere. He did not.
Right now he would like to give Magdalena “Mother Courage”. Theater is a team effort. Finding courageous players and doers is as difficult as finding a courageous audience.
I’m the 11th generation of U.S. politics and New England mores (culture). Maybe it is because I am a Gemini, or the family fifth wheel but I found playing “devil’s advocate” came easily.
I fully intended to be a member of the family team and started early to study what that meant.
What I found everywhere were contradictions. Often I felt like a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth when ideas and actions invalidated each other.
Mostly I found that exploration takes courage. It’s been well worth the effort.
I have “authority figure” problems. We are “taught” that this means anger problems, in other words, someone society needs to discipline or at least “watch out” for.
Once upon a time we had enough of these people to start a nation. The bigotry or assumption is that people with “authority problems” come from the bottom of the pile. Our history proves that is not always true.
Anger, frustration, disappointment may be the beginning but it does not have to be the end. I doubt one can cure their “authority figure problems” once they’ve seen it’s truth. Courageous exploration does allow a person to find other truths as well.
I still have authority figure problems but I have found care, love, good company and many people to respect and cooperate with. Continuing to check out authorities is zesty fun.
What do you think of this?
Chaos takes organized effort, it is not natural. Life tends to fall into workable systems. It’s the nature of nature, it’s human nature too. People without good government find the best way for them to live on their own. It tends to be orderly. I’ve seen it in Central America, in Haiti and in rural and the historic United States.
Good leadership offers the “means” of team effort. Setting team against team (outside of sports) gets in the way of getting good things done.
We are respecting your courage for exploration, thinking and speaking your mind.

Write Wshireoldadobe @ Wilshire’s views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

OPINION: What Persuades The Governor To Support Domestic Partnership Legislation?

The Right Emphasis
By Doug May

Some think it strange that Domestic Partnership Legislation should be on the agenda for a 30-day session of the Legislature. Usually only financial matters are considered. With more than a $500 million deficit facing the state, the Legislature has sufficient money problems to address.
The Governor in his last year in office has made this issue a “priority.” Governor Bill Richardson told a news conference last week, “I’ve heard every excuse why we shouldn’t do it, and I’m not persuaded by that.” There are different ways of persuading a professional politician. After all, these good people that are promoting this legislation have been faithful supporters of this administration. They have spent a great deal of time and money in promoting their cause.
Why is so much money and effort being expended when so few people, possibly less than 2 percent of the population of the state, would ever use it? The truth is that the real issue is legitimizing homosexual behavior.
The homosexual movement claims that homosexuality is an inherited trait that makes them different from heterosexuals. They are saying that there are two distinct kinds of human beings and it is not fair that the laws of the land do not recognize that. If that were true we could expect the homosexuals would have fewer children than the heterosexuals and eventually become extinct.
But the truth is that homosexual behavior has to be promoted and taught. Is it not surprising that we are seeing an increase in the number children being molested? The increase in pornography in the last 40 years parallels the rise of homosexual behavior.
If domestic partnership legislation is passed it is a small step toward recognizing homosexual behavior as something legitimate. Children in school could be taught that two homosexuals can live together and have most of the same rights of heterosexuals who marry. If the government passes a law that gives rights for homosexuals it is legitimizing the behavior. No such law protects mistresses or prostitutes.
Christians base their understanding of homosexual behavior and marriage on the Holy Bible. God established marriage shortly after the creation of man. The Bible says that there was no suitable helper for man among all the animals so God created woman from man.
God specified the nature of the relationship that should exist between and man and woman when he said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh,”
God further specified that sex is appropriate for man and woman united in this relationship, but not outside of marriage. “Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife ,and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Sexual misbehavior is not tolerated by the Bible. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders … will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Doug May is a retired Lutheran pastor and his views do not represent the Mountain Mail.

OPINION: Thawing Out The Cold Hard Truth

Leftish Drivel
By Paul Krza

It’s been cold this winter in Socorro, colder than ... well, to coin a term, colder than a right-winger’s heart to the reality that Barack Obama is really the 44th president of the United States.
So cold that the cold water coming out of the faucet is, actually, cold! So snowy that Magdalena Ridge looks like a Santa Fe ski resort (well, its elevation is a few hundred feet higher than the Duke City’s Sandia Crest, you know).
How cold? Local weather observer Bob Schwiegerath, who’s been keeping track for a decade, says December was the coldest in the last 10 years in Socorro.
I guess this all means that global warming is a great big myth, right? Whoa, all those scientists at New Mexico Tech would probably say, not so fast. A string of warmer years and then one cold one does not really mean anything.
Well, that’s science. In the 21st century, climate change talk is mostly politics, not science. Take Rust, that guy on talk radio, for example. (Yeah, I know, that’s not his name, but I’d like to call him that, because of his corrosive effect on rational political discussion.) Not long ago, I heard Rust chuckling that all this warming talk was a bunch of B.S., because just as Al Gore was out talking on the East Coast, folks there were buried under a blizzard.
“It’s just that simple,” using this rusted-right logic, to explain things. Simple enough to say, in 2010 politics, that the election of just one Republican in Massachusetts means a profound shift in the political weather. There’s been a tsunami of comment in its wake, predicting the end of Obama and progressive change.
It’s the same logic applied to the rising national debt, which if you believe the rusted folks, only happened last year, also under Obama. None other than ex-Sen. Pete Domenici surfaced last week to lament the debt situation, in his new position as co-chair of something called the “Debt Reduction Task Force.”
Cold weather. Cold day in hell in Boston freezes Democrats. St. Pete comes in from the cold to get hot about debt. Holy cow! Sounds like a bad dream, or at least a bad movie.
But wait. Let’s apply a dash or two of longer-term logic here. Let’s start with Domenici, and his born-again deficit rage. A glowing account in Sunday’s Albuquerque Journal about the senator’s new “fitting role” suggests he was “instrumental 12 years ago in passing the first balanced budget amendment in more than 30 years.” Perhaps, but conveniently omitted was the president at the time: Democrat Bill Clinton, under whose presidency national debt turned into surplus!
And then there’s Pete’s own sordid public debt record. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Domenici sponsored or co-sponsored 103 earmarks totaling more than $197 million in fiscal year 2009 ranking him 31st out of 100 senators. They didn’t call him St. Pete for nothing -- he got the name for wheeling pork to the state, all part of “our avaricious appetite for borrowed money” that he and other Republicans, including that new guy from Massachusetts, now decry!
Oh -- let’s not forget that Pete and pal George Bush rang up bigger government debts with the ill-advised Iraq war, which was slyly kept off-budget.
Which brings us to that supposed earthquake election on the East Coast. Do you think that if the Republicans lost there they would have declared utter defeat, folded their teabag tent and surrendered to Obama and company? Not likely.
But to the greater question: Does the unexpected win by the Brown-baggers portend a tectonic shift in politics? Maybe, but maybe not. Let’s not count Obama out, yet. And let’s recall who helped get us into this economic predicament.
Here’s something else to remember, about that “government” spending. It is not necessarily all bad, you know. There are, as I’m sure even Pete and other Republicans would admit, many worthy “public” projects that we fund collectively as citizens, such as highways you drive on every day. In fact, on that list of Pete’s 2009 pork earmarks is some $10 million to Socorro, for the telescope on Magdalena Ridge, and over to Tech for first-responder training.
Just as with the weather, politics are a bit more complicated than just a cold winter.
Oh -- maybe it really hasn’t been as cold this year as you think. Some data I found on the Internet suggests 1971 was a real chiller: In January, the temp hit minus 12 in Socorro, and in June of the same year, it slipped to 35.
Now, if we could just get the right to recognize that Obama is really the president awry in paradise.
Paul Krza’s views do not necessairly represent those of the Mountain Mail.

What Are Your Memories Of The Loma Theater?

By Gary Jaramillo

There was a time when a small theater in the middle of the state was a place of dreams and great fun - The “Disneyland” in the desert if you will. Every Sunday beginning at 10 a.m., kids from every corner of Socorro County began lining up on the sidewalk in front of the Loma Theatre. The Loma was the epicenter of Socorro County every Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Parents brought their children from Magdalena, San Antonio, Polvadera and Lemitar and from Ranches and Farms all across the land.
Everyone came for the huge double features and fantastic cartoons. It was the coolest thing in the world to be there for an Elvis, John Wayne or Beach Blanket double feature along with the super cartoon lineup with Bugs, Donald, Sylvester, Roadrunner, Wile Coyote, Pepe le Pew, Daffy and all the rest of the Warner Bros. characters. But the best part of the day long outing at the Loma was the INTERMISSION!
Man, everything under that huge auditorium ceiling was tried at least once. Basketball, foot races, pie eating contests, dance contests, battle of the bands, singing contests and any other kind of game or competition my father, my brothers and sisters and I could come up with. It was THE best place in the whole wide world to be on Sunday.
The lines outside would grow around the old Fair Store on the corner at California Street and continue to grow down the road all the way to the corner next to the Torres’ Sunset Lounge. We would fill the Loma to capacity each and every Sunday. Moms and dads would drop their children off with a dollar and that would buy a double feature, a coke, candy bar and a bag of popcorn – and – all the fun with your friends that you could possibly stand.
Dad never left the kids outside who couldn’t afford to get in the Loma because they had no money. He’d wave them through the front door and take them to the concession and give each of them a coke, popcorn and candy – then run them up and find them a seat.
No one ever missed a show because they didn’t have the money to get in. Ever!
The Loma was the place where probably 98 percent of the kids had their first peck on the cheek or kiss on the mouth. Every kid fell in love a time or two at the Loma Theatre. Some kids fell in love and never fell out of love with that special someone and they are still together and in love today. Married even.

Do you have a special Loma Theatre memory? Would you like to tell that story here in the Mountain Mail? We’d love to hear your Loma Theatre story. How about the annual Easter Egg Hunt? Have a story about that? How about a story about the Ham and Turkey and Candy family giveaways during the holidays? How about Spanish night or Cougar Country Festivals nights? Tell us your stories. Everyone would love to hear them.
Email your story to or send them regular mail to Mountain Mail - PO Box 62 – Socorro, NM 87801.


February Skies: Jupiter, Venus On Horizon

By Jon Spargo
New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club

As Venus reappears in the evening sky, it will join Jupiter as it gets closer to the horizon. Beginning on the 14th the two planets will be only 2 degrees apart just above the west southwest horizon. By the end of the month, Jupiter will be lost as it reaches conjunction with the sun. This will leave Venus alone as the “evening star” as it begins its climb into the evening sky.
For you die-hard Jupiter fans, the last opportunity for a good view will be at the beginning of the month while the giant planet is still 12 degrees above the horizon. By the end of the month, Venus will have climbed to about 5 degrees above the horizon and should be easy to find about a half hour after sunset.
Mars will continue to dominate the evening sky. On the 4th, it will pass about 3 degrees north of the famous “Beehive” cluster otherwise known as M44. Having been passed by the Earth, in their respective orbits, Mars begins to lag behind. The consequence is that it will begin to fade in apparent magnitude as the Earth begins to pull away losing about ¾ of a magnitude by the end of the month.
Saturn is working its way ever higher into the late evening sky rising by 9:30 at the beginning of the month and by 7:30 at the end of the month. The rings are still getting narrower and will continue to close for a while before opening again.
Mercury will be visible for the first few days of the month just above the southeastern horizon. It will be best viewed about a half hour before sunrise.
The Moon will be last quarter on the 5th, new on the 13th and 1st quarter on the 21st and full on the 28th.
Looking southeast about a half hour before sunrise the waning crescent Moon will help you find tiny Mercury on the mornings of the 10th, 11th and 12th.
Looking west southwest on the 14th, 15th and 16th about 15 minutes after sunset, the crescent Moon will help you locate Jupiter and Venus. On the 25th, a nearly full gibbous Moon will be keeping company with the red planet Mars.
On Feb. 5, the New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club will host a star party at the Etscorn Campus Observatory beginning at 6 p.m. Special guests for this event will be the students and their families from the Cottonwood Valley Charter School. To reach the Observatory, take Canyon Road past the golf course.
At the four-way stop turn right on Buck Wolfe Drive and follow the signs. The public is invited.

The Alamo boys basketball team defeated Pine Hill 74-64 last week, but the girls team lost. The Alamo basketball teams were scheduled to play at To'Hajiilee Thursday night.

Photo by Nathalie Nance

Lady Warriors Win 2

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

The fourth-ranked Socorro girls basketball team (14-5) is priming its play for Tuesday’s first district game against rival Hot Springs. But the Lady Warriors had some other business to take care of first.
On Jan. 22, Socorro traveled to Albuquerque and beat Sandia Prep 67-29. The Lady Warriors dominated from the start, leading 13-6 after the first quarter and 30-14 at halftime.
“Sandia Prep has no seniors,” Socorro coach Joseph Garcia said. “They’re a relatively young team. We played real well. All the girls got to play and that was good. We had three girls in double figures – Roxanne Silva (27 points), Jaden Jones (11 points) and Kianna Gonzales (10 points).”
Socorro continued its good shooting and defense in the second half, leading 49-24 after three quarters and it held Sandia Prep to one field goal in the final quarter.
“We had good balance in scoring and shot 49 percent from the field,” Garcia said. “Another good thing is that we only had 14 turnovers. But the only bad thing is that we missed 16 free throws. It was another game to get us ready for district.”
Jones got the first double-double of her career, as she also grabbed 10 rebounds. Socorro also had six players score five points or more, a rarity for the Lady Warriors.
On Jan. 25, Socorro played a rare home game and defeated St. Michael’s 56-43. It was only the fourth home game of the season for the Lady Warriors.
Socorro got off to a fast start, leading 12-5 after the first quarter.
“Samantha Sedillo did well and got off to a fast start tonight,” Garcia said. “She had a bunch of steals at the beginning.”
Silva got into foul trouble in the second half, but the rest of the Socorro players picked up the slack, scoring 10 of the 12 points as the Lady Warriors led 24-19 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Socorro extended its lead as Silva scored six points and the Lady Warriors led 44-27.
In the final quarter, the Lady Horsemen resorted to the outside shot and fouling Socorro. St. Michael’s outscored Socorro 15-12 in the quarter but the Lady Warriors were sharp from the free throw line, converting 6 of 8 free throws in the final stanza and 20 of 26 for the game.
Silva led the Lady Warriors with 25 points. Gonzales added nine points and Brittany McDaniel had eight points and was 6 of 6 from the free throw line.
Socorro will travel to Valencia High School on Jan. 29 and to Hot Springs on Feb. 2.

Warriors Scare Top Teams In State But Fall To 6-11 On Year

By Michael Olguin
For the Mountain Mail

As the Socorro boys basketball team winds down the month of January, it finds itself on a four-game losing streak.
Socorro coach Lawrence Baca said the Warriors have some of the top teams in the state from 2A-5A. Last week’s matchups were no different. The Warriors battled top ranked and undefeated 2A Mesilla Valley and second ranked 3A Sandia Prep. Socorro fell to both teams 62-50 and 57-43 respectively.
Even with a 6-11 record, the Warriors are still respected among the other coaches in the state as they are ranked 10th in the latest KOB TV coaches poll.
Socorro will take on the Valencia Jaguars and former Warrior coach Dominic Romero on Friday night in the Warrior dome. The following day, the Warriors will battle I-25 rival Belen Eagles at home. On Feb. 2, Socorro will open up the “second” season as it takes on the Hot Springs Tigers in its first district game.
“Going into these two games, we are starting to play our best basketball and these two games are going to be a good indication that we are going to start to peak at the right time and we will start getting some wins,” Baca said.
Last Thursday, the Warriors looked to give the Son Blazers of Mesilla Valley their first loss of the season. In the first quarter, the Blazers (18-0) showed why they are undefeated, outscoring the Warriors 19-10.
The second quarter was a different story. Socorro began clicked on all cylinders and outscored the Blazers 21-7 to take a 31-26 halftime lead.
“At that time the kids realized that they can play with these guys,” Baca said bout his team leading at halftime. “We felt a little confident and realized we can play with anyone.”
The game remained close throughout the third quarter and the Warriors had a 44-38 lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter. That was before the Blazers caught fire outscoring the Warriors 24-10 in the fourth quarter to take the victory.
“We were a little frustrated because we were in these close games and weren’t coming out with any W’s,” Baca said after the game.
Zach Esquivel led the Warriors with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Jared Marquez followed with 11 points.
The following night, the Sun Devils from Sandia Prep came to town. According to the last KOB TV coaches poll, the Sundevils (11-6) were ranked second behind Hope Christian.
“Those guys looked like a college team didn’t they?” Baca told KMXQ after the game. Those in attendance would agree. Eight of the Sundevils players are listed as 6 feet tall or higher.
The Sundevils’ height and experience was just too much for the young and undersized Warriors. Sandia Prep took full advantage of the mismatches presented to them.
Even though the Warriors trailed 33-21 at halftime, they battled back. They outscored the Sundevils 14-13 in the third quarter to stay in the hunt. But Sandia Prep pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Erik Garcia led all Warriors with 11 points. Esquivel added eight points and seven rebounds.
“I think more and more when we are playing these close games against some of the top teams in the state and we are starting to realize what we need to do as we get closer to district and the state playoffs,” Baca said.

San Antonio Woman Re-Elected To American Farm Bureau Post

Mountain Mail reports

SAN ANTONIO - Margene Harris, a long-time agricultural leader from San Antonio, has been re-elected to the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee at the organization’s 91st annual meeting in Seattle.
Harris has served on the AFBF women’s committee for 18 years and is past chair of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau’s statewide women’s committee. She also served for many years on the New mexico Farm Bureau’s state board of directors in addition to her involvement in the Socorro County Farm and Livestock Bureau.
Harris says the national women’s committee serves a vital function in the structure of the nation’s largest agricultural organization.
“It’s so important for our committee members at all levels to speak out on behalf of Farm Bureau, their operations and agriculture as a whole.
“We’re charged with promoting Farm Bureau at all levels,” Harris said.
The national AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee consists of 10 members including a chair, vice-chair and two representatives from each of the four AFBF national regions.

Residents Show Off Their Resourcefulness

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Luna and surrounding areas just lived through a historical event (as the national news reported it.) It was the most consecutive days of snow in recorded history and Luna itself saw about three and one-half feet. It was absolutely beautiful.
It caught many a little under prepared and off guard. Three days of no electricity and Navopache Electric Co-op working frantically, showed many how resourceful they could be. The crises caught a few relying on neighbors, and knowing they were just ill prepared for the event.
But that’s Luna, there’s always a neighbor you can call and an arm you can lean on.
Now the skies are clear for a moment, the weather man’s predicting more and we’re facing our next challenges of broken pipes in many homes. Again, there is always a neighbor to count on, and an arm to lean on. If only all communities were that way and all neighbors were truly caring for their family first and then had enough to want to share with those in need. It was almost miraculous, Luna had entered the third day without power and Sunday afternoon it was back on.

Carol Laney’s services went on without a hitch and it was a lovely funeral that was attended by many. In fact, standing room only. Many could not make it up to the cemetery for final prayer and dedicatory events because of the snow, but all were able to pay their respects; either at Burnham Mortuary Sunday evening or at the Luna Ward house on Monday.

Old material that has been taken out of circulation at the Luna Ward Library; such as old Church magazines, Primary items and Church conference videos can be picked up at the library and are available for anyone interested until the end of February. Contact Joyce Laney for more information.

Your challenge is to check where three days without power and then clear skies and freezing temperatures left you. Were you fully prepared? Can you see need for improvement? Was your family warm and dry, your shelves adequately filled of the basics. Did your animals have what they needed? Were you bored or did you use the time to reconnect with your family, playing games and working side by side. Now that it’s for the most part behind us; do you have a shopping list to replenish what was used or items you could see you needed for next time. I have lived here 11 years and believe me there will be a next time. Project Noah flyers are available if you will send a self addressed envelope to Kaye Mindar P.O. Box 42 Luna, N.M., 87824.

Quote of the week:
“Life is like a blanket of snow. Be careful how you step on it. Every step will show!”


No January Thaw In Swingle Canyon For Sylvia

By Anne Sullivan

"Leave me alone,” I yelled at Sylvia who was pulling on my pajama leg. “I’m functioning. After all, I did Christmas.”
“Christmas is not done until Christmas is put away,” mumbled Sylvia through the pajama leg.
“It’s still January,” I said, pulling my pajama out of her mouth. “Our Christmas tree is so pretty. I need time to enjoy it. And I also need some down time.”
“Down time is one thing but sitting all day in your chair is OUT time. Look at the clock. It’s almost 10 a.m. The day is half done. You haven’t even had breakfast.”
I gave her a filthy look. “What are you complaining about? You got your breakfast, didn’t you?”
“Yes, both Gordo and I had a very tasty breakfast, thank you, but I can’t stand to see you stagnate this way.”
“Then sit. Heh heh. Get it? If you can’t stand, sit. Heh, heh.”
“I get it,” said Sylvia sitting down hard on my foot to show that she did.
“And, for your information, I’m not stagnating. I’m just catching up on my sleep.”
“Sleep is something you should do at night, not during the shank of the morning, whatever that is,” Sylvia argued.
“Look who’s talking. I notice you do a tremendous amount of sleeping during the day.”
“That’s not sleeping. I admit to enjoying a dog nap now and then during the day. I refuse to call them cat naps,” she continued crossly. “Cats get too much credit for doing nothing.”
“Speaking of cats,” I said, “Gordo must have a hot date tonight. Instead of sleeping, he’s been washing himself for two days. The white parts of him absolutely glow.”
“I wish you’d get him fixed,” Sylvia said. “As a feminist, I can’t stand the way he boasts about his conquests when he deigns to return from his outings.”
“I can’t get him fixed until I can catch him.”
“He’s not as dumb as he seems,” Sylvia observed. “He couldn’t be. I wonder what those lady cats he hangs around with see in him.”
“You have to admit he’s very pretty. Especially when he’s clean.”
“Handsome is as handsome does,” growled Sylvia.
“You’re as grouchy as I am,” I ventured to say.
No sooner had I completed the sentence than the lights glitched off – then on – then off. Like sheep following the bellwether, the furnace, TV and my heated throw all followed. Off. I followed with a few appropriate remarks.
“You shouldn’t talk like that,” Sylvia scolded.
“If you expect to eat again in the near future, you’ll button your lip.”
It was at least four minutes before her lip became unbuttoned. “Isn’t there supposed to be a January thaw?” she asked. “It’s been January forever and it seems like it’s been cold forever and ever.”
“It does seem that way,” I agreed. As I spoke the lights flashed on then off and then they came to rest at on. The furnace rumbled and came on again. My electric throw felt warm once more. I coaxed the TV to a waiting point for its signal before I said, “I don’t think there has to be a January thaw. It might come in February.”
“And then we’ll have mud. If there’s anything I hate worse than cold, it’s mud.” With that declaration Sylvia strode to her indoor bed beneath the TV set and turned around and around and around.
“Before you retire for the afternoon,” I asked her, “would a doggy biscuit cheer you up in any way?”
Sylvia’s eyes brightened. “It might. It just might. We could try. Are you going to bring it to me? I hesitate to disturb my bedtime routine.”
“I will,” I said rising and extricating myself from my heated throw. “I was just on my way to the kitchen to get an oatmeal cookie. That might cheer me up about having to shovel my way out of here before we get the promised January thaw.”

Quemado: Senior Center And Spelling Bee News

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado Senior Center van will be going to Gallup on Wednesday, Feb. 3. The van leaves the center at 8 a.m. Please call the center at 773-4820 to make your reservations. Happy Birthday to all the February birthday folks: Tillie Chavez, Lucille Kozak, Placy Padilla, Harry Shawver, Betty Spencer, Judy Towner and Rose Weaber.

The Quemado schools recently held their spelling bee. Elementary school winners were Diana Hart, Oran Pierson and Samantha Larisch. Junior high winners were Sam Farr, Stefan Beauchamp and Monique Sisneros. Hart, Farr and Beauchamp will compete in the county spelling bee in Reserve next week.

The Reserve Sportsman Club will be having its winter gun show Saturday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 7, at the Catron County Fair Building in Reserve. For information on table rentals and hours contact Stanley Radvillas at 575 533- 6387.

The Quemado district basketball games are well under way. The Boys Varsity, Junior Varsity and Girls Varsity, Junior Varsity Basketball Teams will play Animas at home on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 6, Quemado will play against Reserve at 2 p.m.

Note: Know of anything going on or a special event, please let me know. Good news can't be shared if it is unknown. Call 773-4119 or email at

Hunters Learn Their Cues

By Nathalie Nance
For the Mountain Mail

ALAMO -- Twelve aspiring young hunters got their hunter education earlier this month.
Many of them have already tried hunting a little bit with their families, but in order to get a hunting license, if you are under 18, you have to take the 16-hour hunter education course.
In three sittings, with teacher John Apachito, the students learned how to hunt elk, deer and bear, as well as gun safety and proper hunting etiquette.
After taking a test, they were rewarded with patches to put on their hunting attire, and a combined whistle and compass.

Roger Apachito looked longingly in his textbook at the .22 rifle he would like to get, while cousins Remy Secatero and Lehmer Ganadonegro planned on hunting elk together.
“Now you have a big responsibility” John Apachito reminded them, before letting them out of the classroom, into the woods.

Photo: Some of the 12 newly educated hunters. From top left: Remy Secatero, Roger Apachito, Thomas Apachito, Lehmer Ganadonegro. Front row: Devia Apachito and Angelita Apachito.

Photo by Nathalie Nance

Community Arts For All Ages

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Everyone is an artist when they attend the 14th Annual Community Arts party next Saturday, Feb. 6, at Finley Gym. Arts and crafts, ranging from corn husk dolls to wire art, from painted rocks to corn starch mush, will be demonstrated and created throughout the day.
All the arts projects are run by local volunteers, either professional artists or people who love doing arts and crafts projects that can be created by all members of the family.

The Arts Party was founded in 1996 by Ronna Kalish, Director of the New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series, and former Socorro artist Becky Titus-Taylor.
“The idea is that hands-on arts and crafts workshops are not just for kids, but all ages,” Kalish said in an interview. “It became so well attended we added it to the PAS schedule. We wanted to provide meaningful arts activities that families can learn and do at home together; and to spend quality time together as a community engaged in the arts.”
Titus-Taylor, who has since moved to Jemez Springs, is the artist responsible for the Festival of the Crayons installation each year during Festival of the Cranes.
She and her husband Mark Taylor, participate each year with a center-piece project, always something big and fun.
“I do something different every year. Last year we did big silly faces on a stick,” Titus-Taylor said. “In the beginning we wanted to have the kids make one large thing together, like a show piece. But that became a problem with what to do with the thing afterward – who was going to he the one to take it home.
“Ronna and I started this because we thought that there should be an arts event in town that everybody could take part in; a place where artists could participate and bring in fun things to do,” Titus-Taylor said. “The City of Socorro supported the idea by letting us use Finley Gym. It’s the perfect venue.”
She said the first party was an immediate hit.
“It was well attended right off the bat, and pretty quickly it mushroomed,” Titus-Taylor said.
The first Community Arts Party drew about 600 people, and last year the event was attended by “well over one thousand,” filling the floor of Finley Gym, Kalish said.

This year the projects will be as varied as the artists conducting them:

Paint-A-Tile - Liz Alvarez
Tye Die Bandanas – Nicole Beaudoin/Dancing Rainbows
Whimsical Wire Danglies - David Burleigh
Pottery - Vince Cardaga
Chinese Names –Chinese Assoc. of New Mexico Tech/Chinese Clubs of Socorro High and Sarracino Middle
Candle Dipping - Beth Schmidt Crowder
Flower Fairies – Karyn DeBont
Design-A-Quilt – Fiber Arts Guild of Socorro
Buttons – Mike Fort
Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest - Friends of the Bosque/Lisa Jackson
Sculpture – Sharon Fullingim
Heart Mounds –Interact Club of Socorro High
Woven Heart Pouches –Interact Club of Socorro High
Ojos - Stasia Kerkmans
Circular Weaving - Gerry Klinglesmith
Ribbon Roses - Linda Martinic
Candle Holders - Georgia Raymond
Silly Hats/Mr. Squiggly – Becky Titus-Taylor

Photo by Pat Kolbenschlag. Courtesy of Performing Arts Series

Presidential Chamber Music Returns To Macey

SOCORRO – String trios by Beethoven and Mozart, as well as two trios by modern composer Mark O’Connor, are on the program for the Presidential Chamber Music concert scheduled for Feb. 1 at New Mexico Tech. The concert is on Monday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Macey Center. Thanks to support by Dr. Daniel H. López, president of New Mexico Tech, the concert series is free and open to the public.

The series is part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series.
Before the concert, Tech Club – Club Macey (TCCM) holds a social in Macey from 5 to 7 p.m., with “Lite Bite” appetizers. TCCM is a social club for people 21 and over. There is a $5 cover charge if you are not a member of TCCM.
Willy Sucre, organizer and violist of the chamber music series, is joined by violinist Ray Sonne and cellist James Holland for the trios. Ray Sonne is a longtime member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a prominent music educator in the Pittsburgh area. He is currently retired from the symphony and is on the faculty at the Carnegie Mellon University Preparatory Department. One of his interests is bridging the gap between classically trained violinists and jazz improvisation.
James Holland, who has appeared in the first Presidential Chamber Music concert of the season, is assistant principal cello of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra. He was a longtime cellist and teacher in Charleston, S.C., until his relocation to New Mexico in 2007.
Beethoven’s String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9, No. 3 is one of the last string trios he published, dating from around 1797. Scholars speculate that when he began composing string quartets the next year, he found them more satisfying and did not return to composing trios.
Mark O’Connor, a living American composer, relates that he composed “Appalachia Waltz” in 1993, while sitting in a cabin in Santa Fe.
He was writing a portion of his second concerto, hoping to identify with some of the Native American culture in New Mexico. He recounts that this piece appeared in his head with all of the doublestops and drones, all at once! In 15 minutes it was written. It seemed much too intimate for his concerto, so he tucked it away and introduced it to Yo-Yo Ma a couple of years later. It turned out to be the impetus (and title inspiration) for the two projects they recorded together. It is one of his most liked pieces and he likes to think it is because folk musicians think it's classical music and classical musicians think it's folk music.
The trio will also perform O’Connor’s College Hornpipe.
The concert wraps up with Mozart’s Divermento in E flat Major, KV 563.

Willy Sucre. Courtesy photo