Thursday, March 25, 2010

Locals Finish Memorial Death March

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The 22nd Annual Bataan Memorial Death March Sunday, Mar. 21, at White Sands Missile Range saw two local law enforcement officers taking part - Socorro County Chief Deputy Shorty Vaiza and Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley.
Vaiza, along with Team "NM Justice" ran the marathon through the desert terrain, up hills, around mountains and through a “seemingly endless sandpit” for 26.2 miles.
Team "NM Justice" crossed the finish line with an overall time of 7:23:38 and in seventh place in their division.
“We started this together, we finished this together.” Vaiza said. “Not only was our participation self-fulfilling, but we paid homage to the heroic soldiers that were responsible for the defense of the Islands of Luzon, Corregidor, and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.”
Cearley participated with his family, who walked the 26 miles.
“We’ve been going for the last six years,” Cearley said. “Sarah’s family, the Berg family, too. We all go down and walk the whole 26 miles each year, all to support, and show our respect for those who fought for our country and sacrificed so much.”
He said 5,704 people participated in the memorial, and a total of 15,000 were at the gathering.
“They come from as far away as Brazil, Canada, Chile, all over,” Cearley said.
Other local participants included cadets from Socorro’s Civil Air Patrol, who helped direct traffic and parking.

Pictured: Team "NM Justice" (from left): Daniel Henry, Juvenile Probation Parole Officer; Cesar Polanco, Supervisor, US Federal Probation Office; Shorty Vaiza, Chief Deputy, Socorro County Sheriff's Department; Zachary Gerleve, Adult Probation Parole Officer; and, Hilario J. Bernal, Juvenile Probation Parole Officer.

Photo courtesy of Shorty Vaiza

OBITUARY: Bobby Lee Lesperance

Bobby Lee Lesperance
Jan. 1, 1954-March 17, 2010

Bobby Lee Lesperance, 56, passed away on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in Socorro surrounded by his loving family. He was born January 1, 1954 to Albino and Macedonia (Otero) Lesperance in Albuquerque. He is preceded in death by his father; and his brother, Albino Jr.. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Long Lesperance of the family home in Socorro; his daughters: Bobbi Jo Lesperance and life partner, Sherry Lesperance; Jacalyn Jean Lesperance; and Andrea Jessica Lesperance; all of Socorro; his mother, Macedonia Lesperance of Alamillo, NM; brothers: Charles and Luciano, both of Alamillo; Daniel of Alaska; and Harold of Socorro; sisters: Rosalie Anaya and Carmen Trujillo, both of Socorro; step-grandchildren: Fabian Pacheco, Catrina Melendrez, Mercedes Melendrez and Candice Melendrez. Cremation has taken place and services will be held at a later date. Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM. 87801. (575)835-1530.

OBITUARY: Josephine M. Apache

Josephine M. Apache
April 19, 1920-March 20, 2010

Josephine M. Apache, 89, passed on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at her home in Alamo. She was born April 19, 1920 in Datil to Jose and Marie Monte. She worked as a Nurse's Aide at Socorro General Hospital until retiring. She is preceded in death by her husband, Jim Apache Sr.; her two sons: Albert D. Apache and Jimmy Apache Jr.; and brother, Elijah T. Apache. She is survived by her son, Dick Apache and wife, Jackey of Indiana; daughters: Nan Geiselhofer and husband, Steve; Emily Apache; Margie Apache and husband, Bob; and Ollie Robles and husband, Raynaldo, all of Albuquerque; and Brett Smithwich of Alamo; sister, Frances Apache of Socorro; 19 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren. Services were held on Wednesday at the Alamo Baptist Church with Jonathan Vicente officiating. Burial was at the UFO Cemetery. Pallbearers were Albert T. Apache, Steven Geiselhofer, Stephen Geiselhofer, Raynaldo Robles, Junior Cleveland and Jim Willis. Honorary Pallbearers were Gary Geiselhofer and Samuel Stentshaw. Arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM. 87801. (575)835-1530.

OBITUARY: Angela Montoya Paul

Angela Montoya Paul
Feb. 21, 1929-March 20, 2010

Angela Montoya Paul, 81, passed away on Saturday, March 20, 2010 in Socorro, NM. She was born February 21, 1929 in Polvadera, NM to Matias and Julianita (Chavez) Montoya. She graduated from Socorro High School in 1948 and was a lifetime member of San Miguel Catholic Church. Angela was a local artist and was a member of the Socorro Art League during the 1960's. She is survived by her sons: Christopher Paul and wife, Angela of Riverside, CA; Michael Paul and wife, Christine of Albuquerque; Charles Paul and wife, Debbie of Belen, NM; and Homer Paul and wife, Bridget of Little Rock, AR; daughter, Flora Fenchel and husband, Bruce of Herndon, VA; brother, Ruben Montoya and wife, Corina of Albuquerque; sisters: Sally Shoemaker of Socorro; Marcella Putman of Seattle, WA; and Lilly Morgan and husband, James of San Diego, CA; grandchildren: Tom Fenchel and wife, Kris; Dave Fenchel and wife, Emily; Stephen and Aaron Fenchel; Jillian, Jonathan, Alicia and Matias Paul; Anna Berg and husband, Matthew; Jacob, Brooke and Anna Paul; great grandchildren: Tommy and Cathrine Fenchel; and Kierstin and Aydan Berg. A Rosary will be recited on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the San Lorenzo Catholic Church in Polvadera with the Mass of Resurrection immediately following. Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant. Internment will be in the Polvadera Cemetery. Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM. 87801. (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee
Sept. 6, 1925-March 19,2010

Robert "Bob" E. Lee, 84, passed away on Friday, March 19, 2010 in Belen, NM. He was born September 6, 1925 in Denton, Texas to Charles and Ruth (Chapman) Lee. Bob served in the US Navy during WWII and was a rancher in the Datil area for many years. He is preceded in death by his wife, Anah Grace (Heckman) Lee. He is survived by his sons: Dan Lee and wife, Cyndi of Pie Town; and John Lee of Datil; daughters: Carol Lee of Hondo, Texas; Becky Hansen and husband, Mike of Utopia, Texas; Mary Hudson and husband, Melvin of Quemado; Nancy Hammons of Buchanan Dam, Texas; and Susan Sanders and husband, Buck of Datil; sisters: Betty Jo Cobb of Midland, Texas; and Theresa Glidden of Estes Park, CO; 18 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren; and 1 great great grandchild. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Datil Baptist Church with Rev. John Sirman officiating. Inurnment will be in the Juniper Haven Cemetery in Pie Town. Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM. 87801. (575) 835-1530

Magdalena Marshal's Blotter

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

Mar. 3
An officer was called at 5:30 p.m. to 14 miles north on Highway 169 where a subject was passed out on the roadway. The subject was arrested for being intoxicated and charged in Magdalena Municipal Court.

Mar. 4
An officer stopped a vehicle at 8:30 p.m. at First Street and Kelly Road. During the stop, two female subjects were arrested on outstanding arrest warrants from Socorro Magistrate Court. The driver was charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Mar. 8
An officer stopped a vehicle at 9:20 p.m. for speeding on First Street. The driver was arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license, and on an outstanding arrest warrant from Bernalillo County District Court. During the arrest a controlled substance was found on the subject, and in the vehicle. The vehicle was impounded, and the suspect charged with possession.

Mar. 9
Officers from New Mexico Game and Fish, the Marshal’s office, and volunteer citizens conducted a grid search at 9:30 a.m. for a missing female near mile marker 2 on Highway 169. Several items were located, including a possible murder weapon. The body of a female was found in 1994 at that location. The search was conducted after DNA was submitted to a federal crime lab with assistance from the FBI out of Albuquerque.

Mar. 11
An officer was called at 12:28 p.m. to a rollover accident on Forest Road 354 north of Magdalena. The driver was treated by Magdalena EMS and transported to Socorro General Hospital. The driver was charged with several crimes by New Mexico State Police, which included three felonies and a DWI. Two other juveniles and one adult were injured in the accident and treated at Socorro General Hospital.

Mar. 13
An officer took a criminal fraud report in the amount of $5,000 at about 5 p.m. The officer is attempting to get an arrest warrant for the defendant, who is residing in Albuquerque.

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

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

An officer noticed a vehicle on Interstate 25 with a burned out tail light at 2 a.m., and initiated a traffic stop, but the driver failed to pull over. The vehicle was pursued from the interstate into the city, and finally pulled over on Bullock Avenue. The officer detected an odor of burnt marijuana emitting form the vehicle, and noticed that the driver had red, bloodshot eyes, and had trouble making complete sentences. The driver was placed under arrest, and refused to submit to a blood draw. Next stop: the county jail.

Vehicle 1 was southbound on Box Canyon Road at 4:30 p.m. when it rounded a curve and met vehicle 2. Vehicle 1 struck vehicle 2, causing damage to both vehicles. Vehicle 2 had to be towed form the scene, but vehicle 1 was drivable.

An officer was dispatched at 5 p.m. to Veguita, where the victim reported that the suspect got into an argument with him, and produced a weapon, firing it in his direction. Contact was made after the suspect ran from the officer and entered a residence. He claimed that he did not mean to fire the weapon and that it went off accidently. It was learned that the suspect had a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and transported to the detention center. The weapon was logged into evidence.

Mar. 1
A vehicle was westbound on Bullock Avenue at 7:20 a.m. when another vehicle was exiting a business and failed to yield to traffic. It was struck by the westbound vehicle when it entered the roadway, causing moderate damage to both.

Vehicles 1 and 2 were eastbound on Highway 380 at 9:30 a.m. Vehicle 2 was hauling items in the bed on the truck. One of the items fell off the truck and vehicle 1 ran over the item, causing damage to its undercarriage. Vehicle 2 drove off.

A San Antonio man came to the Sheriff’s Department at 10 a.m., saying that he learned that there was a warrant for his arrest. He then produced an order to quash the warrant.

EDITORIAL: Members can not show apathy toward the SEC

By John Severance

It’s been a week since the Socorro Electric Cooperative unveiled proposed bylaw changes on its web site (
On Saturday, the SEC will hold an informational meeting at Finley Gym for its member-owners to discuss the upcoming resolutions that will be voted on April 17 at the annual meeting at the same facility.
Trustee Donald Wolberg, who attended all the committee meetings and has been an advocate for trying to turn around the SEC trustee image, said the process was pure when it came to the discussion and the wording of the proposed resolutions.
Wolberg insisted there have been no shenanigans or ulterior motives when the committee met to come up with the board-sponsored resolutions. And Wolberg also is well aware that member-owners may have other views besides the status quo and what members in District 3 and District 5 passed.
The process might have been pure and I am all for democracy and giving people choices.
But it does not take much brainpower to realize that the majority of the SEC trustees would like nothing better than to keep business as usual.
The biggest issue that members will vote on will concern the number of trustees on the board. Originally, the two options were to keep the same amount at 11 or a member-sponsored resolution of having five trustees run the co-op. That sounds simple enough. But the board decided to give the members two more options. The other two options would be to have seven trustees or nine trustees.
With two more options, that would give the SEC a better chance of splitting the vote and keeping the status quo.
The board did the same thing with the trustee compensation issue. Originally, the two choices were for no change and the member-sponsored resolution called for a $10,000 limit on trustees and $15,000 for the president. The board added an Option C, which would be a $20,000 limit for trustees and a $25,000 for the president.
But here is the real kicker that indicates to me the majority of the SEC trustees want to keep things the same.
When it comes to the resolution about how the board conducts its business, check out Option A, which is a board-sponsored resolution.
It reads: “First item of business at meetings of the board shall allow members and the press to be present and address the board after which members and the press must leave while the Board conducts its business.”
The member-sponsored resolution, passed in District 3 and District 5, states that this meeting shall be open to member/owners and representatives of the press with timely notice of the meeting advertised in monthly bill mailings and local newspapers. A section of the meeting agenda shall be reserved for member participation during which member/owners may address the Board without prior approval of the board.
When the board unveiled its changes, the committee split the member resolution into two parts on the ballot. So instead of two options on this resolution, there are now three.
There should be plenty of questions to be asked of the trustees at Saturday’s informational meeting. And they will have answers. Whether members like the answers remains to be seen.
But the most important meeting members have to attend is the annual one in April. That is when they can decide how their co-op is run. And it’s important for the members to make informed decisions.
It’s also imperative the members show up and vote because if not enough do, there will not be a quorum and the co-op will keep the status quo.
And if that happens, the members have nobody to blame but themselves.

Si! Hispanic Is Not A Race

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

The 2010 Census, a formal organization of our government, has made it clear that “Hispanic” is not a racial designation. It also made it clear that Hispanics are a “people of interest”. European competition over the Americas is not a dead issue.
According to DNA anthropologists, if you are not African you are a mutation of the African. We are one people, but some of us fell further from the tree.
In 1963, I had to be very tactful telling my Conservative mom I needed to take Sociology 101. I confessed, “yes, Mom, I think my instructor is a liberal.” What I didn’t say, was she was one of the best teachers I ever had. I was introduced to a wonderful world of study, people.
It was an “A” that my Mom didn’t celebrate. I didn’t tell her about the final. Not all tests then were multiple choice, nor were they graded by machines. I had to write a ten page paper on one of three subjects. I knew nothing of two of them and that would mean a lot of research and reading the week before test week. One was made for me, but dare I do it?
“How Could the Extreme Right Take Over the United States?” Never taking orders well, I wrote a short story with historical references. A plus.
Has that happened, am I a Jules Verne? No. Much of what I said has been and is being tried now. The truth is the Extreme Right has not taken over the United States, corporations have.
If you think that the Extreme Right and Corporations are the same thing. Well, I would give you a B. Corporations will never hand the country over to the Extreme Right, Conservatives or Republicans. We probably agree they are not going to hand it over to Liberals, Democrats and Environmentalists.
It seems to me now that my Economics teacher had his finger on the pulse. He was from India and personally believed in socialized economics. When he went into Canada to renew his visa he was denied re-entry to the US. He taught an introduction to all forms of economics and did not try to prove to us his point of view. I guess the problem was he said there were all kinds of economics and Capitalism is just one of many.
In 1963, he pointed out how well Capitalism was working for U.S. He hinted there could be problems down the road. There were a lot of heated student-teacher arguments in that class. Perhaps someone “reported” him.
In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter gave a wonderful but difficult speech. Carter’s speech was about the American people, energy and capitalism. He warned we were seeing ourselves by what we own instead of by what we do. Don’t remember, or too young? You can hear most of his speech in extra features of “Capitalism, a Love Story.”
This film essay is one of Michael Moore’s best and could hold interest for most Americans.
Essays give us something to think about and we don’t have to swallow them whole or even in part. The Opinion Page is a page of essays, newspaper style.
In the 1980s, Unions were brought down. Originally, Unions saved thousands of lives. However, they had become Big Business. If management behaved better then slave owners, I would not be a union supporter. Unfortunately, all that trickles down from management is blood, sweat and tears and it is not theirs.
By the 1990s, you could not expect to get a decent raise for good work and loyal years. Your pension may have been sold off. Upward mobility was taking a strong hit from the corporate caste system. Benefits were eliminated for millions as they became “sub-contractors.” College costs were soaring and the poor were becoming “indentured” if they tried to better themselves with student loans.
We were told to save for retirement ourselves, buy our own health care and consider technical schools in service fields because we weren’t building much. Then refinance our homes for spending cash. If not, get a credit card, ‘cause you are going to buy what other countries sell.
Right jab or a left jab as long as we fight each other the multi-national corporations win.
Michael Moore has a labor and union orientation. His essays are from his experience and research. My essays come from my studies and experiences.
No one’s opinion has more value then yours.

Margaret Wiltshire can be contacted at Her views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

Spring forward, into political twilight

Leftish Drivel
By Paul Krza

This year, spring arrived in Socorro at almost exactly the same time as snowflakes blew in from the north, mixing with blossoms tossed from apricot and plum trees. Strange, but true.
Not many hours later, political weather shifted and something else strange happened -- Congress actually passed healthcare reform!
That’s the way it is, I guess. What you see is not always what you get. Welcome, to our Twilight-Zone world, as Rod Serling said, “a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind ... a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas.”
I’ve noticed numerous examples of this wackiness, both political and otherwise, which I’ve tucked into my mind shadows or stuffed into files. With apologies to Mr. Ripley, here’s my list of what you can believe -- or not.
• I’ll start out with something really outrageous (or maybe not) that I found in the Albuquerque Journal obits, where you learn all sorts of things about New Mexico. The person who died was a former Sandia Labs engineer, where he worked on a small-scale nuke reactor.
But more bizarre was his earlier research, according to the obit, “on how high to drop fake palm trees outfitted with listening devices ... used during the Viet nam War ... along the Ho Chi Minh trail so that we could hear what the North Vietnamese were saying.”
Googling this yielded nothing, but then again, it was probably really secret stuff.
Perhaps this was the forerunner of disguised cell towers.
• But if you think that’s outrageous and weird, how about this:
Back in the day, the guys (and they virtually were all males) who put vinyl on turntables were called “disc jockeys” who chattered about the music. Nobody cared about their political opinions. Both Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are former disc jockeys, but for some strange reason some people nowadays actually take seriously what they have to say.
• More weird stuff, this time on the road. Just off I-25 in Albuquerque, past the Big I, the new Carpenters Training Center is going up, made, appropriately, of wood. No, wait! The main features are ... lots of concrete, and glass!
• Speaking of wood, and trees, well, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In what could be a Ripley’s entry from New Mexico, you may have noticed that the timber management officer for the New Mexico Forestry Office is Nick Smokovich of Socorro. His boss is Butch Blazer, Forestry director.
• OK, let’s get back to politics, with a quiz: What government-funded program attempts to extend its services to everyone, doesn’t make a profit and has an alleged goal of making life better for all involved? That’s easy, the tea-bag right would say -- it’s that communistic, big-brother healthcare reform pushed by Obama.
Wrong. I’m talking about the Socorro Electric Cooperative, our friendly local electric provider that uses federal money, is owned by locals (some call that “socialism”) and goes out of its way to connect everybody. In the January issue of Enchantment, the co-op paper, we learned that “building 90 miles of line to electrify government buildings, a few stock wells and a ranch owned by a Texas family might not make sense to some folks, but that’s the typical role of electric cooperatives.” The Texan, by the way, is a Houston lawyer with a ranch at Beaverhead in Catron County.
A great idea, this rural electrification, proposed and enacted by ... President Franklin Roosevelt, part of the New Deal, then and now reviled by some (see tea bag, above) as a socialist plot. Likewise, extending healthcare to all humans across the country has to be as important as an electric pole in every backyard, don’t you think?
• Speaking of Catron, I noticed two candidates in the Reserve election actually campaigned on bringing “grants” to the town. Nothing wrong with that, except something was missing -- where those grants came from. In Catron County, “federal” is never used when money arrives, only mysteriously-sourced “grants.”
• Back again, to healthcare reform. Rush, Glenn and the boys in the Republican club tried to derail it, but failed. Who won it? A woman: Nancy Pelosi, reviled by the teabag/GOP fringe as an evil character. Turns out she’s a hard-charging, hard-working savvy legislator, described accurately as a “strong speaker.” Once upon a time, it wasn’t strange to give high marks to government folks who got things done.
Oh -- as for our cool weather, consider the “Arctic Oscillation,” which Earthweek Diary in the Journal notes occurred in December and was a “rare disruption of Northern Hemisphere circulation ... (that) dislodged almost all of the frigid air around the Arctic, sending it thousands of miles to the south.”
This, of course, made it difficult to brew tea, thus leading to healthcare reform. Really.

Paul Krza lives in Socorro where he is a writer. He’s never been on the government payroll except when the Army paid him for two years.

New Mexico Roads Rank Fourth In Nation

Mountain Mail reports

New Mexico has ranked fourth in a recent Reader’s Digest publication noting the best roads in America. According to a press release form the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation, the magazine article used data from the Federal Highway Administration to determine rankings based on safety, congestion and conditions of roads and bridges in each state.
Kansas, Wisconsin and Montana preceded New Mexico in the list and Utah rounded out the top five. Transportation Secretary Gary L.J. Girón said his department strives to improve mobility throughout the state.
“Our transportation infrastructure has been recognized continuously over the last several years for its smoothness and performance,” Girón said. “In addition, our roadways have become increasingly safer.”
The Reader’s Digest article added that New Mexico also ranked 19th in the category of the country’s most dangerous roads, including the top 10 deadliest for DWIs and speeding.

Teague Can’t Stand The Heat

From the Publisher
By Gary Jaramillo

You had to be vacationing on Pluto not to have noticed all of the boiling passion and craziness that surrounded the Healthcare question last week, and I have to say it scared me a little.
But now that we know the big stew is just about done and has been turned down to a slow simmer in order for all of the potatoes, carrots, onions and celery to soften and hopefully taste really good, we should all sit down and take a deep breath. Whether you like the Democrats’ recipe for stew or not, have a little taste, then make your decision as to whether it was put together by hamburger jocks or congressmen with the culinary skills of a Julia Child.
The puzzling part was that there were those (like Harry Teague) that stayed away from the stove and his party altogether because he couldn’t stand the heat. Yup. Never even put an apron on, and refused to chop one onion.
Heck, I understand that there were even a few courageous republicans in the kitchen everyday dipping a finger or two into the pot to at least have a taste and see how the stew was coming along. I suppose we’ve found out that Teague is a peanut butter and jelly congressman. He played it safe, and kept all of his action way over by the cupboards and fridge and never had to worry about getting burned.
There must have been peanut butter and jelly everywhere by the time Teague and the 33 other congressman who can’t or refused to cook, were finished making their messy sandwiches on the cool side of the kitchen with Boehner, Cantor, McCain and the like cheering them on.
It’s a little confusing when Mr. Teague explains in his press release that he knew from personal experience how horrible it was to live without health insurance when he was a young man, and that most of what is in the new healthcare bill is really good, but not good enough?
Isn’t a start better than the status quo?
You’d think Mr. Teague would love the idea that 32 million people would not have to live the nightmare he lived as a child? Saying that the bill was great, but not enough, and voting against it, showed a lack of courage and respect to the ideals of the party to which he is a member. At least the Republicans had the courage to say it was bunk from the beginning and every member stuck to their party’s ideals.
In the end, the die has been cast and either the greatest thing since peanut butter and jelly will not be a part of Harry’s legacy, or it could turn out that he could be one of the few people named in the history books that knew when to stay out of the kitchen. In any case, his next campaign cycle will be interesting for sure.
Whether you’re a D, I, R or the New Tea Thingy in this great country, the debate will and must continue because that is what moves our world forward. I hope that the ugliness and violence stops and the adults in this country perpetrating those dumb things finally realize that absolutely nothing gets done if some insist on acting like jackasses while our children sit and watch.

Socorro Off To Good Start

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

Socorro softball coach Gary Apodaca is looking forward to a much better season than last year. Last year, his team ended with a 13-14 record, but still qualified for the state tournament. They lost their only two games in the tournament.
So far this season, the team is off to a 7-4 record. The four losses came from Class 4A and Class 5A schools -- Eastwood El Paso, El Paso Jefferson, Espanola, and Grants.
Wins have come against Morenci High Arizona, Espanola, Estancia twice and Laguna-Acoma, which it has defeated three times.
The Lady Warriors placed third in the Grants/Laguna-Acoma Tournament this past weekend.
This year Apodaca, who is beginning his fifth year as head coach, is sounding much more optimistic.
“This year we're really looking forward to a much better season,” Apodaca said. “We finally have all the freshmen and eighth graders that we had four or five years ago. They are finally seniors so they're well-seasoned and more experienced. It's starting to show on the field so we're very happy with that.
“This year, we have Amberli Benavidez catching. We have Maureen Trujillo as our mainstay for pitching. Courtney Edmister is at first base. Vanessa Jojola is at second base. Gina Rico is at shortstop. Kristen Gonzales is at third base.”
“In the outfield, we have Brittany McDaniel who just came out a week ago because of basketball. Myra Acosta who will also be backing up at third base. Chantilly Gallegos, who will also be our backup pitcher, will play centerfield. Danielle Valadez will be our backup catcher, who stepped in quite well at the tournament this weekend. Amber Bennett will be our starting right fielder.”
“Ashley Pyke is an up and coming player and will be playing some at third base and outfield.”
Coach Rick Trujillo assists with the team and has been with the program for five years. His daughter and former four-year letterman with Apodaca, Natasha Trujillo, also assists for the first time this year.
Apodaca said, “Hopefully, we can continue our ways in winning and doing well.”

Pictured: The Socorro softball team. Front row (left to right): Savannah Padilla, Natiele Paz, Vanessa Jojola, Maria Alderete, Damianna Contreras. Middle row: Tasha Trujillo, Kyre Delcarlo, Maureen Trujillo, Kristen Gonzales, Amber Bennett, Chantilly Gallegos, Aston Monette, Steffany Sandoval. Back row: Coach Rick Trujillo, Jocelyn Carmona, Ashley Pyke, Courtney Edminster, Gina, Rice, Amberli Benavidez, Myra Acosta, Brittany McDaniel and Coach Gary Apodaca. Missing: Bryn Botko, Danielle Veladez.

Photo by John Severance

Lady Warriors Top Estancia

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

The Lady Warriors Softball Team added another win to their record as they hosted and defeated the Class 2A Estancia Bears 15-5.
This was the second win against Estancia in the last week. It was also Socorro's highest scoring game this season.
“ I think we started off kind of slow,” Apodaca said. “We warmed the bats pretty much in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. We hit the ball very good today. We did some good base running. Once our defense warmed up, we did very well. I was proud of the team.”

Socorro did start off slow, falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning.
Socorro quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Courtney Edmister hit a double to right center field scoring Kristen Gonzales who had walked. Brittney McDaniel also hit a double to center field and Edmister scored the tying run. Gina Rico singled down the right field line to bring in McDaniel and give her team a 3-2 lead.
Estancia tied the game in the third inning. But the bottom of this inning proved to be Socorro's big inning. McDaniel opened the inning with a standup triple to center field. She later scored on a wild pitch.
The Lady Warriors loaded up the bases and Liann Carrillo scored on a wild pitch. Pitcher Maureen Trujillo helped her cause by hitting a sharp single to center field to bring in two more runs.
With two outs in the third inning, Gonzales hit a triple and scored Vanessa Jojola from second base. Gonzales scored on a wild pitch for the last run of the inning. This gave Socorro a 9-3 cushion.
Trujillo allowed six hits and finished with nine strikeouts.
“I was pleased with Maureen,” Apodaca said. She pitched well and threw a good game.”
Socorro will be playing a double header at home Thursday against Laguna starting at 3 p.m.

Pictured: Maureen Trujillo works in the first inning for Socorro against Estancia.

Photo by John Severance

Baseball Team Finishes Third At Thoreau

By John Severance

SOCORRO – For the Socorro baseball team, last week’s Thoreau Hawk Invitational had its ups and downs.
The Warriors opened with a 6-3 victory against Miyamura, riding the pitching of Michael Chavez, who gave up three runs in the fifth inning.
“He threw incredibly well,” Socorro coach Alan Edmonson said. “It was our best defensive performance of the season and we did not have any errors. Justus Jaramillo made some great plays at third pase. He made two diving stoops and was able to get the putouts at first base.”
The downer for the Warriors, though, was that starter Kenneth DeCosta pulled his hamstrong and “I am not sure if he will be ready for Wednesday (at home against Espanola Valley or Friday (at home against Estancia).
The Warriors advanced to play Grants Friday and Edmonson said, “it was one of the ugliest baseball games I have ever been a part of.”
Socorro left 13 runners on base and still lost despite getting a one-hitter from pitcher Charlie Savedra.
“Charlie walked the bases loaded in the first inning and then they hit a ball down the first base line and we committed two errors on the play and three runs scored,” Edmonson said.
The Socorro coach said the Warriors got the leadoff man on for three straight innings and they were not able to advance them.
“Losing games is never a good thing,” Edmonson said of his 6-2 Warriors. “And I am not pleased we have lost two games. I can handle the Robertson loss but losing to Grants makes me sick to my stomach.”

Golf Team Second In Own Tourney

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

SOCORRO -- The Socorro boys golf team is excited and eager to show off their golfing skills this season.
“We have very high expectations for our boys golf team this year,” Socorro coach Russ Moore said.
The Warriors opened the season with a first-place showing at the Belen Invitational on March 8, but they did not qualify for a leg for state.
“I believe we're in the top four teams in the state,” Moore said. “The teams to beat are Lovington and St. Michael's They both tied for the team title and St. Michael's won in the playoff last year for the state title. Hope Christian School rose to the top last year and actually came out third.”
In Belen last week, despite playing in poor weather, the team won the tournament.
“But we weren't quite as successful as we wanted to be,” Moore said. “We haven't started our goal of picking up legs for the state tournament. We did play reasonably well, but not as good as we like.”
“We have a very competitive golf team led by a good group of seniors. Our leading senior is Ryan Romero who has been on the team for five years. He was on the state championship team in 2006. We will have senior Randall Romero who has been affiliated with the team for the last three years earning varsity letters. Joe Carilli, Eric Mitchusson, and Willie Lucero are the other seniors who will help lead our team.”
“Depth doesn't stop there. I expect big things out of our 9th grader Willie Schaffer. He played as an eighth grader last year and earned his varsity letter. He will probably be challenging Ryan Romero for that number one spot. Willie has done a great job and worked hard on his game the last couple of years. He's improved tremendously. In fact, Willie will be our number one man going down to T or C. He won our last qualifier.”
“We have a good group of juniors too. We have Nathan Vega and Zane Lam. We expect big things from Zane this year. Zane qualified for the tournament in T or C, so he has earned his varsity letter this year. We're real proud of Zane for getting into the varsity this year.”
Robert Smith and Raymond Chavez are the sophomores on the team.
Socorro also traveled to Hot Springs on March 23rd for the Hot Springs Invitational. The team outshot Cobre and Hot Springs for first place, but again did not qualify for a leg for state.
Moore said, “We need to work harder on our short game, putting and chipping.”

Pictured: The Socorro boys golf team. Front row left to right: Dmitri Valles, Tyler Lam, Zane Lam, Randall Romero, John Carilli, Ray Chavez, Bubba Anaya, Eric Mitchusson, Head Coach Russ Moore. Back row: Assistant Coach Miguel Griego, Nathan Vega, Robert Smith, Willie Lucero, Ryan Romero, Joe Carilli, Raul Contreras, Jonathan Hade, Willie Schaffer, Bryan Melanson, Assistant Coach Dennis Walsh. Not pictured: Will Benson, Alq Fuierer, and Tye Trujillo.

Photo by John Severance

Lady Warriors Keep Rolling

By John Severance

The Socorro girls golf team shot a 364, easily winning by 27 strokes at the Bernalillo Invitational Monday at the Santa Ana Couse and earning its second leg at state.
The Lady Warriors took the top three spots individually as Kristen Cline was the medalist, shooting an 80. Shania Berger was second with an 83 and Brittani Webb was third at 84. Theresa Chavez rounded out the team score with a 117.
“Pin placements and speed of the greens were very tough,” Socorro coach Margaret Stanley said. “The top three girls hit the ball well. We will be working on the short game the rest of the week getting ready for the Seery Tourney on Monday. Each of the top three girls earned another individual leg for state.”
Stanley also explained the state qualifying system.
“In our state qualifying system, teams have to earn three qualifying scores during the season,” Stanley said. “This means that a target score is set at every tournament and a team has to meet it or beat it. A team can also qualify for state by being the district champ. Individuals can also earn legs by meeting or beating the individual score at a tourney. They also have to earn three legs to go to state.”
The Seery Tournament will be held Monday at the New Mexico Tech Course. Teams competing in the tournament include St. Michael’s, Robertson, Ruidoso, Bosque, Valencia, Tohajiilee, and Belen.

VLA To Hold Open House

By John Larson

The Very Large Array, 20 miles west of Magdalena, will hold its semi-annual open house Saturday, Apr. 3, coinciding with the Trinity Site open house.
The array in currently in the “D” configuration, which will provide for the best photographic opportunities, said Dave Finley, VLA Public Information Officer.
“The telescopes will all be within one kilometer of each other; the tightest array,” Finley said.
“Our tour guides will be able to answer questions about what is going on at the VLA these days, and the status of the Expanded Very large Array, a project that was begun about two years ago.”
The EVLA project was begun two years ago “to take the existing instrument and make it 10 times better.
“People will be able to get a look at the installation and get answers to any questions they may have,” Finley said. “My hope is that winter will loosen its vicious grip and well have a decent day out there.”
“The VLA open house coincides with the Trinity Site open house.
“Trinity in the morning and the Very Large Array in the afternoon makes for a great day of science tourism,” Finley said.

Pictured: A group of visitors are dwarfed by one of the 27 radiotelescopes at the Very Large Array.

Photo by John Larson

Trinity SiteTo Hold Open House

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Although American history books state that the first atomic bomb was tested at Alamogordo, longtime residents of Socorro County know differently. The Trinity Site was practically in their own backyard.
Many remember the flash and noise that morning, and others remember Robert Oppenheimer sitting with Brig. General Leslie Groves having a beer at the Owl Bar in San Antonio.
The site of the first atomic bomb explosion, known as the Trinity Site, will be open to the general public Saturday, Apr. 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The open house includes the site of the blast - ground zero - and the Dave MacDonald ranch house, two miles to the south, where physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer oversaw the assembly of what was referred to as the “gadget,” or the “device.”
Whether the location of the site of the first atomic bomb explosion is a matter of pride or embarrassment to county residents, no one can deny its historical significance.
Many locals remember that Monday morning when a light brighter than the sun flooded the area.
First State Bank President Holm Bursum III told the Mountain Mail he was staying on the family’s ranch in the summer of 1945.
The 10 year-old Holm may have been the closest civilian to the blast – only 16 miles – on the morning of July 16.
“Highway 380 cuts through the center of our old ranch,” Bursum said. “The military had taken over the south portion – one half of the ranch - from 380 down to three miles north of what is now the Trinity Site. In fact, 99 ranchers were displaced. The military said the ranches would be returned three years after the end of the war. They never were.”
Bursum said he actually spent his first eight years on the ranch, and spent most summers there throughout his youth.

“We lived at the old stagecoach stop for the Ozanne Stage Line,” Bursum said. “In the old days a stage coach from Carthage came through there on its route to San Antonio to meet the train.”
“That summer I was staying in an adobe building, four miles east of Bingham and 16 miles north-northeast of the shot,” he said. “The army had blocked part off the highway (Highway 380), and there was a military presence in San Antonio. We later learned they were there to evacuate Socorro if the radioactive cloud blew over it.”
The test was scheduled for midnight, but because of a big thunderstorm, was rescheduled for just before sun up.
At 16 miles away the detonation at 5:30 a.m. shook the building in which Bursum was sleeping.
“I slept in a top bunk in a bunkbed against the south wall of the adobe place that morning, and it woke me up,” he said. “It shook the house pretty good and rattled all the cans, and it was bright as morning.
“For a minute I thought the sun was coming up in the south,” he said. “We had no idea what it was. It was announced later that an ammunition dump had blown up.
“On a ranch 10 miles east of us there was a kid who visited us that summer to go horseback riding, things like that,” Bursum said. “He was outside the house in his yard at the time of the blast. He said ‘I just glowed in the dark’.
Bursum said all the cattle that were within range of the explosion “were turned white on one side.”
“There was one sheepherder whose hair was turned white,” he said. “Another rancher, Mac Smith, had a black cat who was also white on one side. He sold it to a tourist for five dollars.”
He said that a few years later he was able to find ground zero with some friends.
“When the army left, all the ranches were abandoned. It was empty ranchland,” Bursum said. “In the early 1950’s, two or three of us rode our horses down to the Trinity Site. This was before it was fenced off. There was a big circle of green sand, somewhere around 50 to 70 yards in diameter. We walked all over it. It didn’t seem to cause us any health problems.”
Ben Moffett, retired chief of public affairs for the Rocky Mountain Region of the National Park Service, was a boy living in San Antonio at the time.
"I may be the only person who slept through the blast, but I remember it vividly because my parents (John B. and Regina Moffett) ran from the kitchen where I was asleep and woke me up to see if I was safe,” Moffett said. “I was a month short of six years old, but I remember the panic in their eyes, something I had never seen before. Later in the day we went to Socorro to peddle vegetables house to house and it was all anyone could talk about.”
In 2005 a group of San Antonio natives gathered for a discussion on their experiences at New Mexico Tech’s Skeen Library.
The talk was organized by San Antonio native Ricardo Padilla Reyas.
Lucille Catherine Miera told the audience she remembered military men in San Antonio. “There were other men, too,” she said. “I met many of them, and was told later that Oppenheimer was there. I may have met him, but I was only 13 at the time, so I'm not sure.”
She said the men were gone during the day, and came back at night. “No one said where they worked other than they were just working on a project,” she said.
Miera remembered overhearing some of the GI's talking on the telephone. “They said they were talking to their girlfriends. 'Oh, I've got to call Mary Ann,' they would say,” she said. “But the things they were saying didn't sound like it. They were saying things like how many of this or that, and what are the times, something you wouldn't expect someone to talking to their girlfriend about.
“Then they would say I've got to call my other girlfriend, so-and-so,” Miera recalled. “We figured they using some kind of code. Or they had lots of girlfriends.”
She said her grandfather had rented out cabins for the servicemen and government people, and there were also trailers and army tents in the vicinity.
“Friday night was always movie night at the recreation area, and all the soldiers were there like usual, eating popcorn,” she said. “Saturday was normal, but Sunday was quiet.”
“We had a flashlight, and my grandmother would sometimes wake me up by shining it in my face,” she said. “That Monday morning I woke up because of a bright light, and I said, 'Turn it off, Grandma,' but she wasn't there and there was no flashlight. The whole room was lit up. I didn't know what was happening.”
She said her grandmother came into the room and told her to stay inside. “But I went outside to see anyway,” she said. “Everything was real bright, like a halogen lamp. The little trailers and tents were all gone.”
Juana Gonzales Odeb remembered waking up at 5:30 that morning. “There were no lights, no phone, no nothing,” she said. “It was already getting to be daylight. You could see it. A big mushroom cloud.”
“I remember thinking we were being bombed by the Japanese,” she said.
Cecelia Padilla Woodward said she was playing in her yard with her sisters when the bomb exploded. “I remember we were playing outside,” she said.
She remembers the farm animals being sick afterward. “There was a kind of mucus coming out of their beaks,” she said. “Some of the cows lost their hair.”
Ana Lee Padilla Montoya said her husband, Atreraclio Montoya, worked at the trinity site on the tower that held the bomb.
“They never told him what it was for,” she said.
About 200 local workmen helped construct the tower, a fact which hasn't been made known to the general public. “But, all you see in the old photographs are military workmen,” he said. “They kept the locals out of sight when pictures were being taken.”
Ana Lee said after the test her husband went to work for the Bureau of Land Reclamation. “He was never told to keep secret about his job,” she said. “He just started looking for a new job.”
What she remembers that morning was seeing the cloud. “We saw the mushroom cloud and all that red light,” she said.
After the blast she said some of her sisters had cysts and other health problems, and she had three miscarriages. “We didn't find out the radiation dangers until after the war,” she said. “They should have notified us about the risks.”
Declassified documents have revealed that the military knew about many of the dangers of fallout to the local population.
“The military was apparently afraid that any request for residents to move would give away the secret nature of the project,” Reyas said. “Although they knew about the risks of radiation, they felt it wouldn't be high.” He said subsequent documents state that future tests should be held 150 miles from any populated areas. “That's why they moved above ground testing to Nevada,” he said. “This indicates they knew the radiation was more dangerous.”
Reyas said the first choice for testing the WMD was California. “But since General George Patton did his tank training there, Oppenheimer would not consider it,” he said. “He hated Patton personally, and didn't want to have to deal with him.”
Visitors are allowed to enter and exit White Sands Missile Range’s Stallion Gate off Highway 380 unescorted during the open house, although identification is required to enter.
During the free open house visitors can personally inspect ground zero where the July 16, 1945, 20 kiloton explosion occurred, and take a shuttle bus to the MacDonald ranch compound where the bomb was assembled.
The Trinity Site is open to the public only two days each year; on the first Saturday of April and October. The Stallion Gate turnoff is 12 miles west of San Antonio.

Pictured: The Ozzane Stage Coach stop

Photo courtesy of Holm Bursum III.

Sylvia Wants The Impossible And Doesn’t Get It

By Anne Sullvan

“Dummy,” said Sylvia.
“I know,” I said, “I sent the wrong column to the paper last week.”
“How could you?” she scolded. “Just when everyone wanted to find out if and how I got back from Shanghai.”
“My fingers must have slipped when I attached it.”
“You didn’t check?!”
“I guess not. I was tired and frazzled.”
“No excuse. Are you going to send the China column this week?”
“No, I can’t. I have to send another one but I will next week, I promise.”
* * * *
“Please,” said Sylvia, “I really really need it.”
“I can’t imagine why,” I countered.
Sylvia and I were in the process of straightening and cleaning the front porch and the going was slow.
“Everyone else has one,” she wheedled.
“I don’t.” I stood firm.
“You’re probably the only person in the whole wide world who doesn’t have one, and that’s all the more reason for me to have one,” she declared.
“How so? I don’t fathom your reasoning.”
“I need it. I really need it.”
“Why? You never talk on the telephone. You don’t have anyone to talk to. And you don’t even know how to dial.”
“I could get speed dial. I need it. I need it to call 911.”
“But why do you need to call 911?”
“Suppose you fall down -- it could happen, you know, you’re not getting any younger -- and break a leg. What am I supposed to do then? I don’t know how to set your leg. I’d have to get an ambulance here.”
“It’s a nice thought but I’m afraid it won’t work.”
“It would if I had a cellphone.”
“No, it wouldn’t. The problem is that I’m the only human who understands you and I’m out of combat with a broken leg.”
“I don’t know why you’re the only person who understands me.”
“Perhaps it’s because I’m YOUR person.”
Sylvia was not about to give up. “Maybe we could make a recording that says, ‘Send ambulance to Swingle Canyon.’”
“Maybe I’ll just be very careful and we won’t need an ambulance.”
“But I still want my cellphone.” Sylvia dug in all four heels. “I want one that gives me the news, the movie reviews and tells me what restaurants are in my neighborhood.”
“I could tell you that: the Eagle Guest Ranch and Mary Mac’s.”
“It’s not the same.” Sylvia began to sulk and from her appearance it was a prelude to a full-scale melt-down. She announced, “I’m going to take a nap now because I never get anything I want.”
Without a backward glance, she went into her house. If there had been a door, she would have slammed it.
I was left to finish tidying the porch by myself. When the task was done and I went inside to check my email she was snoring away.
I returned to the porch an hour later. Sylvia had ceased snoring and only emitted little puffs. I knocked over a broom which woke her as well as reminding me to sweep. She emerged from her house slowly, shook herself and stood defiantly in front of me.
“Sylvia,” I said. “I have some very sad news for you.”
“What? I suppose I’m not going to get my cellphone.”
“You’re not but that’s not it. It’s something worse.”
“I just heard that Jacky Barrington died.”
“Aunt Jacky?” Sylvia’s lip trembled when she spoke, “Aunt Jacky who gave me my start in the newspaper business?”
I nodded.
Tears dripped down Sylvia’s face making rivulets in the dirt almost as deep as the current ruts in my road. “Jacky published the very first thing I ever wrote when I was just a puppy, my first Christmas card from Swingle Canyon,” she said. ”She encouraged me and gave me the courage to write. She was my mentor.”
“Mine, too,” I said. “Jacky was my introduction to the newspaper world. She published and paid me for all sorts of weird articles I wrote – about UFOs, the love lives of my animals, old settlers. She even put up with my refusal to enter the computer age. I was so sorry when health problems forced her to leave Magdalena.”
“We’ll really miss her, won’t we?” said Sylvia, sniffing.
“That we surely will.”

Easter Bunny At Datil Library

Mountain Mail Reports

Datil's Baldwin Cabin Public Library will hold its 11th Annual Greatest Easter Egg Hunt Ever on Saturday, Apr. 3 at 1 p.m. at the library, rain, snow or shine. Please dress your children appropriately for any or all of the above. The library will provide bags to hold the eggs. The reading of Easter books and a snack are also on the agenda.
Everyone is invited.
In other library news, due to several spectacular book donations in the past year, we now have an excellent collection of Southwest books, new and old, fiction and non-fiction, biography, history, art, gardening. You name it and it’s in the front room just waiting for you to take it out.
An adult program on organic gardening will be held Friday, Apr. 9 at 1 p.m.
The library is regularly open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Quemado Community Choir To Perform Easter Program on Sunday

Quemado News

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado Community Choir Easter Program will perform Sunday, Mar. 28 at the First Baptist Church. The musical “Rise Again” will start at 6:30 p.m. It will be sung by a choir made up of folks from the the various local churches and the Quemado area. The music is lively and promises to be an evening for the family to enjoy. Everyone is welcome. There will be refreshments to follow.
At the Quemado Senior Center, March Birthdays go out to Robert Orano and Tommy Turner. There is a correction on the date for the All You can Eat sausage gravy, biscuits and eggs. It is Saturday, Mar. 27 from 7 a.m to 11 a.m. Exercise class on Tuesday and Friday at 1 p.m.; Movie with popcorn will be shown on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.; Quilting and Bingo on Thursday. Lunch for the week will be Monday – fried chicken thighs, Tuesday – pork butt roast, Wednesday –steak smothered in mushroom gravy, Thursday and Friday will be announced. Phone at 773-4820 to make your reservations.
The Quemado School will host a track meet on Thursday, Apr. 1 against Hot Springs and Saturday, Apr. 3 the Eagles will be at the Silver City Invitational Track Meet. Good Luck to Dana Farr who will be going to the State Science Fair on April 4.
The Western New Mexico Veterans Group We will soon start selling tickets for their Spring Raffle in support of the Scholarship Fund and other WNMVG projects and programs. Donations for tickets will be $5 each or five for $20. Prizes will include a 13 foot Radison fiberglass canoe, "custom crafted" tricolor eagle and turquoise pin, hematite bolo, acrylic painting and more. Contact a member of the Executive Committee to buy tickets; Commander Rick Sharp 733-4350, Doug Miller 773-4512, Vic Wiertsema 772-2927, Harry Shawver 773-4693 or Ernie Leschner 773-4119. The Raffle Drawing will be held during the WNMVG General Meeting on May 20, 2010.
The Quemado Ranger District has asked that if you are planning to burn within/near the forest, or around Quemado area, that you contact the Ranger District before you start. Provide the information on when you will be burning, the location of the burn and the contact person. This will assist them with informing the public telephone calls and whether the information was received at the Ranger District. The telephone number to the Quemado Ranger District is (575) 773-4678.
Know of anything going on or a special event in a family or school, please let me know. Call 773-4119 or email at

Youths Catch Plenty At Derby

Mountain Mail reports
More than 150 youths took part in the Socorro Community Fishing Derby Saturday at Escondida Lake, Chamber of Commerce Terry Tadano said.
The top three finishers in the 3-7 age group were Adam Lopez, Sean Benevidez and Christopher Lucero. Anastasia Benevidez caught the biggest fish.
The top three finishers in the 8-11 age group were Antony Silva, Daniel Chavez Jr., and Clinton Wellborn. Antonio Gonzalez caught the biggest fish. The top three placers in the 12 and over age group were Brice Rosales, Samantha Maldonado and J.W. Sanchez. Sean Sanders caught the biggest fish.
The grand prize went to Norman Lanz, 11, who won a bicycle in a raffle. The bicycle was donated by Ernestine and Ernest Silva.
The New Mexico Game and Fish stocked rainbow trout on the March 18.
Socorro Valley Bass Club member George Lucero, a volunteer, was in charge of weighing all the fish. Other volunteers included Al Greenwood, Leroy and Phillip Anaya , Lewis Auerbach, Gloria Anaya, Lori Tadano, and Van and Barbara Romero.
“Despite the cool weather, the derby was a great success,” Tadano said.
“There were 161 registered youth anglers and with their parents, uncles, aunts, Grandpa and Grandmas, and friends. There were over 500 people at the lake. The community was so giving and generous with the donations”

Pictured: George Lucero weighs one of the fish brought in at the Derby.

Courtesy photo

Farr’s Oral History Comes With Pictures

Mountain Mail reports

In this, the last segment of the Dave Farr ranching oral history, Farr describes some of the pictures in the family’s photo album.
“These were taken in the early '50's, a lot of 'em,” Farr said. “And you've heard of Harvey Caplin? He was a professional photographer, and he come out, got on a horse, and went with us three or four days and took a lot of good pictures.”
Farr then explained why the quality of the photographs were less than optimum.
“And it was at the beginning of color film. The only place you could get it developed was New York City. And so Karen and I went by and picked out all the good pictures,” he said. “Harvey shipped 'em to New York to be duplicated, and they were all lost in the mail. So, there went all our good pictures and then we had to go back and pick out these second rate ones. Now I guess you can get color film developed anywhere.”

This is the corner, it was a north east corner. Big building. Did a lot of business with the ranchers. Mercantile, Groceries....this is still standing, I believe.

My mother's family owned that hotel and she worked there as the waitress and making up beds and everything. And I think I've told Mark that we'd go to Magdalena and rent a room and my mother would be there, demanding “no rooms over the saloon.” [laughing] Because she'd seen too many pistol shots through the roof of their saloon. And I don’t think it’s of any importance, see they were all German, and the hotel was named Swastika. And then WW II, or WW I started, and they changed the name real quick. Well that’s the two names it had. And they all spoke German among the family at home. So that was the reason they originally used that name, before it was a bad thing, which it really was during the world wars. And you know the Indians used the swastika on their blankets but it was usually made backwards from the way the Germans printed it. My mother and father were married in 1923, and so she was part of the family that run the hotel, so she worked there, ....and then over at the old bank.

Isn't this right near the new gas station?
Well, I'll have to look when I go by. I haven't paid any attention. It's on that south side of the main highway, and it would either…that new gas station would be on down west, or right across the street, you the east. It's in that location.
On the back they say July 1937. They're stamped. So that's when the film was processed.
That building was standing and in use, until not too many years ago.
And it burned?
I think so. Roy Vinyard had a big manufacturing plant in there. Do you 'member Roy? Roy drove the truck, and then he hired a lot of people and they just made, halters, you know out of nylon, rayon, for horses and shipped them all over the world. Made 'em right in that building.
It just…the only connection is that building, that's the last time it was in use.

Can you draw your brands on a piece of paper?
That's on the left hip, and left shoulder. And just in recent years, due to cross breedin'. But those are the main two. (circled)
Were they used according to family member, or are they from different time periods?
No, this is a company brand. I changed to this, 'cause little less burnin'. This we adopted for cross breeds – to keep the blood pure. And then we changed to this to meet requirements of the packers....'cause they don't want brands on the part of the hide that makes choice leather.
Oh, okay. And then, and what about this one?
That's just an old brand, I can remember seein’ one cow with that on, when I was little. Too big, too much burnin', so they quit it. They're supposed to pay ya more for a, hide without brand, you know. You're allowed to draw down on the thigh, and we sell cattle direct to the packer. And I think one time we got a little bonus for going to all that work, for gettin' that different brand. Then, I forgot to add one brand that was my mother’s brand. I don’t know if you want it or not. We sold the brand. It was very simple. It was on the left neck. It was a bar, and back toward the animal’s tail was a slash running from the upper right down to the lower left. A bar slash.