Friday, October 1, 2010

Iceman Comes To Life At Senior Center

By Anne Sullivan

A record crowd of 49 came to the Quemado Senior Center on Friday, Sept. 17 to see Petr Jandacek in The Iceman Talketh. The performance was presented by Northern Catron County’s Roadrunner Arts Council under the auspices of the New Mexico Humanities Council and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
Costumed in a warm furry outfit (made by his mother-in-law), Jandacek told how he - as the Otzi Man - died 5,300 years ago in the Otzial Alps between Austria and Italy, and was discovered frozen in a glacier in 1991.
A coppersmith by trade, the Otzi Man was found with tools, a backpack, two birchbark buckets, a quiver with 13 arrows, a flint knife, some sloe plums and even a poisonous mushroom he used as an antibiotic to rid himself of parasites.
Jandacek had replicas of everything found with the Otzi Man and he explained their use to the audience as well as demonstrating how he lit a fire, used thongs for a calendar and made his own shoes. A nurse from the audience helped demonstrate how to remove an arrow.
Jandacek also told of his birth in Czechoslovakia near where the Otzi Man was found and his adventurous journey to the United States and Chicago at the age of nine. Everyone, including Mr.and Mrs. Jandacek, enjoyed the splendid lasagna and ice cream sundae dinner served by the Senior Center.

October Skies Bring Comet Sighting and More

By Jon Spargo
New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club

This month another comet will work its way, west to east, across the northern sky. Comet Hartley 2 (periodic comet 103P) will require binoculars to be seen. On October 1st it will be found passing 1.5 degrees south of Alpha Cassiopeia. On the 9th it will pass just south of the famous double star cluster in Perseus. On the 19th it passes just south of the bright star Capella. For November and December maps go to:
Remember the Deep Impact spacecraft that hit comet Temple 1 in 2005? Well, the main part of the spacecraft is still functioning and NASA has redirected it to fly by Hartley 2 on November 4 and take pictures of the comet’s nucleus. You can use the same link as above to check on the progress of that mission.
Venus has entered its crescent phase and at magnitude -4.8 is a bright as it will get. Soon to disappear from the evening sky it will be a great object to view through binoculars as it approaches the western horizon early in the evening.
Mars will also disappear into the glow of sunset by the end of the month. Look for it a few degrees above Venus. At magnitude +1.5 binoculars will be a must.
Jupiter will continue to dominate the night sky with pale blue Uranus lurking nearby. For most of the month Uranus will be two to three degrees west of Jupiter. Binoculars or a small telescope should easily reveal the small blue ball of the 7th planet.
Saturn makes its appearance again in the pre dawn sky. By the middle of the month it will have climbed high enough to be easily visible in the morning sky about an hour before sunrise. As an added bonus, since Saturn is now on the far side of the Earth’s orbit, it’s beautiful rings will now be opening up to give us a great view.
The Moon will be new on the 7th, 1st quarter on the 14th, full on the 22nd and last quarter on the 30th. The waning crescent Moon can be found near the eastern horizon on the 4th, 5th and 6th, with tiny brilliant Mercury just peeking above the horizon about a half hour before sunrise. Looking to the southwest on the 9th, the new crescent Moon will be found near the horizon, bracketed by Mars just above and Venus just below. Binoculars may be needed to see this trio as it happens about 20 minutes after sunset and just before Venus sets.
Looking east-southeast on the 19th the Moon will be found about 6 degrees above Jupiter. From the 24th through the 27th, the Moon works its way past the Pleiades and Hyades (Taurus) clusters. On the 25th it will be just below and very near to the Pleiades.
Finally, I would like to remind everybody about the upcoming Enchanted Skies Star Party. It will be held here in Socorro from October 6th through the 9th. There is an exciting line up of events this year which you can learn more about by visiting
Clear Skies!

EDITORIAL: Crows Are Back!  

Just Thinking out Loud

By Gary Jaramillo

Every year’ bout this time there are these really neat signs that nature begins to push our way each day, like the cooler mornings, crisper evening football games and gorgeous perfect weather days that say Summer will soon be fast asleep and dreaming of the next seasons bright sunshine.  We see the slow pace of ants, crickets, spiders, wasps and other crawly thingies that begin to disappear from sight altogether ‘til springtime.
At my home, I know it’s time for a bit of Potato soup and crackers and fireplace action when my annual fly in guests loudly announce their arrival in the big lot that surrounds my home.  The average winter guests stand about 1 ½ feet high and weigh in at about 10 pounds.  The king crows can weigh in at as much as 15 pounds.  These boys get really big and fat.  They come to my house each year to harvest our walnuts and pecans and then make our garden area their roost for the whole winters.  Yes, our Annual Murder of Crows are a lot of fun to have around for Halloween.  Gives the huge lot a very scary look and is a blast for the kids who dare each other to run through the lot alone really fast.  I love it because as everyone knows, Halloween is our family’s favorite time of the year.
So many cool things happen each year during and after Halloween.  The colleges get    their breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve and many Socorro kids come home for their breaks.  It’s a great feeling getting to see them again and talk with them about their experiences in college life.   Just being inside and cozy with loving family members and friends during the holidays and the winter months is worth the sometimes unbearable cold.  Of course, people who live through REAL winters laugh at all of us when we complain about our 30 and 40 degree winter days.  It’s really funny if you think about it.  It snows here in Socorro for all of 20 minutes at a time, and we all panic and start bouncing off the curbs and calling off school or putting everything on a time delay schedule, and then it’s all gone just as soon as the sun peeks out from behind one cloud.  We’re a kooky bunch when it comes to winter around here.
My only advise would be to live every season to the fullest and keep things light and enjoy the beauty of everything around you.  The San Miguel Fiestas, The Chile Proppers and October Fest are all happening this weekend right here in town.  How cool is that?  It’s just awesome.
With the change in seasons, comes so many fun and interesting things to participate in with your children and family.  And please don’t forget that the Bosque Del Apache Festival of the Cranes is just around the corner.  We are so very lucky that everyone who lives in our area works so hard to bring such wonderful family events to Socorro all year round.
With all of the other sometimes ugly stuff going on in the world, it’s nice to know there are places we can go to forget about the “not so good” things, and have a nice day out with friends and family and forget for just a little while.
Get out this weekend and soak in our beautiful fall weather and friendships.  Visit and enjoy our kids runnin’ around acting silly and loving life.  Partake in all of the great food that will be offered at every venue and event - and just be happy that you’ve been given another day to live, love and exist.  We need to be like the crows and harvest all of the wonderful things that are just sitting there waiting to be tasted.
Your Hometown Mountain Mail New Editor “Rebecca Rose” will be out and about at each event ready to meet everyone.  We hope to see you this weekend just loving life and one another!   Get out and make some fun happen!

OPINION: Library Still Has A Lot To Offer

Magdalena Potluck
By Donald Wiltshire

So, just who needs libraries anymore, anyway?  Now that we all have Kindles, Blackberrys, E-News Alerts, E-Bay, E-mail, Texting, Tweets and Twitter?  Who needs a dusty collection of old books?
I’m offering up these questions, of course, with my own brand of bitter sarcasm.  Libraries in general and our own Magdalena Public Library in particular, are meeting grounds for people to seek out new ideas and to discuss their own preconceived notions of what is really going on “now-a-days.”  Libraries still offer up the best selection of new novels, classic literature, books on tape, movies and reference materials around.  There is always someone there to help you find just what you’re looking for or to special order it for you through the Inter-Library Loan service.
Libraries are special places where all points of view are honored.  You’ll find Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh right there next to Howard Zinn and Bill Maher.  Where else would that happen in these times?
Want to learn about composting, growing vegetables, raising chickens?  Need to find out how to fix that leaky faucet or that squeaky floor board?  Want to enjoy a new mystery, a thriller, a true crime investigation, a sci-fi adventure?  Want to listen to a book-on-tape on your next trek up to Albuquerque? Music? New movies? Old movies?  It’s all there.
Kids of all ages are especially welcome.  There are books ready to be devoured at all reading levels. “ Wow” your teachers with a remarkable science project.  And the computers!  Did I mention the computers?  Even if you’re computer illiterate, we can make arrangements to get you up and Googleing in no time.  There are also interactive software tutoring disks available on English, Math and Science.
One of the benefits of living in a small town like this is that the Library can be anything the community wants it to be.  There can be workshops, discussion groups, book clubs, movie nights.  I’m in the process of making up a new user survey sheet to find out what you want or need from the library.  What kind of books do you like to read?  Who are your favorite authors?  What kind of activities would you like to see offered?  Would you like to see more books offered through the Senior Center, the Clinic or the Churches?
Many wonderful community members who have put in long hours over many, many years.  They have all helped the Library grow from a small collection of books in the back room of the Santa Fe Depot into an impressive, full service Library. Thank You!
I have received a response about my last column from a local Civil  Engineer who steered me toward an article in a back issue of Fire Engineering magazine.  It offers an explanation for the curious collapse of the World Trade Center Towers.  The article suggests that the questionable construction practices in use at the time of the Tower’s erection could account for the collapse.  Among other things, the unprotected, lightweight steel trusses rather than fully supported I-beams could have weakened in the intense heat of the fire.  Another question that this raises is; have we really learned anything from all of this?  Are we constructing buildings any safer these days?  More things to ponder and research at the Library.
Speaking of Libraries, the next meeting of the Adult Summer Reading Program on Water will be on Wednesday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Magdalena Public Library.  The speaker will be Magdalena’s own resident nurse practitioner, Margreet Jenness.  We will discuss Water and Health; how your own body uses water, the signs of dehydration in adults and children and what to do if you experience them.  A formula for making your own re-hydration fluid will be handed out.  All are welcome, even you teens and pre-teens!
Mark your calendars for the Big Yard Sale to benefit the GRIZZ Project: October 8 & 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Magdalena Fire Station.  Donations are welcome. Contact Ann Bending at (505) 681-7918.  “Help an animal in need.”
If you have any comments, problems, solutions, upcoming events, Librarian Candidates or Empty Milk Jugs, contact me, Don Wiltshire at

OPINION: Socialism in Four Minutes and Twenty-five Seconds

The Pencil Warrior
by Dave Wheelock

I was driving home from the grocery store a while back with the truck radio tuned to National Public Radio, beamed over one of Albuquerque's two public stations. The usual hodgepodge of stuff was on parade: dismal U.S. employment levels, American military action across the Pakistani border, hip-hop artists still selling albums, etc. But as the broadcast seamlessly shifted to an installment of the NPR feature Planet Money, I nearly dropped my teeth.
  "The upcoming elections will be decided in large part based on what voters think about economics. So Planet Money is looking into the economic thinking behind much of today's politics. We're going to start today with socialism."
 "This should be interesting" I thought as I turned up the dial and slowed down so as to hear the entire report before arriving home.
It had been a while since I'd heard, seen, or read anything in the commercialized U.S. media about socialism - with the exception, of course, of various condemnations of Barack Obama's policies by Republican politicians, Tea Partiers, or Christianshepherds.
Now, I don't harbor any unrealistic expectations of objectivity from our woefully-funded version of public information. If you listen to this September 16 Planet Money segment in the NPR archives you will learn it was supported by Allied Bank, a true transnational with myriad operations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Still, I was curious to see if an outfit called National Public Radio could provide a more thoughtful and honest approach than the normal fare.
The very fact an economic theory as complex and globally diverse as what goes under the term "socialism" is routinely used to stifle dialog should raise our collective eyebrows. And perhaps it has. As more and more Americans experience firsthand the cruel inequities of a society defined by a minority in control of what the nation produces, they are beginning to relate to the complaints from others they so long ignored and even looked down upon. As they see their misery unmitigated by the rebound of the stock market and the further enrichment of the wealthy elite, they might wonder what substance the capitalist tenet of meritocracy actually has.
 For those fantastically wealthy few for whom American-style capitalism has worked so well the restlessness of the natives represents their worst nightmare. In fact, besides continued ownership of the natural resources that makes them rich, control over the humans whose work they rely upon is their only worry.
This class has long cultivated strategies for maintaining control over the potentially dangerous business of exploiting those who do the work. Over and above the distractions of technological gadgets, spectacular events, gambling, and drugs of all types hover the ultimate engines of social control: ignorance and fear.
The level of ignorance of the modern American populace is one of our worst-kept secrets. A 1999 Gallup poll reported that just 76 percent of adult Americans surveyed knew from which country the United States gained its independence. 18 percent thought the sun revolved around the earth. We've all heard stories about the dumbing-down of America , and sadly many are true. Combine this level of education (not to be confused with innate intelligence) with the disinformation campaign that has blanketed this country for generations, and it's not hard to equate socialism with authoritarian state control, or to convince people that socialism is incompatible with democracy and has succeeded nowhere in the world.
At least since the rise of socialism in Europe, here in the United States it's not been important whether socialism is practical or fair. What is important is that socialism is not only wrong, but also evil. The God and Country folks really like that word; it is an article of faith that Christian zealots particularly have embraced with a single-minded ferocity.
In the United States there has been no frank, honest, and public discussion of the relationships between things produced, those who produce them, and those who control their distribution. This situation is unique in the rest of the world, where a greater percentage of citizens can debate economy and government more proficiently than in our country.
We are left with but a single model with which to try to solve our challenges. Perhaps it's time to consider not only how well this is working, but also whom it serves. 
And the NPR piece on socialism? It turned out to be relatively agenda-free, tied as it was to an interview with University of Massachusetts economics professor emeritus Richard Wolff, a real live socialist (who does not appear to have green hair). You can hear all four minutes and twenty-five seconds of the NPR piece at his website,, plus more that you might find stimulating.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, holds a history degree from the University of New Mexico . Mr. Wheelock's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail. Reach him at

San Miguel Fiesta Starts This Weekend

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The fiesta commemorating the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the San Miguel Fiesta, is scheduled for Oct. 1-3 at San Miguel Church and promises three days of music, food, and activities for the family, all to generate funds for the church’s maintenance and insurance.
Although no records were kept of the earliest days of the fiesta, the best estimate is that the event has been an annual affair in Socorro for at least 100 years.
Most of the usual activities return to the fiesta this year, including activities for the children, drawings for prizes each of the three days, and an extended bingo night Friday. An added attraction this weekend is an Indoor Mercado, where vendors may sell arts, crafts, fruit, vegetables, and even advertise their businesses. 10 by 10 foot spaces are still available for $15. Call the parish office for more information at 835-2891.
The Indoor Mercado will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday in Parish Hall.
The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Friday immediately following Vespers, which will feature the crowning of the Senior King (Toby Jaramillo) and Queen (Ermy Jaramillo.)
The original mission was established in 1598 and the first building went up in 1612, making it the oldest in the state, and second oldest in the country. After the pueblo revolt in 1680, the mission lay in ruins for about 100 years. A section of the original adobe wall can be seen through a small Plexiglas window near the altar area.
The current church building is one of the major tourist draws in Socorro.

Friday, Oct. 1
5-6 p.m. - Vespers
6 p.m. - Booths open
6-8 p.m. - DJ music
7-11 p.m. - Bingo in the Parish Hall (doors open at 6 p.m.)
8-11 p.m. - Nosotros
9:30 p.m. - 3rd prize raffle drawing for $500.

Saturday, Oct. 2
11 a.m. - Booths open
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. DJ music from Patrick and Donavan Baldonado

1-2:30 p.m. - Grupo Fantasma
2:30-3:30 p.m. - DJ
3:30-5 p.m. - Monika E. Vette Y Confianza
5 p.m. - Booths close
5-6 p.m. - Mariachi Mass (Blue Mass)
6-7 p.m. - Mariachi Nuevo Sonido
7- 8 p.m. - Murillo Band
8-11 p.m. - Red Wine
9:30 p.m. - 2nd Prize Raffle $750

Sunday, Oct. 3
10 a.m. - Fiesta Mass
11:30 a.m. - Booths open
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Alta Moni
12:30- 1:30 p.m. - Julie Cottom Dancers
1-5 p.m. - BBQ
1:30-4:30 p.m. - Vicente de Velocidad
5-7 p.m. - AMA and The Fly Boyz
7 p.m. - 1st prize Drawing $1,500. Fiesta Wrap up.

Oktoberfest Celebration In Socorro

By Paul Hardin

The Socorro County Historical Society will host its annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 2. Festivities include good food and drink, live music, and arts and crafts for all to enjoy. All activities are held at the Hammel Museum on 6th Street from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This year's fesst is again being catered by M-Mountain Grill. The menu includes a choice of bratwurst or barbecued beef brisket with German potato salad, sauerkraut, beans, green chili, rolls, condiments and soft drinks. The honorary brewmeister, Robert Eveleth, will be serving George Killian's Red as this year's selected brew.
Entertainment will include an instrumental musical duet playing German and classical music, Las Cantadas choral group, Dr. Comstock and the Oompah Band, and the Rawhide Western Band.
Socorro's Oktoberfest is a tradition started by Socorro's early German families, including Jakob Hammel and his famous brewery and Bravarian Beer. The Hammel Brewery is now the home to the historical society and the Socorro Train Gang. From the Hammels to the Zimmerlys, Socorro's history is peppered with German families that have made Socorro their home for generations.
Oktoberfest began in Munich, Germany, for families and friends to celebrate the autumn harvest, the year's first brew, and simply put – have fun.  The Hammel Brewery has deep German roots. In 1848, two friends emigrated from Bavaria to establish German breweries. They were Eberhard Anheuser and Jackob Hammel. By 1860, Hammel owned the Illinois Brewing Company, while his friend owned the very successful E. Anheuser & Company (now the Anheuser-Busch Co.).  It is not known when the first Oktoberfest was held in Socorro, but probably in 1882, the year Hammel and his family came to Socorro to start a brewery.
It quickly became famous throughout New Mexico. Packed in ice and shipped by train and wagons, Socorro's lager beers were delivered and served cold throughout the state – a real novelty at the time. William Hammel, and German brewmeister Francis Eppele, employed numerous Socorroans to brew and bottle “the beer that made Socorro famous.”

Open House at Trinity

By John Larson

SOCORRO - One of the most significant events in Socorro County and world history happened about 27 miles southeast San Antonio in 1945.
The nuclear age was born on former ranch land 22 miles south of Highway 380 on July 16, 1945.
Next Saturday, Oct. 2, the Trinity Site can be visited first hand during the semiannual open house from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The open house includes 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.”
The 20 kiloton explosion was equivalent to 8 million sticks of dynamite.
Since the yield was unknown prior to that first shot, Los Alamos scientists created a pool to predict how big the explosion would be. Nobelist Enrico Fermi went so far as to be willing to bet anyone that the test would wipe out all life on Earth, with special odds on the mere destruction of the entire state of New Mexico.
Los Alamos lawyer Ralph Smith, observing from the present day Stallion Range Center area wrote that a “ball of fire seemed to rise in something of toadstool effect. Later the column proceeded as a cylinder of white smoke.
“My estimate of the width of the ball of fire was guessed to be one to two miles at that time,” Smith wrote. “Someone said keep your mouth open and just then, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes after the light flash, a sharp loud crack swept over us -- it reverberated through the mountain like thunder. Several small flashes took place some distance from and after the big flash, apparently part of a measuring system. Commander (Norris) Bradbury said that the cloud was up over 20,000 feet and still rising.”
After 65 years there is practically no trace of that blast to be seen, except for a crumbled concrete footing of the 100 foot tower - a surplus Forest Service fire watch tower – from which the bomb was detonated. The lone stone and mortar memorial is just about all there is to see.
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 on Highway 380 is 12 miles west of San Antonio, from there it’s another 22 miles to the Trinity Site.

Chile Proppers To Fly This Weekend

Mountain Mail reports

Right on the heels of Aviation Day at Socorro Municipal Airport comes the Tenth Annual Chile Proppers Model Aircraft Fly-In at New Mexico Tech. Dozens of radio controlled model airplane enthusiasts will be showing their piloting skills this Saturday and Sunday from a small runway at the base of ‘M’ Mountain.
Organizer Carl Moore said the Chile Proppers Model Airplane Club expects 30 to 40 participants. “Some years we’ve had up to 60 participating,” he said. “Sister club members from across the state and possibly some from out-of-state bring their airplanes.”
Helicopters, fixed-wing, gliders – some powered with small two stroke engines, many with electric motors - will perform aerobatic stunts, compete in thrilling competitive evens to test the flying skills of the ground-based pilots.
Hand made trophies are awarded to the “top gun” hot shots, and “lots of raffle prizes will be awarded,” Moore said. Local businesses have provided the many raffle items.
“The public is invited to come out and enter the raffles and enjoy the excitement of watching the airplanes compete in various games,” Moore said. “This year we will be adding a competition involved paintball weapons. One player will be on the ground trying to hit a plane with a paintball. It won’t be easy. Even the slowest of the planes go 70 miles an hour, and many much faster.”
New Mexico Tech allows the use of the site along with the City of Socorro and Socorro Chamber of Commerce cooperation, he said.
“Bring the family for a fun-filled, exciting day,” Moore said. “Be here at lunch time and have a great green chile cheeseburger.”

Artist Reception This Saturday

By John Bertrand
for the Mountain Mail

A pair of venerable art forms, origami and stained glass, will be brought to life for viewers in demonstrations by practicing artists this Saturday, Oct. 2, at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The demonstrations, along with the work of other artists inspired by the natural world, will be featured at the Friends of the Bosque del Apache annual Artists’ Reception from 1-4 p.m. in the visitor center.
Origami is the art of paper folding originated in Japan during the 17th Century.  Local artist and New Mexico Tech student Isabel McCoy will illustrate how two small rectangles of paper can become a colorful, durable set of origami earrings.  McCoy, a Socorro native who and home-schooled high school graduate, was introduced to origami through a book on crafts.  Her works were first offered for sale in Socorro at the former Martha’s Black Dog.  The Bosque Nature Store currently offers her crane earrings.
How to create smaller decorative objects from stained glass using modern techniques adapted from thousand-year-old artworks will be displayed in demonstrations by Truth or Consequences artist Candace Michalski. She began learning her craft at an art-glass studio in Redding, Calif., 16 years ago.  Two years ago, Michalski moved with her husband to T or C and built a back-yard studio.  Her works have been displayed in T or C at Celestial Creations.  She was awarded first and second place for entries in both the 2008 and 2009 Sierra County Fairs.  Michalski has designed commercial installations in restaurants and other locations across America.  Her decorative pieces are carried in the Bosque Nature Store and online at

Pictures: (top) Isabel McCoy
(bottom) Candace Michalski

Photos courtesy of Bosque del Apache NWR

Socorro County Fair Results

Socorro County Fair Parade Winners
GRAND PRIZE TROPHY SWEEPSTAKES – Socorro Consolidated Schools Music Department

1st Place – Little Ms. Rodeo NM
1st Place – Socorro County Rodeo Queen Court
1st Place – Socorro County 4-H and FFA
1st Place – The Grizz Project
2nd Place – Socorro Friends of the Library
1st Place – Positive Outcomes
1st Place – ARA/Acacia Riding Adventures
1st Place – Holly A. Billy NNRCA
2nd Place – Adrian Avalos
1st Place – Socorro Old Car Club
2nd Place – William Torres
1st Place – Manuel Chavez
1st Place – Eddie’s Boxing Club
1st Place – San Miguel Fiesta’s Candidate
2nd Place – NM Horse Project
1st Place – Socorro Masonic Lodge #9/Ballut Abyad Shrine
1st Place – Leonardo Lucero
1st Place – All Socorro County Fire Dept.

Socorro County Fair Pet Show Winners

Ryne Syra, Harlee Marie Barela, Sammy Romero, and Johnothan Green
Samuel Henderson, Ashlyn Jones, Clinton Wellborn, Justine Markland, and Joyce Green
Clinton Wellborn and Jose Chavez
Joe Monte and Kyleigh Jones
Mason Greenwood and Tyler Darras
Austin Smythe, Ned Curnutt, and Liliana Vega
Gordan Markland

Socorro County Fair Pee Wee Rodeo
Winners of each event were:
BARREL RACING: 3-4 year old - Ned Curnutt, 5-6 year old – Ashlynn Jones and 7-8 year old – Kasie Gallegos
FLAG RACE: 3-4 year old – Rody Markland, 5-6 year old – Cody Johnston and 7-8 year old – Cris Powell
BUCKING HORSE: 3-4 year old – Cole Johnston, 5-6 year old – Martin Chavez and 7-8 year old – Mason Greenwood
GOAT RIBBON: 3-4 year old – Makinen Gallegos, 5-6 year old - Mike Monte and 7-8 year old – Brooklynn Powell

Socorro County Fair Rodeo Sept. 8-9, 2010

1. Jon Luse, 73, $252.72; 2. Hugh Robinson, 69, $168.48
1. Fran Marchaand, 42, $421.20
1. Fran Marchaand, 78, $386.64; 2/3. Cody
Morgan/Joseph McConnel, 74, $241.65;
4. Frank Alguire, 66, $96.66
Day Money: Joseph McConnel, $30;
Cody Morgan/Frank Alguire/Fran Marchaand,
1. Tori Cogdill, 2.59, $505.30; 2. Shelby Montano, 2.72, $378.97;
3. SavannahSaavedra, 2.75, $264.13
1. Kelly Waide, 17.741, $423.63; 2. Nalynn
Cline, 18.163, $330.96;
3. Jamie LaRue,
18.182, $238.29;
4. Teresa Marr, 18.218,
5. Christen Martinez, 18.219, $105.91;
6. Nicole Sweazea, 18.309, $66.19
1. Haley McNeil, 18.569, $249.64; 2. Annie
Chroninger, 18.595, $187.33; 3. EdeeDavis, 18.640, $130.49
1. Tyrone T. Tsosie, 4.7, $579.96; 2. Kyle Francis, 18.6, $386.64
1. Seth Hall, 8.4, $585.29;
2. Beau Marshall, 8.7, $438.99; 3. Cort Smith, 9.0, $305.95
1. Sterling Cowdrey, 14.5, $188.00
1. Leon Mounyo/Adrian Salas, 5.9, $779.51;
2. Cooper Wimberly/Pedro Maestas, 6.0, $584.63;
3.Russell Sullivan and
Tim Gonzales, 6.9, $389.75;
4. Sam Loya/Justin Loya, 7.1, $194.88
1. Robbie Proffitt/Jim Knopp, 9.7, $554.07;
2. Rodee Walraven/Randy Chavez, 12.1, $369.38

Socorro County Fair Open Division Winners
Adult Professional (Twenty-two Painting Entries) (Five Photography Entries)
BEST OF SHOW – Leon Miler “Fiddle Lessons”
1st Place – Eddie Tsosie “Going to Sing”
2nd Place – Leon Miler “Parade of Champions”
3rd Place – Peter Rice “Pollen Party”
4th Place – Eddie Tsosie “Pueblo Pottery”
5th Place – Nancy Meyer “Fall in the Bosque” photography
6th Place – Nancy Meyer “Hummingbird” photography
Honorable Mention – Eddie Tsosie “First Snowfall”
Adult Amateur (Seventeen Entries)
BEST OF SHOW – Dawn Durkin Blake “Day’s End”
1st Place – Laura Durkin “Santa Fe Garden”
2nd Place – Martha Harris “Looking at Paradise”
3rd Place – Michael Castillo “Uncle Mike and Auntie Ellen”
4th Place – Laura Durkin “Autumn Return”
Honorable Mention – Laura Durkin “Cherry Blossoms”, Jackie Byrn “Daydreams”, Symone Armijo “Lala Sky” and Jackie Byrn “Jones’ Mill”
Junior (Sixteen Entries)


Letters To Myscie: A Western Love Story By Suzanne E. Smith

Part 9 of a Series

In the past weeks we reported on the activity of the Torrence and Merritt Mines, with the Merritt Mine described as a “wonderfully rich property”. 

We join J.E. Smith the week of April 6th, 1883.

Friday night 6th '83
Dear Myscie,
It is quite late so I will only write a few words and finish Sunday. I have had a grand trip this afternoon.  Mr. Waller the Supt. of the Torrence Mining Co came in and invited me to go over to the mines with him.  I was only too glad to go for I have been wishing to go through some mine.  They do not allow outsiders or visitors in the mines here, so I have not had a chance before.  We had a grand good ride and then after we got there he had a man go with us into the mine while he was tending to business.  We went all over the mine.  I wish I was able to describe it to you Myscie, but I am not trained.  We were gone from above ground an hour and a half and were walking all the time, so you can immagine the extent of it's under ground.  I was over 300 feet under ground at one time, and most 400 ft. horasontally [sic] into the mountain like this 

(His sketch shows a 300’ verticle line with 4 horizonal lines running perpendicular to the main; the longest at 400’).  This Plat of the Merrit Mine was photographed by J.E. Smith.  It shows the “Sectional View” of the North Tunnel of the Merrit Mine.
We started from the Engine house with candles in our hands, went down to the "first level" went all over that, then down to No 2, the "second level".  Then the "third level" No 3, and then the fourth No 4.  Saw the boys at work mining and got some mill specimens.  The man that went with us was the Engineer.  He was very kind and told me all about everything. Such things as these I can't write about to make them interesting.  There is so much to tell about but will save it all to talk about when I come back.  I was very tired and dirty when I got home, but I had such a grand good time I tell you.  Mr. Waller I like very much and have made fast friends with him.  He is also Supt. of the "Stamp Mill" here which belongs to the same firm.  I think I shall go to work at the Mill next week.  Mr. Bass and I are going in together soon on something and while we are waiting I am going to work at the mill.  I shall have to work hard.  Sundays & all, but I don't care, it is only what I am ust[sic] to.  I am to get $20.00 a week-good pay, and it will help me out onwhat I want to use next summer or fall.  Mr. B & I bought our carpet for our room today; it is a beaut.  We shall have a cosy room you bet.  We are all going riding Sunday.  I will write you about Sunday night.  I must close now.   Good night

Sunday Evening
Just home and had our supper.  Oh Myscie, we have had the jolliest time.  How many, very many times I have wished you could have been with us today.  Ed engaged the teams last Friday and we had the best time out in Socorro. Geo & Bell  went together with a span of reds, and Ed & Minnie, Ray & I  went in a double carriage with just the hansomest span of blacks.  Didn't we feel grand I tell you.  We started just after dinner and got home at 7.30 in the evening.  I can't begin to tell you about 1/100 part of the things & places we saw and visited. 

There were probably several Livery Stables in Socorro.  The Socorro Transfer (famous for it’s beautifully designed, and painted coaches) was located on what is present day California Street.  The building next to it was where the parking lot is on Manzanares and California, and was a twin to the building in which the Chamber of Commerce is located. 
The Livery Feed Sale and Exchange Stable was located on East Manzanares and was next to Sammis General Merchants.  (Possibly about where the Socorro Electric Cooperative is.)

We stoped in a Mexican village about 10 miles away called "Limitar" for about an hour and visited with a family by the name of Minnette.  Theywere a family from Phil-Pa, and are the only American family in the town of 1500 inhabitants.  Mr. Minnette is in business there in Socorro & in Santa Fe.  They have just a beautiful home.  It is made of "dobe" just like all the rest, but they have it furnished elegantly inside.  They look on all over their farm, and entertained us in grand shape.  Mr. M sang and played for us, it was the first piano I have heard since I came out here.  They then brought on the "wine".  some of their own make and Mrs. M. interested us with some  of her experiences with the natives.  She talks Spanish as well as English, and she says she has splendid nabors[sic].

On the way home, we drove down the "river road" along the bank of the Rio Grande and such beautiful scenery.  Oh Myscie, I shall have so much to tell you about sometime.  I musn't forget to tell you about our visit to the haunted house on our way home.  It is an old Mexican mansion which has been deserted ever since the Mexican war and is said to be haunted; we went all over it and did not get scared once, although it did look dismal in some joints and the doors slammed several times after we went through them.  It's only inhabitants seemed to be bats, doves and birds of all sorts.  Very few of the Mexicans dare to go near the house.  They are a very supersticious people about such things.  In fact, this has been one if not the pleasentest days in N. Mex. I have shared.  Ray says Joe, we must make this day for it is our last and so it is for Earl (Mr. Brey) to come tonight from La Harpe, Ill. he arrives on the mid-night train.  Ray said more than a dozen times this afternoon, "if Myscie & Earl were only here we would have this time all to our selves and would we Ohhhh My have just the jolliest time"  I must stop now.  It is too late to send this off to-night dear Myscie.  I have thought of you so much today.  You are in my thoughts all the time.
With a good night kiss from your loving Joe.
Socorro, N.M. April

Wed Evening
My dear Myscie
Your letter written the 4 & 5th was received this morning.  I am very very tired Myscie or would finish and mail a letter to you tonight .  I have been at work very hard all the week and have felt like turning in very early every evening.  I will finish and mail to-morrow evening (Thurs) Good night
Your loving Joe

Join us next week as Joe joins the ranks of the miners, and how tough it was on him.

All photos ©J.E. Smith

Quemado: Community Sale

Quemado Connection
By Debbie Leschner

Catron County Trade Days will be held at the Apache Creek Store, at the corner of Highway 12 and 32, on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Trade Days” is a community flea market where people will have a chance to sell, trade or buy goods. Rusty Roof BBQ will be on hand to serve breakfast and lunch items.
Mary and Martha's Thrift Store is open the first and third Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store is located near the corner of Highway 12 and 32 in Apache Creek next to the fire station.
On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Eagles Junior High, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams play at Reserve. On Friday Oct. 8, all three volleyball teams play at home against Animas.
Quemado Senior Center Gallup trip will be on Wednesday, Oct. 6.  Anyone interested in attending can call the center at 773-4820 to sign up.   Other Senior Center activities for the week include pool practice on Tuesday, and bingo and quilting on Thursday. The blue quilt will be raffled off on Thursday with tickets available for $1.00.  The weekly lunch menu is as follows: Monday – Frito pie, Tuesday – chicken and noodles, Wednesday – pork roast, Thursday – lasagna and Friday – salmon loaf. All seniors are welcome to the lunch; please call the center before 9 a.m. to make reservations. The center will be closed on Monday, October 11 for Columbus Day. Saturday, October 16 the center will hold a breakfast fundraiser featuring sausage gravy, biscuit and egg. Call for details on tickets and times.
Western New Mexico Veterans Group Rummage Sale will be held Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday Oct. 10 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. in the Veteran's Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street in Quemado. All proceeds go to help local veterans, their families and to fund repairs for the hall.

Reserve: Commission Votes on Waste

Reserve News
By Richard Torres

The Catron County Commissioners voted to take new action on the issue of Solid Waste at the Sept. 15 meeting. Costs of the Solid Waste Program as currently structured are requiring funds from the General Fund ($428,000.00-not $300,000.00 as previously reported) as of this fiscal year, which started June 1.  Monies were also transferred from the General Fund to the Solid Waste Program. This is because revenue generated from Solid Waste does not cover the costs of the Program.
The Commissioners voted to keep the annual fee the same  - $72 (plus gross receipts tax) which is to be paid by all property owners, and businesses and allows unlimited access and unlimited dumping privileges at county convenience centers.
In addition, they voted to institute a cubic yard trash system, payable by a punch card, or by cash at the convenience center. The minimum payment due at time of dump through the punch card is $3. Users may also pay cash. The initial punch card will total $72. As trash is dumped, the card will be punched at the convenience center. If the punch card is used up, the user can purchase another punch card. If the punch card is not totally used up at end of year, the card can be used the following year. However, the user must still pay the $72 annual fee for that year.
This proposed ordinance only pertains to District 2 and 3 (Reserve/Glenwood). District 1 (the northern part of county), will be dealt with at a later time.
The current revenue system is not sufficiently funding the current Solid Waste Program. Changes made to the Solid Waste Program included:
1. Closure of landfills in Reserve and Glenwood
2. Trucking of solid waste out of state.
3. Addition of attendants at convenience centers.
4. Costs of improvements at convenience centers.
5. Costs of trucking between primary and secondary convenience centers.
The Commissioners have been dealing with this issue for years, including the appointment of a citizen panel which issued a study in 2004. The Commissioners have been meeting with federal, state, and BLM officials for years trying to come to an equitable solution for all county residents.

Luna:  Reflections on Change

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

My Dad always taught me that the only thing I could ever count on was change. It seems that along with the fall colors beginning to show on the mountain side, I am personally experiencing major changes in co-workers, friends, and my family’s lives. Sometimes the pace is difficult to keep up with. Sometimes the changes are not so welcome. Autumn has always been my most favorite time of year and I feel it is nothing short of a gift from Heaven. Seeing the rich autumn colors take over here in the Luna valley and the feel of the cooler, crisp air of the morning hours; you cannot help but feel an inner peace among the change in the seasons and it is easier to take the deep breath I need to just go with it.
Fire Department
Oct. 3 through 9 is fire prevention week and our Luna volunteer fire district and Catron County Fire will be sponsoring an open house on Saturday. Watch for flyers and more information for the time. Mark your calendars to come to the fire station and participate. There will be a bounty of safety information, door prizes, refreshments and fun. For more information you can contact Eugene Snyder: Luna Fire Chief, fire department Secretary: Idonna Bradford or the department members at large.
Luna Community Center
The Catron County Health Counsel is sponsoring a “meet the candidates” night at 5 pm on Oct. 11 at the Luna Community Center. Local candidates have confirmed their invitations and some state representatives will be there for your questions and comments.

Preparedness Corner
In a fire, seconds count.  It could mean the difference between of life or death.  There are many ways a fire can ignite in your home throughout the year. But during the winter months, when we are trying to heat our homes to stay warm, a fire can easily start if proper safety steps are not taken. Clean and maintain your woodstoves, pellet stoves and fire places. If you use a space or Kerosene heater know the safety rules to follow and always follow electrical safety standards. For more information on-line go to and begin to prepare your homes and families for a warm and cozy winter now.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Luna Ward Family History Library is now opened on Saturdays from noon to 5:30 pm, or for help in your home and special appointments you can contact Phyllis Price in Apache Creek.
Quote of the week:
"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments."
~Jim Morrison


Sylvia Carries On In Spite Of Revolting Election Ads

By Anne Sullivan

"I can’t stand it! I can’t take this one more minute!” Sylvia screamed, putting her paws over her ears.
“Whatever is the matter?” I asked from behind my newspaper.
“Make them stop! Turn it off!” she cried.
“You want me to turn off the TV?” I lowered my paper. “I don’t understand. You like TV.”
“I don’t like this. No one could like this. Why don’t they stop?”
“Who? Stop what?” I glanced at the TV while searching for the remote.
Sylvia relaxed a little when I turned off the TV.
As the picture faded, she said, “I just can’t stand to hear them insulting each other like that. It upsets me. It’s not good manners.”
“You mean the political ads? I agree with you. They are awful. And this year they seem more horrible than ever.”
“There ought to be a law that says the candidates can only talk about themselves and what wonderful things they’ve done and are going to do. Any talking about their opponent will be punishable by imprisonment.”
“Not a bad idea. I’m all for it,” I said. “It’s getting so bad it’s not a vote for the best candidate; it’s a vote for the least worst.”
“I used to think I wanted to vote,” said Sylvia, who was nervously marching around the room, “but now I’m glad I don’t have to.”
I was getting worked up myself. “It’s shameful the way they act in those ads. The women are worse than the men. They’re all animals.”
“No self-respecting animal would act like that,” Sylvia said. “We animals could run things a lot better than this.”
“Speaking about running things, have you figured out how to finance the self-publishing of your mystery novel?”
“I was just going to talk to you about that.” Sylvia stopped her pacing and sidled up to me. “I had an idea. If I could save all my salary from writing my column instead of using it to pay for my dog food, maybe in six months I’d have enough to pay for my first order of books from the self-publishing company.”
“Then what would you eat in the meantime?” I asked.
“Well, the thing is,” she said, putting her paw on my knee, “you’d buy my dog food. After all, you buy Gordo’s cat food.”
“Gordo’s much smaller than you are. He doesn’t eat as much.”
“Gordo the Small doesn’t contribute to the household expenses at all. He can’t even write his name. He just lies in his bed all day long waiting for someone to feed him. While I slave all day writing my column and all night protecting you from wild and vicious animals.”
“Gordo kills rats. I call that a huge contribution.”
“And I bark myself hoarse to keep the bears and the rhinoceroses away!”
“There are no rhinos in Swingle Canyon.”
“But there might be if I didn’t bark.”
“Your reasoning is making my head swim,” I said. “Alright, I’ll pay for your dog food for six months but you must promise to get your column in to the paper on time every week. And you must work diligently on your self-publishing even if it means some re-writing.”
“No, no, not that. Once written, it’s in stone.”
“The real part of writing is re-writing. It’s the hardest part of writing but I know you can do it,” I said in an attempt to encourage her. Sylvia looked grim.
“And,” I added, “I want you to do this without me nagging at you.”
“But what would you do if you didn’t have me to nag at?” asked Sylvia, having the last word as usual.

Visitors Get Unique Chance To Visit Array

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is sponsoring its semiannual Very Large Array open house Saturday, Oct. 2, to coincide with the Trinity Site’s open house.
According to the VLA’s Education Officer Judy Stanley, the Very Large Array is commemorating 30 years of operation.
The 27 (82 foot) radio antennas at the VLA became operational on Oct. 10, 1980, and has become the most scientifically productive ground based telescope in the entire history of astronomy, Stanley said.
Guided tours will be given by special NRAO staff members between 11 a.m.  and 4 p.m.
 “Tours leave every half hour. This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to get behind the scenes and into places they can’t normally on the self-guided tour,” she said. “They will be able to speak with staff engineers and operators and ask questions. The guided tour takes about an hour. Just drive up to the visitor’s center and join the next group going out.”
Visitor will learn about new advancements at the Very Large Array, including the “Expanded VLA,” which is the upgrade from analog to digital systems.
Currently the dishes are in the “D” configuration (the tightest array), making for an excellent photo opportunity.
The visitor’s center houses several displays and video presentations of the installation, as well as the scientific discoveries. One display is dedicated to the filming of the major motion pictures “Contact” and “2010.”
The turnoff to the VLA Visitor’s Center is 15 miles west of Magdalena on Highway 60.
The Very Large Array is open to the public for self-guided walking tours every day of the year except Christmas. The daily self-guided tours do not include the labs and array control areas.

Good Sam's Gets New Administrator

Ryan Mertz has been named the new administrator for Good Samaritan Village in Socorro. Mertz said he has been working with retirement centers for most of his life. “I’ve always loved working with seniors,” Mertz said. “I love hearing about their lives and stories of their experiences. It helps me be a better person.” Mertz, who replaces current administrator Ruth Leitel,  comes to Socorro from South Dakota, although he has lived and worked in Las Vegas, New Mex. Picture: Leitel turns over the building’s keys to Mertz.

Photo by John Larson

Rugby: Tech Falls Against NMSU

By Dave Wheelock

The education of the New Mexico Tech women's rugby team continued Saturday as the Pygmy Queens traveled to Las Cruces for their second straight weekend of action against the more experienced New Mexico State University Lady Chiles. The downstate team graciously loaned a few players to fill out the Tech side before administering a class in the school of hard knocks.
Tech's forwards, led by Andrea Buckel, Christina Nararez, and Michaela Rempkowski did well in set scrums, repeatedly driving the Lady Chiles off the ball, but once the ball came into open play the home team showed the advantages only playing experience can bestow. Despite the best efforts of scrum half Erika Summers and center Lynnae Logan, the first of two informal matches resulted in a Lady Chiles advantage of 48 points to NMT's 0.
Andi Buckel, Michaela Rempkowski, and Renae Hickman went over to the NMSU side in exchange for an equal number of Lady Chiles, and a shorter match ensued. New Mexico State also got the better of this encounter, winning 22-0, but not before Danielle Shipley provided some excitement for the Queens. Fielding the ball from a kickoff, Ms. Shipley sprinted away from the defense and had a long run for glory before being tackled just short of the try line. Unfortunately her teammates were unable to convert great field position into points.
Plans are underway for Tech's fledgling Queens to combine forces with NMSU for the 30th annual Arizona Tens tournament October 9-10 in Flagstaff, where the athletic potential of the Socorro players combined with NMSU experience could generate dynamic results. At the minimum New Mexico Tech's female ruggers will advance their rugby abilities via the game's - and life's - best teacher: experience.

Reserve Girls Volleyball Winning Big

By Nicky Romero

The 2010 Reserve Mountaineers Volleyball Team is “on the way up” according to Coach John Payne.
The team stands at two wins and three losses, but this does not tell the whole story.
“We're young, but I have girls that never quit”, says Payne. “They fight. They really work hard. I start a couple of freshmen, a couple of sophomores, two juniors and two seniors.”
The Mountaineers are especially proud of themselves lately defeated two of their last three opponents. Their commitment and hard work is starting to show.
On Thursday, Sept. 23rd, Reserve defeated the Cobre JV in a hard fought five game battle. Reserve won 27-29, 26-24, 25-20, 19-25, and 18-16. The next night they narrowly lost in five games to Victory Christian of Albuquerque. Saturday, Reserve beat Corona in four games. The team is led by seniors Sara Baca and Jessica Nelson. Juniors are Gabrielle Hastings, Malina Kellar, Meghan Cushman, and Estrella Uzueta. Larisa Estrada and Harley Connell are the sophomores. The freshmen that complete the team are Maryah Delgado, Bryanda Delgado, and Ayasha Munoz.
The Mountaineers next game is against Pine-Hill  Sept. 30th at home starting at 4 pm, with games at Animas on Oct. 2 and Quemado on Oct. 7 to follow.

Warriors Defeat Elks

By Nicky Romero 

The fourth-ranked Socorro Warrior football team (4-1) bounced back from their only defeat last week with a resounding 56-8 road win against the Pojoaque Elks (2-3) on Sept. 25. 
With a depleted roster of players, the Warriors remaining starters and substitutes were more than the Elks could handle. The Warrior's offense exploded for nine touchdowns and the defense held the Elks to only one early touchdown.
Coach Damien Ocampo said, “A couple of guys had to step up because of injuries. We had Cherokee Coss, starting at defensive end for us. He did a good job. David Robinson also had to rotate at defensive end.  Tyler Zuni also had to step up a bunch at tight end. Freshman Ethan Smith did a pretty good job at tight end also.”
Socorro jumped on the Elks with three touchdowns in the first quarter. Quarterback Zack Esquivel started the scoring with a 60-yard pass to Adrian Miranda. The extra point kick was good by Zach Binger. Aaron McDaniel added another six points with a 5-yard run up the middle. Esquivel threw another 11-yard pass to James Thorton to give the Warriors a 19-0 lead.
Pojoaque scored their lone touchdown of the game with 2:22 left in the first. Quarterback Brian Kohler threw a 66-yard pass to Ryan Wolf. The extra point run for two was good by Kohler's quarterback keeper.
Socorro added four more touchdowns in the second quarter. Esquivel ran for 39-yards for another score. On defense, Esquivel intercepted the ball one minute later. He threw a slant pass to his tight end Senior Tyler Zuni, who took it in for 21-yards and his first varsity touchdown.
Wide receiver Jared Marquez contributed two scores, one on a 29-yard pass from Esquivel and the next on a 8-yard pass from Junior Quarterback Ray Vaiza, who entered the game late in the second half. Socorro went into halftime with a 43-8 lead.
The second half started with Socorro knowing the clock would be running due to the 35 point mercy rule. The lone third quarter score came with 3:24 left on the clock. Thorton ran left for a 24-yard touchdown, and Binger's extra point kick was good.
The final touchdown of the game came with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter. Sophomore fullback Gary Lam ran the ball in from 5-yards scoring his first varsity touchdown.
After five games, the Warriors' offense is averaging 39 points a game and the defense is holding their opponents to only 14 points a game.
“It's kind of crunch time now, said Ocampo. We've got to get better from here on out, because if we don't execute and aren't physical against every opponent, we won't be winning ballgames.”
The Warriors will travel to play the Class 2A Estancia Bears (2-3) on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. This will be the last tune-up game before they go into district play against Hatch.
“Estancia is a very good and tough opponent who has had some starters out,” said Ocampo. “If we go to sleep on them, we're going to be in for it.”