- "Coming Full Circle"
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“Coming Full Circle” – Touring Northern New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle
Making it in Music
by Jefferson LaRouche
I spent some time this spring observing and participating in the Albuquerque music scene, and I had the privilege of experiencing hands-on some of the most talented performances by brilliant musicians in New Mexico. That fascinating experience was a highlight of a lifelong pursuit of music, and has inspired me to work towards getting the voices of these talented people heard.
I interviewed several local musicians via Facebook, and here is the result:
To start with, could you tell me a bit about the music you play, what got you started, and your biggest influences?
Scott Steele: I am an original singer-songwriter. My band plays in Santa Fe regularly at the palace for the last 2 years my dad was a singer songwriter here in Albuquerque and I followed in his footsteps, I can play multiple instruments, and have been in bands all my life. My current band is called Scotty and the atomics you can check us out on Facebook if you’d like. Some of my biggest influences I can remember stopping at the North 4th Street flea markets back in the 70s and being influenced deeply by the new Latin bands coming out, Carlos Santana the Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash has influenced our band and some of our songs we are coming out with a second album in January.
Franklin Yazzie: I do vocals in a band called Under Exile from Shiprock NM. We play metal, heavily influenced by bands like Lamb of God, Trivium, Machinehead, The Black Dahlia Murder, etc. We started out in 2013 as high school students. We just bullshitted around with the idea of making music until around 2014 when we got our first bigger show with Chelsea Grin at Top Deck in Farmington. Since then we really started seeing the potential in what we were doing and started pushing our music and writing even further. Since we’ve expanded to neighboring states playing with bands like Attila, Chelsea Grin, Devildriver, Phil Anselmos Superjoint, Mushroomhead, Hed(pe), All That Remains, Whitechapel, Suicide Silence, etc.
John Baird: I play acoustic hip hop with saturday night riot. We started out playing deathcore in 2006. This was not the most natural progression. After sharing the stage with numerous touring acts and a few touring ventures of our own, we did call it quits for a few years and reformed as a two piece. As a two piece we did decide to drop the heavy metal and play something a bit more marketable. Some of our biggest influences has been Dance Gavin Dance and The Dirty Heads
Angelo Sanchez: I’m a rapper/producer/audio engineer. I have been using FL Studio since 2010. I make rap mixed with chicano and dark influences. What got me started is the genuine love for making music. I picked up my first guitar at five and music creation was my soul ever since. My biggest influence has to be all the old school chicano rappers from the 90s in Cali. I draw so much influence from their flow and sound. Along with Memphis and Texas sounds. I can’t pinpoint my influence to just one artist. More like an entire sound. I record, engineer and produce all my beats as GOHT and rap on my songs as YUNG HEAR$E.
Judi Dench: I make experimental R&B/Soul music under the moniker, Vasillus, which is something I started back in Brooklyn, NY, but really got to hone and fine tune it in New Mexico. My biggest influences are architecture, Scott Walker, the Cocteau Twins, Isaac Hayes and Nina Simone.
Austin Torrez: So, I mainly have been making experimental electronic music for the past couple of years, but I got my start in an odd punkish funky band my senior year in high school. Before that I just had music lessons and the whatnot. Influences have to include Oneohtrix Point Never, and Swamp Dogg.
Brian Dole: I am a 24 year old lyricist with heavy ties into basically all forms of hip hop, new and old. I have been doing this about 13 years but would write poems and stories for as long as I can remember, in highschool i started trying to record on audacity all freestyling. When I was about to turn 18 I started working with this group, Triple Stack Boyz, that were signed to mac dres Thizz Nation. They mentored me got me beats and would hit the studio with me. We eventually grew apart. I went on my own and met the dude I made my group ad6 with at a job. Basically [we] were just acquaintances trying to find studio time somewhere as I was still using audacity while he was using FL Studio with a RockBand mic (his setup was better) anyway we linked up to some dude running a studio angel stitch, shit was cool and developing working together until the dude running the studio got drunk and crazy, I was currently on probation and homeless so I would try to stay at studios as much as possible.
Aaron Lewis: I play classical guitar music that I compose myself. I also perform my original songs in the group “sunlight”. I always had a desire to play music it started when I was 5 years old and was taken to the toy store and walked out of said store with a vinyl album. I played drums in 6th grade band. It was not my cup of tea (never practiced) and then went to a friends house after school one day who had an electric guitar and the rest was history, I have had an affair with the guitar ever since. I will give you the influences as they came and changed my life to be what it is. first was Kiss, then John Lee Hooker, Tom Waits, John Williams the Guitarist, (not the star wars composer) the Kronos Quartet and ultimately Igor Stravinsky.
Will Byrne: I play in a band called Train Conductor, which is a dark psych band. Sunshine, good feelings and talented friends got me started in New Mexico. My biggest influences are failure (not a band), dead skeletons, king gizzard and lizard wizard and holy glories (NM).
Kron Jeremy: I make and perform hiphop music. I was always like the super uber rap nerd growing up but felt like i had no business ever trying to pick up a mic (because im from moriarty lol) . I think around sophmore year in highschool i went to visit my sister for the summer in denver. she had a downstairs neighbor named Jerod. He was into all the elements of hiphop like breaking and tagging. He was the first one to sit me down, listen to a beat, and write a song. At that age i think kids are just looking for something they can be good at, and for me. Having dude say, “Hey you’re pretty good at this”. After that, it was on. I came back and tried getting my friends into it, and just really fell in love with the craft. Its like an alternative universe, where if you can word it right, you can do anything. Anybody can say they can fly, but if you can write about dodging powerlines, and wind blowing your face at intense speeds while a flock of birds is flying right at you at the same time. It makes it seem like you really can fly if you can word it the right way without it being corny. Its a beautiful thing, to be able to use your imagination and knowledge to make something thats truly yours, and see other people enjoying it. I rap, but I get alot of influence from other mediums and genres. I really look up to cats like Bob Dylan, Bill Hicks, and Hunter S Thompson when it comes to writing.
What has your experience been like in the local music scene?
Scott Steele: Well, we have been playing New Mexico for the last 4 years and like any music scene it’s tough and you have to hang in there and a mother musics dues are quite high sometimes, the Albuquerque scene is a little rougher because it doesn’t pay its bands as well which is why my van love playing our gig up at the palace in Santa Fe because we always make good money. The festivals are fun, and probably like anywhere, some gigs are very rewarding and others take a pound of your flesh, but overall we are shooting upward. I believe in this next 12 months we will be getting some very good big breaks that we have been looking forward to, our goal is to make good live performing music and have good albums but we are also looking forward to bigger and bigger stages, it is an exciting ride and not an easy road, we perform 3 hours on Friday nights at a vigorous and energetic nightclub act and it takes quite a bit of energy from the band but we all love it and love what we are doing and looking forward to the bigger stages
Franklin Yazzie: It’s definitely diverse, with different areas dominating certain markets. In a lot of other places, there are so many people and the diversity of musical interest is widespread. With less people in NM, there are just a lot less of that diversity which is why a lot of tours skip over New Mexico. Metal is definitely alive here though, even more so than other markets.
John Baird: It’s been. Alright. Lol. I basically only play open mics in town because a lot of venues don’t take care of artists. Open mics are pretty much the only place to play to an audience that isn’t already mine.
Angelo Sanchez: I used to be a part of the metal and punk scene which I won’t really discuss, but the rap scene out here has been really cool to me. I’ve made friends like my boi CBRD (Las Cruces to ABQ), Oseyerus, Dmize, and Sepsis. All good people. There’s definitely some snakes in the grass in the rap scene here too don’t get me wrong. I just keep my eyes out nowadays. I rarely play shows here now though. I just make and release my music online.
Judi Dench: It’s definitely more intimate in scale [compared to Brooklyn, NY], and fluid in terms of how many different projects people get involved in at once. I love that we have different festivals and showcases for artists in town, and the relationship between visual artists and musicians specifically, has been a really fun, beneficial relationship in the community.
Austin Torrez: …It taught me a lot about evil, and occult shit, and probably has possessed me in some form or another. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of guitar tho, somewhere in between math rock and Tom Morello. I got tired of synths trying to talk to me.
Brian Dole: I got more love from NM after I left than when I came back, but coming up when I wasn’t a threat to any artists I got a lot of love from anybody I was on a show on. I love my state but the way the people show their support is rough, you gotta fight for people you know personally out here to share your link.
Aaron Lewis: I don’t know if there is a scene in Albuquerque. Most live music here is focused on selling beer and food and not sharing music. What I mean by that is this: music is the art of sound and controlling those sounds. In order for what I do to be shared it requires authentic listening. When people go out for dinner or drinks they are not going out for live music they are going out to hang out with friends. You can’t have conversation And listen fully to what a performer is doing, especially instrumental music (which is why I think they invented amplifiers so people would be forced to listen.) It is what it is and I love music so I have come to a point where I accept what is and do my thing outside of the scene. When I play out I travel out of state to do so. I have fans who love my music but don’t have a place i can call home for my music locally. So I play practice and perform for those who are truly looking for something original.
Will Byrne: I have been playing in the ABQ music scene since 2006. 2006 to 2009 I played in a band called small flightless birds. SFBs were notorious for their raging house shows on girard and roma. I left to gain some work experience for 6 years and had to come back to New Mexico’s gritty music scene. I could not get enough of the raw and gritty scene.
Kron Jeremy: Amazing. I remember before i found the scene i knew there were people like me somewhere just working on the craft. Once i found it i was puuumped. I tell people show support to get support, the one thing that helped me more than anything when i first started was that i use to be the nerdy dude in the front row at every show. Even if i wasnt crazy about their music i use to still try to sit in the front and keep my arms up because they were doing something i wanted to do so i had to give them props. Once i started doing shows, the scene took me in with open arms and it was like i hit the ground running like never seen before. It’s awesome though. I have buddies from different backgrounds that would probably never interact in normal life with each other, but the music brings us together, and is kind of like the equalizer. Doesn’t matter if you’re jobless or a CEO, we’re all still just a bunch of local rap nerds. lol
What are some challenges you’ve overcome in music?
Scott Steele: I think the most notable challenge right now is the difficulty it is getting for other people’s schedules together so that we can give frogville Studios of Santa Fe a date sometime in January for us to record our second album, people’s lives are busy and instead of getting in sooner we have had to move it back to later just to accommodate everyone’s schedules. Also a notable challenge always is booking the band sometimes the bar owners are difficult and hard to communicate with and other venues are almost impossible to get in unless you are a touring band which New Mexico needs to change its thinking and start giving its local talent more opportunities.
Franklin Yazzie: As a performer it was breaking out of my shell a bit. I was always the introverted nerdy kid in High School and middle school, so once I had to start becoming a frontman and vocals I had to play the role.
John Baird: A big challenge music has helped me with is ego. I put my heart into this music now for years and years. I’ve played shows where people thought i was a famous hotshot from LA. I’ve played shows where people (literally) thought we were gonna rob them in the parking lot after. Being on tour and going from a gorgeous Airbnb one night to getting kicked out of a parking lot the next night is humbling. Im absolutely in love with it.
Angelo Sanchez: The biggest challenge is the massive waves of kids every year trying to make this music with the hopes of becoming famous. Its an oversaturation of “musicians” that never last anyway because they do it for the wrong reasons to begin with. It’s hard to get noticed when everyone else is doing the same thing. Basically oversaturation hahaha.
Judi Dench: Being pigeonholed as a queer performer, as if queer is a genre of music. I mean, I am very much a black, queer performer, but I wouldn’t attribute a sexuality to the music I make.
Austin Torrez: Probably my own delusions. Also lack of funds. If I had a trillion dollars we’d all have audio implants [if we wanted].
Brian Dole: My biggest challenge was leaving the group I created at its peak, things were picking up and people were listening. That group was my first baby before my daughter, so it was tough. All said and done I wish them the best.
Aaron Lewis: Myself. All the negative things the brain says that others have said. I had a high school music teacher that told me I would never be a musician because I couldn’t read music. I had a college professor told me I would never be able to teach guitar to high school students. Both were wrong I am a musician and I taught high school guitar for 5 years. I don’t know how many people have told me to get a real job, they are just jealous that they weren’t brave enough to chase their dreams. The biggest challenge I have learned is that when you release something it is the next step in the journey not an end all. The most crucial thing from a music standpoint is the art of practicing.
Will Byrne: The biggest challenge has been to keep people interested with all the talent that surrounds us. We try to keep things edgy and uncomfortable so people can turn their head and say “wtf was that noise” or that was an “interesting transition”.
Kron Jeremy: Trying not to plateau. Trying not to let expectations or other negative energy get in the way of the real world. It’s easy to get burnt out performing the same songs for the same people. It’s a the struggle but it’s also a lot of fun trying to keep things new and fresh.
Do you have any sage advice for the newcomer?
Scott Steele: First and foremost believe in yourself. Second, it’s going to be hard work and not instant success also you’ll be riding high on cloud nine one week and down in the pit the next so you have to find ways to keep your creativity and inspiration going, also because my band sings all original songs, when you perform your music perform it with passion and as if you were playing it for the president for the first time, the public responds to good passionate well performed music, your heart has to be in it every time you strike a note.
Franklin Yazzie: The biggest thing I needed to realize was that I was on stage as a performer. A lot of local musicians forget that there are still the market of people who go to concerts just to go to a concert. I remember being 10 years old and watching a band called Ethnic De Generation open for DevilDriver, being amazed that a local band was playing on that bill and wondering how they did it. Every time we perform I keep that memory in mind and try to reflect a similar memory on the concert goers. Not everyone is in the “local scene” and not everyone is familiar with local music. Especially not local metal. It’s pretty cool to get the average joe concert goer, whose music taste only go as far as what’s on iHeartRadio, turned onto your music.
John Baird: Don’t jump into your set if everything isn’t right. Don’t get intimidated and forget to tune up. Dont book a show if 100% of your band can’t be there. If everything is in place, rock it.
Angelo Sanchez: Practice makes perfect. And don’t ever look at your music like it’s the best. Looking back on all my old stuff, back then thinking it was fire, and now hearing it and thinking about how much I’ve leveled up since then.
Judi Dench: Learn to trust yourself and know your intention with why you want to make the kind of music that you do. And then be proud of it
Austin Torrez: Build a laser harp. I wish I had started there.No actually everyone should have a PA, from as early on as possible. Be LOUD.
Brian Dole: I would say grind hard as [you can]. As soon as you start take every single opportunity available, but most importantly, humble yourself. DO NOT LET AN EGO EAT WHO YOU are I have watched so much amazing talent destroy themselves with a huge better-than-everyone attitude. Do not talk about it, be about it. Let your grind and music speak for itself, keep moving, and make as much music as you can. Most importantly, enjoy it. You are a special person to be able to create and express yourself.
Aaron Lewis: Believe in what you do wake up every day and tell yourself how incredibly awesome you are and put the work in it and you will meet and exceed all of your expectations. Also seek advice on technique and music theory and how it all works together so you can make your music exactly how you want it.
Will Byrne: Be prepared to bring the energy.
Kron Jeremy: Just do it. Its a comfort zone thing. It just takes time to get comfortable onstage. I remember reading an interview with Blackthought from the roots and they asked how they got so good at their live show? He replied, “Lots of shitty shows”. I always liked that perspective on it. It’s funny too because sometimes you don’t want to be too comfortable onstage either though. i always feel like when you’re not nervous is when you need to be nervous before a show. lol. it keeps you sharp.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Franklin Yazzie: Just keep playing music for the right reasons and do what makes you happy. If you’re happy, it will reflect to the people you’re playing for.
John Baird: I definitely wanna shout out David Chavez from the draft sessions open mic @ the Red Door Brewery on Monday nights. He is definitely cultivating for young musicians and giving us a chance to play for new audiences.
Angelo Sanchez: Artists to be on the lookout for: SATCHEL VI, SIXTWOSIX, CBRD, OSEYERUS, DEADDINSYDE, BENDROWNED, and all of VERYDEADCLIQUE
Judi Dench: Psychedelic rock is fine, but there are so many other paths for NM bands! Try ANYTHING.
Austin Torrez: Ouija Boards aren’t to be trusted for anything but poetry.
Aaron Lewis: Music is food for our souls. Let’s help each other eat well.
Will Byrne: Get a job! Do not depend on ABQ music scene for money. You will make better music in the process.
GRAPES OF NECESSITY – WINE IN NEW MEXICO THEN AND NOW
by Marc LaRouche
Excerpted from the book “Four Corners Vineyards and Wineries”
Copyright 2009 by Starley Talbot – used by permission. Book available on Amazon.com
New Mexico is said to be the oldest grape growing region in the United States. Spanish missionaries planted vineyards with Mission grapes and made wine to fill their need for sacramental wine. In 1598, Don Juan de Onate led a small band of Spanish colonists from New Spain (modern Mexico) northward, up the trail that became known as El Camino Real (the Royal Road). These colonists settled the fertile valley of the Rio Grande, in what is now New Mexico, where they established their farms.
Franciscan monks accompanied the settlers to minister their spiritual needs and to bring the “Holy Faith” to the Indians. These monks celebrated mass every day, where it was necessary to serve wine, representing the blood of Christ. The wine had to be shipped from Spain to Mexico, then carted a thousand miles by ox-cart to the new settlements. Spanish government officials, concerned about protecting revenues from the wine trade with the colonists, prohibited the raising of grapes and making wine in the New World. This ban was in effect for more than 150 years. However, in the remote regions of the Spanish Empire, including New Mexico and Arizona, the Catholic church chose to ignore the ban.
The first grapevines planted in what is now New Mexico were brought in 1629 to Senecu, an Indian pueblo, south of the present day town of Socorro. The cuttings that were brought by the missionaries were a variety of Vitis vinifera, commonly called Mission grape. Historians think it is a European variety from Spain, called Monica.
Vineyards and wineries grew and continued to prosper in New Mexico until the late 1800’s. By the early 1900’s the weather, including frequent floods on the Rio Grande, and the proliferation of California wineries, contributed to New Mexico’s wine industry. When prohibition was enacted in 1919, making the production of wine illegal, most wineries ceased production; although a few vineyards and wineries continued to operate despite the ban.
By the time Prohibition was repealed in 1934 these wineries found that they could not compete with wine from California. In 1943 the greatest Rio Grande floods of the century destroyed vineyards throughout New Mexico wine country, basically ending the wine business in New Mexico.
Wine production did not revive in New Mexico until 1977, when New Mexico’s oldest contemporary winery, La Vina, was founded. In the 1980s European investors, attracted by low-cost land, planted thousands of grapes in southern New Mexico. Many of these vineyards failed, due to weather, disease and marketing problems. By 1990 other vineyards were planted, and wineries opened throughout New Mexico. Wine festivals were established to aid in marketing and the new wine industry in New Mexico began to blossom.
New Mexico has three areas that have been designated as an “appellation”. These are Mesilla Valley, Middle Rio Grande Valley and Mimbres Valley. An appellation is a wine-growing region with officially recognized boundaries. Appellation designations are required on wine labels to identify the origin of the grapes used in making the wine. In North America there are three classes of appellations: states/provinces and counties, as well as more specifically defined actual growing conditions, known as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). However, New Mexico has divided the state into designated “wine trails” for tourism purposes – these are the Northern Wine Trail., Central Wine Trail, Southeast Wine Trail and the Southern Wine Trail.
A Chile Story: The origins of chile production and use in northern New Mexico
by Marc LaRouche
(Excerpted from a publication of the New Mexico Office of the State Historian)
When driving around New Mexico in the fall, perhaps one of the most welcome sights is the big roasters spinning green chile. New Mexicans relish the smoky chile scent in the air and look forward to their enchiladas smothered in red or green chile. Moreover, many New Mexicans and tourists often stop to buy the bright red chile ristras hanging on the road side. Although many know that chile is currently one of New Mexico’s most lucrative crops, they may not realize that chile has a long history in the state. In examining Chimayó chile, for example, one can trace the history of the Spaniards’ arrival to New Mexico, how the Pueblo people adopted it as their own, and how it became an integral part of life in northern New Mexico.
When the Spaniards arrived in the New World, they encountered new agricultural wonders grown by the Native Americans. Chief among these wonders was maize. Other foodstuffs included American beans, tomatoes, and squashes. But it was ají, also known as chile, that became such an important crop to the future inhabitants of Chimayó. Spaniards quickly adopted the fiery chile into their diet and when they left the Valley of Mexico and began to explore the vast continent, they brought chile seeds with them.
The conquistador Don Juan de Oñate, who came to New Mexico in 1598, hoped to strike silver and to develop a major mining and smelting industry. But until that occurred, he knew that survival depended on the ability of his colony to produce foodstuffs. He therefore included seeds and livestock in his inventory. The Spaniards introduced crops, traídas de Castilla (brought from Castile), such as wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, lettuce, radishes, cantaloupes, and watermelons. They also brought crops native to Mexico which had not been grown before on the upper Rio Grande: Mexican varieties of beans, tomatoes, cultivated tobacco, a new variety of corn, and chile.
Since Oñate and his men never did find the sought-after metals, agriculture and livestock raising became the mainstays of the colonial New Mexican economy. Over the course of the century, the Pueblo people adopted these new crops making them an essential part of their diet.
Some of the new colonists settled in Chimayó in 1695 near the villa of Santa Cruz de la Cañada, also established in 1695. These settlers found themselves in almost the same situation as the Spanish settlers of one hundred years earlier. Establishing irrigation and crops took time, and until that time came, the settlers depended on their neighbors for survival. The desperate straits of the people did not last long and the people of Chimayó successfully established an agricultural economy. By 1776, the Chimayosos grew their own chile and no longer relied on their neighbors.
Over two hundred years later, out of all the crops grown in Chimayó, the most important crop was chile, with fully one-third of the land under cultivation given over to its production. Everyone who owned irrigable land grew chile. The chile from Chimayó was and is special. It is small and crooked with a very thin skin. It has a sweet flavor and ranges from mild to hot. It owes its singularity to the unique growing conditions of the region: rugged terrain, unpredictable weather patterns, and the short growing season. Chimayosos did not only serve it up with their meals, but used it for medicinal purposes. For treating colds and sore throats, they crushed the chile and ate it alone without any other food.
In the fall, Chimayosos needed to prepare the chile for market. Making ristras involved tying the chile onto a long string. In most cases, this task was a communal event, a time when the residents came together to work and to exchange stories and news.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Chimayó’s economy remained dependant on small-scale agriculture. Due to the importance of chile in the Chimayosos’ diet and of its value to people in neighboring villages and cities, farmers continued to till their huertas (chile fields). During the Great Depression, Chimayosos used chile as a means of obtaining goods from local merchants. In the 1930s local retailers, such as the Bond and Nohl’s store in Española, traded about 60,000 ristras. Using the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, Bond and Nohl’s shipped the chile out to destinations throughout the West. Chimayosos, with cash and/or chile in hand, went to local stores such as Bond and Nohl’s to buy food, clothing, shoes, cooking pots, and farm equipment. If Bond and Nohl’s rejected some of the chile ristras, the farmers took the rejects and other produce to trade in other communities. They traded the chile in Mora, Peñasco, Truchas, Taos, Chacón, and Chamisal. In Mora, for example, in exchange for the chile, Chimayosos received queso de cabra (goat cheese), potatoes, and mutton. The people of Truchas and Peñasco received chile in exchange for wheat and potatoes.
Since World War II (WWII), fewer and fewer people produce chile in Chimayó. Nevertheless, the old strain of Chimayó chile remains a vibrant reminder of the shared agricultural history of the original Spanish settlers and the Native Americans.
The “Chile Line” railroad
D&RG founder General William Palmer’s dream had been for his Denver & Rio Grande to grow into a narrow-gauge system stretching from Denver to Mexico City. The line south from Alamosa to Santa Fe was a stepping stone on the way to realizing that dream—but after the loss of Raton Pass to and the conflict at Royal Gorge with the Santa Fe, and the subsequent “Treaty of Boston” which effectively ceded northern New Mexico to the ATSF, the Rio Grande turned its attention to the rich mining territory in western Colorado, with the intended line to Santa Fe terminated at Espanola.
It took a third party to step in and complete the line the DRG had originally planned. After several financial reversals, the Texas, Santa Fe & Northern railroad company completed the line from Santa Fe to Espanola in January 1887. After a few more years the Denver & Rio Grande obtained control and the completed line officially became the Santa Fe Branch. Unofficially, though—well, with the sparse freight traffic on the line, one cargo that was worthy of notice and consistent enough to be depended upon was the chili peppers which were grown by the farmers along the line. Hence the Santa Fe Branch is better known to history as the “Chili Line” (or Chile Line).
The Chili Line was never a great revenue producer, and while it was more direct (by 79 miles) than the Santa Fe’s roundabout route via Lamy and La Junta, it suffered under the speed and capacity limitations imposed by its narrow gauge right-of-way. By 1941, a prospective passenger seeking to travel from the capital of New Mexico to the capital of Colorado could choose to embark upon the all-day and all-night odyssey shown above. Or, he could spend a full working day followed by time for dinner in Santa Fe, ride to Lamy in a new air-conditioned bus, board the eastbound California Limited at 7:40 p.m., spend the night, whether in coach or sleeper, in air-conditioned comfort—and arrive in Denver at about the same time as the traveler who had embarked on the Chili Line the previous morning. Not surprisingly, only the most rabid narrow-gauge fans sought out the Chili Line—and there weren’t enough of them to keep it in business. The Chili Line closed for good in September of 1941.
A look back at the Dorothy Dunn School of Native American Art
by Marc-Paul LaRouche
Indian Market 2016
In a recent visit to Durango, Colorado we wandered into an antique store on Main Street. The store is one of many that features consigned works from different vendors, each of whose eclectic collections can reach the far ends of Western art and memorabilia. Early into our exploration I noticed a small stack of “Arizona Highways” magazines. The top magazine caught my eye immediately. The price was very reasonable and I asked a store clerk to set it aside for me. It was actually the only thing we bought in that store – prices were a bit high and the place was intolerably hot.
The treasure that I took away, for a dollar or two, brought me back to an inspiring exhibit that we had visited many years before at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, which featured the artwork produced at the Santa Fe Studio Art School at the Santa Fe Indian School. Their first teacher was Dorothy Dunn, a non-native who had taught at the San Juan Boarding School at Shiprock, New Mexico and later studied art at the School of Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Some of the most famous Western Native American artists were students at that school, which opened in September of 1932. The list of students includes Allan Haozous Houser, Ben Quintana, Harrison Begay (see our cover art), Joe Hilario Herrera, Andrew Tsihnahjinnie, Pablita Velarde (see our story in ”Tales of the Trails” on page 11), Gerald Nailor, Jose Ray Toledo, Quincy Tahoma, Lewis Numkena, Jr., Shije Herrera, Eva Mirabel, Pop Chalee, Oscar Howe, Geronima Cruz Montoya and Narcisco Abeyta.
While she has been criticized by many native artists for teaching her single style of painting, known as “flat-style painting”, many of Dorothy Dunn’s students went on to bigger and better fame and success as the unique style and vision of western Native American art became a mainstay in the fabric of American art and culture.
Interestingly, the story in “Arizona Highways”, which was published in the February, 1950 edition of this famous western American publication (at the cost of 35 cents), there is no direct mention of Ms. Dunn or her contribution to the founding and early days of the school. The story was written by Clara Lee Tanner, who was a celebrated archeologist from the University of Arizona. Her take on the story of “Contemporary Indian Arts” (the title of her feature in the 1950 “Arizona Highways”) paints a much broader picture of the evolution of modern western Native American art. One aspect noted in this article chronicles Native American artists from as far back as the late 1800s using watercolors to depict scenes that were important to them. By the 1930s, educators like Dorothy Dunn were bringing sophisticated methodologies of portraying their traditional ideals, utilizing modern watercolor techniques, with a hope that the young students in her school would be able to have success in the then-contemporary non-native world. The work of these students and their eventual success speaks loudly that the motive was certainly in place, as it laid the groundwork for much future success for so many of these Native American artists.
This year, the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) will present the 95th annual Santa Fe Indian Market on August 20 and 21, 2016 (See page 10 of this issue for a complete detail of upcoming Native American artist events, including the Santa Fe Indian Market). Every year since its inception, the Santa Fe Indian Market has championed the best work of contemporary Native American artists. This market is a centerpiece and focal point for the very best Native American art, available for review and to be purchased, in a juried event in which $90,000.00 will be awarded this year as prizes to Native American artists for exhibiting their very best art. Buyers from around the world flock to Santa Fe during this event to partake of the history, legacy and beauty of the best of the best of Native American art and culture.
Some time shortly after 1950, students Harrison Begay, Gerald Nailor and Allan Houser, three of the most prominent student artists of the Dorothy Dunn school, started their own art publication business, known as Tewa Enterprises. The artwork on the cover of this issue of The Corridor is a reprint of a silk-screen reproduction of a piece of art produced by Harrison Begay, one of the founders of Tewa Enterprises, entitled “Navajo Feather Dancer”. This print, a part of a private collection, is representative of the quality and style of work that was taught and executed by the students of the Dorothy Dunn school of art during the early days of the Santa Fe Studio Art School at the Santa Fe Indian School. Today the intrepid art enthusiast can easily view and purchase examples of this art from Than Povi Gallery, a true treasure-trove of Native American art located on the San Ildefonso Pueblo (on the way to Bandelier National Monument and Los Alamos, New Mexico). Than Povi is an exclusive dealer in art work produced by Gerald Nailor and his son, Gerald Nailor, Jr., whose works depict ancient and modern images that are true to the Native American culture. (505) 455-9988
Local author tells a tale of history and possible redemption
by Marc-Paul LaRouche
Sitting in a pew under the glorious Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Asissi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, local author Thomas Clagett sat hopeful, listening attentively to a sermon by Monsignor Jerome, who spoke this day about an incident that had occurred long ago involving the famed archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who had built, with the aid of many, the edifice in which they now sat.
The story that the Monsignor proffered that day was about an incident that had occurred long ago, and it tickled the fancy of our author, who sat attentively and considered the possibilities. The sermon of the day concerned an incident, as related by the Monsignor, in which Archbishop Lamy, in search of funds (as was usually the case) was canvassing his entire archdiocese, priest by priest, to borrow funds in the hopes of completing the construction of the Cathedral in Santa Fe. In this story, he encounters a priest in one of the far-reaching parishes, who explains that his parish is very poor, and has no money, not even to lend.
The priest, eager to help in spite of the poverty of his parish, asks further about the need for funds, asks if the Archbishop has any funds with him currently, then offers to use those funds to create more money (with no explanation as to how this miracle might transpire).in order to help the Archbishop in his quest. In fact, the father heads off to Fort Union, fleecing the entire Army contingent of their available funds (the priest had a previous life of ribaldry, including great success as a gambler), in a game of cards, having used the $30+ that the Archbishop currently carried, as collateral. According to Archbishop Lamy, the priest ultimately brings back $2,000 + to the Archbishop. The rest, as they say, is history.
It occurs to our intrepid author (as authors will do) that a robbery might have taken place after the priest leaves Fort Union on his way to bring his proceeds to the Monsignor (for the good of the Church, of course).
From here our author takes the story North and South, so to speak. Tom opens his book, entitled “West of Penance”, with his protagonist, Clement, joining the French Foreign Legion. Clement then becomes involved in the Mexican War for Independence, and eventually ends up in a far-flung Catholic parish in New Mexico. In his own way, the once-wayward Clement finds his way to give back and make ammends to the people of his community and to his Church.
The result is a fast-paced story of truth and possibilities. Tom’s writing is first-rate and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. You can buy “West of Penance” on Amazon or local bookstores, including the Cathedral Basilica bookstore and Opcit Books.
Tom Clagett is not yet a household name, yet I believe everyone with an interest in Southwest history, specifically in the area that we reach with The Corridor, will enjoy “West of Penance” by Tom Clagett. With other titles to his credit, including 2 large tomes detailing the works of filmmaker William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”, “The French Connection”), Tom Clagett is a fine writer and storyteller worthy of attention by anyone who enjoys good historical fiction. This book is compelling, easy to read and presents a true-to-life story about our West.
You can meet Tom Clagett and get a copy of his book at these upcoming events.:
Saturday July 9 – 3 PM – Opcit at De Vargas Mall. Ssigning and Q & A and a reading from the book.
Saturday July 16 Opcit in Taos. 2 pm.Signing, Q & A and a reading from the book.
Sunday July 24 – Bookworks in ABQ 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW (505) 344-8139 3 pm. Signing, Q & A and a reading from the book.
“Glancing out across the open rolling plains Clement saw a rider getting closer. He recognized the man wearing the wide-brimmed padre hat with the short crown and black shirt with the standing white collar around his neck and black trousers. A large gold cross hung at his chest. It was the bishop. No, he was the Archbishop now. Clement last saw him that past June in Santa Fe when he attended his investiture as archbishop. The whole town had turned out for the ceremony and the festivities had lasted well into the night. And what a celebration it had been.
The cavalry band from Fort Union had played on the plaza and people danced. Hundreds of farolitos illuminated the town and fireworks lit up the sky. The rider raised his hand. Clement returned the greeting and wondered what had brought the Archbishop all the way out here. The annual tithes had been collected that past Summer. And the Archbishop surely hadn’t left Santa Fe to ride over two hundred miles to Penquero for a social visit.”
“West of Penance” by Tom Clagett
Excerpted from Chapter 7
Regardless of your preferred mode of travel – hike, bike, motorcycle, car, bus, train or plane, as the weather turns to our favor, school is out for Summer and we all have the urge to get out and about.
Our June issue features a very special supplement – the Motorado Show News – as an insert in a percentage of the copies of The Corridor that will be distributed throughout north central New Mexico. Additional copies of the Motorado Show News will be distributed the day of the show, on June 19, 2016, 10 am to 3 pm, at La Tienda Shopping Plaza in Eldorado at Santa Fe, NM. The Motorado Show News presents information and highlights about this very popular event, now in its fifth year, that celebrates classic motorcycles made prior to 1985. This year the highlighted “marque” (place of manufacture) is the American-made motorcycle, primarily those made under the Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle brand names. (To get your personal copy of the Motorado Show News contact us at 505-438-9600).
The “No Reason” Ride”
by Glen Post – All photos by Glen Post
So I took a little ride today. It was only 275 miles and while I had no real destination, I planned on stopping at anything that looked somewhat photogenic. As you can see, there are many things to see on New Mexico’s backroads. Leaving my place, I headed south on NM Route 3 to Encino. The first time Nina and I made this trip, the hotel was still open and for sale. 22 years have been pretty hard on that place.
I had breakfast at Penny’s Diner on NM Route 60. Killer omelet was made by Jodie! I killed 45 minutes there chatting with some of the locals before continuing east on Rt. 60. 60 is not a very pretty route but it does have some items of interest. While not a ghost town, Yeso is a near ghost with only a few buildings occupied.
I realized that continuing on 60 was the long way home, but I figured “what the hell” and kept on heading east. I turned north at Ft. Sumner after taking a picture at the Billy the Kid Museum. While cruising north, I started to wonder if NM Route 84 was the route that had that old sign from a defunct restaurant. It turns out that it was and that would be the last picture in this set. I took 84 to I-25 and 25 home.
Glen Post is the PR director and a member of the Sangre de Christo chapter of the Harley Owners’ Group. http://www.santafehog.com/ Glen is also the owner and proprietor of the Pecos River Station, a gas station, convenience store located just off the I-25 San Juan/San Jose exit # 319. Like so many motorcycle enthusiasts, Glen enjoys exploring the open road throughout New Mexico, meeting the people and reliving our local history and culture.
We Are Out of Hibernation . . . Let the Events Begin !
by Marc-Paul LaRouche
Definition of Hibernation: “A state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals during winter”
It is an interesting thing to consider that the phenomenon to which we all refer as “Global Warming”, which is in fact a true and rapidly occurring set of events, seems to have had a reverse effect on much of the temperate climates. I have lived in New Mexico (this time) for 15 years, and personally I am TIRED OF BEING COLD! Whatever the cause of the change in climate, it seems that we may be finally reaching the Spring Thaw. We all are coming out of hibernation, so to speak, and just in time.
The month of May is typically the launching point for many months of “fairs, fests, shows, runs, rallys, fleas & tours” in north central New Mexico. As a reader of The Corridor you are already aware of the abundance of Artists Studio Tours in New Mexico. This in fact seems to be something unique to New Mexico. From the first weekend in May (this year was split between April 30 and May 1), 23 artists studio tours will take place in New Mexico, most of them in the northern part of the state, as far north as Colorado. In May there are two studio tours, in back to back weekends. The Placitas Studio Tour will is held every Mother’s Day weekend, this year on May 7 and 8. The following weekend is the largest tour of the year, the Eldorado Studio Tour, with open studios on May 14 and 15. Another art event will take place in Wagon Mound, New Mexico, on Railroad Avenue, on May 28, 29 and 30. Be on the lookout for a multitude of arts events in The Corridor in the coming months.
If you are into bicycle events, there are a myriad of events taking place every weekend. One such popular event takes place in Santa Fe and is sponsored by Outside Magazine. The Outside Bike & Brew festival is 4 days of, basically, riding bicycles and enjoying quality crafted beers. This year the event will be held from May 19 to May 22.
That same weekend, in Madrid, New Mexico, a less energetic but equally popular event is the Crawdaddy Blues Fest at the Mine Shaft Tavern. This event features fresh crawfish boils, Cajun food, and lots of live blues.
For flower lovers and admirers there is a very special annual event in Taos, the Taos Lilac Festival, that celebrates the heritage of lilacs. This event is held from May 20 to May 27.
Close to my home in Eldorado we are a media sponsor for a very popular motorcycle event (see page 11 of this issue). The Motorado Classic Motorcycle Show is celebrating their 5th year and will take place on Father’s Day, June 19, from 10 am to 3 pm in Eldorado.
From a Mother’s Day whitewater festival in Pilar to a Memorial Day motorcycle rally in Red River, be sure to check out our event calendar every month for ideas on ways to “thaw out” and start to feel human again. Happy May and welcome to the outside world.
Motorado Motorcycle Club Announces 5th Annual Motorado Classic Motorcyle Show
For the 5th straight year the Motorado Motorcycle Club will host its popular Motorado Classic Motorcycle Show, held each Father’s Day from 10 am to 3 pm at La Tienda Shopping Center in Eldorado at Santa Fe. The Motorado Motorcycle Club is a non-profit organization whose goal is to support the enjoyment and participation of motorcycle sports of all kinds. The club seeks to promote the sport, the enthusiasts, the vendors, and the region.
Whether you are a motorcycle enthusiast or just looking for a fun afternoon, this is the place to be on Father’s Day. Nearly one hundred classic motorcycles from all over New Mexico as well as neighboring states will be on display. The bikes will be judged and awards presented to the best in their categories. Find out more about this event and the Motorado club at www.motorado.org or call (505) 466-2723.
The Motorado Classic Motorcycle Show is a public event, free to all ages, featuring classic and vintage motorycles from 1984 and before. Motorcycle entries come from all around New Mexico as well as neighboring states. Participants exhibiting motorcycles in this judged event pay a nominal fee to show their bikes. Sponsors and exhibitors pay a fee to participate in the show as well. The net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society.
At the culmination of the event the judges will decide upon a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner in each class, as well as optional honorable mention in each class. Finally a Best of Show award will be presented. For 2016 the show will feature American-made motorcycles. In 2014 a 1928 Harley Davidson JH 74” Big Twin was the Best of Show winner. That motorcycle was featured in a composited image on the cover of the June, 2015 issue of The Corridor.
For the past 2 years, EldoradoDaily.com and Streamlynx Communications have produced the Motorado Show News, a special newsprint publication dedicated to the Motorado Classic Motorcycle Show and the official publication of the Motorado Motorcycle Club. This publication was distributed in select locations in the Eldorado area and handed out to visitors the day of the event each Father’s Day.
For 2016, the Motorado Show News will be an 8 page “pullout” publication in the June, 2016 issue of The Corridor. This special edition will feature information about the event, including a sponsor page, the winners of the 2015 awards, and other information about what visitors can expect to see at the 2016 event.
Additional copies of the June Corridor will be printed to be distributed the day of the event, as well as our normal distribution throughout North Central New Mexico. If you want to learn more about this event, be sure to pick up your copy of the June Corridor.
PRINT IT !
by Marc-Paul LaRouche – Editor and Publisher – The Corridor
The Corridor staff goes behind the scenes to witness first-hand how the Santa Fe New Mexican prints our magazine each month.
Magazines, newspapers, flyers – publications of all shapes and sizes are printed on a daily basis at the Santa Fe New Mexican printing facility on the South Side of Santa Fe. We began our relationship with the New Mexican as the publishers of the New Mexico Artists’ Studio Tour Guide in 2014. In March of 2015 we began to publish The Corridor, and have published other specialty publications as well at the New Mexican facility. Upon visiting the press facility to pick up The Corridor March issue I learned that the paper was about to be printed. I took that opportunity to do an impromptu story on the printing process and to show our readers the quality and sophistication of the printing process – right here in Santa Fe, NM. The process is impressive and these men and women (and dogs) are top-notch.
The Santa Fe New Mexican is considered to be the oldest daily newspaper West of the Mississippi, with its origins dating back to 1849.
In 2015 the New Mexican was honored as “Newspaper of the Year” by the Local Media Association, a national organization of television, radio and newspaper companies.
While the New Mexican is known throughout New Mexico and the West as a long-standing contributor to the daily news and information scene, many may not be aware that it is also the largest commercial printer in New Mexico, with publications from throughout New Mexico and neighboring states printing daily at their state-of-the-art printing facility which opened in 2004 in a 65,000 sq. ft building on the South Side of Santa Fe.
The Corridor Celebrates the Horse!
by Marc-Paul LaRouche
The Ancient Horse in North America
When most people in North America think or talk about horses, they are usually referring to the modern horse as we know it today. In fact, the horse is considered to have originated in both Europe and North America as Eohippus, the ancestor of all modern horses (equids). Eohippus lived in the early Eocene epoch: 54 – 55 million years ago.
The North American horses disappeared around 8,000-10,000 years ago. Many factors, including hunting by early Native Peoples, climate changes and disease are considered to have contributed to their demise.
The Modern American Horse
Under Spanish rule, the Conquistadors brought with them to the New Country hardy horses accustomed to the hills of Iberia (Old Spain) including Iberian Barb’ descendents, known as Jennets or Andaluz Mustangs. The Spanish first brought their horses to the Carribbean in the early 1500s, and thus began the re-introduction of horses to North America.
Today the American Quarter Horse is the most popular breed in the United States today, with more than five million horses registered worldwide in the American Quarter Horse Association registry. This breed got its start as a cross between English Thoroughbred horses and Native American horses, whose stock began from the Iberian, Arabian and Barbs brought to the Americas by the Spanish Conquistadors.
Horses in the West
It is hard to imagine how the western United States could have been settled without the aid of the horse. Native Peoples and Western settlers alike relied on the horse to carry their burdens, to help them to hunt, and to provide protection from marauders. Today the horse provides pleasure for it’s riders, but still holds an important place in other aspects of Western living. On page 4 we look at riding therapy, search and rescue and other horse rescue efforts by local non-profits for the benefit of our very special 4-legged friends.
Portions of this segment derive from www.canadiangeographic.ca
Looking for something different to do this Summer?
Why not take in a movie or two at the only drive-in theater in Northern New Mexico?
This Summer, head to Las Vegas to watch a movie or two outdoors. Pack up the kids, take your friends,
and enjoy a good old-fashioned evening of fun at the Fort Union Drive-In Theatre.
According to some sources, there were once about 4,000 drive-in theaters across America. Now there are less than 400. In New Mexico, there are 2 drive-in theaters still in operation. One, the Fiesta Drive-In Theatre in Carlsbad, New Mexico, offers 3 screens and can accomodate up to 600 cars a night. The other is the Fort Union Drive-In Theatre, located at 3300 7th Street in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The Fort Union Drive-In Theatre can accomodate 340 cars and has one screen. Not long ago, the Fort Union Drive-In was destined to become a thing of the past, a fate that has befallen most of the drive-in theaters across the country.
There are several reasons for the demise of the drive-in theater, among them the ready availability of home movies, the efficiency of multi-screen indoor theaters, as well as the rising value of real estate where the drive-ins had been located. For the Fort Union Drive-In Theatre, as for all theaters across the country, the threat to closing was the technology needed to project movies today. Film companies are no longer printing film reels for projection in movie houses, so every movie theater in the U.S. that wishes to show current releases has been forced to purchase costly digital projectors to replace the old film projectors.
A number of concerned Las Vegas business people and citizens, including long-time theater manager Jeanna Diluccio, attempted to save the Fort Union Drive In with a grass-roots campaign to raise the funds that were needed to convert the theater to the new digital projection technology.
However, after months spent attempting to raise the needed funds, there still was not enough to purchase the new equipment. According to a story in the Santa Fe New Mexican (June 14, 2014) “Jake Cordova, 18 and fresh out of Robertson High School, is the drive-in’s new general manager. Cordova grew up going to the drive-in and worked at Fort Union the last couple of years handling security and fixing the old projector. Now, he’ll be running the whole show, from hiring staff to keeping the concession stand stocked. . . (Cordova) asked his grandfather, former Taos County sheriff Felipe Cordova, to help buy the projector and take over the drive-in. The elder Cordova said he recognized the need. “
The needed equipment has been purchased and the drive-in has been saved. The Fort Union Drive-In Theatre is open nightly Thursday through Sunday, with double features on the weekend. Gates open at 6:30 pm and the first feature starts about 8:30 pm. There is a concession stand that is open during movie nghts, with pizza, candy, nachos and soft drinks. Admission is $20 per carload.
For current movie listings call 505-425-9934. You can also find out more about the Fort Union Drive-In on their Facebook page:
THE SANDIA MOUNTAINS – A SPIRITUAL RESOURCE
Essay and photos © 2015 by James A. Morris
One late summer afternoon, thunder broke the stillness. The forest darkened. High on the northeastern flanks of the Sandia Mountains, I was nestled between the base of a fir tree and a fallen log. I listened. I gazed up through the green-black of the evergreen canopy while absorbing the silence.
Actually, it was not so quiet. Rather, I felt solitude, despite a forest symphony composed of groans, cracks, murmurs. Even perhaps, if one drifted, there may have been hushed voices. Were these of the ancients who resided on the mountain? Or maybe messages of cloud spirits awakened by the passing storm? Air moved through the trees, branches strained against one another with hesitant creaks, a sort of eulogy. One might even imagine that the infinitesimal pace of growing plants could
–in some way, at least for some–be heard. Whether
imagination or not, there was a quiet . . . but not silence.
The Sandia Mountains extend for about thirty-five miles on the east side of the Rio Grande River. For the early inhabitants of the middle Rio Grande valley, the Sandias were perceived as South World Mountain, or Oku Pin. And for many today, the Sandias remain a place for reverence. It is from behind the mountains that the light of day comes. And when the red clouds of sunrise or sunset reflect light upon the city and the river, we can see where the parent of all gods and goddesses–Oku’wapin–dwells and watches over the valley and plains.
Reaching above 10,500 feet, the Crest of the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico provides a vantage point from which one can see to all horizons. In late summer and fall, cool dry air pushes up the western escarpment toward its rendezvous with the warmer and moisture-laden air masses that flow from the Gulf of Mexico. Thunder clouds often form thousands of feet high. At the same time, warmth reigns along the banks of the Rio Grande River, and people go about their daily activities in shirt sleeves.
Thunder intruded once again, pushing my thoughts back to the moment. Our day-to-day worlds are not of the forest, the mountain, the mesa, nor even the river. Despite the nearness of the Sandias and the Rio Grande, despite their influence upon the pattern of life in the region, the perspectives of most people are formed by distinct realities. Flows of traffic, the regimentation of work, school, play, construction, neon, neighbors, sirens, and billboards. All are part of an urban symphony, quite distinct from the chorale of this forest atrium . . .
Take away the mountain and we can ask whether Albuquerque and the Rio Abajo would be as desirable, as distinct, or even conceivable. Development on and around the mountain coexists, uneasily, with those areas that are still wild. As the mountain is encircled by settlement, questions arise as to the destiny of those qualities that seemingly fulfill both individual and broader social needs. From the Pueblo perspective in their river valley settlements, and as the Spanish belatedly realized, it is in the land, the forests, the streams, the upper canyons, the mountain peaks where riches lay, where the ancient gods live.
. . . There’s more to this story. To read the conclusion of this
insightful essay, which was submitted by “The Corridor” reader and Sandia Park, NM resident Mr. James A. Morris
(accompanied by his own stunning photography) , please visit the online version of The Corridor at www.thecorridornm.com. If you want to see the rest in print, look for
“The Rest of The Story” starting in our June issue.
The Rest of The Story” . . . conclusion of our story from page 5 in the May Edition of The Corridor
Would I have a choice I would stay here among the soft murmur of the forest and the transient, fleeting passages of animal life. In truth, I have no choice. But as the Sandia Puebloans claim this is where their spirituality is nurtured–so mine, so ours. Thus, to our benefit, this resource must be respected. We take with us some of the energy that is given by the mountain. We return to our world, perhaps with a sense of renewal after listening to the mountain.
It is early evening now. Thunder rumbles in the distance, the sound muted amidst flashes of heat lightning. Slipping beneath the lingering clouds, the last rays of silver light illuminate the tree tops, just for a moment. The noisy woodpecker is now silent, or may have moved farther away. Underground, surely there is a stirring in the burrows prior to nocturnal foraging.
is a writer/photographer/artist and high plains wanderer.
Although a longtime conservationist, the author’s primary focus is how men, women, and their children are able to live in harmony with their natural surroundings today and tomorrow, whether rancher, suburbanite, hunter, urban dweller, construction worker, or merchant.
The Battle of Glorieta Pass
Living history Civil War Weekend at Pecos National Historical Park commemorates the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Glorieta Pass
Three days in March of 1862, March 26 – March 28, 1862, marked a decisive battle in New Mexico for the Civil War.
The Battle of Glorieta Pass was the culmination of these 3 days, and changed the course of the war and American history. To commemorate this battle, the National Park Service sponsored a Living History weekend on Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th, 2015 on the grounds of the Pecos National Historical Park in Pecos, New Mexico .
The weekend included 2 full days of activities at the E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center, featuring a kid’s table, exhibitor table, Civil War merchandise, discussions of the military use of the Santa Fe Trail, the role of the Santa Fe Trail in expanding U.S. commercial and military interests in the New Mexico Territory, as well as a talk by park volunteer and retired physician Bob Mallin on “Civil War surgery: the good, the bad and the ugly”.
Field activities were held both days at the old Kozlowski’s ranch and stage station. This ranch had played an important logistical role in the Battle of Glorieta Pass. A Civil War style encampment was set up for the weekend, with volunteers in period outfits playing the roles that they represented. Activities included the 1st New Mexico Field Music, Fife and Drum, demonstrations by the 3rd New Mexico Volunteers “drilling like a Civil War soldier”, black powder rifle demonstrations, and discussion and demonstration by the 5th Regiment U.S. Infantry about small arms and the Santa Fe Trail. The Artillery Company of New Mexico demonstrated black powder firings of their field cannon.
The Civil War Preservation Trust gives this brief account of the Battle of Glorieta Pass:
“Glorieta Pass is commonly referred to as the “Gettysburg of the West.” It was here that Federal forces were finally able to turn back the Southern invasion of New Mexico. The two small armies commanded by Confederate lieutenant colonel William Scurry and Union Colonel John Slough totaled only about 2,500 troops, but the fighting was critical to the outcome of the war in the West. The battle began with a preliminary encounter at Apache Canyon on March 26. March 28 was the decisive day of the conflict, as Scurry attacked Federals resting and filling canteens near Pigeon’s Ranch. The fighting dragged on throughout the day, as the Confederates gradually forced Slough to retreat eastward. When a detachment of Union infantry burned their supply train, the Rebels were forced to retreat back into Texas.”
An interesting side note: this battle included many soldiers from the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers, who had marched down from Denver to Fort Union. Of the troops who arrived from Fort Union for this battle, 75% were Colorado Volunteers. The rest were New Mexico Volunteers, most of whom did not speak English. Commands for the troops in the field had to be repeated in Spanish as well as English.
To learn more about this living history event and the Battle of Glorieta Pass, visit these links:
Why “The Corridor”?
by Marc-Paul LaRouche – Editor
As far back as modern humans have lived and settled in New Mexico there have been trails, roads, byways and highways to move people from place to place, to provide safe passage for people, animals and goods, to explore and settle along the scarce waterways in the West, and to encourage trade and commerce between settlements along these “corridors” of civilization.
In north central New Mexico we can count several important ancient corridors that have found their place in the history of our state and of the American West. El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the great thoroughfare that wound its way from north of Santa Fe along the Rio Grande Valley to El Paso and eventually all the way to Mexico City, began its existence in many parts as old Native American trails, and today is roughly traced by the modern Interstate 25, along old US Route 85.
ridors” as important parts of the history and growth of the region. From ancient times Pueblo people mined the exotic blue-green rock known as turquoise. In modern times Spanish settlers and Anglo-Americans followed after the native miners and continued to mine turquoise from many of the same ancient deposits. Today this corridor is known as the “Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway”. This area encompasses 15,000 square miles, linking Santa Fe and Albuquerque along 50 miles of New Mexico Highway 14 in the heart of central New Mexico.
The famed Santa Fe Trail has roots going back to trails established by native peoples, the first humans to occupy this area of North America. The Santa Fe Trail officially began its existence as a trade route in 1821, originating in Franklin, Missouri; midway between St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri along the Missouri River. The newly independent country of Mexico had opened trade between Santa Fe and the eastern United States. Soon wagon trains made their way across the plains of Kansas and Colorado, entering New Mexico by crossing over Raton Pass, or by taking the “Cimarron Cutoff” across the panhandle of Oklahoma to Wagon Mound, Fort Union and eventually arriving in Santa Fe.
One modern “corridor” that is dear to the hearts of many Americans is the old U.S. Route 66, which has also been called the “Mother Road”. This early east-west US highway began in Chicago and made its way across the western US to Santa Monica, California.
It is the purpose of this newspaper, which we have dubbed “The Corridor”, to discover and share the history, culture and community that makes up the convergence of these ancient and modern corridors in this most beautiful and peaceful area of north central New Mexico, USA.