Posted by: bunnyterry | January 11, 2011

Salt Mission Trail and Mountainair

Gran Quivera ruins

Here’s another fortune I wrote for a party this past weekend.  Hope you enjoy it.  What I really hope is that you’ll get on the road and discover how much there is to see and do in New Mexico.  (Do I sound like the Tourism Department?  I swear I’m just someone really happy to be living here. . .)

For good fortune in 2011, take a trip down the Salt Mission Trail and spend the night in Mountainair, NM, reminding yourself as you go that beauty and surprise lie around every corner when you keep your eyes open. If you start in Tijeras, stop at the Ranger’s station and explore the 80 room indian ruin behind the building, but do this only after you’ve stopped off at Molly’s and had a beer with the bearded lady.

Pop Shaffer and his kitchy cement fence

If you travel to Mountainair from the east, stop off at the Willard Cantina for the one of the best green chile cheeseburgers in the state.  (www.willardcantina.com). There’s no bearded lady at the Willard Cantina, but you can probably find an equally interesting character with a couple of unbelievable stories. 

Call ahead and reserve a room at the Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair http://shafferhotel.com/, where you’ll stay in a room over the cafe with the Art Deco/pueblo ceiling painted by the Shaffer family in the 30’s. Admire Pop Shaffer’s amazingly kitchy cement wall complete with his own rendition of gargoyles and goofy figures.
 
 
 
 

 

After dinner in the Shaffer Cafe, walk down the street and have a drink at the Rosebud Saloon, stopping along the way to admire the funky and eclectic artwork and antiques in the shop windows. Mountainair was once the Pinto Bean Capital of New Mexico  – promise you’ll have yourself a bean and green chile breakfast burrito before striking out for Gran Quivera and Quarai in the morning.

Quarai interior

Treat yourself to a day of wandering the Salt Mission Trail, starting with the ruins at Quarai. Marvel at the workmanship of the church, constructed in 1300 AD by native workers overseen by Franciscan priests. Walk quietly in the midst of the 40 foot tall, 5 feet thick walls and then walk further, over the little bridge over the creek.  Remember that your own history is important, and that someday someone will sift through what was your’s, marveling at your artifacts and stories.   

 
 
 

Quarai

 

After Quarai, head back south past Mountainair and go to the ruins at Gran Quivera, where you’ll be amazed by the size and condition of the structures still standing. Think about faith, the crazy faith that those Franciscans had to have to come to such a strange, frightening and desolate land.  Think about power, and whether using power and fear is ever the best answer. Think about beauty and the fact that in the most austere of conditions, beauty can exist and thrive. 

Head up the road toward Tijeras and stop off at the Ponderosa for a steak and cold beer. Sit near the wood stove if it’s winter, or on the deck if it’s summer. Relax and remember you pilgrimage among the ancients. Toast your new discovery of unexpected beauty. Remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Though we travel the world over to find beauty, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

Posted by: bunnyterry | January 7, 2011

Pie Town, the Lightning Field and the VLA

The Lightning Field

I wrote this for a good friend of mine.  You might like to try it yourself. 

For good fortune in 2011, head for the Continental Divide and Pie Town (www.pietown.com) in western New Mexico. If you don’t love pie, go ahead and shoot yourself, because there’s no purpose to life without pie (or so they say in Pie Town).

My favorite - chocolate pie

In fact, if you don’t love pie, this fortune may be exactly what you need in 2011, because the purpose is to show you something new, exciting and unexpected. If your schedule permits, plan your visit to Pie Town for the Pie Town Festival in September.

Before you go, (actually this week, because reservations are so hard to get), make a reservation with the Dia Art Foundation to spend the night at the Lightning Field south of Quemado (http://www.diaart.org/sites/main/lightningfield). Pray for rain, thunder and lightning, but know that even if there’s no weather, the Lightning Field, 400 polished stainless steel poles 20 foot tall and arranged in a mile by a kilometer grid, will be breathtaking.

The Lightning Field will be like nothing you’ve experienced before.  At sunset and sunrise it will be one of the most amazing places you’ve ever been.

Rolling out the crust at the Pie-O-Neer

But back to the pie. Before you head off to Quemado for a night among  magic, spend the morning at both the Pie-O-Neer cafe (You can even have pinto bean pie www.pie-o-neer.com) and the Daily Pie Cafe www.dailypie.com.    (Kathy Knapp of the Pie-O-Neer was profiled in Sunset magazine – great article at http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flavors-of-the-west/pie-o-neer-coconut-cream-meringue-pie-00400000012934/ and you get a coconut cream pie recipe to boot!)

Order at least three pieces of pie at each place, taking at least two bites of each. Choose your favorite. Change your mind. Order more. Revel in the fact that you’re alive and breathing (at 8,000 feet, no less), and eating pie. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Eat more pie.

VLA at sunset

After your night at the Lightning Field (or in the Pie Town cabins if you can’t get reservations), travel east and visit the VLA (Very Large Array) between Pie Town and Socorro. Stop when you see those 27 antennas in the distance. Stop again when you get closer. When you’re finally up close, stop and be amazed at the size and scope of one antenna standing alone.

VLA

Marvel at science and intelligence, and then remember Jody Foster in “Contact” and how she found something new, exciting and unexpected. Maybe you’ll have contact with an alien. Maybe you’ll just get some amazing pictures.

It doesn’t matter. Take a minute to marvel. Marvel at the fact that in the past 24 hours you’ve had bites of at least six pieces of pie AND seen the Lightning Field AND now you’re here in one of the most amazing scientific installations in the world.

Keep marveling as you go down the road. Life’s pretty marvelous. Remember to marvel every day. Let 2011 be your year of marveling.

Posted by: bunnyterry | January 6, 2011

Crazy Heart and New Mexico Scenery

Living out here in the sticks makes you especially thankful for your Netflix account.  There’s no video store within 30 miles, so when my red envelope arrives and we have a free evening, it’s a bit of an event. 

A few days ago, Crazy Heart showed up.  Now, I love Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal and everyone agrees Colin Farrell is one of the cutest guys in creation, but when Robert Duvall showed up in the middle of the movie as Bad Blake’s best friend, I was especially pleased.  Great characters, great story line, really great movie.

But you know who my favorite character was?  The scenery and spirit of New Mexico.  The movie was primarily filmed in New Mexico, and without that setting, it wouldn’t have been nearly as moving and powerful.  Bad Blake driving across lonesome highways with that New Mexico horizon in the distance – surprisingly beautiful as always.  Hanging out in Espanola and Santa Fe and Galisteo under those clear skies, cottonwoods in the background – the landscape was as much an important part of the movie as anyone playing a part.

Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for this one, as did T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham (a Hobbs boy who knows how to write and sing a tune) for the theme song, The Weary Kind.  I sorta think the New Mexico landscape should have been nominated for making the movie work and giving it the feel that was essential to Bad Blake’s eventual redemption.  That final concert at the Santa Fe Opera was, as always, just another breathtaking look at a New Mexico sunset while Colin Farrell sang in the background. 

Rent Crazy Heart. Put it in your Netflix queue.  See if you can’t identify the scene locations.  And see if you don’t agree with me that the landscape defines those characters as much as their dialogue does.

I think we’re going to have to watch The Milagro Bean Field War next – now there’s the quintessential New Mexico landscape film. . .

Posted by: bunnyterry | January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday – Old Town Christmas

The Community Christmas Tree in Old Town

As my New Year greeting to all of you, I give you a mostly wordless Wednesday and some of the photos from our Christmas Eve spent in Albuquerque’s Old Town. 

San Felipe de Neri Church in Old Town

Good thing this is wordless, because it’s really impossible to describe how beautiful New Mexico is at this time of year.

 

Maybe you’ll be inspired to plan to spend your next holiday here!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel in the alley grotto at Old Town

Happy New Year to all of you.

Posted by: bunnyterry | January 4, 2011

My Latest Great Find – Black Bird Pies

Raven and Dwayne of Black Bird Pies

I get in my car and leave Logan, traveling to these trade and arts and crafts shows to sell jewelry with Sabrina, thinking as I go that I hope we make money, move lots of inventory, booth next to someone who doesn’t make us crazy, have decent weather if it’s outside, have decent heating if it’s inside. 

I pack my bag full of show clothes, my hair dryer, my makeup bag, my Zune loaded with not-so-cool to anyone else music. . .I have few expectations when I hit the road other than that I will get to spend time with one of my best girlfriends in the world, I’ll maybe find something worthwhile to buy from another vendor, and I’ll probably have a great meal or two.  And if I’m lucky, I’ll meet someone new.  Someone fun and engaging and interesting.  I’m my daddy’s child – nothing I like better than striking up a conversation with a stranger who might be a potential new great pal.

That’s how it was when I went to the Zia Arts & Crafts Show last month. I hit pay dirt in the great conversation and potential new great pal department.  Searching the aisles the first morning for a quick, hopefully nutritious and maybe tasty snack before the concessions opened, I found Black Bird Pies.  And a table laden with freshly baked quiches.  Green chile and cheese quiche.  Spinach and cheese quiche.  Little baby pies still warm from the oven.  Sitting there with a couple of sweet potato pies, coconut custard pie, blackberry, tart cherry.  I even heard a rumor that she makes turban squash pie with rosemary, but some lucky soul beat me to those.  That’s where I found Raven Rutherford-West. 

I love ice cream.  I love brownies, and angel food cake, and fudge.  But I really love pie.  Lucky for me, Raven showed up all three days with fresh pies – and I felt compelled to buy several to take home, as well as a quiche each morning for Sabrina and I to share.  This was some serious pie eating, and Raven just kept bringing them in. . .

She’s something, that Raven.  She loaned me an article from Edible Santa Fe, for which the title is “Main Ingredient – Love. . The Story of Black Bird Pies.”  In the article, it describes Raven’s life in South Central LA, where God told her to make pies.  She was working three jobs, trying to be a mom, trying to find a way to make a life, when she heard God tell her to make pies.  I can see her saying, “You sure, God?” knowing that there’d have to be lots of pies made before she could quit all those other jobs.  But it being God giving the orders, she decided to listen.

That was more than a decade ago.  Lucky New Mexico – we got Raven and her God-given and God-directed pie-making business here.  She says she loves to make pies, and she’s great fun to visit with, so I’m guessing she loves to talk.  If you’re so inclined, she even makes a line of gluten-free pies, and she uses organic or locally grown produce. 

You can sometimes find Raven at the Albuquerque Grower’s Market.  Or you can find her bakery at 2531 Jefferson #150 in Albuquerque.  Or call 505-850-6725 to order a pie or two.  If you don’t get Raven on the phone, you might get Dwayne, her adorable man who had the enviable job of carrying all those pies into the exhibit hall. 

Tell them I sent you, and definitely order the sweet potato pie.  It’s so good it’ll make you want to slap your grandma. . or something like that.

Tis the season of giving and generosity and good wishes, and knowing that, I truly hate to make all of you envious.  But this Christmas Eve, I’m having dinner with my kids and great friends at Season’s Restaurant in Albuquerque’s Old Town (www.seasonsabq.com). 

Season's interior

We opted to get reservations for one of their private rooms, where we’ll sit down to a three course Prix Fixe dinner after wandering the streets of Old Town admiring the lumanarias, drinking hot chocolate at San Felipe de Neri Church, and listening to the carolers in the Plaza gazebo. 

This was our traditional Christmas Eve when we lived in Albuquerque -and we get to repeat it this year with Sabrina and her family now that they live there.  And once our holiday dinner is over, we’ll all drive through the cemetery where there will be a sea of luminarias for us to admire after dark. 

Most folks don’t get excited about going to the cemetery on Christmas Eve, but I’m suggesting you give it a try.  In the afternoon,  locals spend hours decorating graves with luminarias, small trees, poinsettias, glitter and garland – some folks bring coolers full of beer and Coleman stoves with posole or green chile simmering and make an event out of it. 

Only in New Mexico!  For several years I was lucky enough to get to go with my friend Jolynn to decorate her sister’s grave and I loved that so many people took time to pay such obvious tribute to their loved ones.

We know how to celebrate here.  I can’t wait to go to Old Town with my kids, and then to Season’s with my best friend, and then to the cemetery.  It’s the perfect way to spend a holiday in New Mexico.

Posted by: bunnyterry | December 17, 2010

I love New Mexico – One Year Later

The view from my back porch this morning

Last December 17, I sat on my bed in my white chenille bathrobe, pillows piled behind and around me, and wrote my first post on this blog.  All I knew about blogging at the time was that the experts suggested you should write about what you knew and what you liked and what you cared about.

Well, there aren’t a lot of issues on which I’m an expert.  There is one thing I’ve done right – I stumbled upon this great formula, without knowing exactly what I was doing, for raising my kids.  They’ve both turned out to be happy and vibrant and kind people who contribute to the common good in their own ways.  They’re successful, they don’t whine, they’re interested in the great wide world out there, and best of all, they’re freaking great fun to spend time with. 

So there’s that.  But I couldn’t imagine blogging about single parenting, putting my own pedantic advice and ideas out there in cyberspace, especially since it was all so seat-of-the-pants most of the time.  Heck, I really don’t remember half of what happened because we were always in a flurry to get laundry done, macaroni and cheese on the table, cats fed, homework done, project supplies purchased.  I never seemed to get caught up – I’d find myself sitting in the den late at night at the Dakota House on the throw-away couches (purchased at a garage sale and died purple, because that’s what we liked, and sturdy enough that big, lumbering high school boys could fall onto them without injuring themselves or breaking the furniture) after the kids were asleep and I’d think, “Where did that day go?”  I’d also think about my to-do list and everything still remaining to be done.  And then I’d go to bed with a book and stop thinking about it, because the list was never going to be completed anyway.

The three of us spent an inordinate amount of time on the road, hauling Johanna to day care and Zachary to the Academy and Johanna to violin lessons and Zachary to guitar and Johanna to the North Valley to sleepover with Gabby and Zachary to Paradise Hills to play Legos with Matt and Johanna to meet her dad for the weekend and then Zachary to meet his dad for the weekend.  We spent hours in the car (maybe that’s the secret after all – get them in the car and they’ll eventually have to talk to you and pretend they like you and they’re listening). 

I guess it was all that time in the car that inspired me to write this blog in the manner I did.  Because in addition to the hours on the road spent for practical purposes, we also tried to squeeze in as many free and fun activities as possible.  Day trips to Gran Quivera and Sandia Peak and Santa Fe, or to Old Town to the Albuquerque Museum on Sundays, when admission was free for New Mexico residents.  If I was a pseudo-expert on single parenting, I was truly an expert at finding affordable, interesting events and sights in New Mexico. 

I love New Mexico for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it allowed me to raise my kids in a fashion that mattered to me.  It’s the home of a laid back kind of lifestyle that didn’t set any impossible standards for us as a family, and it provided us with a beautiful place to spend our days in the car telling one another stories.  

The butterfly bush off the back deck - December 17, 2010

There are still lots of places to see and stories to tell.  Zachary and Johanna and I still have hours and hours to spend in the car together, I hope.  I’m thankful today for all of you who decided to come along for the ride.  It’s been fun for me, if nothing else. 

Just for the heck of it I looked at my stats before I started this post.  This is my 98th post.  There have been 13,873 views of the blog (holy mackerel!).  My busiest day was when I posted the Bob Wills in Roy, New Mexico post.  I’ve written about Harding County and my favorite posole recipe and Albuquerque restaurants and Santa Fe festivals and Clovis drive-through burrito stands and Popejoy Hall and gypsy stew from the Pink Adobe and Cimarron ghosts and Red River deer feeding and the Gallegos Ranch and dozens of other topics that are, I believe, perfectly New Mexican. 

What I’m sure of is that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what makes New Mexico so special.  Stick around.  Let’s see where this ride takes us in 2011.

Posted by: bunnyterry | December 15, 2010

3 Bears Lodge in Red River, NM

There are some things I can’t get enough of:  good friends, good conversation, relaxing around a fire. . .and last week when we spent my birthday weekend at the 3 Bears Lodge in Red River (again), I had all three.  All weekend.

3 Bears Lodge-the deer love the courtyard (probably because Debbie hand feeds them every day)

When we first went to the 3 Bears a year ago, we were pleasantly surprised at how warm and friendly our hosts Chris and Debbie Yates were.  Before that first weekend was over, we felt like old friends.  There was lots of standing around the firepit, sharing various libations and great stories and meeting new people.  In our cabin, there was our own fire and lazy mornings spent drinking coffee snuggled up on the couch.   I thought I was in heaven.

3 Bears Lodge - Moose Room in the 3 bedroom cabin

We’ve been back several times this year – Chris and Debbie sort of draw you in. . . and every time it’s like coming back to visit old pals.  It’s not an exaggeration of any type – for people who were involved in the corporate world and health care in their previous life, they’ve certainly found their calling at the 3 Bears.

We love it so much we’re going back for New Year’s.  Celebrating at the Lift House and watching the torchlight procession down the mountain – Chris says everyone in town puts their skis on and participates (not us!  my ski legs aren’t quite up for that. . .). 

Hopefully somewhere in there we’ll also have dinner at the Timbers (thanks Chris and Debbie for that birthday treat – it was an amazing dinner).  What I’m certain of is that I’ll get lots of good conversation with good friends around a great fire. 

3 Bears Lodge - living area of the 3 bedroom cabin

Find the 3 Bears Lodge at www.3bearsrr.com.  Debbie showed me the 3 bedroom cabin, so I had to take pictures to share with you.  If you’re thinking of taking a crowd to the mountains, this would be a great place to sleep.  And relax around your own fire.

3 Bears Lodge - Kitchen in the 3 bedroom cabin

Posted by: bunnyterry | December 14, 2010

Love the St. James Hotel in Cimarron – Again!

Express UU Bar St. James - Lobby at Christmastime

We did it again.  A year ago, when I first started writing this blog, Dave and I had dinner at the St. James in Cimarron.  And last week we went back for more.  It’s beginning to be a birthday tradition. . .the 12 oz rib eye with sweet potato fries. 

St. James first floor hallway - where the ghosts allegedly hang out. . .

This time we took TJ and Rob with us.  The food was, again, fabulous.  The service was better than that.  And the St. James was all dressed up for Christmas, including a bright red bow on the mountain lion mounted on the wall over the fireplace.

I consider the St. James the quintessential New Mexico destination.  Historic, full of mystery (ghosts!) but comfortable and unassuming.  Down to earth but full of compelling tales (Jesse James, Bat Masterson, Black Jack Ketchum – all those guys and many others hung out there and shot holes in the ceiling of the saloon, where we ate. . .).  

 Find it at www.exstjames.com. You should really stop in and take a look sometime. 

Guest room (or a ghost room. . .)

Have one of those great steaks.  Or sleep in the old section and let me know which ghosts stopped in for a midnight visit.  I’m dying to know.

Posted by: bunnyterry | December 12, 2010

Ferenc M. Szasz – My New Mexico Inspiration

Dr. Ferenc Szasz - courtesy UNM

A lot of my readers know my personal story. In Las Cruces, in 1981, I was a first semester junior, give or take a credit or two, at New Mexico State University.  I loved college, every minute of it, including the work-study job I had at the Rio Grande Historical Society.  I loved Las Cruces and the view of the Organ Mountains on the eastern horizon.  I loved Chope’s in La Mesa, and El Patio in Mesilla.  I loved my little efficiency on the western outskirts of Mesilla.  I loved my friends and meeting for breakfast on Saturday mornings for green chile huevos at Dick’s.

Mostly I loved going to class – I was one of those crazy nerds who ate it all up, especially the history and english classes with their organized syllabi and lists of books that I had to finish before the end of each semester.

Enter life.  I discovered I was pregnant early in the second semester of my junior year, and in my characteristic variety-is-the-spice-of-life-let’s-see-where-this-road-takes-me fashion, I opted to quit school, have Zachary, and start a new life elsewhere (West Texas, which was it’s own sort of adventure).  When my Las Cruces friends, shocked at my decision to quit school and have my baby, said, “But what about school?”, I’d reply, “It’s okay.  I’ve promised myself I’ll finish college before the baby finishes high school.”

And then, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, it was 1995.  Zachary was in the eighth grade at the Albuquerque Academy, and by then we also had Johanna.  She was 4, I was single, and we lived in a great sandstone adobe house on Mountain Road.  By day I was a paralegal for a lot of demanding but kind lawyers at Geer, Wissel, Becker & Levy – by night I was mostly the queen of macaroni and cheese, Johanna’s baths, Zachary’s homework, and my weekly dose of ER, to which we were all addicted.  It was a really nice life – we had no discretionary cash, but we had great friends and a picnic table in the backyard under a honeysuckle arbor and two cats named Phillip and Puff and breakfasts at the Frontier at least twice a month. 

I thought about my degree a lot.  I thought about how I missed those book lists and all those papers I had been forced to write.  Mostly I remembered the promise I had made, half in jest, that I would finish college before Zachary finished high school.  And very slowly, one class at a time, I started to chisel away at my remaining credits.

That’s when I discovered the history department at UNM.  And eventually Ferenc Szasz.  I had a couple of years of classes with professors like Paul Hutton and Virginia Scharff and Linda Hall.  And in my last three semesters before graduation, I had classes with Dr. Szasz.

There are professors who know how to stand in front of 300 students and captivate their audience.  That’s Paul Hutton – he’s a showman, he knows his history, and he knows how to tell a story.  There are professors who love their subject, who feel passionate about the cause behind the stories and theories they’re sharing, and who feel that history is more a social endeavor than a linear chronology of fact.  That’s Virginia Scharff. 

Then there are professors who love the students, who, probably without thinking about it in concrete terms, believe that the most important thing they can do is impart something of true worth and true humanity to their students.  That was Ferenc Szasz.

UNM Mesa Vista Hall - home of the History Department

I hadn’t though about Dr. Szasz for a while – sometimes when I’m reading a particularly good piece of history, he’ll come to mind.  And then I read his obituary in my Daily Lobo online this past June – it was one of those moments that made me stop breathing for a second and created a longing for that square table in that classroom at the back of Mesa Vista Hall, all those funny and enthusiastic history grad students listening while Szasz discussed reciprocity and fairness in the American West. 

The last class I took with him was a graduate level class on Biography in the Spring of 2000.  It was a crazy semester – Zachary would graduate from the Academy on May 26, and if all went as planned, I would graduate on May 12.  I shouldn’t have been able to take the class, since I was an undergraduate, but I saw it on the schedule and went straight to Szasz’s office, begging him for the chance.  He smiled at me.  “This one will require a lot of work, Ms. Terry. . . but I think you’re up to it.”  And he signed the pink slip that would convince the registrar to allow me into the class.

I was working full-time, taking 12 hours of classes, and Dr. Szasz had assigned a 25 page biography of a significant historical figure of our choosing, complete with source documents, period accuracy, and interviews if possible.  As much as I loved reading and writing, this was the semester and that biography was the assignment that felt like the proverbial straw that might break the camel’s back.  Zachary’s senior year activities combined with Johanna’s third-grade homework combined with my crazy work load really, for the first time, felt like too much.

For my biography I chose Kike Waltman, a Quay County survivor of the Bataan Death March.  Dr. Szasz applauded my choice, and we dug in for the long haul together.  He helped me put together my interview questions and directed me to yet another list of books about the Philipines in WWII, the Japanese philosophy of war, prisoner of war camps, and videos on the Death March. 

Every day that I came into class, he had an encouragement, another fact that I could check, another idea for my oral history list, and he made sure I didn’t give up on my assignment, even after the first interview when I came into the classroom nearly in tears.  “This is really hard,” I told him.  “Those prisoner of war camp stories are grueling.”  He told me what I was doing was important work, that Kike needed to tell his story, and that I needed to hear it, and that someone needed to preserve that amazing memory.

I wrote the biography (a bit of it is posted here at https://ilovenewmexico.wordpress.com/?s=Waltman&x=6&y=15).  I got an A in the class.  Somehow I graduated, with all my friends in town to cheer me on.  And then Zachary graduated, and we survived that May to go on to the rest of our lives.

But what Ferenc Szasz gave me was a hunger for those other stories, and a respect for my own.  That’s one of the reasons I do this blog – because there are stories in New Mexico that need to be told, places that need to be explored, events that need to be recognized.  I’m not amazingly qualified to tell them all, but I’m willing, which in the end was all that Dr. Szasz asked – that we be willing to explore and be excited about the possibilities.

I found a book by Dr. Szasz in the bookmobile last Wednesday (thank God for the bookmobile. . .), “Larger Than Life, New Mexico in the Twentieth Century.”  In the forward he tells the story of how he came to UNM in 1967, hired by Gerald Nash to teach American social and intellectual history.  A newcomer to the southwest, he and his wife Margaret (who was a widowed PhD candidate when they met, and who became a professor in the UNM History Department) made New Mexico their true home, exploring and writing down the stories of hundreds of New Mexico locations and the people in all those places.  

Dr. Szasz inspired me to open my eyes and hear the stories of the place where I live, and the people who live there, and he made me passionate about preserving memory.  It’s important stuff, whether you do it well like Dr. Szasz, or just do it, like me.  It’s what makes me who I am.

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