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FeatureS

  • Summertime is the season that everyone waits for — it means warm weather, barbeques, and most importantly...no school! It means baseball games and swimming and fishing. It means happiness.

    This is the first summer I’m not completely busy. It’s the first summer in a few years that I’ll actually be here for the Fourth of July. Last year I was out of the country for the fourth, so the celebration meant nothing to the British people I was surrounded by. I was disappointed to have missed the fiestas, one of my favorite parts of summer.

  • The black locomotives of the first trains in New Mexico territory belched hot white steam into the tree-lined skies. The Mexican-American war had ended, had left deep distrust in the hearts of the territory citizens, many of whom had lost entire families in the bloody dispute. The largest city in the territory those days was Las Vegas, N.M., a bustling destination with a new depot on the railroad.

  • Two years ago, taggers hit the side of my garage that faces one of Las Vegas’ alleys, hit it with white aerosol spray in the shape of a Halloween ghost surrounded by bulging initials. It wasn’t the first time; black paint covered most of the space in a feeble attempt to cover a prior message. I gave up the ghost, left the imprint to bake in the sun.

  • The Tri-County Farmers’ Market opens for the season on Saturday, June 21. Many of the old faces will be there, with some new ones as well. Daniel Hern, president of the Farmers’ Market, said that several new farmers are participating, and that the Market is looking to expand its venue to include craftspeople and also bakers and others who will be selling processed food items.

  • A set of rustic chairs, His and Hers, each painted with the visage of artist Grant Wood’s famous coupling, “American Gothic,” rests in Carol Baldwin’s home art studio.

    The chairs seem to hold a conversation with one another, pitchforked farmer stern and willful against a quiet woman, her hair pulled back into a severe bun. A shorter chair watches the exchange. Painted with Wood’s depiction of adolescence, a pin-feathered chicken, it eyes the couple with one watery eye.

  • An deliberately uneven row of paintings hangs against a colorful marbleized wall; traditional representations of Native American women and children in ochre and green, fantastic pointillist pieces in shades of the rainbow, mixed media depictions of moving dancers, of ristras swinging from adobe porches.

    Neita Fran Ward stands in the doorway of her WarDancer Gallery’s door, eyeing the carefully chosen collection.

  • Peter Skelton points with pride to the many seedlings growing outside his greenhouse at Memorial Middle Schools. The seedlings, of concord grapes, and some special varieties of apple and apricot, have all been grafted onto hardy rootstock by his students.

    “We are researching which strains are appropriate for this bioregion,” Skelton said. “We are also using this to teach the students the differences between hybrids and clones.”

  • When I first heard of The Flying Star Caf,” it sounded like some sort of Chinese Buffet to me, so I agreed to go, even though I had no idea what it was.

    On this particular day, I am completely surprised when I walk in, because it is definitely not even close to a buffet.

    My eyes take in nothing but bright colors. An orange ceiling transforms into different shades of green, purple and yellow.

  • The summer before my sophomore year of high school was a summer of change and adventure. It might’ve seemed like an ordinary summer at the time, but looking back, I can clearly see that it was different. It was the summer the sixth Harry Potter book came out. It was the summer before my sister started college. It was the first summer I attended summer camp. It was the last summer I spent with my best friend before she moved to Texas.

  • A little brown dog lays in an astral bed, his twitching body on a mat covered in the word “bone,” one eye tipped toward heaven.

    A studded collar rings his neck, the studs echoing a cascade of colorful dots as if the dog sleeps in space, his body ringed with licks of fire. Artist Marcia Henning’s “Harpo Dreaming,” an acrylic on canvas painting, celebrates the life and hopeful afterlife of a dearly departed pet in her June exhibition at Traveler’s Cafe.

  • There are so many thoughts and questions about the future during graduation. It really begins the day that senior week starts For some, it begins on Sunday, for the senior mass, and for others it begins on Monday at the “mandatory” baccalaureate.

    We pull our gowns over our heads for the first time and laugh at how funny they look. Going back to baccalaureate, why even have it? All week everyone was asking, “What is baccalaureate”? The only response that came up was “some inspirational talk.” Why are any of these rituals necessary?

  • Pianist Linda King and violinist Krzysztof Zimowski will join forces in a recital of music for violin and piano, and solo piano, on Sunday, June 1, at 3 p.m. at Kennedy Hall on the NMHU campus. They will play music by Wieniawski, Schubert, Chopin, and Beethoven, including the famous “Moonlight” Piano Sonata.

  • A woman and man dance, arms arched together in continuous embrace. The woman’s hair cascades down her shoulders, following the curve of her back. Her right foot reaches beneath her man’s legs, giving the terra cotta sculpture a breath of captured movement, of music

  • A row of Las Vegans stand at the front of the First United Presbyterian altar prior to Sunday service, smarty dressed in white dress shirts and black cotton gloves. They wait, each holding the handle of a gilded bell.

    Conductor Karyl Lyne raises her arms, pointing at one ringer, then another, coaxing tones into the sanctuary. A cascade of clear chimes fills the space. The music is gentle, familiar, reminiscent of Christmas, of old-fashioned weddings. The ringers concentrate, lifting each bell and thrusting it with precision.

  • A disciplined and serious — and lighthearted — group of young people prowled and pounced around the wood-floored room. They were practicing a song from the musical Cats. Clear strong voices filled the air. This group of sixteen singers from the West Las Vegas High School Honors Choir will delight music-lovers at the City of Las Vegas Museum on Wednesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the City of Las Vegas Museum.

  • For years, East vs. West was the biggest high school rivalry. Everything seemed to be measured by if you played for Robertson or West. Every football game and basketball game was sold out and the season’s success was determined by whether you defeated the cross-town rival.

  • As the school year snakes toward summer, school workers across the county hold their breath in anticipation, wait for the last bell to chime, the last report card to compose, the last classroom to clean.

    The end of May means graduation preparation, means prom music and decorations to choose, means exhibit and event designed to showcase each student’s intellectual, social, and artistic progress throughout the academic year.

  • As of today, Robertson High School seniors have only 17 schools days left on the calendar. Though time seems to be passing slower than ever before, we will be graduates in no time.

  • What did kids do on a sunny day 150 years ago, before the invention of the iPod, mp3 player, X-box or cell phone? Children can find out on Saturday, April 26, 2008, at Fort Union National Monument when the National Park Service celebrates Junior Ranger Day. This is in association with National Park Week, specifically “kids in parks” and away from the TV and video games. By celebrating the Junior Ranger program, children are connected to American history and the natural and urban wonders within our parks. The program urges children to explore and protect these resources.

  • Demogorgon’s music hits the listener’s ears with a surprising mix of melodic electric guitar arpeggios accented by driving drum riffs and a lead singer’s deliberately muffled lyrics.