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Mora County Notebook: Mountain Mamas meet at Hatcha’s

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By Ruth Fort

On Monday a large group of women who belong to the Mora Mountain Mamas converged on Hatcha’s Restaurant.
They had a great meal and the business taken care of by Peggy Meeks. They also heard other announcements concerning the group.

The main speaker for Monday’s meeting was Gascon resident, Editha Bartley, who kept the Mountain Mamas spell-bound as she told the story of her life and her life experiences. She is not really a stranger to those who have read her column in the Optic every Friday, normally just below this column.

Bartley started her presentation with the work her grandfather and father did in New Mexico. She gave examples of her experiences as a doctor’s daughter when they lived in Valmora.

Her father, Dr. Carl H. Gellenthien, was the only doctor in Mora County at that time. He cared for the community people as well as the tuberculosis patients in the sanitarium at Valmora. Bartley said she was her father’s shadow and went with him on his trips to visit patients throughout the county. Because of her constant companionship with her dad, she learned to be his assistant. She was a great help to him and those he served.

Bartley planned to be a veterinarian and started to study for that career. Her doctor father discouraged her, saying women should not be veterinarians. He had hoped that she would follow the family and be a doctor as her grandfather and father were.

She graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a major in biology and minor in French and physics.

She has been a faithful alumna. She has attended many athletic games and  homecoming activities. She is also a member of the Highlands University Foundation Board.

It was during her college years that she met a tall handsome man while enjoying coffee with some female friends at the Hillcrest. The tall handsome man named Jim came in to have coffee also, and they met. Since then Bartley was stricken with  him and soon the two married. He was an electrician and recently honorably discharged from the military at that time.

Jim started to work for the electric company and soon they worked together on their working dude ranch in Gascon with horses and cattle. They had three children, Sherrill, Carl and John. John and his wife Tamera continue to live and work on the ranch.

The Bartleys entertain many ranch guests and those from the past ranch guests who come back to visit. They also entertain many other friends. She has written about many ranch guests in her weekly column.

Bartley is very active in community matters on top of being a ranch type of gal. She is a member of Las Vegas Rotary Club and the Philanthropic Educational Organization. She is a also a  member of the Pendaries Ladies Association.
In the past, she has been involved in community organizations and other service organizations.

She has a great interest in the history of the area. She reads extensively and shares the knowledge with a variety of people.  

She shared recent books that she has read. The authors of the books are either friends and acquaintances. One particular book she mentioned has many photos and history of Las Vegas. She and John were interviewed extensively and are a part of the book. It is a large attractive book with many photos. It is “Learning Las Vegas,” by Elizabeth Barlow Rodgers.

She is also a part of another book “Pilgrims Wilderness,” by Tom Kizzia.

Bartley stated that there are many books and articles about the history of Las Vegas. She has read all that she could find. Many of her columns discuss the books that she reads.

The meeting ended with great amount of thanks to Bartley for her very interesting story and to the staff of Hatcha’s for the very good service and food.

Ruth Fort is a Mora County correspondent. She may be reached at (575) 387-6523 or ruthfortchacon@yahoo.com.