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Features

  • Last weekend, I did something I’ve never done before. I watched the Miss America pageant in its entirety.

    A friend of mine hosted a party for the occasion, complete with flashcards on each contestant. Upon arrival, guests were given piles with about six flashcards. The guest whose pile contained the flashcard of the winning contestant was given a plastic tiara at the end of the night.

  • The Salvation Army Thrift Store holds secret treasures —cobalt blue depression-era glass, old 45’s engraved with Elvis’ finest, faded leather couches, and enough chipped knick-knacks to line every mantel in town.

  • Beyond the seemingly childlike forms and curiosity in Melanie Yazzie’s artwork lies a confident statement.

    Yazzie, a Navajo/Dine of the Salt Water Clan and Bitter Water Clan of the Dine, blends imagery from native cultures around the globe into a palate of relaxed color.

  • “I like to think of my customers first,” is a statement that often comes out of business owner’s mouths, yet few actually practice it. Raising prices, competition, and a high employee turnover are common in the restaurant world. What happened to focusing on the food?

  • I never imagined that this was what it would be like to be a senior. I spent all of my high school years waiting for this to come.

    When I was a freshman, I looked up to the seniors as if they were so old, but now I look at myself and I’m not that old at all. When I had to go to school to take some standardized test while the seniors stayed at home sleeping, I couldn’t wait till that would be me. And now it is. Next week, while sophomores are taking the Competency Exam, I’ll be sleeping in. Ha!

  • Beatriz Gibbs travels in early morning darkness, in the bitter winter cold, to open the doors to the kitchen of bakery.

  • Filmmaker Romaine Fielding fell in love with New Mexico’s endless sky, with her territorial bustle. At the turn of the last century, residents of Las Vegas reported seeing him roam the dusty Plaza dressed in an expensive wool coat, his mustache carefully clipped and waxed, the epitome of Hollywood glamour. Fielding wrote and directed some of the first movie Westerns, some of them filmed in San Miguel County.

  • Jane Lumsden lifted one of her sculptures, a bronze bat, his wings extended in flight. A centipede dangled from his mouth, life-like, arched in surrender. Lumsden ran her hand over the bat’s head, across his back.

  • UWC Theatre Instructor Tim Crofton handed me a wrapped fortune cookie last Saturday night. I pierced the cellophane with my teeth, let the cookie tumble into one hand. Sixty pairs of nervous eyes watched as I cracked the brittle treat and read the message out loud.

    “Look at the moon. Show only your bright side to the world.”

  • Last summer, I bought a copy of Rilke’s Duino Elegies translated into English from the original German. I read it, enjoyed it, and stored it away in my brain until sometime last week, when I happened to see it sitting on my bookshelf. I began rereading it and was enjoying it a second time when I temporarily misplaced my book. I wasn’t terribly worried about it, because I knew that this particular series of poems was pretty famous and could be found online without much hassle.

  • This weekend, the Kluge Auditorium at the United World College will swell with frustration, laughter, and time-driven panic as 60 students and members of the Las Vegas community stare at blank sheets of paper, willing words to coalesce from the high altitude, from a few props and sheer hope. Theatre Arts Instructor Tim Crofton maniacally grins as he explains the 24-Hour Playwriting Project.

  • A bird gripped the delicate stem of a chokecherry bush, his back the color of unbroken sky, his chest the rust echo of New Mexican twilight. He flitted to a small wooden box fixed upon an old propane pipe. Claudia Daigle, a Western Bluebird expert based in Eldorado, smiled as she described her love for her small backyard creatures.

  • A bearded man lightly plucks a deceptively simple arpeggio on his guitar. His voice carries a coat of cannon oil, carries the echo of guns set aside for one December night. The melody is vintage John McCutcheon — tight, rhythmic, with gentle curves around minor corners. The lyrics are poignant, peaceful, the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 on the Western and Eastern fronts of World War I.

  • Don’t people get tired of saying “hi” to each other every day? It’s like a replay, over and over again, except you’ve changed clothes, your hair might or might not be different, and you’ve aged. The aging isn’t necessarily noticeable, maybe at most, you’ve lost a few more hairs that will never grow back, or a couple of extra wrinkles have inserted themselves on your face. Subtle changes which are only noticeable over time.

  • The National Park Service and Fort Union National Monument announces its monthly “Glimpses of the Past” presentation entitled We Find Ourselves in the Middle: Navajo Relocation and Relocatee-Host Conflicts The talk discusses the relations between Navajo relocatees from the Former Joint Use Area, their initial relations with their Navajo reservation hosts, the various disputes that ensued, and the long term impacts of the relocation.

  • New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holidays, but it always seems to let me down. Some time around November, I begin to anticipate the coming of the new year, imagining that it will contain only good news and happy surprises. In order to ring in such a magnificent year, I imagine, I will have to attend a rather lavish party at which very hip, young people will drink sparkling cider and wear shiny New Year’s Eve party hats to match their sequined dresses (men in this daydream simply wear tuxes and top hats).

  • The Waggin’ Tail Mercantile, long the thrift store that raised money for The Animal Support Center, or TASC, is no more.

    Linzy Behrs, former acting chairwoman of CATS (which has now merged with animal support group ASAP), recently accepted the assignment of renovating the establishment, which now has new looks, new merchandise, and a new name - Abundancia.

  • Consuela Silva, 94, likes to be called by her late husband’s name, Mrs. Eduardo Silva. He passed away 16 years ago, after a vacation to his native Brazil, where they dined on fried bananas, ambrosia and spicy feijoada, a meat stew made with sausage, black beans and handfuls of pressed garlic.

  • A wood stove belches ash into a shotgun space that once housed the carriage belonging to Nuestra Senora de los Dolores’ Padre Tehane.

    Artist Alex Ellis stokes the fire, a shelf of stacked paintings to his left, exposed layered stone behind him. The paintings almost whisper, almost shimmer, their layers of rich color deposited on old wood, on marcasite panel. The scent of melting beeswax mingles with the rising heat. Ellis stands. His close-cropped beard and simple knit cap echo his spartan surroundings — a man in holy communion with his art.

  • I was looking through a magazine the other day and it caused me to wonder, what would we look like if these advertisers wouldn’t tell us how to look? I didn’t even have to open the magazine and on the cover, the alleged woman of today was smiling at me.

    She wore a low-cut, pink miniskirt. She wore no glasses or braces, she was slim, and had overly white perfect teeth. Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw a cover girl who wore glasses, had braces, or was flat chested?