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Features

  • Laura Swartz lifted her arm parallel to floor. A red-tailed hawk dug into her denim shirt. The steady arch of his beak feigned nonchalance, but his eyes captured every tiny motion in the room.

    Swartz wore a heavy canvas glove for protection. Her movements were sure, rehearsed. She spread the hawk’s right wing. An audience of forty Las Vegas residents leaned forward to examine the raptor’s plumage.

  • The Highlands University Department of Music will present “Songs of Hispania” in Ilfeld Auditorium on December 2 at 3 p.m. Andr Garca-Nuthmann will conduct the Madrigal Choir with Elizabeth Bunch at the piano.

    The chorus will begin with a group of haunting and rhythmic Sephardic folksongs sung in Ladino, the dialect spoken by Spanish Jews. Next, the choir will perform “Miserere” by Gregorio Allegri, and then finish the program with three lively songs in Spanish.

  • In the midst of dark, war-torn 1939, artist Marc Chagall feared his days were numbered. The Nazis marched toward Paris, toward the small enclave of artists and intellectuals housing the middle-aged Russian Jew. Chagall hid his works as best he could; he placed his etchings on Biblical themes — the beginnings of a series he started after a visit to Palestine — in a locked trunk and shipped them to a Swiss friend.

  • Billie Mathews’ sixth grade class listened attentively as Si Khan addressed the Rio Gallinas School student assembly.

    “Each of us has a voice. What we do with that voice is up to each one of us. Will you use your voice for good? To make a difference in the world? Only you can answer that question.” Khan arched his left fingers in a minor chord before launching into the next song. “My heart tells me you will all use your voices for good.”

  • The gossipers. The whisperers. Whatever you want to call them, they’re inevitable. The butter these people churn is everywhere we turn and even when we don’t realize it.

    What I do realize though, is that being a subject to gossip is one of the sacrifices one makes when living in a small town. It comes with the territory. Anyone who is somebody is going to be talked about and they just have to accept it. Even the nobodies are talked about; it’s unavoidable.

  • Nancy Bohm held a warm cup of chai tea. She glanced at a painting splashed in hues of rich reds, the black of midnight. It hung, heavy, against an off-white wall. The fierce bodies of stag, antlers angled in flight, seemed to leap from the paint, as if the canvas caught fire.

  • “My Camping Trip”

    Carol Johnson,

    author and illustrator

    ISBN: 1-4276-1307-9

    For information, contact Carol Johnson, P.O. Box 1152, Pecos, NM, 87552 or at casjart@gmail.com

    This charming children’s book has a painting on every page and a simple text to go with the picture. The book is printed on good quality paper so the pictures can be savored with no fear that the book will decompose as it is held by little fingers.

  • The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge is a year-around treasure for those who enjoy birdwatching or just getting out into nature. But on Sundays in November, tourists and area residents have a special treat, as an additional wildlife drive is opened, affording visitors the chance to get close-up sightings of numerous waterfowl, cranes and even bald eagles.

  • Karoline Puentes’s voice remains level as she talks about the night a young man named Rodrigo Baca attacked her, left her for dead on the side of dimly lit Santa Fe street.

    “He beat me nearly to death, leaving me permanently disabled. It took me months to recover some sense of normal life.”

  • I don’t actually know what purpose a class song is supposed to serve, but if I had to guess I would say that it is intended to give that particular class a warm wave of nostalgia anytime they hear it, to serve as a reminder of their high school memories any time they happen to stumble upon it on the radio.

    Most songs chosen to be class songs seem destined for the job. They are songs about saying goodbye, growing up, or moving on.

  • Cristina Gonzlez first noticed a change in light when she moved to New Mexico from Seattle after being awarded a Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program grant in 1998.

    “My color changed immediately once I moved to Roswell. The light in New Mexico is very distinct. Unusual. I was painting with heavy blues and grays - the hues of the cloudy northwest sky - but immediately switched to yellows, reds, the vibrant colors of the desert landscape. It wasn’t a conscious switch.”

  • I want to share with you today a message that I have put together based on an article I read a few years ago that appeared in “New Man Magazine,” a Christian magazine for men. It was entitled, “Tell Your Daughter, Quit Tempting My Son” and was written by a pastor named Jody Vickery. It had an interesting premise and I have wanted to share his message since I first read it.

  • The year 1905. Planet earth twisted through its annual elliptical path, the sun one sure comfort in a tumultuous existence. The Russian Revolution began with the slaughter of unarmed demonstrators in St. Petersburg. Albert Einstein revealed his theory of special relativity and explained the photoelectric effect by quantization. The Wright Brothers pilot the first successful half-hour aeroplane trip. 1905 was a strange year for Mark Twain, too.

  • My grandpa was a strong man with eyes that changed colors according to what he wore. He was born Dave Patrocinio Romero and was raised in the area known as EL Cherry, between Romeroville and Los Montoyas.

  • There is a whole other world out there for those who choose to travel across an ocean and visit another country. From different electric plugs and voltage to dealing with liters and kilometers to the way toilets flush, core rules that govern our lives in the United States are completely different. This summer my family was able to visit Switzerland, Italy, and England.

    It was our first trip to Europe. Each of these countries has their own natural beauty. But the way each country does things sure opened up our minds.

  • The road to Mount Calvary Cemetery rolls two miles from the Las Vegas Plaza. It rolls into an acre, two acres, 50 acres of homegrown tobacco, pain,  of buried man, woman, and child. Pecos resident Lucia Martinez walked, a vase of dried sage in her left hand, from her cousin’s home on Gonzales.

  • Danielle Benavidez gently lifted a delicate skull carved from hardened sugar. She nodded toward a wooden table sprinkled with confectioner’s dust. An array of bony figures with tiny outstretched arms rested in neat rows.

    “These are my sugar babies.” Benavidez said. She pressed a fingernail into the base of the skull. “My students will fill their cradles with little skeletons.”

  • My mother hates road trips. Ask her about them and she will be delighted to tell you about how tiring it is to drive for such long amounts of time (particularly through places like Iowa, where the scenery seems unchanging and the road could easily continue until the ). end of time

    She will explain to you in full detail the boredom and irritability that accompanies her on these long drives. She will try her hardest to make you understand that no matter what her teenage daughter may say, there is nothing particularly thrilling or fascinating about road trips.

  • If you have lived in these parts for any period of time, you have likely heard talk of chicos, often in conjunction with beans, as in “chicos and beans.” But if you are not from these parts, you may not have any idea of what chicos are or why they are doted upon by so many.

    Chicos are kernels of sweet corn which have been roasted on the ear in an outdoor, wood-fired adobe oven called an horno (pronounced orno, the “h” is silent) and then hung by the husks and dried.

  • Roots of Resistance

    A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

    forward by Simon J. Ortiz

    ISBN 978-0-8061-3833-6

    First published in 1980, this new edition is no amateur effort but a really professional, researched and documented history of land ownership. Roots of Resistance is well worth reading, especially for the scholar of history and economics.