Archive for the ‘Hidden History’ category

Just Grumpy Cat

May 12, 2019

Mike O’Hearn has apparently been training at Mandrill’s while he’s filming a movie here in New Mexico. The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre is being filmed somewhere around here. I thought it was proof I’m focused in the gym and stay on track when a 4x Mr. Universe can waltz in and I don’t even notice. Too funny.

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How Do You Know When You’re Ready?

June 7, 2015
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•••Luisita "Louise" Leers~ an infamous strong woman who was a German circus acrobat. She was born Luise Krokel in October of 1909 in Wiesbaden.•••

When you can plan a week of workouts without missing anything on the A-chain or the P-chain.

When you know which muscles are actually on the A-chain and the P-chain.

When you don’t have the layout of your local liquor store memorized.

When your recycling consists of PurePro cans and not Bud Light cans.

When having a hangover means you puke after deadlifts, not after a party.

When you are ready to move off the sweat less cardio onto the gym floor.

When you stop talking about going back to the gym and start committing to it.

When you care more about being mentally and physically strong and complain less about being weak.

When being average is no longer good enough and far from an option.

When you allow nobody… I mean nobody to hold you back.

An Interest in the Undead: An Interview with Author Ray John de Aragón

September 9, 2014

An Interview with Ray John de Aragon_Logo
Ray John de Aragón has been called “one of New Mexico’s prolific Hispanic authors” and a “master of both the English and Spanish languages making him one of the top bi-lingual authors producing today.” The Hispanic American author who was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico has a rare mix of artistic gifts. Not only is he a writer, but he is an “internationally recognized santero” and artist. This man with an intricately carved professional career also shares creative energy with his community as the District Arts Coordinator for the Los Lunas Schools. Aragón is an educated man who majored in American Studies and actively participates in scholarly and artistic events.

“I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I often thought about the idea that written words possess a great power. Words can make people think. They can make them laugh, and even make them cry. Written words have changed the course of history and have directed civilizations.”
~~~Ray John de Aragón

Ray John de Aragon and Doña Sebastiana

~Ray John de Aragón and Doña Sebastiana~

Aragón’s award-winning/bestselling book Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy (2006) has been regularly reviewed for several years. The onset of reviews is said to have spurred the Hispanic writer into the national and even international spotlight. He has been featured on streaming media and has made several guest appearances on radio and television over the years. This includes being featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Telemundo and Univision. The same bestselling book is also used by students in courses at Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Stanford University and the University of New Mexico.

I am always very honored when Ray John de Aragón asks me to write about him. It is great to be respected by such an accomplished writer who is known internationally by scholars, authors and artists alike. I had the pleasure of meeting Aragón in 2011. I met him not as an archivist, but as a writer. We met a little over three years ago at the National Hispanic Cultural Center during the 9th Annual National Latino Writers Conference. For that conference, Aragón was a presenter in addition to being a distinguished guest of honor. Visit these links to read more about when I met Aragón at that conference or to read about what I have already written about Aragón.

Since I have known this author, he has published four books. This is the third that I will write about. Between the late 1970s and 2014, Aragón has written a total of 10 books. In retroflex this includes: New Mexico Book of the Undead: Goblin & Ghoul Folklore (2014); Lincoln: Images of America (2013); Enchanted Legends and Lore of New Mexico: Witches, Ghosts & Spirits (2012); Hidden History of Spanish New Mexico (2012); The Legend of La Llorona (2006); Padre Martinez and Bishop Lamy (2006); The Penitentes of New Mexico (2006); Hermanos De LA Luz: Brothers of the Light (1998); Hermanos De La Luz: Living Tradition Of the Penitente Faith (1997); and City of Candy and Streets of Ice Cream (1979).

“The story I will always remember, of course, is the one of La Llorona. I grew up with it. I was told where she had lived, and where she had died. She is an alma que anda penando, a soul in search of peace. I can honestly say that I heard her one night. Her piercing cry was like the cry of a demented woman. One would have to hear it to believe it.”
~~~Ray John de Aragón

Aragón is married to Rosa Maria Calles. He and his wife are fixtures of Valencia County and are very well known in Los Lunas. Calles is originally from Tome, New Mexico and they have four children. Aragón found his creative and intelligent match in Rosa Maria Calles, who is “a renowned artist, playwright, director, and producer.” The couple is actively involved with the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts and in 2007, Aragón was recognized by the Valencia County News-Bulletin for winning “statewide attention for art programs” as the District Arts Coordinator of Los Lunas Schools. In late 2008, the Los Lunas museum featured Aragón’s work in the exhibit “Saints and Sacred Places.” His work was again featured in 2010 for the “Nuestras Raices: Our Roots” exhibit.

Ray John de Aragon and wife Rosa Maria Calles

~Ray John de Aragón and wife Rosa Maria Calles~

It is likely that Aragón’s “professional learning and growth” again sprouted in 2012 after a short hiatus from publishing books. After becoming a Santa Fe Leadership Center fellow and being acknowledged for The Art and Experience of Leadership, the author came back full force and has published 4 books since then. His latest book is New Mexico Book of the Undead: Goblin & Ghoul Folklore, which was just released with an awesome book jacket. Like me, it seems that Aragón tends to prefer the darker side of history. Our state is filled with black stories and complex mysteries. Like most New Mexicans, Aragón is intrigued by the tales of ghosts, witches and hauntings passed on to us by our grandparents. In this book, Ray John de Aragón “recounts stories from the state’s rich and spine-chilling cultural folklore.”

New Mexico Book of the Undead by Ray John de Aragon

“Folklore is a part of who we are. It is an integral part of our being. This was true thousands of years ago and it is true today. Even in this technological age, most everyone is still intrigued by stories of witches, phantasms, vampires, and the unexplained.”
~~~Ray John de Aragón

The author says that his newest book is filled with “New Mexico Hispanic folklore” which is “full of terrifying creatures that traverse the dark shadows of the night.” Aragón says “these otherworldly beings appear when one least expects it. They are there, waiting in the darkness to strike in places we should not be at, or at times of the night that we should not be out.” His book “captures these forbidding spirits and tells their stories” that were passed down from generation to generation. One story which will be recounted is that of “Bloody Mary.” It will be her first appearance in a book published about New Mexico folklore. He says that some of the stories “are as old as the Spanish colonization of New Mexico,” and span our 400 year history here.

If you want to meet an author who believes in ghosts and says “seeing is believing,” you can pick up his newest book just in time for Halloween!! Aragon currently has three book signings scheduled for October. The first is on October 11, 2014 at 2:00pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Salón Ortega. The second will be on October 18, 2014 at 2:00pm at the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts. The third will be on October 30, 2014 at 7:00pm at Bookworks in Albuquerque. You can also order New Mexico Book of the Undead: Goblin & Ghoul Folklore online by visiting the History Press web site.

Revealing the Spirit of Stone: An Interview with Steve Ray Maes

January 13, 2014

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~Digital composite by Felicia~

Steve Ray Maes is a native Santa Fean. He was born in the oldest capital city in the late 60s. Maes is a well-rounded, multi-media artist, but he has focused his creative energy on sculpting stone. His sculptures accentuate his love of nature, his love of wings, and his appreciation of culture. He hand selects each stone knowing that he will be moved to create an intricate piece once the stone speaks to him.

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~Digital composite by Felicia~

Maes draws inspiration from his Aztec ancestors on his paternal line, while nurturing some of the artistic qualities he learned from his maternal grandfather. He started working with clay when he was just 5 years old, molding small animal figures. He also painted and sketched as a child. By the age of 13, Maes started sculpting stone. He spent countless hours watching the art students of the Santa Fe Indian School sculpt and became captivated by stone work.

Following his heart, Maes became a sculptor apprentice. He has worked for several famous artists such as Presley LaFountain, Bruce LaFountain, Doug Hyde, Van Penquin, and George Rivera, Governor of Pojoaque Pueblo. Along the way, Maes learned skill and technique from these master sculptors. From this time, he knew he was meant to be an artist, but his devotion to the arts was confirmed on a 2010 trip to Italy and Paris. Maes came away from that trip feeling connected, inspired and invigorated by the Baroque style of sculptures of Bernini, and works of the Renaissance period greats like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

image
~Digital composite by Felicia~

To date, the most sophisticated piece Maes has sculpted is titled ”Purple Butterfly.” The marble butterfly was created with stone inlay designs on the wings, which required extreme precision and attention to detail. Maes is proud of the level of skill necessary to sculpt such an elaborate piece. With the right music, a sturdy table and good lighting, he becomes lost in the creative process. A combination of skill, setting, and inspiration gave wings to this butterfly with perfectly carved facial features bringing her to life.

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~Digital composite by Felicia~

The work of Steve Ray Maes has been featured in galleries in Sedona and Florida. His works are often custom works for private individuals. In his spare time, Maes enjoys teaching others how to sculpt and has delivered instruction to Gene Hackman. His work is unique and he takes pride in being a local artist. From childhood into adulthood, this native New Mexican has delivered energy to clay and stone with his mind and hands.

A Life Filled with Words

July 31, 2013

In August of last year one of my close friends in school emailed me. It was Becky’s 20 years class reunion and she thought about me there. Over the years there have been a few friends who have remembered my love of writing. I always appreciate those who take the time to remember. I have been writing since I was just a little girl.

I have always been over analytical, contemplative and poetic. I am a writer. Am I a good writer? Well~ I must leave that up to my audience to decide! When my friend Becky emailed me in August of 2012 she said “this weekend was our 20 year class reunion! Yearbooks and school newspapers came out! Of course your beautiful poetry was in there so here it is………. You’ve always had a way with words!”

I love to be remembered for having a way with words. Below are images she sent to me. It was amazing to see what I wrote so many years ago. I was writing for the Elk’s Call Newspaper back then. It was a student newspaper at Pojoaque High School. I really enjoyed layout and design. I am indeed a knowledge eater with a huge brain and a deep appreciation for the written word.

Poem by Felicia Lujan_1990s

~From Opposite Ends~
a poem by Felicia Lujan in the 1990s

Article by Felicia Lujan_1990s

~Do Teens Have the Narcissus Syndrome~
an article by Felicia Lujan in the 1990s

The intellect beneath the image

July 30, 2013

Loved this post!!! She was also a poet!!!
—-Felicia

Books Are Better

Marilyn Monroe was known for her beauty and glamour, but what many observers fail to note about her is that she was an avid reader and a student of literature. Among the thousands of photos that were taken of her, many dozens portray her reading books in various settings and poses — a window into the intellect that lay beneath the image.

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Digitizing My History

June 13, 2013
«~• 2004 letter from the Center for Home Movies in Los Angeles, California •~»

«~• 2004 letter from the Center for Home Movies in Los Angeles, California •~»

I finally took the time to have several Super 8mm reels of home movies professionally digitized. This is a family history project that has been weighing heavily on my mind because I knew I needed to do something to preserve the precious footage.

The reels were shot by my mom and dad in the 1970s and 1980s. I was so happy when they were given to me by my dad with a dual 8mm projector. I think my mom still has the camera used to shoot the footage. I have seen some of the movies. They are so amazing. There is nothing like seeing images of my family from so long ago. Much of the digitized footage will be imagery I have never seen before, which is extremely exciting!

In 2004, three reels of the home movies belonging to my family were preserved as part of the Home Movie DVD Project. The films were shipped to the Academy Film Archive for digitization and copies are now part of the Center for Home Movies in Los Angeles, California. That is actually the footage I have seen.

A while back I digitized a little clip of me and the twins (my brother and sister). We were apparently pretending to be cowgirls and a cowboy. Our trio was parading around in hats, stick horses, and boots. My sis was doin’ a little cowgirl stomp. It was really cute! I put that one up on the My Voyage Through Time YouTube portal.

Last week I bought a 16GB thumb drive to ship to Albuquerque. I mailed the drive today. The digitized films will live on that for a while and I will make other copies to preserve. The excitement is killing me. I can’t wait to see what’s on there!? I only wish they had sound. Once I receive the footage back, the next step will be to give everyone in my family a copy. I’m sure my new family history project will be appreciated by all!


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