Archive for the ‘Historical Facts’ category

But did you die?

July 12, 2016

Sunday night I was seriously sleepless. Because of that, I just went in yesterday to do abs and skipped the after work cardio to sleep. I came home yesterday and went to bed at 5:30pm and slept until this morning. When my alarm clock went off for work, my eyes still felt like they were filled with lead. I wanted to call in and sleep more because I felt so drained. You know what got me out of bed? Eddie Hall.

•|• Eddie Hall… STRAIGHT BEAST •|•

Today was deadlift day and there was no way I was missing after Hall just set a historical deadlift record and didn’t die!!! He’s a straight beast! I told myself “get your ass up!” I went to work feeling like a tired mess, but got a lot of work done regardless. When workout time came I told myself… “wasted or not, you are deadlifting today!” I focused my mind and music on a replay of the first few seconds of “Till I Collapse” by Eminem x Nate Dogg.

“Cause sometimes you just feel tired. You feel weak. And when you feel weak, you feel like you want to just give up. But you gotta search within you. You gotta find that inner strength and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse.”

It worked and I didn’t die even though I didn’t feel good! Our minds are powerful. It has taken years of experience for me to master my mind in the gym. I’m so glad I went today. 5 days ago I posted about hitting a 185 dead and my plans to hit a 1RM at 205 soon. I figured by the end of the month. Half of July is left and I hit a 205 dead today for not 1RM, but for 2… *completely* raw, double overhand with a tight lockout. I got that 3 more times for 1, but failed to lockout the last.

That brings my 3 lift total to 575 lbs. Now I know I’ll get to 600. I’m going to bench 205 soon!! Goals on goals.

Flowers for Admin Profesh Ladies

April 22, 2015

These are the two arrangements I made for the admin profesh ladies in the archives. I appreciate all that they do for us. Each arrangement had half a dozen fuchsia roses, yellow spray roses and purple Statice. Take a look at Hallmark’s historical look at Administrative Professionals Day.


Courageousness and the Asiatic Pacific Theater

April 6, 2013

Last week I helped someone who was doing research for the Names Project. The project honors “New Mexico’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery (Anti-aircraft) units” which “served with bravery” and sacrifice “in the defense of Luzon, Bataan and Corregidor” during World War II. There was a memorial held in Albuquerque today to honor these brave champions. It was interesting that the very same day I helped that man,  I had an email come in through a list serve about the historical preservation efforts taking place with the Library of Congress.

It makes me sad to think that I never had a chance to meet or speak with my maternal grandfather about his service in the Asiatic Pacific Theater during WWII. I have so many questions I wish I could ask. I wonder what he was feeling when he left the United States on a ship of nervous men headed to the Far East? My grandpa Phil entered the service less than a year after the Fall of the Philippines in 1942. I wonder if he was scared leaving his family behind knowing that close to 2,000 New Mexico soldiers had been forced by the Japanese to march over 60 miles when the Philippines went down? I think he arrived in Manilla, but I need to confirm that. His arrival to the Far East came in 1945, just a few months before the Assault on Luzon (codename S~Day). I am not sure if he was part of that, but I need to find out.
180 meridian

The sacrifices that our soldiers make leave me in awe. It must be mentally taxing to leave your homeland not knowing if you will return. This month I will take time to remember the soldiers who sacrificed for us during the Asiatic Pacific Theater of World War II. Thank you to my grandpa Phil~ the grandpa I never had the chance to meet. He passed away right before I was born.

Timeline of Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II
1939~1945~ World War II
1941~1946~ Asiatic Pacific Theater
1941~ December~ Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor and two sites near Manila, Philippines
1941~1942~ Philippines Campaign (Bataan Peninsula)

1942~ January~ Battle of Bataan Begins (15,000 captured and interned)
1942~ April~ Fall of the Philippines/Bataan Death March
1942~ December~ Date of Induction~ Phil Garcia
1945~ February and March~ Smallpox/Typhoid/Tetanus Immunizations~ Phil Garcia
1945~ August~ Date of Departure~ Asiatic Pacific Theater~ Phil Garcia
1945~ September~Date of Arrival~ Asiatic Pacific Theater~ Phil Garcia

1945~ January~ Assault on Luzon (codename S~Day)
1946~ February~ Phil Garcia crossed the 180º Meridian toward the USA
1946~ February~ Date of Separation~ Phil Garcia

R. D. W. Connor Appointed First Archivist of the United States

October 10, 2012

Nice post… Love this!!

Santa Fe Trail – diary of Susan Magoffin

August 30, 2012

This is a great post. I love the part on Mora, New Mexico—
I am a new follower of this site. “The Hungry Brain?” Love it!




In New Mexico

In June 1846 Susan Shelby Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband, a veteran Santa Fe trader, from Independence, Missouri, to cross the plains and mountains to the New Mexico capitol. She was the first American woman to ride into Santa Fe.

The places where the Magoffins would have stopped for the night and the sights they would have seen in New Mexico are virtually unchanged to this day – just a little older. The excerpts from the diary of Susan Magoffin and these photographs trace the trail past Cimarron, Fort Union, Mora, Las Vegas, San Miguel and Pecos on the last leg of Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico.

View original post 1,679 more words

Explore Hidden History….

August 24, 2012

Book jacket preview for
Hidden History of Spanish New Mexico
by Ray John de Aragón

Yesterday I was asked to write my first book review. I met Ray John de Aragón a few years ago at the Latino Writers Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He asked me if I would write a review of his last book titled Enchanted Legends and Lore of New Mexico: Witches, Ghosts, and Spirits. The book was excellent, so I am honored to write a review for Mr. Aragón. Next month, his newest book will grace the shelves and it is sure to be a good one. He sent me a preview of the book cover for Hidden History of Spanish New Mexico, which will be published by History Press in September. The book will cover “four centuries of Spanish influence in the Land of Enchantment.” The book jacket reads “New Mexico’s Spanish legacy has informed the cultural traditions of one of the last states to join the Union for more than four hundred years, or before the alluring capital of Santa Fé was founded in 1610. The fame the region gained from artist Georgia O’Keefe, writers Lew Wallace and D.H. Lawrence, and pistolero Billy the Kid has made New Mexico an international tourist destination. But the Spanish annals also have enriched the Land of Enchantment with the factual stories of a superhero knight, the greatest queen in history, a saintly gent whose coffin periodically rises from the depths of the earth and a mysterious ancient map. Join author Ray John de Aragón as he reveals hidden treasure full of suspense and intrigue.” Nice…. It is sure to be a good one— so pick up a copy for your library. The book is available on pre-order through Thanks for the update and an invitation to write a review for you Ray!  🙂

HR 5987- A Bill to Establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park

July 30, 2012

The Oak Ridger published this article online today. This project plays an interesting part of New Mexico history in conjunction with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This publication comes out of Oak Ridge, Tennessee where the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is located.


Continuing the summary of the testimony I was privileged to be asked to give at the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on H. R. 5987, a bill to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. The full text of the testimony can be viewed at the following:

In addition to the three government sites, covered last week, the city of Oak Ridge has assets that will contribute to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The Guest House/Alexander Inn is among the most historic structures in the Manhattan Project. It is in a sad state of disrepair now, but has been included in the latest draft of a memorandum of agreement for historic preservation of the K-25 site at East Tennessee Technology Park as an alternative historic preservation initiative complimentary to the other historic preservation actions.

Other portions of the historic city of Oak Ridge may well serve as integral parts or guided tour portions of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, such as the Chapel on the Hill (first church), alphabet houses, Midtown Community Center, Jackson Square Town Site, the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Public Library’s Oak Ridge Room and Center for Oak Ridge Oral History and the especially appropriate American Museum of Science and Energy.

The museum has been the mainstay of Oak Ridge Manhattan Project and other related history exhibits since March 19, 1949, when the secret city of Oak Ridge was opened to the public for the first time as the gates to the main roads were removed. That same day, the American Museum of Atomic Energy, as it was known until 1978, opened its doors for the first time and welcomed visitors.

When the museum moved to its present location it also changed its name to the American Museum of Science and Energy and expanded its mission for exhibits and focus to a broader energy related theme. However, it kept its role as a primary source of Oak Ridge history.

Today, the museum is the hub of tourist activity in Oak Ridge, being the first stop for most visitors and a must stop for all visitors. The museum’s Oak Ridge Room is the place where visitors first understand the unique history of the people who were notified first through a phone call from their Senator Kenneth McKellar to the Oliver Springs High School principal telling him to tell the students to go home and tell their parents about the coming changes in their neighborhoods. Lester Fox, still living today, swears that is the way the 3,000 people living in New Hope, Robertsville, Elza, Scarboro and other small communities in this area first learned that 60,000 acres would be used for the Manhattan Project that would become Oak Ridge.

Meeting Ferriero: The 10th United States Archivist

July 19, 2012

**Felicia Lujan and David S. Ferriero**
Ferriero is the 10th United States Archivist
NAGARA/CoSA Conference
Santa Fe, New Mexico – July 19, 2012

Today I had the chance to meet David S. Ferriero at the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA)/Council of State Archivists (CoSA) Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He delivered a great lecture which I attended, and he mentioned my favorite conspiracy theory there. Ferriero was appointed 10th United States Archivist by the President in 2009. As the lead Archivist of our country, Ferriero “plans, develops, and administers all programs and functions of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984 (44 U.S.C.).” I have been an Archivist for many years, and before that I was a Records Manager. Now you know just why I was pleased to meet Mr. Ferriero. The 1st United States Archivist was Robert D.W. Connor, who was appointed in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. It was an interesting day. I learned so much and I am tired! I’m going to bed early so that I can be ready to absorb the knowledge I am offered tomorrow. The conference runs through Saturday, so by then I am sure I will be suffering from information overload.

Explosive Fists: Remembering a Champion

July 4, 2012

Digital composite by Felicia Lujan.
Includes: one historic photo of Jack
Johnson from the Library of Congress;
an image of fireworks; a printscreen
on the statistics of his New Mexico fight
on July 4, 1912; and the measurements
or “tape on the fighters.”
***NOTE: Click on the image twice to see it larger.


First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to all of those
in the military who have sacrificed blood, sweat and tears for
our freedom. Thank you to the brave men and women
who are there to protect this great country.
On Independence Day (the Fourth of July), we take
time to remember the importance of being free by
celebrating history and tradition nationally
here in the United States.


Johnson and Flynn in the ring (Las Vegas, New Mexico), July 4, 1912, Image No. LC-B2- 2498-1, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

I couldn’t think of a better historical symbol of freedom today than a black heavyweight boxer named Jack Johnson (1878-1946). I wrote about this fighter in August of 2011 in a post titled Focus: A Cornerstone of Fitness. My home state (New Mexico) became an official part of the United States in 1912. That was 100 years ago. The New Mexican struggle for statehood ended in January of that year, while Jack Johnson prepared for a physical and mental fight here. Johnson was the first American black heavyweight champion. On July 4, exactly one century ago Johnson faced a fight with the critics of his physical fitness as well as racism. At the time he was married to a white woman. The heavyweight lived in New Mexico for a bit while in training to fight Jim Flynn (1879–1935). Flynn was labeled a “white hope” by the media and was favored to take the fight. Though many criticized Johnson’s shape for that fight, I think he was in good shape. He won the fight! 🙂 There are historical accounts of bleachers being added to his outdoor gym in Las Vegas, New Mexico, because Johnson charged onlookers to watch him train. We are lucky to be free. There are still some who are fighting for their own freedom. If that is the case, you should keep up the fight. Jack Johnson’s explosive fists, symbolic of the fight for freedom, and his tenacity secured him a TKO in that very fight on Independence Day in 1912. You can see the video below!!

Submission: When It May Be Time to Tap Out

June 8, 2012

1955 action shot of female wrestlers
Penny Banner and LeeChona La Claire
competing in the ring in the first legal
women’s wrestling match (Chicago, Illinois).
Image No. LC-USZ62-128082, New York
World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper
Photograph Collection, Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division
Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Submission… We all fear unwanted submission right? So how do we know when it’s actually time to say when? When is it time to say heck wit’ it??? When is it time to tap out and move on? Is it when your arm is purple? How about when your neck is raw, or your legs are attempting to thrash for relief? Well for me, it is close to when my heart rate marks “flatline.” It is when my pulse is weak, and I finally realize that it is useless to continue on with something for no reason. Sometimes we think it’s hard to tell, yet the answer is probably just as clear as glass.  So why bother? I could have the absolute best moves, the tightest “A” game, a top notch game plan, but still, I really need to know when it’s time. Whether you feel like you are in a choke hold, headlock, armbar, stomach claw, full nelson, or a sharpshooter, timing is essential. Who wants to look like a fool? Unwanted submission may be a sign of weakness, but there could simply be more pain without it. It gets hard to deal with sharpshooters and heartbreak after a while, so maybe we shouldn’t? After all, salvation from any opponent is just a tap away. If you aren’t pinned in a sharpshooter, or if you aren’t in a strong finger hold, it may be time to tap away my friend!

*****Of course this post isn’t about wrestling at all— now is it? I dedicate this post to my gurl Tiare (the fitness buff)– she had a rough day today. I COMPLETELY understand!!! Fight through the pain Tiare— run on woman!!!

A Birthday, Baseball and Heels

June 1, 2012

Marilyn Monroe Plays Baseball

Today is Marilyn Monroe’s Birthday. She was born on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, and died on August 5, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. There was not even a week separating the birthdays of she and her beloved Mr. President. Maybe tonight they will have a drink together in which ever realm accepted them…. Her last public appearance was at Dodger Stadium on June 1, 1962.

Happy Birthday Mz. Monroe—

Happy 95th Mr. President with Love Mz. Monroe

May 30, 2012

*****Happy 95th Mr. President with Love Mz. Monroe*****
Digital composite by Felicia Lujan. Composite includes: two
historic photographs (Mr. President and Mz. Monroe); and
three contemporary images (smoke, a cupcake, and a candle).

May 29, 2012, would have
been President John F. Kennedy’s
95th birthday. The United States Military held an
official wreath laying ceremony
in his honor at
Arlington National Cemetery. A wreath was
placed at his graveside near the JFK Eternal Flame
(I love that it’s “eternal” 🙂 ). The Eternal Flame
is the permanent presidential memorial.
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
on November 22, 1963. The National Archives
and Records Administration has also released
commemorative footage of Mr. President, which
is available through a Creative Commons license
and is now in the public domain. The film is titled
John F. Kennedy: 1,000 Days.
It is an archival documentary from the United States
Information Agency, which celebrates
JFK’s time in office from 1961-1963.

Tough: Training Your Mind for Battle

May 22, 2012


All men can see these tactics whereby
I conquer, but what none can see is the
strategy out of which victory is evolved.
=>=>=>=>=>=>=>=>Sun Tzu

Almost every morning as I drive off to work, I pass several members of the New Mexico National Guard running. The look on their faces would not be described as effortless. I am familiar with the difficulty of the path they run, and it is far from easy. The guardsmen and one guardswoman continuously trek the dirt path along the frontage road in the early hours of the morning. Today was the first day in many, many, many days that I have seen these people run with a fully loaded military backpack. While I was driving by each (and I may have passed three or four), I tried to imagine how hard running like that would be? I mean the packs had to weigh at least 80 pounds? I glanced into the rear view mirror to look at my son, and I noticed he too was in awe. There we were, both amazed. Being the nerd I am, I used the time to slip in a bit of education, because I felt inspired. I asked Daryn “why do you think they are training like that?” Though he is very aware of the importance of fitness, he responded questionably “because they don’t have cars???” Hum? I laughed and then I went on to explain.

After I dropped him off for his last day of 1st grade, I continued on to work. During the drive, the word battle came to mind. Daryn and I had talked about the need for these men and women to prepare. This is one reason they were running with the heavy packs. We had talked about the preparation for a war- physical battle, but I realized what I had not told my son was that the guardsmen were also preparing for mental battle as well. All battles start in the mind, and if our minds are strong, we shall endure any war. So what is the definition of the word battle? The physical definition of the word is captured by a noun, but the mental definition of the word can be captured by both a noun and a verb. Battle as a “thing” (or noun), is defined as “a sustained fight.” Battle as an “action” (or verb) is defined as a “fight or struggle tenaciously to achieve or resist something.” The Nation Guard motto is “Always Ready, Always There.” What a great motto! The guard is “the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation’s longest-enduring institutions.” The guards were preparing for battles, with each beginning in the mind.

New Mexico National Guard Building in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I took this photograph on the way home from work today.

After looking into the fitness programs with the guard I found a regimen published in 1998. The regimen is called “Battlemind Training.” The program is specifically designed for “Building Soldier Resiliency.” The regimen was designed by Carl Andrew Castro of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is with the Department of Military Psychiatry, in the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Battlemind training ha? I like that. Apparently this is a very tailored kind of training, which prepares the guard for combat (physically), as well as for a return home following combat (mentally). What a great program! Castro defines battlemind as “a Soldiers inner strength to face adversity, fear, and hardship during combat with confidence and resolution.” He says that “in essence it is psychological resiliency.” The intensive training was designed to “develop psychological resiliency which contributes to a Soldiers will and spirit to fight and win in combat, thereby reducing combat stress reactions and symptoms.” There are two criteria associated with this training and they are “self-confidence” and “mental toughness.”

In 2008, Graham Jones published an article titled Managing Yourself: How the Best of the Best Get Better. The article was published in Harvard Business Review. A business review you ask? Why would an article about fitness be published there? It is because athletes and intellectuals all face the same battles. The differences between the athlete and the intellectual may be: the environment (in the office and/or on the track); the methods (how we fight and/or weapons used); individual thresholds for stress and pain; and commitment to a goal and/or end result. All of these things play a key role in the physical and mental battles each of us face. In many cases, (more cases than some are willing to admit) intellectuals and athletes are one in the same. It is just that the smarts that an athlete chooses to employ as a weapon of choice are focused differently. In his article, Jones says that the main obstacle to achieving “the impossible” may be a “self-limiting mind-set.”

*****Digital composite by Felicia Lujan*****
“Mental toughness” backpack we should all
run with. The backpack composite has an
image of neurons, and words that enhance
the “mind-body connection.”

The author is a sports psychologist who consults with Olympic and other world champions in various sports. During a time when Jones “teamed up with an Olympic gold medal swimmer,” he compared sports to business. This is obviously why his article was published in Harvard Business Review. He said “sport is not business, of course, but the parallels are striking. In both worlds, elite performers are not born but made.” This is so true. He goes on to say that “the real key to excellence in both sports and business is not the ability to swim fast or do quantitative analyses quickly in your head; rather, it is mental toughness.” Jones also says that “elite performers in both arenas thrive on pressure; they excel when the heat is turned up. Their rise to the top is the result of very careful planning- of setting and hitting hundreds of small goals. Elite performers use competition to hone their skills, and they reinvent themselves continually to stay ahead of the pack.” Maybe while running with a backpack!?

The Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology published a white paper by E. Bhambri, P.K. Dhillon and S.P Sahni in 2005. The paper was titled Effect of Psychological Interventions in Enhancing Mental Toughness Dimensions of Sports Persons. I loved that these three researchers of the mind referred to something they called the “mental toughness dimensions of sports persons.” It is great to see academics acknowledge the mental fortitude of athletes. This team’s research found that “sports persons who enter the competitive arena soon realize that there is more to competition than simply learning the physical skills. It is one thing to possess the physical and mental skills and yet another to be able to use them when needed. Every athletic contest is a contest of control. Control of the delicate mind-body connection, which is dramatically clear within the competitive arena.” I love these guys! Yes- yes- the mind-body connection. Do you think that it takes just as much mental toughness to write a white paper as it does to run 14 miles? Of course it does! These researchers even acknowledge the fact that some athletes “spend so much time on physical practice to get an edge in the competition, yet they ignore one of the basic aspects of the game that is mental skill.”

Battles… We all have all sorts of wars to win. Some of our battles will be quick and painless, but others will be long and difficult. The battles we face can bring us to our knees. If our “backpacks” in this life get really heavy, there are a few things we can do. The choice is ours and ours alone. We can drop the backpack and walk or stop completely. We can ask a friend for help carrying a load that is hard to handle alone. Or…. we can trek on and endure by making the most of our innate ability to utilize the mind-body connection. Be inspired… Trek on…

Battlemind Training: Building Soldier Resiliency by Carl Andrew Castro, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Military Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 1998

Managing Yourself: How the Best of the Best Get Better by Graham Jones, Harvard Business Review, 2008

Effect of Psychological Interventions in Enhancing Mental Toughness Dimensions of Sports Persons by E. Bhambri, P.K. Dhillon and S.P Sahni, Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 2005

A Symposium on New Mexico WW2 Internment Camps: Inside and Outside the Barbed Wire

April 14, 2012

Tom Kobayashi, landscape, south fields, Manzanar Relocation Center - photograph by Ansel Adams (1943) - Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA- Image No. LC-DIG-ppprs-00244 (NOTE: this photograph was not part of the original press release)

A Symposium on New Mexico WW2 Internment Camps: Inside and Outside the Barbed WireOriginally submitted as a Press Release on April 14, 2012 by the Los Alamos Daily Post

The New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors will hold a symposium on New Mexico World War II internment camps. Learn more about the experiences of Japanese people held in New Mexico’s internment camps during World War II at an April 21 and 22 symposium. “From Inside and Outside the Barbed Wire: New Mexico’s Multicultural World War II Internment Stories,” will be in the History Museum auditorium, 10:30 am-4:30 pm on Saturday, April 21; and 1-4 pm on Sunday, April 22. Organized by the Committee to Preserve New Mexico’s Internment History, the symposium commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Santa Fe Internment Camp Historical Marker in Frank S. Ortiz Park, while raising public awareness of the internment experience in New Mexico. Tickets are $15 at the Lensic Theater Box Office, 505-988-1234, or

A New Mexico Centennial event, the symposium is co-sponsored by The New Mexico History Museum, the Historical Society of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Centennial Board, with a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council. The New Mexico Community Foundation serves as its fiscal agent. Through lectures, film and performance, the program will explore the experiences of Japanese immigrants and American citizens detained in Department of Justice internment camps in New Mexico during World War II, focusing especially on the Santa Fe camp, which held 4,555 men over the course of the war. It will also examine the impressions such camps had on visitors and communities surrounding them. “In other words,” says Gail Okawa, one of the conference organizers, “this symposium will seek to explore the human experience on either side of the barbed wire.”

Presenters include co-chairs Nancy R. Bartlit and Dr. Gail Y. Okawa, Dr. Richard A. Melzer, Brian Minami, Dr. Nikki N. Louis, Colonel Joe Ando (USAF ret.), Bill Nishimura, Mollie Pressler, and Kermit Hill. Nishimura is a survivor of the Santa Fe camp; several presenters are descendants of internees. “The historic symposium will be a rare chance for the community, scholars, and internee descendants to learn who the civilian detainees and internees were, how they passed their time, and how they were treated during wartime,” Bartlit said.

Contacts for this event: Michael Hice, or Nancy Bartlit,

The program schedule:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

10:30 am: Welcome (Dr. Gail Okawa, moderator)

10:45-12:00: Part I: Inside Stories

Dr. Richard A. Melzer: “Inside the Barbed Wire: Life in the Santa Fe Internment Camp”

KNME/NMHM documentary: Remembering the Santa Fe Japanese Internment Camp

Brian Minami: “Issei Poet Prisoners at Santa Fe”


12:00-1:15 pm: Lunch (on your own)

1:30-3:00 pm: Part II: Outside Stories

Dr. Gail Y. Okawa: “From the World Beyond the Barbed Wire”

Dr. Nikki N. Louis and company: “Voices from the Outside”


3:00-4:15 PM: Part III: The SFIC Historical Marker: Community Conflicts, Multicultural Healing

Nancy A. Bartlit, Carol Robertson Lopez, Col. Joe Ando (USAF ret.), Bill Nishimura


4:15-4:30 pm: Wrap-up (Dr. Gail Okawa)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1 pm: Welcome (Nancy Bartlit, moderator)

Part IV: Personal Stories and Profound Postscripts

1:10-2 pm: Memories of American WWII Imprisonment

Film clip from Prisoners and Patriots by Neil Simon

Bill Nishimura, survivor of the Poston, Tule Lake, and the Santa Fe Internment Camps: “My Story at Santa Fe”

Q & A

2-2:20 pm: Lordsburg Camp Stories.

Mollie Pressler (local historian): “Tense Times at the Lordsburg Camp: 1942-1943”

2:20-2:35 pm: Break

2:35-3:20: The NM National Guard and Japanese American Soldiers in Europe

Film clip on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Kermit Hill (local historian): “Nisei and New Mexican Soldiers: A Tale Too Long Untold”

Q & A

3:20-3:50: Profound Postscripts—A Panel: The American Internment in New Mexico

Bill Nishimura (internee survivor); Brian Minami, Joe Ando, Dr. Nikki Louis, and Dr. Gail Okawa (descendents of internees); Nancy Bartlitt, Dr. Okawa (Humanities scholars)

4-4:30 pm: Book signing

Good Friday: The Penance of Imperfect Creatures

April 6, 2012


As machines become more and more efficient and perfect,

so it will become clear that imperfection is the greatness of man.”

*****Ernst Fischer


Sometimes we strive so hard for perfection

that we forget that imperfection is happiness.”

*****Karen Nave


Being human is one of the hardest jobs that many of us have ever had. The struggle between the good and bad, the dark and the light, the positive and the negative, at times can be overwhelming. Sometimes just a reminder of inescapable imperfection is enough to comfort the weary. Like with anything else in life, we need to do our best to walk a crisp line, and be the best people we can be right? In 1973, the Journal of Religion and Health (Vol. 12, No. 1) published a paper titled Saints and Sinners by Harry C. Meserve. In the paper, Meserve was “pondering the mystery of sanctity,” and he says that “the world’s moralists have tended to divide mankind between the saints and the sinners, ourselves and the enemy, the sane and the insane, the wise and the foolish; and these distinctions, sometimes descriptive, are usually inadequate.” Meserve goes on to say that “we come into the world neither good nor evil, but with a potential for both. We end up, unless we are true saints, as some what mixed beings, with, one hopes, the weight on the side of goodness.”

My uncle Rick Lujan has always walked to El Santuario de Chimayo with his lion cane. He made the cane out of a juniper branch, and it was the first carving he ever made. Today the cane is about five inches shorter because of the walks.

This week marked the annual Holy Week pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo, in Chimayo, New Mexico. People from all over the world, and from various religious backgrounds walk hundreds of miles to the sacred Catholic site to ask for forgiveness, and pray for blessings. Saints and sinners alike make the trip to pay homage, erase darkness, and inspire the light. “Three pueblos, long abandoned, have been located in the area and dated, the earliest being about 1100 A.D.” Tewa Indians recognized Chimayo “as a shrine,” and “a place of healing.” Local accounts note that “in 1706 the Chimayo Valley was a part of the San Juan Parish. Later, in 1751, it was administered by the Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz.” The Santuario de Chimayo was built in 1816 by Don Bernardo Abeyta, but a small chapel dated back to 1810. The site was dedicated to Our Lord of Esquipulas. There have long been “stories of the miracles performed through the healing earth beneath the shrine.”

My grandma Corine loved El Santuario de Chimayo when she was alive. This was a container of the holy earth she gave to me years ago. Her favorite was the saint who “wears old, worn shoes.” His name is Santo Nino or the Holy Child. There is likely no statistics to confirm the number of “sick” people who visit that saint. He continuously wears out his brand new shoes “from nightly trips giving aid to those in need.”

In 1996, the pilgrimage was called “a sacrifice,” and that is still true today. When I was young I walked countless times to the magical place with a well containing holy earth. The well was “the site of a holy apparition in the 1800s,” and “the soil where the apparition appeared is said to be holy and the source of miraculous healings.” Sinners and the “sick” need to be healed, thus droves of imperfect humans take containers, buy containers, and fill pockets with gritty holiness to ward off unwanted pains. In Saints and Sinners, Meserve said that there is “a division between good and evil; but the division, the conflict, is within each one of us.” Can miracles, faith, and a bit of sacred earth really cure the “sick?” Well according to Meserve, “the problem of the saint and the sinner within the same person is not unlike the problem of the healthy and the sick person within the same in individual. All of us, at one time or another, are sick. Yet elements of health exist in all of us, too, even when we are at our lowest ebb.” Apparently the answer is yes!

So why do so many make the Holy Week pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo? Why do they ask for forgiveness? Why do they pray for blessings? Why do they need to cure the sickness? Are they saints or are they sinners? Maybe the latter really is one in the same? The only real answer– put simply– imperfection should be accepted because unfortunately, humanness is hard.

The Saint Wears Old, Worn Shoes by Alice Bullock- Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, December 7, 1969


~Native Mountain Villages– Santa Fe New Mexican, July, 16, 1951

~The Saint Wears Old, Worn Shoes by Alice Bullock- Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, December 7, 1969

~Saints and Sinners by Harry C. Meserve- Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1973

~Obscure Oratorio Predates Famed El Santuario– Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, February 21, 1985

~Faith Keeps Them Warm by Chris Roybal- Santa Fe New Mexican, April 5, 1996

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