Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Alamogordo, New Mexico Centennial Ball

Friday, December 28, 2012, Doug and I dressed to attend the Centennial Ball hosted by the Friends of the Library and the event took place in the Alamogordo Public Library where every room was utilized. The theme was "Things Remembered" and it was suggested that attendees wear period costumes. Program Director Amy Rivers dreamed up the theme and it was grand. There were over 200 in attendance with many in vintage attire. Amy worked closely with Barbara McDonald, Chair of the Centennial committee for Alamogordo and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society, making plans for this event. The fee to attend was a donation of one new or gently used book per person for a ticket.

Two rooms were designated for two separate bands and, of course, one of the bands was "Los Primos" from Albuquerque playing mariachi and Mexican folk music. The other band was "After Midnight" from Denver playing swing and jazz. Doug and I enjoyed both bands immensely and found ourselves dancing to the music of After Midnight.

The Rhodes Southwest Room was set up like a parlor with a roaring fireplace where we were entertained by soprano Ann Bagby, who also served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the "A Century of Parlor Music" segment. Ann was accompanied by Helen Garrett on the piano and Don Thorp on guitar. Song sheets were provided and the audience was encouraged to sing-along.

Ann was followed by the Centennial Sweet Notes in period costume delivering a medley of monologues and songs. Each player depicted a historical character from Alamogordo's past. Barbara McDonald was Minnie Kennedy, "Alamogordo's first businesswoman, who opened the first brothel." Ila Denson was "Mary Darbyshire, one of Alamogordo's first librarians". Joel Hamilton represented "Mr. Pickford, the first African-American principal in Alamogordo's school system". Jan Wafful played as Emma Fall, "wife of Albert Bacon Fall, one of New Mexico's first two senators, who became notorious in the Teapot Dome Scandal".

Heather Carter and her staff from Stella Vita Restaurant provided delicious food and desserts. Library staffer Melissa Garcia spent hours making ornaments and snowflakes out of old books and each guest received one as a momento at the close of the evening. The Christmas decorations throughout the library were lovely.

Amy left no stone unturned and arranged for photographers from Rachel Telles Photography of Alamogordo to take pictures throughout the evening. They are located at 700 1st Street, Suite 713C, phone 575-491-8242 and they are quite professional and talented in this field.

Doug wore his dress kilt and I wore my wedding gown from almost 14 years ago. It was styled on the same order as those worn in the movie "Titanic" and you will remember the Titanic sank in April, 1912. We absolutely agreed with everyone else in attendance, "This is one Ball that will long be remembered."

Carla, ready for the New Mexico Centennial Ball
l to r: Carla, Bev's former neighbor, Staff Sergeant Eugene Roberts USAF and Bev Eckman-Onyskow (Freelance writer for the Daily News)
Lady in Red Audrey Bunker, owner of Vintage Etc. where many found attire for the Ball
Los Primos from Albuquerque
Carla, enjoying the music of Los Primos
Dancing to the music native to New Mexico
Soprano Ann Bagby singing "After the Ball"
Lovely Alamogordo Mayor Susie Galea enjoying Ann's singing
Pianist Helen Garrett and Soprano Ann Bagby after their performance
Various attendees enjoying the Centennial Sweet Notes
A dandy looking gentleman named Steve Haydu with Karen Hutchison. Love the hats!
Barbara McDonald aka Minnie Kennedy as first Alamogordo businesswoman
The Centennial Sweet Notes with Don Thorp on guitar
Joel Hamilton aka Mr. Pickford, first African-American school principal in Alamogordo
Carla and Doug Kerr having a ball at the Ball (photo by Rachel Telles)
Karen and Carla "After the Ball is Over"
Note in the photo just above, Carla is holding two of the ornaments made by Melissa Garcia. Difficult to see against the white coat, but they were quite lovely.

Thanks to Doug for the great photos.

This is all I have to say for now.

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