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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Texas Christmas Visit

December 20, 2012 we loaded up our car and headed to Springtown, Texas (near Fort Worth) to stay with son, Russ and Carolyn in their home for the holidays. The drive went quite well. As is our usual custom on these Texas trips, we stopped in front of the Seminole, Texas courthouse to partake of our picnic lunch consisting of sandwiches made on Ciabatta bread loaded with meats, cheeses, lettuce and tomatoes along with chips with Hershey bars for dessert. The trip took ten and a half hours including various stops and, of course, we lost an hour going East.

Friday morning, I got busy and made four Double Layer Pumpkin Pies to give to Taylor, Drew, Lynne and Wesley. These were sorely missed at Thanksgiving so I decided to make up for it. The kids dearly love these pies.

The first big family gathering was on Saturday night at grand children's new home in Fort Worth, Jennifer and Taylor Cromwell. They are parents of two-year-old twin boys, Ashton and Landon and a six-month old baby boy named Camden. Also in attendance, Cat and Drew Spears and their two boys, four-year-old Landon and two-year-old Ethan. And, Kelley, mother of Taylor, Drew and Wesley was there as well as Wesley. We had a grand time watching the great grandchildren tear open their gifts and watching the grandsons assemble jeeps that Drew gave the twins for Christmas. Jennifer made a lovely dinner for all to enjoy and Doug took many photos.

On Sunday, December 23, Doug and I drove to Azle, Texas to dine with Barbara Farley, a friend and sister Red Hatter, at Frenkie's Capriccio Italian Restaurant. There was so much food that Barbara and I had to take doggie bags home, but it was delicious. After a wonderful visit, we went to daughter Lynne Render's home there in Azle to watch the football game and nosh some more.

Early Monday morning, we met Barbara and Anna Colley at IHOP for breakfast. Also joining us was Anna's brother Jerry. We had a great time visiting and the girls gave Carla a ceramic steer bird house to hang in the backyard.  That evening, Doug and I treated Russ, Carolyn and Wesley to dinner at La Choza Mexican Restaurant, one of our favorite places to dine when we lived in Weatherford. The owner just happens to be a native of Chimayo, New Mexico and their food is definitely New Mexican style. They have a beautiful new facility in Azle, Texas and it was tastefully decorated for Christmas. The food was just as tasty as we remembered.

Tuesday, December 25, all the family came to Russ' home and the great grandchildren once again had much fun unwrapping their gifts. We enjoyed Russ' great guacamole dip with chips as well as salsa and chips among other snacks. We then moved on to Lynne's home for Christmas dinner of turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes, green beans, turkey gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce and various libations. Carla's brother, Wes, and Lynne's friend, Wes, were added to the mix of people. I dare say with three Wes' it can get confusing! There were more gifts to unwrap and we drove back to Russ' home to nap. Later on, Drew and Cat come over to play cards. It was a wonderfully, fun-filled day that we really enjoyed. We woke up to heavy rain that  became a white Christmas with two inches of snow falling following the rain. The roads were slick.

Although it wasn't planned this way, Wednesday was our day to sleep in and pack for our trip back to New Mexico. Our original plan was to visit with Doug's daughter, Nancy who lives in Irving, Texas. The streets were just too difficult to drive on and we were disappointed at not getting to see Nancy.

Thursday morning, I prepared our usual picnic lunch for on the road. Only, this time, our sandwiches were on white bread filled with left-over turkey. On the way back to New Mexico, we again stopped for our lunch, this time, in front of Seminole City Hall. The only critters we saw on this trip was one lone elk stag near Big Springs, Texas and several coyotes (some live, some roadkill) along the way. On arriving in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, we stopped at Big Daddy's Diner for some excellent pozole (Mexican soup made of pork, hominy, spices and tomatoes). Driving through the Sacramento Mountains, we saw several groups of elk either crossing or along the road. It was truly a wonderful visit with everyone, but it was so good to get home again.

l to r:  Ashton, Taylor, Landon, Eathan, Big Landon and Camden lying down
l to r: Ashton, Jennifer, Landon, Taylor and Camden
l to r: Ethan, Cat, Drew and Big Landon
Jennifer and (Mimi) Kelley
l to r: Jennifer, Kelley and Cat modeling their new vests
Carla (Grammy) with grandson, Wesley
l to r: Ashton, Taylor and Drew assembling one of the jeeps
Ashton and Landon in their new jeeps
Barbara and Carla at lunch in Frenkie's Capriccio Italian Restaurant in Azle, Texas
Bia at Estee Lauder counter in Belk Department Store with Carla
Red Hat friend, Anna Colley at IHOP for visit and breakfast
l to r: Carolyn, Lynne and Carla Christmas morning
l to r: Carla, Wesley and Russ
Carla (Grammy) with great grandson, Camden
Ethan enjoying the snow with his mother, Cat
Lynne with her Amado Peña poster (a Christmas gift)
l to r: Russ, Drew, Cat, Ethan and Wesley playing cards Christmas night
Our lovely hosts for the week, Russ and Carolyn
Thanks, Doug, for all the pictures. My apologies for not getting at least one of you in the mix.

This is all I have to say for now.