Sunday, January 25, 2015

Red Hatters Shop and Dine in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Members of the New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter of the Red Hat Society in Alamogordo, New Mexico visited several resell shops today and found some nifty bargains. One Red Hatter purchased a large "Coach" handbag for $65 including tax. Original cost was probably $400 and it is in stellar condition. This was indeed the best deal of the day. Some of the stores we shopped at were The Red Door Mini Mall on 9th Street and Vintage, Etc. on New York Avenue where we actually made purchases.

A number of Red Hatters opted not to shop and to meet the shoppers at the Sunset Run Barbecue Restaurant for lunch. Their were 11 in all and a wonderful time dining and telling war stories was enjoyed by everyone. The food was delicious and the dessert scrumptious, bread pudding with a delightful whiskey sauce.

Jean (our world traveler) and Donna W., a really fun person
L to R: Dorothy S. (our delightful lady of letters), Lynne, looking especially lovely and our dear VQ Penny who is moving to Florida the end of March. Boohoo!
Alice, involved in a mastodon dig in the desert near Tularosa, NM and Karen, a charming new Red Hat sister
VQ Penny and Lu who is a talented painter in oils
L to R: Lynne, Yours truly Queen Ladybird (Carla K) and VQ Penny
Our Red Hat sister Rosa, hostess deluxe for potluck and game days
Attending, but not photographed was new Red Hatter Terry who suffered a terrible automobile accident and did not want a photograph of her still healing face.

Almost forgot to mention that service at the restaurant was excellent and the setting in a room by ourselves was perfect for our interaction. Thanks to Alice for taking the one picture for me.

This is all I have to say for now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Legend of R.L. "Shorty" Lee

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Doug and I have been making numerous trips to Albuquerque by way of Highway 54 from Alamogordo, New Mexico to see doctors at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center. We have often noted a sign obviously placed on the side of the highway by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, but only this very day determined to stop to take a picture and find out more about this R.L. "Shorty" Lee.

Shorty never expected to be a legend nor did he ever in his dreams think 100 years later he would still be remembered.

Legends live on only through those that care to hold on to them. The death of a cowboy over a century ago still sparks interest because someone cared to honor it.

Not much is known about Shorty except that he lies in a roadside grave on the west side of New Mexico State Highway 54 near Oscuro which is about 15 miles south of Carrizozo.

R.L. "Shorty" Lee, thought to be about 20 years old, was a Bar W Ranch cowboy working for W.C. McDonald, New Mexico's first governor.

Shorty and some other cowboys were moving cattle when a thunderstorm brought a deadly lightning strike to a single spot on a vast plain. Shorty and another cowboy, their horses and seven head of cattle were killed by the lightning.

With no known relatives, Shorty was buried near where he fell, along what was then only a trail.

When the trail became a highway, W.W. Gallacher, Sr. of the Carrizozo Gallacher Ranches, was instrumental in keeping the highway department from moving Shorty's grave. Gallacher, as a young man, had known Shorty and fought to keep his resting place honored.

In 1975, the South Central Mountain RC&D, along with Colt Industries, placed a bronze plaque at the grave site to mark it. Sometime later the marker was destroyed by vandals and never replaced.

The white picket fence around the site is long gone, worn by the wind and weather. A few strands of wire, some old posts and tumbleweeds are what remain.

The above reported in "Cowgirl Sass and Savvy" by Julie Carter, Sunday, June 17, 2007

A few years ago, at the request of White Oaks writer, storyteller and cowboy Walt Birdsong, the New Mexico Department of Transportation placed a sign at the grave site to mark it.

The sign now stands forlornly on the dry, sandy, sage-covered ground where Shorty fell.

During his quest for a new sign and his research to find out more about Shorty, as well as locate any family the cowboy might have had, Walt wrote a poem about Shorty.

Shorty Lee--A Bar W Cowboy

Here lies a cowboy named Shorty Lee
If I'd been born when I should'a, it could'a been me.
Shorty rode the range through a thunderstorm's force.
Blue lightning came down, killed him and his horse.
Now both of em's buried right here in the ground
And mighty few folks know where they can be found.
Just north of Oscuro, beside the blacktop,
Hundreds go by but damn few of 'em stop.
At the little old cross that marks his last home,
Just a simple wood cross, not even a stone.
I didn't know the cowboy name Shorty Lee
But if I'd been born when I shoulda', it could'a been me.

Walt Birdsong 9/30/2003

100 years later, because we know and because we can, we give a moment of silence to a fallen cowboy, because like Walt said, it could have been me.

Doug took this shot from the car and there are actually two American flags flanking the grave site
 I guess you might say that Doug and I are among the "damn few" who stopped to learn more about this young cowboy R.L. "Shorty" Lee. Isn't this a beautiful New Mexico scene showing the prairie grasses along with the mountains in the background? Rest in peace, Shorty Lee.

This is all I have to say for now.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Red Hatter's Dine and Play Games

Monday, January 12, 2015

The New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter of the Red Hat Society dined at Pepper's Grill in Alamogordo, New Mexico on Saturday, January 10, 2015. The food was quite well prepared and the waitress, although new on the job, took great care of the group. The waitress and a helper came in after lunch with cupcakes with candles on them for each of the birthday girls, Margie, Dorothy E. and Alice and we all sang Happy Birthday. I forgot the bag with the Kazoos in it so no accompaniment this time.

They welcomed three new members; Carla H., Terry C. and Donna W.  Everyone had a great time after lunch with one group playing Farkle and another group playing Scrabble. It is so wonderful that Pepper's has back rooms where noise won't bother the other diners because Red Hatters really enjoy talking and laughing with abandon.  Indeed, all remarked about the chapter having two Donnas, two Carlas and two Dorothys and for some reason this set off more laughter and conversations.

Plans were made for future events including the Las Cruces Council of Red Hat Queens Big Birthday Bash celebrating 17 years for the Red Hat Society on April 24-25, 2015 at the Hotel Encanto. They always hostess a grand event and there are  plenty of vendors where one can engage in the official sport of the Red Hat Society, Shopping!

Carla H., a brand new Red Hatter and a blond beauty!
This is Berene's first event with the chapter. She became a Red Hatter last month. A classy lady for sure!
Left is birthday girl Margie and new chapter member, Donna W. She was our snowbird who decided to stay in Alamogordo and we are truly proud to welcome her.
Left is Carmen and beside her is Karen who is also quite new to the chapter
L to R: Lu, Birthday Girl Dorothy E. and new Red Hatter Terry C.
Jean enjoying chocolate ice cream after lunch
Jean, at far end of table, is explaining how to play Farkle to the group
L to R: Terry, Dorothy E. and Birthday Girl Alice. The blank space in front is for Carla K., the photographer and Queen.

Looking at all these photos, I'm led to believe that I have some of the best looking Red Hatters around. I am so proud of my girls and we are following the 2015 Red Hat Society theme "Simply Fun" in everything we do. (By the way, I won the Scrabble game!)

This is all I have to say for now.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year 2015 From Alamogordo, New Mexico

January 2, 2015

We had an uninvited guest in our backyard on New Year's Day and sadly one of our little birds turned out to be this sharp-shinned hawk's holiday dinner. I took photos of him through the glass patio doors and he was determined not to leave until he had the last morsel of that little bird. I went out later and there was absolutely nothing left but a scattering of feathers. Thus is the way of nature in our world.

Sharp-shinned hawk dining on New Year's Day 2015
Taking a breather between bites
Almost finished! Must be time for a nap.
We, (Doug and I) had a lovely Christmas Day together exchanging gifts and dining at home. We then drove to the local theater to see "Unbroken", the story about Louis Zamperini's WWII experiences as a POW. The book was written by Laura Hillenbrand as she lay in her bed suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I highly recommend you read the book because there is just so much more to Mr. Zamperini's life than his surviving horrendous torture at the hands of the Japanese. The movie is well directed by Angelina Jolie and sticks close to the book for the most part. We enjoyed it despite the torture events.

We spent New Year's Eve right here in our cozy little home watching the ball drop. I created a salsa dip by opening a can of fire roasted tomatoes (salsa style), adding a can of  black-eyed peas, drained, two tablespoons minced garlic and two tablespoons Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste. We enjoyed this dip with Fritos scoops on New Year's Eve as well as New Year's Day so we are assured of good luck in 2015.

New Year's Eve, I took part in a virtual online party with my sister Red Hatters around the world. It was actually a fun event meeting many people, sharing photos of table settings, various foods and decorations. Our hostess even made red top hats and various noise makers available for each of us. If you've never taken part in a virtual event on the Internet, you should consider it. Just the warm connection to everyone makes it so worthwhile and memorable. The party was "come and go" so it was possible to be involved in other events while checking back in on the computer all evening.

Starting our New Year off with a bang, Doug and I have enrolled in Drama 105 at New Mexico State University (we are now officially New Mexico Aggies) here in Alamogordo in hopes of honing our acting skills and classes start January 15, 2015. We have also been cast in the Rehovec Theatre on the Hill production of "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer" that will run February 6-8, 2015. Rehearsals start January 4, 2015 and we are looking forward to having a wonderful time doing this.

I would like to leave you with this beautiful quotation sent to me by a dear friend, Denise Pruitt:

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or even consumed. 
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."

--Denis Waitley

This is all I have to say for now.