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Honoring Seniors (19)

Saturday, 30 March 2013 00:06

New Mexico Veteran Finally Gets His Medal.

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On March 28, 2013, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich presented Mr. Orville E. Kirk the WWII Victory Medal. Mr. Kirk, a long time resident

of New Mexico, is a WWII Army veteran who qualified for the WWII Medal, but never received it after its creation in 1945. Senator Heinrich

and his staff worked with the D>O>D> to ensure Mr. Kirk received his long overdue Medal.  Mr. Kirk is also the recipient of a Silver Star,

Bronze Medal, and a Purple Heart.  The WWII Victory Medal is awarded to any member of the United States Military who served on active 

duty. or as a reservist, between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.  Congratulations Mr. Orville E. Kirk, and God bless you.

Friday, 29 March 2013 22:30

Grace Schmitt Interview Part 1

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This interview with Grace Schmitt was conducted on February 21st, 2013. Grace moved to the Madrid/Cerrillos area in 1968 and worked at the Mine Shaft Tavern as well as the Golden Inn. She ultimately opened the Card House in Cerrillos in 1974. She tells many interesting stories in this interview as she was also very much a part of the hippie micro-culture that existed in the area at the time. The interview is conducted by Jerry Kerr and filmed by Jim Baca. Both are active members of Voces de Santa Fe.
 

His son, Stephen Earnest, was asked to give a summary of his father’s most remarkable life:

 

“My dad, Elbert Edgar Earnest, was born February 23, 1914 in his grandmother’s farm house just outside Mena, Arkansas.  He lived his first twelve years on the family farm in Arkansas then in Oklahoma.   Due to his mother’s poor health, the family moved to the Estancia Valley in New Mexico, where he continued to be a hardworking farm kid.

 

“Dad graduated from Estancia High School then went on to UNM where he paid his way as a janitor, worked at the library, ran the school post office, and had other odd jobs.  He married my mom, Atha Love Wright, in 1935 at the little one room church in McIntosh.

 

“My parents moved to Hot Springs where my dad taught Spanish at the junior and high school.  He also worked at Carrie Tingley Hospital for two summers.  At the start of WWII, they moved to California where he worked for Lockheed building airplanes during the war.

 

“They moved to Espanola in 1945 where my dad taught at Espanola High School and had a farm to meet the family’s needs. He built two houses for the family, which are still standing today.  Active and concerned about local issues, he dedicated himself to help establish the Espanola Hospital.

 

“In 1954 our family moved from Espanola to Santa Fe where my dad started his own insurance business.  For many years he had his office above Zook’s Pharmacy overlooking the plaza.  In 1985 he retired and sold his business to Mark Muth.

 

“As he was his entire life, my ninety-nine year old dad is devoutly but quietly religious and goes to chapel every Sunday.  He is a political observer, keeping up with local, national and international news.  He was one of the founders of Common Cause New Mexico and is an anti-nuclear activist, a pacifist, and an insatiable reader, loves old time hymns, classical music, Roy Orbison, New Mexico’s tri-cultures and sopaipillas!

 

“My dad has written two memoirs, one of his personal life and one of his political activist life.   At ninety-nine he has a wealth of memories still there for instant recall at any time.  I can spend hours listening to him tell stories of his life.  I love my old man.”

 

as told to Maria Montez-Skolnik

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