Saturday, 28 November 2020 20:35

Christmas Windows In Santa Fe - 1960

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Before shopping malls, big box emporiums, and Amazon, Santa Fe stores like Sebastian's Firestone and Cartwright's Hardware carried a wide diversity of products.  In addition to tires, Sebastian's sold appliances, kitchen implements, toys, Lionel trains, fishing equipment, dishes, glassware, American Flyer bicycles, and Zenith radios and television sets.  The biggest downtown store was Sears, which sold everything.

I worked for Sebastian's Firestone store in 1960, when I was 15.  During the week before Thanksgiving, all of the Santa Fe downtown merchants covered their display windows on the inside and prepared for Christmas. That year, I was given the job of preparing the windows. Sebastian's had 2 of them and I was given free rein, as long as I presented a cross-section of what was inside. On one side I displayed snow tires, tire chains, a pyramid of motor oil cans, tools, windshield ice scrapers, an assortment of auto parts, and a bicycle.  Ah, but the other side was the most fun.  On the floor was a Christmas tree,surrounded by a running Lionel train set, complete with smoke coming out of the stack.  I leaned a Flexible Flyer sled against the wall and suspended model airplanes from the ceiling in an imaginary dogfight (Revell would send completed versions of their models with Christmas orders). There was a small table set with Christmas themed dishware, a corner with a fishing rod and lures, and as many of the season's most popular toys as possible.  A Barbie doll, an Easy-Bake oven, a Chatty Cathy doll, an Erector Set, a Radio Flyer wagon, and a set of Roy Rogers pistols.  In the center was the latest TV set from Zenith, which had a free-standing picture tube above the cabinet that contained the electronics.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, the windows were uncovered and Santa Fe came out to look.  I was in the window putting the train back on the tracks when some of my friends from St. Mike's came by and started giving me a hard time.  I went into the store, got one of the brand-new GI Joe dolls, and put him and Barbie in what you could describe as a compromising position.  They started laughing, not because I was so clever, but because they could see Mr. Sebastian behind me with a scowl on his face.  He was not amused and almost fired me on the spot.  But he chewed me out and I promised not to do it again.

One of the benefits of working there was that I learned how to assemble things.  Bikes, wagons, doll houses, trains, and the afore-mentioned TV set all came in boxes and had to be put together.  I was able to market my skills to my parent's friends and, for the next few years I spent Christmas Eve assembling the toys that they bought for their kids.  I would start around 10:00 and finish at 4:00 in the morning.

The Friday after Thanksgiving wasn't black like it is today. 

It was magical!

Wednesday, 04 November 2020 18:57

My Mom - By Kristi Davis

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My mother JoAnn Vogt Davis was born at the Vogt Ranch near Ramah, NM on December 30, 1922, the daughter of Shirley Bergman and Evon Zartman Vogt. She was the third of five siblings, the eldest having died as a baby. She grew up among Navajos, Zunis, Mexicans, artists, anthropologists, educators and celebrities that visited the Vogt Ranch. She attended secretarial college in Albuquerque. She married Lieutenant Paul Davis of Ramah under the pines in 1942, living in San Antonio TX, Fort Polk, LA while he was training. When he was discharged as a Major after WWII, they moved back to the Vogt Ranch where they made their own adobes and built a home near her parent's house. Pamela Kay was born in 1946, Kristeen in 1948, and Anita in 1949. Paul and JoAnn helped establish Ramah Land and Cattle Company with other local veterans purchasing 33 square
miles of land at the foot of the Zuni Mountains. Paul also ran the Davis Repair Shop and later established Davis Tractor Sales in Gallup, driving 90 miles every day to work for over 30 years. My mother did the bookkeeping for these enterprises while helping my grandmother with the Vogt Guest Ranch, serving as tour guide and horse wrangler. Like her father, who was a sheep rancher, Editor of the Gallup Gazette, photographer, and first Custodian of El Morro National Monument, Jo Ann was very interested in people and history. She took us on camping trips, where she and my father would strum up a two man band with violin and guitar and play Mexican and cowboy songs around the campfire. She took us on driving trips, hikes, picnics, horseback rides, swims in cow tanks or the lake, ice skating, art outings, and anything else she could think up to make life enjoyable. She liked to paint watercolor scenes and always had fresh flowers on the table. Her favorites were sweet peas and roses. She made bread every few days, worked in the vegetable garden, canned and preserved produce, sewed our clothes, took care of her mother and Grandpa Davis and still found time to entertain, give violin lessons, and lead a Boy Scout troup. She was also a knowledgeable rancher. She played violin in the Gallup Symphony Orchestra. She lived a life of inspiration and creativity and encouraged us to pursue our artistic talents. She and my father were excellent dancers. They traveled the world in their later years, visiting over 50 countries. She died in 2003 after complications from colon surgery. The day before the surgery, she was riding a horse to El Morro with the Conquistador reenactment group. She was laid to rest at the base of a glorious mesa here on the ranch.

Saturday, 24 October 2020 22:03

Jardines del Bosque

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Saturday, 24 October 2020 22:00

Learning by Doing

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Wednesday, 21 October 2020 19:34

La Historia del Cambalache

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