DANCING GRANDFATHER. "Yee-Hah!" The cry rips through the crowd
like a firecracker on the loose as the funny-looking figure who
exclaims it skips madly between two rows of masked dancers. Their
faces veiled in brilliant strands of jewels, beads, ribbon and fringe,
the dancers move together in perfect rhythm, perfect step. Strains
of fiddle and guitar mesmerize the audience until, in some outrageous
act of silliness, the whip-wielding wild man inserts himself into
WITH FIRE. The early morning sun is still mixing with shadows
over Apodaca Hill when Tomas Arrey dons a pair of faded overalls,
slides heavy black gloves over his weathered hands, and lights a
pitch-and-kindling fire in his hilltop workshop. Cold hangs in the
air from the winter just past, but before long, Arrey has perspiration
dripping from beneath the blackened brim of his well-worn hat. "If
you can't stand the heat," he says with a smirk, "get out of the
fragua." REST OF STORY.
CELSO. The photograph is faded and fuzzy. An elderly man of
small stature, his hair and beard a shaggy gray, sits upright in
a slatted wooden chair. In his knotty right hand, he clutches a
cane carved to curl into the shape of a horse's head. His brown
eyes sink like shadows between high cheekbones and bushy brows.
And a gentle, jolly smile emerges from his lips. REST
FAMILY AFFAIR. Early one morning in 1921, Alfonsa Vigil opened
the door to her family's new general store in the village of Chimayo.
As she waited for the first customers to arrive, Vigil looked out
upon the scenic Potrero, a grassy stretch of pastureland, where
the store stood just west of the legendary Santuario de Chimayo.
"May God bless each and every one that comes through these doors,"
she said. REST OF STORY.
CHILE CHRONICLES. There are approximately 44 million acres of
farmland in New Mexico and nearly 14,000 farms. Of that land, an
average of 30,000 acres is devoted to chile each year, grown among
an estimated 250 to 300 farmers across the state. Since 1990, those
farmers have consistently made chile one of the two most profitable
crops in New Mexico. REST OF STORY.