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Title: They Literally Danced All Night And Went Home In The Morning

Author(s): Richard Spencer (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Richard Spencer talks about how the community of Eastview functioned during his grandfather’s time and the importance of local churches and schools.

Shawn: What do you know about the community of Eastview or Cienegita or Cienega back in your grandfather’s time? What kind of community was it? Was it mostly a farming and ranching community with the mills there? Richard: Yeah, and again, if you...

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Title: El Velador del Cañon de Abo

Author(s): Eliseo R. Sisneros (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Eliseo R. Sisneros talks about working for the Santa Fe Railway in eastern New Mexico.

One night there was a rock come down in Abo Canyon and it hit the electric warning fence and knocked a hole in it. They called the Belen Section and couldn’t find a foreman. So I went up there with the assistant foreman and a bunch of men to help t...

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Title: Anything Was Wrong With The Track We Had To Fix It

Author(s): Fidel Padilla (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Fidel Padilla talks about working on the Scholle section gang for the Santa Fe Railway near Mountainair, New Mexico.

My father was first at work here in 1919 in Abo and then they hired me after him. He worked for 10 cents an hour. I started to work in 1940 for the Santa Fe Railroad. Then my brother Elfido worked in here. We both worked together in Scholle, Belen. ...

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Title: The First Hispanic Telegraph Operator

Author(s): Felix Gabaldon (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Felix Gabaldon talks about being the first Hispanic to work in a depot on the Santa Fe Railway in eastern New Mexico.

My first job was in Abo, about three weeks, maybe, and then I bumped somebody in Mountainair. I was there three, four years, then I went to Fort Sumner, worked there another maybe six, seven months. From Fort Sumner, I went to Roswell then to Dexter....

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Title: A Lot Of Our Neighbors Were The Original Homesteaders In That Area

Author(s): Dorothy Cole (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Dorothy Cole remembers the era of pinto bean farming around Mountainair in first half of the twentieth century.

A lot of our neighbors were the original homesteaders in that area. They stayed through the whole bean field thing. Bill Rogers, he and Vernie Wells, they lasted longer at dryland farming than anybody did, up until probably ’75 or ’76. After the ...

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Title: There’s What I Call A Triangular System Of Compadrasco

Author(s): Francisco Sisneros (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Francisco Sisneros discusses his family who settled in the Abo area in the mid-nineteenth century.

The family moved from Casa Colorada on the Rio Grande up to the area of El Arroyo Colorado north of the Abo ruins in about 1854. Somewhere in between, during the time of the Civil War, we know that they were at La Salada, the area south of Abo. We do...

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Title: Wherever The Work Took Us, That’s Where We Went

Author(s): Randy Dunson (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Randy Dunson talks about growing up on the Belen Cutoff and the experiences his father, a track supervisor for the Santa Fe Railway in eastern New Mexico, had with Navajo work gangs.

The first eight years of my life were spent in a 40-foot wooden boxcar converted for living quarters. Up and down the Belen Cutoff; just wherever the work took us that’s where we went. I made every school between Clovis and Belen, except Yeso. We w...

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Title: You Fed Them And You Fed Them Well

Author(s): Martina Brazil Franklin (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Martina Brazil Franklin remembers her father, a prominent local sheepman, and growing up in the village of Scholle, New Mexico.

My father Joe Brazil came to this country from the Azore Islands when he was 16. His father had preceded him and gone to California. My father came with a sister, Maria, and two brothers and they went on to California and lived there for a long time....

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Title: The Railroad Made It, And The Railroad Destroyed It

Author(s): Bill Pohl (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

The railroad is what made this country. It revolutionized the world, especially the United States, and every part of it, everywhere it went. Well, the people that were here before the railroad came, undoubtedly it made the world smaller for them, bu...

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Title: They Couldn’t Make Enough Money With The Cows That They Had

Author(s): Al Padilla and Joe Padilla (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Al and Joe Padilla describe being on their family’s homestead and the diverse ways people made a living.

Joe: See, my dad did all kinds of work. My dad worked for the railroad. He worked for that Sais Crusher, and also on construction of US 60 there. And the reason for that is because they couldn’t make enough money with the cows that they had. For so...

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