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Survival Along the Continental Divide

An Anthology of Interviews

Jack Loeffler

Publication Year: 2008

Loeffler has recorded interviews with representatives of the diverse cultures of New Mexico, revealing the cultural mosaic of the people along the Continental Divide.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xii

Between Fences was originally a project conceived by the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as a traveling exhibition for smaller communities. The New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC) sponsored Between Fences in seven communities across the state: Belen, Española, Ruidoso, Hobbs, Raton, Las Vegas...

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pp. xiii-xiv

Many minds and many voices contributed to this book, which has been a joy for me to prepare. First, I thank my friend Dr. Craig Newbill, executive director of the New Mexico Humanities Council, who first conceived of this project in early 2006 and asked me if I would be willing to take it on, which I heartily agreed to do! I am also grateful to all my...

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pp. xv-xvii

In 2005, the New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC) joined Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition program to bring the exhibition entitled Between Fences to rural communities throughout New Mexico. Exhibit designers and curators had taken cues from the famous line “Good fences make good neighbors”...

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PART I. Between Fences and Beyond

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pp. 1-8

All living organisms are territorial. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the word territory very well: “in ecology, any area occupied by a home or defended, or both, by an organism or a group of similar organisms for such purposes as mating, roosting, or feeding. The type of territory varies with social behavior and environmental requirements of the particular...

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1. Paul Horgan

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pp. 9-28

Paul Horgan, a twentieth-century American author of both fiction and nonfiction set mostly in the American Southwest, was born in 1903 in Buffalo, New York. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his family in 1915. For years, he served as the faculty librarian at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. It was there that he wrote...

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2. Keith Basso

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pp. 29-41

Keith Basso studied anthropology with Clyde Kluckhohn at Harvard University, graduating in 1962. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and has served on the faculty of the anthropology departments at the University of Arizona, Yale University, and the University of New Mexico....

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3. Enrique Lamadrid

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pp. 43-54

In 1983, I was invited to show a film that my friend Jack Parsons and I had produced about Hispano folk music and musicians of el R

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4. Estevan Rael-Galvez

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pp. 55-65

Estevan Rael-Galvez is the New Mexico State Historian, administrator of the state archives, and a man of profound insight into the evershifting cultural mosaic that distinguishes the southern region of the Continental Divide in the United States. He was born in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado in that span of landscape that separates the...

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5. Roy Kady

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pp. 67-84

My friend Roy Kady is a traditional Navajo weaver who lives in the community of Teec Nos Pos near the northern aspect of the Carrizo Mountains south of the San Juan River in the Navajo Nation. Roy grew up in a traditional hooghan, or Navajo home structure, on a mesa top, the northern aspect of which falls off into the San Juan River valley. The...

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6. Rina Swentzell

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pp. 85-102

Rina Swentzell was born into the heart of the Tewa world in the Santa Clara Pueblo. She grew up within brief walking distance of the R

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7. Warner Glenn

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pp. 103-114

In the autumn of 2004, my late friend the historian Alvin Josephy and I were visiting poet and rancher Drummond Hadley on his ranch in the bootheel of southwestern New Mexico. The ranch is bordered on the south by the international boundary with Mexico. Drum had been instrumental in rallying a coterie of fellow ranchers into forming...

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PART II. Economic Depressionin the Land of Clear Light

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pp. 115-117

As World War I drew to an end in Europe in 1918, the United States of America emerged as a major world power. The 1920s was a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. Former secretary of commerce Herbert Hoover was elected the thirty-first president of the United States in 1928. Charles Darwin was a pariah, and Thomas Malthus barely...

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7. Stewart Udall

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pp. 119-130

Former U.S. secretary of the interior Stewart Udall was a child when the stock market crashed on Black Tuesday in 1929. He lived on the family farm in St. Johns, Arizona, within a hundred miles of the Continental Divide. The family subsisted largely on what they grew, raised, and hunted. Stewart’s father became a judge and thus earned a modest...

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8. Kathryn Flynn

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pp. 131-145

Kathryn Flynn is the executive director of the National New Deal Preservation Association. She is the author of Treasures on New Mexico Trails (1995), a book that focuses on the art and architecture that was funded by the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA, later...

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9. Tey Marianna Nunn

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pp. 147-159

Tey Marianna Nunn is a native Nuevo Mexicana, born in Albuquerque into a family of scholars. Dr. Nunn is currently the director of visual arts and chief curator for the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. She was formerly the curator of Hispano and Latino collections...

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10. Eliseo Rodriguez

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pp. 161-171

Eliseo Rodriguez, one of two surviving Hispano Works Progress Administration (WPA) artists from New Mexico, lives with his wife, Paula, herself a noted straw inlay artist, in Santa Fe Canyon near the beautiful adobe Cristo Rey Church. For months, our New Mexico state folklorist Claude Stephenson had been urging me to interview Eliseo...

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11. David Kammer

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pp. 173-185

David Kammer came to New Mexico from New Jersey more than three decades ago. He earned his Ph.D. in American studies at the University of New Mexico, and finding the sense of place in New Mexico more compelling than the quest for jobs elsewhere, he remained in Albuquerque..

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12. Richard Melzer

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pp. 187-204

Richard Melzer is a professor of history at the University of New Mexico Valencia campus and has served as the president of the New Mexico Historical Society. The author of many books and articles on New Mexico and the Southwest, he is a leading scholar of the history of the...

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PART III. Seeking the Path of Common Sense

The Great Depression came to an end on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed it a “day of infamy” and launched the United States of America into the deadly morass of World War II. America rallied valiantly, and adults of...

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13. Melissa Savage

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pp. 207-220

Melissa Savage is a biogeographer who received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and thereafter joined the geography department faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). After retiring from UCLA, she returned to her home in Santa Fe, New...

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14. Daniel Kemmis

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pp. 221-236

In 1996, I was producing a thirteen-part documentary radio series entitled The Spirit of Place. I traveled throughout the American West in the old Chevy pickup truck that served as my home away from home. In my kit, I packed a small library that included one of the most provocative...

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15. William deBuys

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pp. 237-251

Over the years, my friend William deBuys and I have gone awandering through the West in wondrous conversation. Several years ago I was producing a six-part documentary radio series entitled Moving Waters: The Colorado River and the West. Bill had recently written...

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16. Frances Levine

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pp. 253-265

Dr. Frances Levine, an ethnohistorian who has lived in New Mexico for more than three decades, is the author of Our Prayers Are in This Place: Pecos Pueblo Identity over the Centuries (University of New Mexico Press, 1999) and presently the director of the Palace of the Governors...

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pp. 267-288

This tiny glimpse of intercultural fabric that spans the southern stretch of the Continental Divide is like looking at the larger picture through a pinhole. For me, having conducted and edited these interviews, it has been a revealing glimpse, brightened by Fran Levine’s essay....

E-ISBN-13: 9780826344410
E-ISBN-10: 0826344410
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826344397
Print-ISBN-10: 0826344399

Page Count: 285
Illustrations: 18 halftones, 1 map
Publication Year: 2008

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • New Mexico -- Civilization.
  • Southwest, New -- Civilization.
  • Cultural pluralism -- New Mexico.
  • Cultural pluralism -- Southwest, New.
  • New Deal, 1933-1939 -- New Mexico.
  • New Mexico -- Economic conditions -- 20th century.
  • Social problems -- Southwest, New.
  • Southwest, New -- Social conditions.
  • Southwest, New -- Economic conditions.
  • Interviews -- New Mexico.
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