My dad’s experience with a UFO. At first, I couldn’t believe it. This story first appeared in the Farmington Daily Times (Fall 2005 or Spring 2006) for the Aztec UFO Festival. Reprinted with permission.
The old man, whose name I was struggling to recall, leaned forward on the counter while tucking a booted foot beneath the vinyl padded chrome stool. White smoke curled from a cigarette held loosely between gnarled, smoke-stained fingers of a trembling blue-veined hand. I took my time sipping coffee while I racked my brain. Continue reading
A few years ago (more like seven or eight to be exact), my nephew Patrick Candelaria sent me a letter that kept me standing still in the parking lot while I read it on my email reader. Truly, I was riveted, and his words stayed with me for days. Hello Family is a classic that is part of my treasure box and it will surely go down in a memoir as one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read.
I figured I would take a break from my studies and reply to my Aunt Pat’s last newsletter. I can’t begin to tell her how much her words bring me home. The story’s about Grandpa and Grandma always seem to bring me from this what at times is the rat race of life back to a place of comfort. Like a “warm abrazo” as she often so lovingly puts it. Continue reading
I can’t remember when my mother began filling a desk drawer with my ancestors’ handwritten receipts and letters, her own scribbled notes and old pictures, and other odds and ends to jog her memory, but I do remember that she considered the contents of that drawer our national treasure.
Roots 1818-1982. Struggles of our Ancestors & Trujillo’s First Settlers from Conejos to Archuleta County in Colorado, she titled the book when she finally assembled the contents onto the adhesive pages of a photo album. All this happened back in the day before anyone knew that this particular type of photo album is the worst thing ever invented when it comes to storing pictures. Thankfully, my sister Annette had the sense to scan the book to preserve the contents in their original form.
My mother wrote a very interesting story and we continue to refer to it whenever anyone needs to know when, why or how my family ended up fifteen miles south of Pagosa Springs, Colorado in a little hamlet called Trujillo, or how we’re related to the Martinez and Gomez families of Gobernador, New Mexico. And even if we don’t want to know anything and are simply reading it for pleasure, wherever we are, we can still hear her voice and see the twinkle in her eye when she makes us laugh. We treasure the memory.
The day will come when your children will want to read about their national treasure, too, in a way that only you can tell the story. Start collecting your artifacts and start writing today.