UNM student Chris Montoya grew up playing baseball. He said he only started running to improve his ability to play America’s national pastime. But after one of his baseball coaches saw potential in his running skills, running took over his life.
Montoya, a university studies major, now runs for UNM’s track and field team.
Montoya said being a student athlete is never easy. He said he deals with class, work, Greek life and training daily. But despite his hectic schedule, Montoya said he will always be a runner — what started as a hobby for him became a passion.
Fire — an element as destructive as it is constructive.
Jeffrey J. Schmitt, also known as “Smitty,” said he tries to remove some of fire’s negative stigma as he focuses on glassmaking, an art with a “very unique take on fire.”
Smitty owns Aurora Borealis Glassworks, the only glassmaking and glassblowing shop in Albuquerque. Smitty has been practicing glassmaking off and on since 1979.
Temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit are required to keep the glass molten and allow it to be worked into shapes. Sonia Johnson, a student who takes lessons at the shop, said the art is a very difficult process.
“Glassmaking is more challenging than any other arts I’ve practiced,” Johnson said. “Many times it is not forgiving and at first when you start, you pay for your mistakes as your pieces in progress get destroyed. However, the challenges that arise in the art are what keep glassmaking interesting.”
Danny McMahon has spent two-thirds of his life working with cows, supporting his family off the cows and resting his head on the same plot as his dairy cows.
But McMahon, owner and operator of 41-year-old Mickey’s Cash & Carry Dairy on Coors Boulevard in Albuquerque’s South Valley, says at this rate, his diary will only operate for another year or so.
The South Valley has seen an increase in both commercial and residential growth during the past two decades. The urbanization has been more prevalent during the past seven years, including the addition of a Super Wal-Mart less than a mile from Mickey’s.
For some South Valley residents, this growth is a positive sign of progress and economic growth. For McMahon, it has meant downsizing and slim to nonexistent profit margins. “We used to produce 1200 gallons of milk a day and over 200 head of cattle, now we’re down to 250-300 gallons a day and just over 60 head of cattle,” McMahon said. “We can’t compete with those prices, we just can’t.”
Water is the essence of all existence. When rivers flow plentifully, no one thinks twice about where it all comes from until the crops start to wilt and the lands turn brown. New Mexico has gone through dry spells before, but the last 35 years of drought pale in comparison to this one.
The lack of precipitation is very apparent when looking to the Rio Grande and noticing its low, and in some places, nonexistent water level.
“I think it’s highly likely that we will be running out of water sometime this summer,” said David Gensler, hydrologist for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.
A heavy monsoon season late this summer seems to be the only hope for farmers along the Rio Grande hoping to avert great losses in their cash crops and to avoid raising prices for business and consumers.
Bruce Johnson Jr. considers himself a landmark of the UNM Duck Pond.
“Meet me by the hippie at the Duck Pond,” he would hear people say.
Johnson makes and sells jewelry every weekday to students and other passers-by for donations. Using hemp, Johnson has been making jewelry for 33 years.
“The jewelry I make symbolizes peace and love,” Johnson said. “We all have to live in this world and we all bleed the same color.”
Bruce adopted a puppy last fall, but he said he had to give it up due to the cold weather. He said he read rumors on the UNM Confessions Facebook page saying that he had eaten it.
“Rumors are just people’s ignorance,” Johnson said.
Bruce leaves the Duck Pond every weekday at around 3 p.m. with his new puppy, Midnight, to have a meal at local food shelter Project Share. In his leisure time, Bruce drinks coffee, smokes cigarettes and listens to Nikki Sixx’s radio show Sixx Sense while camping out in a friend’s yard for the night.
Mickayla Hodgman, 19, and Corey Smith, 21, are more than the average climbing enthusiasts. Their climbing is a reflection of their relationship and their lifestyles.
But the long-term, long-distance couple does not only just breeze up walls in their free time. They also participate in an array of community charity events with St. Baldrick’s, a cancer awareness and charity program and One Million Bones, a genocide awareness program. Hodgman and Smith both raised $935 in pledge donations in March to shave their heads for cancer awareness at a Saint Baldrick’s event.
The two also participate in charity dodgeball tournaments.
Climbing is only one of their many hobbies, but it sums up their relationship perfectly. Climbing, they said, reflects their commitment, trust, strength and love for life.
Graduate student Christos Galanis called off the original idea for his thesis project Tuesday afternoon. The project was a living art exhibit where Galanis planned to live with a donkey for four days in the courtyard of the art building. The project, which had undergone months of preparation and safety precautions, was canceled due to health concerns for the donkey. Galanis is a volunteer at the Edgewood Longears Safehouse donkey sanctuary, where he trained Fairuz the donkey how to socialize with people for three months in preparation for the project. Galanis said the project was meant to raise awareness of donkey mistreatment throughout New Mexico.
Bill Warren opened “I Scream Ice Cream” seven years ago to escape the daily grind of his previous job as a restaurant supply contractor. The store features local Creamland ice cream and every sort of topping imaginable. A veritable Willy Wonka, Warren is beloved by the children who frequent the store, who affectionately call him “Mr. Bill”. The store provides a place for children to play with the large array of toys and games Warren has available and enjoy a sweet scoop of ice cream.
Photos by Sergio Jimenez
The Broken Bottle Brewery celebrated six months of business on Oct. 24. Owners Chris Chavez and Donovan Lane opened the West Side brewery in April. When they sought small-business loans, they were told theirs was not a sustainable business model and that the brewery would fold within a year. But the Broken Bottle Brewery started to make a profit within three months, exceeding anyone’s expectations.
The Mancillas came to the United States 14 years ago from Mexico. Alberto Mancilla, 34, and his wife Irene Mancilla, 29, own the El Taco Loco Mexican food truck parked at San Pedro Drive and Central Avenue. They’ve operated their food truck in Albuquerque for the past five years. Their business is popular around the International District for its carne al pastor. This Central Mexico dish is meat marinated in a guajillo chile sauce and roasted on a spit called a trompo. Carne al pastor is distinct for being served with pineapple pieces in tacos, tortas or burritos. At El Taco Loco, customers don’t pay until they’re finished eating.
Steven Cervantes, 13, lives at home with his mother, father, sister and 3-year-old niece, from whom he is inseparable. He loves cokes and cheeseburgers, he likes to shoot his BB gun and play with his dogs. He attends middle school and participates in myriad different sports. His favorite sport? Basketball.
The one thing that separates Cervantes from the average 13-year-old is that he has spent the past 10 years in a wheelchair. For the rest of his life, Cervantes will most likely live with a shunt running from the ventricular system in his brain to his stomach to keep his brain from swelling. The thumb-sized scar on the right side of his torso is the only visible sign of his shunt. Anyone who knows Cervantes knows that he accepts the challenge of living with spina bifida with a bold and smiling face, and when those around him are looking for a reason to smile, he provides one.
“He keeps us on our toes, keeps us going night and day,” says his 23-year-old sister Annette Cervantes. “Steven loves to go to church. If he didn’t make us go every Sunday, we probably would not go at all,” says his mother Manuela Cervantes. “When times have been hard, he has stayed strong for us.”
On Nov. 4, Gurney Ashbridge celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends. She received cards from both President Barack Obama and Gov. Susana Martinez congratulating her on the milestone. Ashbridge never thought she would live to be a century old, and said she can’t pinpoint a secret to longevity. “All of a sudden I found myself there,” she said. Ashbridge’s daughter, Ann Swanson, said her mother’s positive attitude and thinking has led to her feat. “I don’t know that I want to live a lot longer,” Ashbridge said. “I’ll just be here as long as the good Lord wants me to be here.”
Brothers James Tracey, 22, and Sean Stratmeyer, 17, have been skating together for 15 years. They say skateboarding is more than an activity, it’s a lifestyle. The brothers celebrate birthdays and holidays by exploring Albuquerque on their skateboards. It’s a cheap way to have a good time and it often leads to the kinds of shenanigans that only two brothers can have.
Over the years, the Marigold Parade has grown from just a neighborhood event to one with citywide draw. Participants adorn their faces with effigies of skulls, known as calaveras, to represent the dead souls. The parade features music, food, art, and memorium altars, and attracts participants from car clubs to political activist groups.
The seventh ranked UNM Lobos men’s soccer team hosted the Lobo TLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing Invitational this past weekend beating Dartmouth 3-2 in a game that saw four goals scored in the first 20 minutes. Ben McKendry scored the game winner in the 66th minute scoring off a short pass from Blake Smith.
By following this phrase with “anglais” or “espagnol” I hopefully had an open line of communication with any French speaker I encountered. Six weeks in La Chapelle and another three weeks in République, both located in the 10eme arrondissement of arguably the most romantic city on Earth, was more than enough time to see to it that my heart bled for the French and my mouth formed the perfect pucker to pronounce: “Je peux prendre une photo de vous?”For all its predictable daytime tourist traps and gritty, damp nighttime streets, Paris stood as a monument for the development of my photographic eye and inspiration and will always remain coursing through my blood (not only because I am a quarter French) as an enchanting and nurturing giant.The opportunity to chase a photo essay through streets of Paris in the saddle of a steel, 12-speed vélo is not one you may stumble across every lifetime. Santé, salut et allez les bleus! (See pages 8 and 9 for full photo journal.)