Saturday, July 26, 2014

Frida Kahlo Lookalike Contest

Walking into Old Town, I came across Cynthia Campos of Miami, coming out of what I believe was Wild Woman Boutique. Cynthia had been traveling to California but had been stranded in Albuquerque with her boyfriend by a broken car. At loose ends, she decided to model and enter the Frida Kahlo Lookalike Contest.

Jennifer and Dori. Jennifer's heritage is from Isleta and Santo Domingo Pueblos, and Dori is from Jemez Pueblo. When I asked Jennifer a bit more about her background, she revealed a pan-Pueblo heritage - Isleta, Laguna, Santo Domingo, and Zia Pueblos, with a bit of Yankton Sioux thrown in too: a galaxy of Native American heritage! Also, with the liberal use of a make-up pencil, she had that Frida Kahlo Unibrow thing going on.
Cynthia place first, Jennifer second, and Dori third.

Breaking The Piñata

Piñata with the class colors
Horse tail hits the lawn.
Legs begin coming off.
The candy compartment appears to be bombproof.
Finally, they reach into the punctured candy compartment and bring the candy out.

West Mesa 40th High School Reunion - Picnic

Tiguex Park, Old Town, Albuquerque.

West Mesa 40th High School Reunion - Dinner and Dance

Dan Brummel (right) was there at the Ladera Golf Course ballroom for the 40th reunion of West Mesa High School Class of 1974. (Dan won the 1974 class award for attendance, and he is still ultra-reliable in all matters.)  I missed seeing many old friends - the folks here were pretty much the same folks who came to the 36th high school reunion in 2010.

Rick Gabaldon and Henry Harrison were among the class leaders who arranged these festivities.  I danced with Karen Chavez Creamer, who was class valedictorian, and who I didn't even know in 1974.  Interestingly enough, I had the most fun dancing with Joe Sanchez from Los Lunas High School class of 1984 (and who was now married to a 1974 alumnus).

Albuquerque City Council head Ken Sanchez is a member of our class.  Presumably these days he is among the most powerful people in the city.  I wanted to tell him how much I sympathize with Anonymous and other Albuquerque residents who oppose the wanton murders of the out-of-control Albuquerque police force, but this was neither the time or the place.  So instead, I did a conga line with him, shook his hand, and we slapped each other's back.  And predictably enough, he encouraged everyone to support the cops in these trying times.

The dinner was good and the dancing was fun.  I was certain the lady on the right was a member of our class, but she hailed from Romania and wasn't even in the country in 1974.  Yet, I'm certain she was in our class.

A Hike To Three Cinder Cones On Albuquerque's West Mesa

Day hiking area at Petroglyph National Monument on the back side of the volcanoes on the West Mesa.

Map of the area, showing JA Mountain (the southernmost cinder cone), Black Mountain, and Vulcan, also known as J Mountain, for the J that the students at St. Joseph's College used to paint on the mountain, and renew every year with lime, but which they stopped doing in the early Seventies, after the school became the University of Albuquerque, and eventually was taken by St. Pius High School.

Looking north at Black Mountain from JA Mountain.

Black, wasp-like ants were swarming all over the peaks, like these on JA Mountain.

Vulcan (J Mountain).

Traces of the J still remain on J Mountain.

Is this an old, asymmetrical crater?

Looking north, over an amphitheater-like saddle, to the two cinder cones to the north of J Mountain. I visited one of these cinder cones - I think the nearer one - when I was fifteen. We took two mules along, and sometimes rode one of them, who was named Juanita, except Juanita would sometimes roll over unexpectedly to relieve chafing from a strap. This abrupt rolling became tedious after a while, so we all ended up walking anyway. There was a little cave on the cinder cone too.

The flying-ant ridden peak of J Mountain.

A teeny archway on the southwest side of the peak, through which the day use area parking lot where I parked the car can be glimpsed.

Looking SE, toward the Manzanos and Black Mountain.

Vulcan (J Mountain) from the south.

Two large explosions were noted on the north side of Double Eagle Airport. I thought WTF is going on out here? Were they plane crashes? Apparently not. According to Karl, the basalt is so close to the surface around here that if they want to build foundations for new buildings, they have to break the rock with TNT first.