I was born in New York State in 1943. In 1949, when I was six years old, my family moved to Southwestern New Mexico. First we lived in Arenas Valley, a rural village near Silver City. In the summer of 1957, we moved into Silver City itself.
The history, climate, geography, and social milieux of Silver City and the surrounding communities of the “Mining District” played major roles in creating the adult I was to become. Although I lived in New Mexico only 13 years, and have spent the majority of my adult years in Canada, I remain, at heart, a New Mexican.
A letter to Silver City from Vancouver’s Chinatown: Loy Kee’s cover leads to a story of murder and symbolizes the discrimination that Chinese immigrants faced in both Canada and the United States.
Hiking to Fort Bayard: A long walk in the hot sun for an ice-cold chocolate soda. My friends and I lived in arid, unsophisticated Arenas Valley. Nearby Fort Bayard was a green and civilized oasis for us. Nearby Fort Bayard was a green and civilized oasis. Walking across the prairie to Fort Bayard for a chocolate soda, we passed by the “Fort’s” federal cemetery, unaware that I was related to a soldier who was buried there.
Remembering Silver City, New Mexico: A cover posted in 1893 by the Azure turquoise mining company in Silver City recalls the area’s rich history of hard-rock miners, gunslingers, and the Indian Wars.
Remembering Arenas Valley, New Mexico: In our small Southwestern New Mexico village, my friends and I had a virtual wilderness at our doorstep. We enjoyed campfire breakfasts consisting mostly of bacon grease, armed ourselves with lethal weapons, and had make-believe friends (and enemies) named Billy the Kid and Geronimo.
Box 28, Arenas Valley, NM: Arenas Valley, New Mexico, as remote and tiny as it was in the early 1950s, had a post office which played a significant role in my youth. I was the only stamp collector in town, and Postmaster Hazel Moore always made sure that my collection was up to date with the latest commemorative stamps.
Climbing Cooke’s (or Cook’s) Peak: It’s not a world-class mountain, but when I was in my late teens, a mountain in southwestern New Mexico — Cooke’s Peak — became my personal Mount Everest. A group of my friends and I met the challenge.