Rio Grande Sand in Your Shoes: A Memoir

Front Cover
Told through the eyes of Isabel Ziegler, this book provides an important contribution to the historical literature of Espanola, New Mexico and the surrounding communities through its portraits of local people and events. Isabel and her husband, Dr. Samuel Ziegler, and their two young sons moved to Espanola in early 1946 as a result of Dr. Ziegler's having been invited to help build a local hospital. The Zieglers soon became involved in their community. Isabel helped start a local library, was a member of the noted local trio, Las Conquistadoras, and became the first woman president of the Espanola Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Ziegler carried on a busy medical practice as general surgeon and physician, and also served on the Espanola City Council for over twenty years-even running for State Senator against northern New Mexico Democratic boss, Emilio Naranjo. Included are stories about Arthur and Phoebe Pack of the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu who were the original donors for the hospital; Carolyn Dozier, a helper and friend of Isabel's from Santa Clara Pueblo; and Ben Talachi, a San Juan Indian who worked for the Zieglers at their home. There are also accounts of the Zieglers' experiences with Hamilton and Jean Garland of the fabled Swan Lake Ranch in Alcalde, and with the retired concert pianist John Marsh and his wife, Mary, from nearby Quartales. Lastly, there is a memorable portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe who was a patient of Dr. Ziegler's for over 30 years, and a friend of the family. The book also reveals accounts of local politics and business, always with attention given to local people who participated. All in all, an important insight into the working and development of a local community.
 

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Easy read - missing are names of the native locals who were instrumental in the founding of this area - Indians, Hispanics, and of course, the Merheges whose forefathers came from the old country, but whose customs, language, and cuisine were that of the locals here long before the Zeiglers, the Hunters, the Evans', the Laws', etc. I don't remember these newcomers with glee. Bill Laws was considered a crook as were the physicians who came to town declaring to all that they were here to save the poor ignorant people from certain death. There was a magazine article in one of the weekly magazines that caused a stir. There would have been a library, a hospital, a chamber of commerce as time went on because these were needed. There were schools and churches and nurses and MDs and hospitals in northern NM long before McCurdy church was built. Espanola was a one horse town and everyone went to shop in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, and most sought medical services in Santa Fe. The Espanola Valley was beautiful, peaceful, sparsely populated long before the outsiders enmeshed themselves here. Now it is overpopulated, poverty stricken, and a drug dealer's paradise. This could be said of most small towns in New Mexico.  

Contents

ONLY THE BEST
148
Horse Sense and the Kennel Klub156
156
The Colliers Article
166
Our Friendly Ghost
179
Eagle Scouts a Broken Wrist and a Special Dinner
184
Not to be forgotten
191
With a Sense of Pride
206
An Old Ford Albino Squash and a bomb Shelter
212

The Espanola United Brethren Church
54
Our McCurdy house
57
Dr Sam Starts his Practice
65
Helping to Organize a Library
71
Out on the Town
79
At Swan lake ranch in Alcalde
84
Especially Noticed Johns Hands
92
early Friendships
99
Building a Hospital
103
Settling in our Fairview home
113
Georgia OKeeffe
124
A Special Friend from Santa Clara Pueblo
137
INVOLVEMENTS THROUGH THE GARDEN CLUB
142
pleasant Surprises
219
Family Happenings Flower Girls and Notable Artists
224
Christmas at home
237
a musical adventure
245
Sams Election to the Espanola City Council
254
The New City Complex and Public Library
257
A Stagecoach Wedding
263
City Council business
269
The 1978 Senate Campaign District 5
278
First Woman President of the Chamber
302
Its Retirement Time and Living Treasures
313
NOTES
323
Copyright

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