Village of Columbus along with U.S Customs and Border Protection, cordially invites you to participate in our first year event, 5K Run/Walk. The event will be held on October 21st, 2023, from 8:30a.m to 11:30a.m.. This event will be to raise food and funds for The Spirit of Columbus Senior Lunch Program. Please come and support us, feeding not just seniors but all who may need or desire a nutritious well balanced meal.
The Village of Columbus will be holding a candlelight prayer vigil on Friday, April 8th. The event will take place in the Village Plaza from 5 to 7 PM. Candles and light refreshments will be provided. Participants should bring lawn chairs.
The Spring into Wellness Community Health Fair will be held on Saturday, April 2nd at Mimbres Valley Learning Center in Deming from 9 am to 2 pm. This is a FREE event that will provide many valuable services and resources to children, parents, and seniors from the community. Activities include health and safety information, fitness presentations, Covid-19 vaccines, and refreshments. Over $1,000 in door prizes will be given away! This event is funded by NMDOT- Office of Border Health and the Health Council.
The Friends of Columbus Library (FOCAL) is offering a workshop with Linocut Printmaker Leila Brannan on March 25, 2022 at 1pm. The Workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.
Brannan is visiting from Berkeley California where she attends UC Berkeley as an Architecture and Spanish student.
A native of Northern California, Brannan began studying silkscreening in 2016 at Taller Arte de Neuvo Amanecer (TANA), an extension of the UC Davis Chicanx program in Woodland. She switched to Linocut (also known as linoleum art because of the materials used), because it’s a more accessible format.
“Linocut is a great starting point because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to learn,” said Brannan. “Once you understand how to use the blocks and inks to print on paper, you can transition to printing on cloth.” Brannan has a thriving sustainable side hustle printing her designs on thrifted clothing and selling them online.
Linocut Printing is a type of relief art, where a design is cut into a linoleum block, covered in ink and then pressed onto a surface such as paper or cloth. The image is reversed, so the designer must mirror any cut words or images for it to work.
The Friend’s of the Columbus Library has purchased a printmaking kit and is asking for $5 per participant to defray the cost of materials. Because space is limited, please stop by the library in advance to register or email here.
The following is an excerpt from the book “Desert Standard Time,” by Greg Brannan (1956-2013) available HERE on Amazon. Many thanks to the Brannan family for making these stories about growing up in the 60s and 70s in rural Arizona available to CNM-News.
Desert kids never bought into the mystique of “the great American pastime” apparently enjoyed in other regions of the country, nor did we understand why “The Boys of Summer” was a nostalgic euphemism for baseball players.
Our ambivalence toward baseball was due, at least in part, to our weather, which didn’t require us to engage in sports on a seasonal basis. There was no threat of coming snow forcing us to compress any particular game into the summer months. We knew only two kinds of weather—winter was hot and summer was dangerously hot. Naturally, we went outside to play in both of our desert seasons.
Left to our own devices-meaning without parental influence we gravitated to football. For us, football was a beautifully simple game. If you ran faster than kids on the opposing team and crashed into them harder than they crashed into you, you would likely prevail. This was a concept our young, heat stressed minds could comprehend.
Not so with baseball. It isn’t simply that hitting a ball with a bat was one of the hardest things to do in all of sports, but to play the game well, you had to employ strategies that required a high degree of concentration. Maintaining that much focus demanded an attention span greater than that of your average German shepherd. That put us at a distinct disadvantage.
Why, then, would otherwise right-minded adults force children into such a complex sport? There must not be a good answer to that question because the first generation that was subjected to little league baseball came up with T-Ball, a less demanding variation of the grand old game, for their little darlings. Our poorly-played little league games dragged on unmercifully. Mom gave birth to my sister Janie while waiting for the third out that would bring one such marathon of mediocrity to an acceptable stopping point. We knew we stunk, but it wasn’t our fault. We wouldn’t have bothered with the game at all had our dads not invested so much time and energy organizing those silly leagues. But what the hell, you got keep your perspiration stained cap at the end of the season, and after each game Coach Hatter popped for snow cones.
The emergence of Coach Hatter’s son as a gifted pitcher resulted in our one shining season. Umpires loved Louie Hatter. His unique ability to throw the ball relatively near the strike zone meant that games might conclude before the score ran as high as the temperature. But Louie’s pitching was just one of the keys to our success that season. The other was Coach Hatter’s revolutionary “Big Catcher Strategy.”
Before Coach Hatter changed the look of our little league forever, catchers were usually little guys who could scramble quickly to the backstop. That might prevent a fleet-footed base runner from stretching a wild pitch into a two-base error. Then came Buddy Jackson, the biggest kid in two counties. Even Louie’s most errant curve ball was likely to plow deep into Buddy’s chest protector and fall harmlessly in front of him with a dull thud.
I can’t remember every kid who played on our team that summer, but I will always remember Buddy Jackson. I know Matt Stevens will forever try to forget him.
Buddy Jackson and Matt Stevens could not have been more different from one another. Buddy was huge in an environment that was exceedingly unkind to people of considerable girth. Even during the coolest months, Buddy’s upper lip sported a mustache of beaded perspiration. And during the hot months, he was the last kid you wanted to sit next to on a crowded school bus. Not that Buddy was any more or less hygienic than other kids. Most of us entered a bathtub only at gunpoint. It’s just that sitting next to the perpetually perspiring Buddy was always an uncomfortably moist experience.
Matt Stevens, on the other hand, always looked as though he stepped from the pages of the Sears catalogue the dreaded publication which featured ill-fitting jeans in navy, rust, and avocado. Every August my mom dutifully ordered those ugly pants, signaling the end of summer fun.
One game day before the awful jeans arrived, our winning streak was on the line. The ever-pristine Matt Stevens had just performed the pre-game ritual of emptying the equipment bag in front of the dugout. He was kicking the pile of gear into an accessible spread when something caught his attention. Reaching past the face mask, shin guards, and chest protector that transformed Buddy into a knight in dusty armor, Matt picked up a pear-shaped piece of gray plastic vented with six prominent air holes. He drew it near his face for closer examination, cocking his head to one side like a curious puppy. Then Matt did the unthinkable, he pressed the item firmly over his nose and mouth and asked in a pitifully muted voice, “What’s this for?”
Matt was the only one in the ballpark unaware that he was drawing air through Buddy Jackson’s rancorous crotch protector.
The team reacted instantly and in unison. We fell to the ground, yet things were strangely quiet, for we were experiencing that rarest form of laughter—the silent scream variety.
We never quite recovered. Our hitting, fielding, and Louie’s usually reliable pitching were infected with an unrelenting case of the giggles. Even stoic Coach Hatter was reduced to silliness. Normally a pillar of reserve in the first base coaching box, he intermittently turned his back on the infield in a valiant attempt to hide his laughter and spare Matt further humiliation. Yet on each occasion, his laughter was given away by the bobbing of this skinny shoulders. It was our only loss of the season, but no one ever complained about it.
Those of us on the team wondered how Matt would possibly survive the torment that surely awaited him when school resumed in September. We never found out. His family moved quietly away later that summer.
Over the years, I came to realize what a compassionate man Matt’s father must have been. He realized there were certain indignities in life a boy should not have to endure-in Matt’s case, living down that moment with Buddy Jackson’s crotch protector on his face was one of them.
Our publisher Francis Carayol’s colleague, Ihor Markevych, lives in Kyiv, Ukraine. We asked if he would share his very personal story of life in the war zone. Ways to donate to organizations directly assisting the Ukrainian people are listed at the bottom of this article.
Kyiv. I woke up at 7am because I heard my mother saying “war started”. I stayed in bed, shocked for a few minutes. Can that really be? I was desperately hoping that my mother was confused about something and I went to check the news. Very unfortunately, she wasn’t. Six hours ago you were planning the weekend and the next morning your world was getting destroyed.
The first day was spent by checking the news every minute and trying to understand my next steps. Should I run? Should I fight? How can I save people whom I love? Imagine understanding that at any moment a person who is important to you might just disappear from your life forever. The war started feeling less scary and shocking after the first two days, but the feeling that your life can become significantly shorter than it can be at any moment is always present.
Me and my parents got more things in a bomb shelter in order to be able to spend there days or at least nights. Which is exactly what we did since then, spending every night in a bomb shelter, as most rocket and aerial strikes are happening during the early morning. I am usually reading news, books or just sleeping in a shelter. At the same time I am trying to help and organize locals down here, as they often lack discipline or are confused or scared. Luckily, my mobile internet is working down here. This article is being written from the shelter, by the way!
“Fun” fact – quite a lot of kids got born in metro underground stations or in bomb shelters during this week.
Made a new friend in a bomb shelter. I don’t think he can put his tongue fully in his mouth…
It took some time to start distinguishing between our anti-air strikes and explosions from their rockets. Both are explosions, both mean danger. But the first type of explosions is aimed at protecting you, while the second is aimed at killing without any particular reason.
At the same time, I have never seen such unity in my country. Our military mobilization centers are full, some are forced to say “please, come tomorrow”. Thousands of Ukrainians who were abroad are getting back here – instead of waiting for this to be over they are joining the fight. Everyone is helping. Everyone is fighting. Fun fact – homeless people started gathering empty bottles for molotovs. I was nearly crying with happy tears from this feeling of unity. It gave me a clear understanding that no matter how hard it will be, there is no way Ukraine can lose.
People with disabilities preparing molotovs to defend their city.
A day during which the negotiations were happening was very hard for civilians. As soon as russian troops understood that they were unable to fight properly with our army, they started targeting civilians. That includes kindergartens, hospitals, schools, churches, medical personnel etc. The interesting thing is though, I never felt fear, only anger. I think it’s safe to say that the same goes for every Ukrainian.
Kharkiv center after targeted bombing. No military objects are located there, that was a specific hit on civilians
While after the first few days it got a bit quieter during the days, yesterday I actually felt my chair moving together with my whole body. Around half a mile away two rockets hit our radio station.
TV tower near my house, hit by two rockets
Air raid sirens can sound every few hours and there can be dozens of alerts during a single day. There were even new air raid sirens two minutes after the previous alert was canceled. Rocket hits can happen a few minutes after the alert or even a minute before.
A very small fraction of the amount of air raids alerts
Our people are fighting, our troops and civilians are sacrificing their lives for our land and for the safety of the rest of the world. Unarmed villagers are blocking the way of the tanks, citizens are singing our national anthem in front of the occupants (and actually making them leave!), molotovs are being thrown at the enemy’s vehicles.
There should be a logical ending to this article. But there is no, because the war is still going and its end is not visible yet.
Glory to Ukraine! Slava Ukraini!
Another way to support us will be spreading the news. While our children are dying, western politicians are signing demands to stop the war. We appreciate the tremendous support we are getting, but every day more and more innocent people are getting killed, our houses are destroyed and ancient Ukrainian heritage is being wiped out from history.
Ukraine can be be sheltered from enemy’s rockets and bombs if NATO decides to close our sky.
Ways to donate to Ukrainian army:
The following is an excerpt from the book “Desert Standard Time,” by Greg Brannan (1956-2013) available HERE on Amazon. Many thanks to the Brannan family for making these stories about growing up in the 60s and 70s in rural Arizona available to CNM-News.
The contributions of desert dwellers to the betterment of mankind are relatively few. They did, however, teach the world some things about water management.
That was hardly an unselfish act. It was simply a matter of self-preservation. In the desert, you either figured out how to manage water efficiently or you shriveled up like crepe paper and blew away in the first summer dust storm.
The pattern of conservation was predictable. First you secured enough water for drinking. Then you set some aside for agriculture, livestock, and light industry. Last, but certainly not least, you figured out how to play in it.
Sure, Hoover Dam slowed the mighty Colorado River to a trickle and created Lake Mead. That massive body of water spun enormous turbines and made Hoover Dam the hydro-electric wonder of the world. Those details were lost, however, on the legions of bass masters and wave crashers who planned their lives around the fishing and water skiing seasons.
This watery wanderlust must be instinctive, because without parental provocation, I was making like a miniature Aquaman before my land skills could take me from riding tricycles to bicycles.
The focus of my aquatic fascination was an irrigation ditch that ran parallel to our property. Its cool waters meandered gently beneath lush, grassy banks and over soft beds of sand. It teamed with wetland wildlife, like desert toads, top minnows, and crawdads-my personal favorite. My first right of passage was capturing one of those cantankerous crustaceans while steering clear of its death grip. I suppose that sounds like an exaggeration, but the swaying claws of a pissed off crawdad can put a nasty pinch on the tender finger of a five-year-old. Otherwise, the dirt ditch was a haven of harmless fun. That is, of course, unless you shared my capacity for the absurd.
My brothers watched in amazement one afternoon while I, inspired by Jim McKay and waxing poetic about the Acapulco cliff divers on Wide World of Sports, executed a near-perfect swan dive into thirteen inches of water. Mom spent the next hour scrubbing sand from my face before putting ice on my first broken nose.
You can imagine our horror when the tide of progress brought our dirt ditch days to an end. One winter, when the ditch saw little use, an army of construction workers swept past our remote homestead and left a cement gorge in their wake. A few weeks later, they released water into the smooth gray “V” that use to be our private water park. Mom studied the rippling current that replaced a once gentle stream and promptly declared it unsafe. My brothers and I engaged in a collective three-month pout until a warm spring afternoon when the Beckhallers came for a visit.
We didn’t really know who the Beckhallers were, but their visit so distracted my parents that my brothers and I were free to move about the family compound unnoticed. We made a beeline for the ditch where Doug, my big brother, suggested I test its waters with a firm shove in the back. I was immediately swept downstream, tumbling end over end. My panic subsided as I got my head above water and extended my feet in front of me. Suddenly, I was butt surfing-and I liked it!
I scrambled up the side of the cement ditch to my excited siblings. In short order, we were hotfooting it down the ditch road a full half-mile north of our house.
We jumped into the recreational rapids one after another, first Doug, then me, then little brother Jeff. We slid down the ditch on our butts for the next hour, winding past our house and traveling another half-mile south before stopping next to the end of our pasture. Then Doug emerged from the water to reveal an image so outrageously unexpected that Jeff and I nearly drowned in our laughter.
The gentle sanding action of the fresh cement surface had completely worn through Doug’s cut-off jeans, allowing his dimpled red butt to glow through the seat of his pants like a stoplight. Doug’s anger gave way to smug satisfaction as Jeff and I helped each other up and realized we shared our big brother’s predicament.
Our only salvation was the alfalfa growing in our pasture adjacent to the ditch. We tucked the leafy stocks in the waistbands of our cut-offs. Together, we fashioned grass skirts that would have made the wardrobe supervisor on Gilligan’s Island quite proud.
The Beckhallers were on the front porch saying goodbye to my parents as we casually strolled up the long dirt driveway like the Three Stooges in miniature. We stopped at the foot of the porch and looked up, seemingly naked but for the vegetation bunched around our waists. We offered no explanation to the four wide eyed adults, and they asked for none.
On March 12, 2022, Columbus, NM celebrates the 23rd annual Cabalgata Binacional. This is arguably the biggest village event of the year, at times attracting upwards of 3,000 attendees to this village of 1600. But it all started with a chance meeting in front of the Columbus Historical Society Depot Museum more than two decades ago.
R.L. Curtin and Allen Rosenberg were chatting in front of the depot when they met Alex Orozco, a member of the Mexican-American Planning Association of Chicago, who was visiting the Museum. Curtin was a recent transplant to New Mexico and an experienced re-enactor, lending a hand on Old West period productions such as Dances with Wolves. Rosenberg was president of the Columbus Historical Society. Orozco mentioned that Mexican riders had been hoping for years to cross over into Columbus as part of their rides recreating significant events in Mexican history. Villa was a famous Mexican Revolutionary whose Villistas crossed the US border in 1916 and boldly raided the Village of Columbus on the night of March 9.
Their problem was that riders could not cross into the US without an official government invitation. After asking if an invite from the village would be sufficient, the group walked over to see then Mayor Ken Riley, who agreed immediately. Once the letter was typed and sent, things moved fast.
Curtin and Rosenberg were joined by retired Special Agent US Customs Service, Robert Clarke. Together, they formed the 13th Memorial Cavalry, in memory of the soldiers who had been stationed at Camp Furlong (now Pancho Villa State Park) during the raid. They continued their work with Orozco and others to further the cause of that first event.
“They asked if we wanted to come down to Mexico for some planning meetings,” said Rosenberg. “We were going to drive down and come home the same day. We were there for three days!”
They started realizing this was a much bigger event than they had anticipated at the first meeting. “I thought maybe we were talking about 10 horsemen. Then we went to the first meeting and there wasn’t enough room to hold everyone—they were spilling into the hallways. I asked, who are all these people?’ and they said, ‘The riders!’”
The Mexican municipalities were already planning their routes and the supports needed for the Cabalgata. They took the three Americans to the one location of engagement between the US Cavalry on their punitive expedition against Pancho Villa’s forces, in San Geronimo. Rosenberg made a an off-hand comment to their hosts about how the site had been left to the elements. “I said, this is such a significant piece of your history! It’s a shame that it’s not more well-cared for. The guy asked if I would be willing to say that to someone who could make a difference. Next thing I knew, we had an audience with the Governor of Chihuahua!”
The Americans spent time with Governor Patricio Martínez García discussing the Cabalgata before heading home to Columbus to organize.
“The entire town was involved in making this a successful event for our visitors. The Gomez family roasted a whole cow for the barbecue, fed the riders and did a lot of coordination. The national park organized a reading of names ceremony. The 13th Memorial Cavalry got extra horses and gave away commemorative t-shirts. Everyone wanted to be a part of this historic event.”
Not all the riders had the paperwork to cross and horses were not allowed that year due to USDA regulations. R.L. Curtin ensured those that did cross had a borrowed horse for the ride into town. The Cabalgata marched up Route 11 from the border in a somber parade, the same as they have every year since. This year’s Cabalgata is hoping to cross 100 horses with funding and administrative support from outside agencies.
Rosenberg is the last of the original 13th Memorial Cavalry founders that made possible the last leg of the journey of the Cabalgata into Columbus. “It’s the thing I’m most proud of in my life,” he said.
The Columbus portion of Cabalgata festivities begins on Saturday, March 12 at 9:30 am and run all day in the center of town. Allen Rosenberg will be honored by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to the Cabalgata Binacional during the main stage ceremony which starts at 11:30 am.
In April 2021 Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 93 establishing the Office of Broadband Access and Expansion. Their role is to “centralize and coordinate broadband activities across state government agencies, local governmental bodies, tribal governmental organizations and internet service providers,” according to information released through the governor’s office.
The New Mexico Department of Internet Technology (DoIT) is collecting information regarding internet speeds and accessibility throughout the state in support of the strategy, funding and rollouts of the newly established office.
DoIT urges New Mexicans to go to the web page https://nmbbmapping.org/survey/ as often as possible to record their home internet speeds. Because there are no trackers (aka cookies) that remain on visitors’ computers, residents are asked to go to the site repeatedly to capture their internet speeds.
More information is available on the attached pdf flyer.
On Friday, January 21, 2022, volunteer planning representatives from New Mexico attended a multi-municipality meeting in San Buenaventura, Chihuahua, Mexico to discuss the details of the 23rd Cabalgata Binacional. Norma Gomez was there on behalf of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, as well as Rafael Camarillo and Ignacio Montoya as part of the Columbus event planning team.
9 municipalities were represented at the meeting of 35 officials coordinating the necessary provisions and arrangements along the 18-day route. Municipalities agreed to fund event necessities for the portion of the journey that takes place in their region. Municipalities each provide Port-a-Potties, food and gas for human support and feed and veterinary services for the horses.
“It’s a huge effort on the Mexican side,” said Norma Gomez, Executive Director of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. “The village and county of Ascenion coordinates with all of the other participating municipalities in Mexico, plus us on the US side, to put on the entire event. We also coordinate the last section and celebration in Palomas with them. There is a huge team of people behind putting this together for the 18 days before they arrive in Columbus.”
The Cabalgata is a unique, binational event that involves cooperation from many different national, state, and local governments and agencies throughout both the United States and Mexico.
Founded in 1999 to commemorate the historical significance of Pancho Villa’s raid on the border town of Columbus, the riders follow the route of the Villistas through Mexico, arriving on the 2nd Saturday in March. All participants agree that, “the Villista Cabalgata Binacional has a cultural and historical meaning attached to the events of the attack on Columbus, New Mexico,” according to the agenda from that Friday’s meeting.
“Everyone takes this seriously. We are honoring an important historical event. A lot of people died that day. So this is a commemoration of what happened, not a celebration of what happened,” said Gomez.
Because only riders with US Citizenship or the necessary visas can cross over for the US parade and ceremonies, celebrations are held in Palomas, Mexico the night before. The following morning, riders with paperwork and horses with the required permits are allowed to cross over and begin the 3 mile march to town from the border. A slow procession reaches the center of Columbus at approximately 11am and marks the beginning of a daylong fiesta.
This year’s Cabalgata Binacional ceremonies take place the evening of March 11 in Palomas, Mexico and the morning of March 12 in Columbus New Mexico.