5 Questions An Interview with New Mexico Abstract Natural Sculpture Artist Rene Sepulveda Roadrunner Emporium

Rene Sepulveda former NCAA Award winning Track and Field Coach, Rehabilitative Coach turned artist creates sculptured works. One art critic recently said of his works that they are “incisive meditations of colorishis designs, shapes and composition complimenting natures wonders using lava rocks, tree roots, tree trunks, bark, cholla desert cactus as components of his canvas.”

Artist Rene Sepulveda’s carefully constructed sculptures and art installations are abstract interpretative works that rely heavily on the influence of nature for texture and symmetry, for rural to urban spaces.

We sat down with the man who wears many hats; Former Award Winning NCAA Coach, Rehabilitative Fitness Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda, to find out more about his processes, inspiration, and his unique artistic journey with the release of his most recent exhibition the “Valley of The Fire Collection” With this interview he is also releasing two sculptured works, a tree trunk abstract sculptured piece called “Baily Canyon” which is a stunning blend of a hallowed out tree trunk textured, preserved and intriguingly colored then placed on a bed of lava rock and combined with local treated and colored natural cactus to make a stunning visual display.

The second piece to be released today he calls “Stark NM” it is a combination natural wood, recycled metals and woods crafted into a one of a kind abstract piece sitting on a Zia stone with lava. This intricate piece is a dazzling array of colors that inspires awe in its bold colors and unusual textures.

How would you describe the sculptures and artwork you create?

“My goal is to create compelling works that draw the viewer in to explore the underlying structure of color, texture and the natural elements created by mother nature. My hope is that the initial reaction is an emotional response to the color relationships, the contrasting textures between the flat and fluid paint and the hard edges and gestural marks that are embedded in the pieces as marks of nature. I want the person to enjoy my sculptured pieces and to be rewarded as they soak into the piece so that the placing of each element, the precise color balance, the textures, and carefully calibrated proportions of my sculptures are revealed to our inner senses. The inspiration comes from both natural and man-made elements and share my preoccupation with patterns, colors, textures, and the natural elements of nature.”

What message do you want to get across with your artistic works?

“I tap into my Native American roots. I believe I’m empowered by my grandfather’s ancestors in how I commune with nature to bring harmony and balance to my art pieces. I believe nature is complex in texture color. I know that harmony can be achieved to create an appealing and interesting work of art when we reconcile vastly different and contrasting colors and textures using techniques and processes that I’ve created to enhance natures work to be placed into an urban or rural household, office, or place of business.

I believe that the artistry of Cholla Art, Tree Trunk Art, Root Art or Lava Rock and Metal works are unique and not well understood, in that most homeowners or business owners don’t have the knowledge of the beauty these pieces can bring to their environment.

Most people have not been exposed to these kinds of sculptured works, very few artists create art with these mediums as a canvas.

Most people don’t know the sense of Zen or harmony that is created by including these pieces into the home, office, or business environment.

I’ve created works where chance takes over as the prominent sense and caused me to be fluid with colors and textures. The colors and textures then take over my mind and through my hands flows the wonder of color and texture. Sometimes it flows through me like a force of gravity down the surface of the art piece showing a series textures and colors from my mind that are then frozen in time to create a timeless piece of art.

Several of my creations become art dense in color and texture with very defined creations begun my nature that eventually show a high degree of control but are complex in their inspiration of color. I see this as the human impact on the natural world that is expressed with the culmination of taking objects from nature such as complex root art systems, tree trunks, unique fallen forest wood pieces, 5000 year old lava rock, unique cholla desert cactus skeletons and using them as the canvas for human expression of color and texture.

Patterns of all kinds fascinate me, including the hidden structures of living things. Tinting, repeat sequences, geometric shapes and grids, pre-historic symbols and pottery designs and the underlying laws that dictate how the natural world evolves influences my craft. The influence of all of that finds a way into my work, which I don’t really consider to be pure color or texture abstraction. Maybe interpretative abstract sculpturing is a better term for my works. I use very defined textures but counterbalance with color and the canvas of nature in my sculptured works. My work is all inspired by something I have seen or felt which has sparked my imagination. Nature is the foundation of hope for the world we live. That hope comes with a responsibility to acknowledge natures role in our daily lives, to embrace it and to appreciate its influence, by its placement, through art into our homes, offices, or businesses.”

How did you come to mixing texturing and color design in your natural art sculptures?

“Textures and colors of all kinds have always intrigued me, most especially the colors and textures of nature. When I was young and an Olympic Trials Athlete, I would run 100s of miles weekly in the mountains, the desert floor and in the woods and always along those runs, I could almost feel the colors and the textures of the natural elements around me.

So when I began exploring my artistic side, the ideas of color and texture were a natural expression of what I had absorbed from my time outdoors. On my travels around the world, I’m always attracted to the colors and textures of our ancient ancestors. The geometric abstraction in colors and shapes of the Inca’s in Peru, the geometry of the Pyramids in Egypt, my travels to my mother’s homeland of Ireland, the imaging of my grandfather’s ancestral tribes of the Tarahumara; each imprinted on my mind. Those influences’ flow through me into each art piece I create with color, textures, and design.”

Do specific colors and forms hold definite meanings in your work?

“For me color complemented with texturing is the most important part of creating art to be enjoyed. The relationship between the size, shape, texture, and color of each art form to ensure it compliments natures handiwork is of highest priority to me. The dominance of each color, the warmth or coolness, flatness, or texture, as well as denseness and fluidity, are hopefully resolved so that there is a restless balance that is appealing to the eyes and inspires the heart of those who are viewing my creations. My appreciation for color and texture began with me, in appreciate of Georgia Totto O’Keeffe’s paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes. O’Keeffe recognized as the Mother of American modernism certainly had an influence on me. Similarly Antoni Gaudi of Barcelona remarkable for his range of forms, textures, and for the free, expressive way in which these elements of his art seem to be composed have always inspired my own appreciation for colors and textures.

The colors and textured in each piece have symbolic meaning for me. The earth colors are often mixed directly with the piece to form the landscaped base and then the real creativity begins. I see color and texture as an evolutionary process, building up layers and design elements to reflect light and darkness differently with each vantage point. In some designs the colors of the urban world show though as they are attached to a piece created in the natural environment of forest or deserts. What is crafted is a contrast that is appealing and inspiring to the observer. Colors of reds and yellows remind me of the sunsets within nature and the natural elements of sunflowers which bring joy. The various grays, blacks and coppers define a more commercial manufactured world but when combined with the textures of nature they then bring meaning of wholeness with nature to me and hopefully the observer.”

Have the goals of your work changed during the Covid-19 lockdown and do you have advice for an aspiring artist?

“I have a hard time viewing myself as an artist. My business partner jokes with me and tells me once I began selling my works, I became a professional artist. I don’t know if I’d ever view myself as an artist, certainly not a professional artist, as I have a Masters in Epidemiology and a Master’s in Public Health. I Coached for over 20 years at the university level and competed professionally. I continue to coach as a rehabilitative coach today. However, the Covid lockdown did provide me an opportunity for reflection and a period of isolation without distractions to explore and expand on the artist within. With the support of family and my business partner, I’ve created some fun pieces that I am immensely proud to have been able to craft. Some people seem to enjoy my work. Some pieces are a bit eccentric, abstract, and sometimes confusing but overall the reaction has been incredibly positive, and we have sold several hundred pieces even with a pandemic going on. For that I am humbled and surprised. Each art piece I create is almost like a child to me. I nurture it and collaborate with it and want to ensure each piece goes to a good home or business where it will be cared for and cherished for years to come.

I can see preoccupations, moods and themes running throughout my artistic journey. My aim is to create a balanced work that is balanced between color, and texture and complimented by the canvas of nature. Those are competing forces which are the canvas that work as the inspiration in my work.

My advice for an artist starting out would be, just do it. It doesn’t matter if you are an art major or an art novice, it doesn’t matter if you are 12, 18, 25, 55 or 70 everyone has art within themselves, but few will ever express the art they have the potential to create. The world needs art, color, complex designs, and simple beauty. If its within you, do it, put it out there and just do it. Everyone of us wants to express ourselves from within, in some way; some write, some create art, some craft music, or performance arts. Whatever is within you, just believe in yourself and just do it.”

Learn More About Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda. Several of his pieces are showcased online via the 2nd Life Boutique and an Etsy Store. Rene Sepulveda’s more exclusive pieces are showcased on the artist website ArtistReneSepulveda.com. Many of his pieces are showcased and can be seen in person at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few of his largest installation pieces are showcased on exhibition in the yards and homes in and around Northern California and Southern New Mexico. His recently released 9 foot by 8 foot complex root art piece he calls “Ventricle” and his extraordinary 9 Foot Tall sculptured abstract tree trunk artistry sculpture called, “Bailey Canyon” and his other awesome piece called “Stark NM” can be found on exhibition at 2 private residences on McKinley Street in Alamogordo, New Mexico and are available for viewing. All are sold via his website ArtistReneSepulveda.com or at a discounted price when purchased in person and for pickup via the 2nd Life Boutique at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico.

To schedule a viewing in person and a discussion with the artist or for more information contact Mr. Sepulveda’s publicist coachedwards@2ndlifemedia.com or call 707.880.6238

Positive Affirmation for 4/16/2021 Alamogordo Town News 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle – Author Chris Edwards

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:

“ I am unaffected by the judgement of others. I am strong, I have courage, I’m amazing.”

Beginning of Day: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on todays quote.
“ I am unaffected  by the judgement of others. I am strong, I have courage,  I’m amazing.”

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

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Daily Affirmation for 4/9/2021 – 28 Days A Habit, 90 Days A Lifestyle Author Chris Edwards

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in this book how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:

“Are you having a rough morning or day? Place your hand on your heart. Feel that? That is called PURPOSE. You are alive for a reason. Don’t give up.” – Chris Edwards

As we begin today: Take a moment and think how’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading or hearing the quote? Again the quote is: “Are you having a rough morning or day? Place your hand on your heart. Feel that? That is called PURPOSE. You are alive for a reason. Don’t give up.”

As we end our day: Re-read the quote and ask yourself, did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote or affirmation of today? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset? Did I find my purpose for today?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on todays quote. It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries. Alamogordo Girls Track Team in 1979 Showing “Purpose” At the State Track Meet Photo Courtesy Marilyn Sepulveda Collection 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News

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History and A Spotlight on Women’s Entrepreneurship – New Mexico Leads the Nation-Author & Positivity Coach Chris Edwards

A spotlight on women’s entrepreneurship and the changes in business over the last several decades nationally, in New Mexico and in Alamogordo.

Per Wendy Diamond who is CEO and Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization“Today, women account for 85 percent of consumer purchases and control $20 trillion in global spending. At the same time, they perform 66 percent of the world’s work (both paid and unpaid) yet only earn 10 percent of the world’s income. In the U.S., there are approximately 10 M woman-owned businesses, generating $1.3T in revenue and employing 7.8 M people. This number is expected to increase by 90 percent in the next five years, with 500,000 new businesses being created each year in the U.S. alone. At the same time, 1 in 3 women in America lives in poverty and of the 1.3M people living in severe poverty globally, 70 percent are women and girls.

Women in developed and developing nations alike are becoming increasingly active participants in local and global economies at a rapid rate. Today, in the United States, 38% of new businesses are founded by women, but only between 2-6% of them receive VC funding. One recent survey of 350 woman-owned tech startups revealed that 80% of founders used their own savings to launch their businesses. At the same time, an increase of women in leadership positions from zero to just 30% is associated with a 15% increase in profitability. Women are the world’s most responsible borrowers, paying back microloans worldwide today at a 97% rate of return. 90% of the money they earn is used to educate their children and to provide for their families.”

Terry Powell ofForbes Coaches Council reports, “In 1972, women-owned businesses represented just 4.6% of all businesses, but today, that number has skyrocketed to 42%, according to a 2019 American Express report.”

With the world of Covid-19 small businesses and female owned businesses took a huge hit. However research is showing female owned businesses are bouncing back and were quicker to adapt to the changes in the market.

Today more than 11.6 million businesses are owned by American women. That’s according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. Those firms employ almost 9 million people and, generate around $1.7 trillion in sales.

In 2019, 1,817 new women-owned businesses were created every day in America. While we don’t yet know how many women-owned businesses were formed during the Covid-19 pandemic yet, it seems likely that the numbers continued to increase. Some evidence suggests that far more startups were created than usual; applications for employer identification numbers, a sign that new people are starting companies, also increased.

Women are increasingly turning to franchises as a way to start a business. It has become commonplace for women to be interested in buying a franchise. Women own or co-own about 265,000 franchises, which is about 35% of all U.S. franchises. That’s about a 24% rise from ten years ago.

Female Entrepreneurship and empowerment is not just limited to business in New Mexico it began in government and led to leadership in business.

In New Mexico, women have broken glass ceilings throughout history. Women have served in elected office since before statehood: The first Hispanic female legislators in the United States served in New Mexico’s territorial legislature in 1895. Soledad Chávez Chacón was elected secretary of state in 1922 and was the first woman to serve as acting governor in the United States. Following statehood in 1912, Fedelina Gallegos and Porfirria Hidalgo Saiz, who both served in the New Mexico Legislature from 1931 to 1932, were the first Hispanic women state legislators in the United States.

New Mexican women continue to be history makers and influencers. According to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics, two of the three women of color who have been elected governor are from New Mexico, including our current governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham. U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is one of two Native women to ever be elected to Congress and is now the first Native American to be named to the Cabinet Post as the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

There have been recent leaps in women’s representation in the Legislature — 35 percent of the state legislators are women and nearly 50 percent of the New Mexico House members are women.

New Mexican women have held commanding roles in other sectors, too. New Mexico ranks first in the nation for female-owned businesses, with nearly 52 percent of New Mexico businesses owned or co-owned by women, in comparison to the national rate of 42 percent.

Within Alamogordo in 1997 only 29.1% of the businesses registered were female owned, more recently that number of female owned verses male owned or public companies has elevated to 41.4%. Still lagging the state average and more inline with the national average. The number shows progress but also shows the city, county and state can do better in partnering and fostering growth and support of female entrepreneurship.

Alamogordo is in a transitional state. There are 1000s of square feet of retail space that is vacant, yet there was a recent upgrade to White Sands National Monument to National Park Status. Now is the opportunity as the city and region comes out of a Covid-19 dark winter to bring some light, to work with women, POC and the minorities communities to expand the business community and bring about a huge economic turnaround to the city, state, region and nation.

Our congressional leaders, state, county and city government leaders must partner with the business community to nurture women into business within Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico.

The goal of the women entrepreneurship education and training should be to:
• Empower women through entrepreneurship to enable them achieve economic self –
sufficiency;
• To help women gain strong business and life management skills that will enable
them to become leaders in their work and personal lives, and become strong role
models;
• To spur the growth of locally controlled business and create new jobs within
neighborhood;
• To provide business experience;
• To promote entrepreneurship by emphasizing the importance of small business as
the creator of jobs, leading to prosperity;
• To enable to potential entrepreneurs to emerge by assisting them in evaluating
their training program;
• To encourage business start-ups by offering a comprehensive entrepreneurship their
training program;
• To develop new markets and help mobilize the capital resources needed; and
• To introduce new technology, industries and products and to create new
employment opportunities.

Entrepreneurship among women, no doubt improves the wealth of the city, state and nation in
general and of the family in particular. Women today are more willing to take up activities
that were once considered the preserve of men, and have proved that they are second to
no one with respect to contribution to the growth of the economy. November 19th is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day; today, as we begin the Spring and awaken from the Covid-19 Winter, let’s each in a position of responsibility commit to mentor, encourage, support and empower more females into business leadership and business ownership and then on November 19th reflect on the good opportunities this partnership led to and the prosperity that will soon follow.

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The Journey Toward Positivity The Power of The Possible by Author & Positivity Coach: Chris Edwards

“The Journey toward positivity. Don’t expect everyone to understand your journey, especially if they have never walled in your path. Learn, grow and find your own POWER of the POSSIBLE with each New Day.” Quote by Author & Positivity Coach, Chris Edwards from his book 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Life Style. Lessons for positivity excerpt: 

“Our lives are a journey. The journey we take can lead to periods of great joy and amazing experiences. A life lived in full also can lead us onto pathways and encounters that are not pleasant and can lead to memories that can be painful and may take one into darkness and despair.

A life in full follows a variety of paths. How we react to those circumstances both joyous and painful is what defines our character and our legacy. Our legacy is our footprint on the pathway of life imprinted for future generations.

Our reactions to situations and people and our actions daily impact those around us; friends, family, love ones, enemies, acquaintances, co-workers, social media followers and strangers we may not be even aware of.

Our perspective of how we manage ourselves and the stresses of daily life ultimately manifest into who we are and who we become. In reality we are subjective creatures of life. We see our daily circumstance through a filter of self-perceptions. We have biases, prejudices and opinions formed from our environment, our circumstances, and our histories. Those biases, prejudices, opinions, or experiences do not have to determine our lot in life. We have the power of positive self -determination if we just embrace what is truly within each of us.

Everyone has a personality; good, bad, indifferent, engaged, disengaged, introverted, extroverted, consistent, and calm and or extreme. That personality or mindset and the control of how we manifest our histories and experiences internally can alter our perceptions and our reactions to others, our surroundings, and events around us.

We each see life differently and through the lens of our experiences…

  • ● Introverts see things differently than do extraverts.
  • ● Pessimists have a different take on life than optimists.
  • ● If one has a leaning toward depression, then the sense of our past experienced events can take on a very gray, black, or very dark sheen when sizing up or reacting to people or events in the present.
  • ● If our personality is anxious, everything hits us at a higher speed and possibly a more dramatic impact.
  • ● If we are passive or we just look at events and perceive it as just fate; then we may manifest thoughts of what happens just happens, it’s out of my control or my ability to manage or comprehend. We may just shut down or cut off engagement with people or events around us.

If we approach the daily events in our life with positivity, we then look at a glass as half full and don’t allow situations or others to negatively impact us or allow ourselves to feel totally out of control.

We may not control the person or event before us, but we can control how we approach a situation, how we react externally by how we control our own internal thinking. Negative energy and negative thoughts create negative responses and create dread, negativity, sickness. Negativity can eventually destroy us and our relationships with those around us.

When we take “a glass is half full” more positive approach, then anything or anyone put in our pathway is positioned as not so traumatic or dramatic. With the process of positivity, we can approach situations with a more calming mindset and actually think through a reaction or response in a calm, civil and thoughtful way.

A glass is half full mindset allows us to step back for a moment and look for positive inspiration in most any situation, person, or event. Breath seek positivity and move forward. Discrete daily affirmations or inspirations carry us forward and to not allow the darkness to enter our minds, hearts, or souls.

With daily affirmations, we decide how we feel and don’t allow others or circumstances to drive our feelings, beliefs, attitudes, or emotions. With a glass half full mindset, we control our minds then, our reactions and we are better equipped to manage the person, event or situations more rationally, more poised and more affirmatively than we might have otherwise.

Let’s get started, now this moment today to find the pathway to positivity!”

Next steps and affirmations to the path of positivity will appear in future stories, posts and podcasts

Stay Tuned on Alamogordo Town News, Author Chris Edwards Blog, Via Podcasts and on the 2nd Life Media You Tube Channel.

This story was excerpted fromAuthor & Positivity Coach Chris Edwards Book Series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle found a fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and also available in 36 countries and throughout the US via Amazon.

Follow the podcasts of Author Chris Edwards, Fitness Tips and Artistic updates from former NCAA Fitness Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda and the other 2nd Life Media affiliated partners at 2nd Life Media on SpotifyGoogle Podcast and Anchor Podcast by Spotify

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New Mexico History- The Founding of Alamogordo and the evolution of High School Athletics 1912- 1950’s.

Alamogordo, (Alamogordo means “fat cottonwood.” Gordo = fat; alamo = poplar or cottonwood), New Mexico founded in 1898 embraced education and the idea of interscholastic sports with an open mind for one selected group.

In 1898 Alamogordo was split into two cities: Alamogordo a primarily Caucasian enclave and Chihuahua a primarily Mexican/Latin American enclave. The two were merged in 1912 and became the incorporated city of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Alamogordo is in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahua Desert, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains and to the west by Holloman Air Force Base. Alamogordo in modern times is known for its connection with the Trinity test, the first explosion of an atomic bomb.

Alamogordo was founded as a company town to support the building of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad, a part of the transcontinental railway that was being constructed in the late 19th century.

Initially its main industry was timbering for railroad ties. The railroad founders were also eager to find a major town that would persist after the railroad was completed; they formed the Alamogordo Improvement Company to develop the area, making Alamogordo an early example of a planned community. The Alamogordo Improvement Company owned all the land, platted the streets, built the first houses and commercial buildings, donated land for a college, and placed a restrictive covenant on each deed prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, or sale of intoxicating liquor. Education was a priority and the city founders, Charles Eddy and brother, John Arthur Eddy. The brothers were both strong willed, and constantly battled over the decisions that had to be made. Ultimately, they agreed that interscholastic sports and a strong educational foundation as part of the progressive educational movement of the time would fuel the business interest they were developing.

Tourism became an important part of the local economy from the creation of White Sands National Monument in 1934.

Local businessperson Tom Charles, grandfather of the 1950’s Alamogordo High School Women’s PE Coach Margaret “Markie” Rutz, was instrumental in pushing for recognition of White Sands as a National Monument and eventual National Park.

Local Construction began on the Alamogordo Army Airfield (the present-day Holloman Air Force Base) in 1942, and the Federal government has been a strong presence in Alamogordo ever since.

Education has also been an important part of the local economy. In addition to the local school system, Alamogordo is home to the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, founded in 1903, and a branch of New Mexico State University founded in 1958.

Holloman Air Force Base, found approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the city limits, is the largest employer of Alamogordo residents, and has a major effect on the local economy. According to some estimates, Holloman accounts for half of the Alamogordo economy today. The military influence has had a major impact on the diversity and quality of students and athletes that were available to take part in Alamogordo athletic programs for several generations.

According to the 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office, as of January 2008 Holloman directly employs 6,111 personnel with a gross payroll of $266 million. It indirectly creates another 2,047 jobs with a payroll of $77 million. The estimated amount spent in the community is $482 million. The influence of the military has had a historical impact on the politics around athletics and other public- school programs since the 1950’s.

An estimated 6,700 military retirees now live in the area. There are 1,383 active military and 1,641 military dependents living on base and 2,765 active military and 2,942 military dependents living off base.

A blow to the economy and to the sports programs at Alamogordo High School came when after 27 years of training at Holloman, the German Air Force left in 2019. They moved their pilot training to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.

The region peaked in business interests and the regional brains trust in the 1960s with many industries from Levi’s to Space Contractors having offices in the city. The city and region had one of the highest concentrations of space and rocket engineers, scientists and high-tech leaders in the nation for a city its size. The result of this concentration of people helped create a large high school talent pool which aided in athletic and academic success of Alamogordo High School ranking it the 3rd best in the nation during the 1960s.

Due to the concentration of space and military contracts the city and region integrated earlier than many, as being the first in the state. Alamogordo High School set a national example in education and sports, unusual for a city its size. Public education began in Alamogordo in 1898 via a tent city. The tent was used for court on one end, with school on the other end. When court was in session there was no school to attend. During this time, Alamogordo was primarily a tent city and most of the residents were tuberculosis patients.

In 1900, a two-story brick school was built which had six classrooms. This was named the East Building. An additional two-story brick building was then added in 1910, having eight classrooms. It became the Central Building. Alamogordo High School, a two-story brick building with 13 classrooms and a multi-use auditorium was constructed in 1910 and launched an organized athletic program around 1912.

Meanwhile in other parts of the country more developed than Alamogordo New Mexico, construction of gymnasiums in the high schools became a priority in school development and laid the foundation for the development of indoor sports, particularly basketball and Track & Field activities such as jumps and sprints. Educators by this time saw physical education as intrinsic to the development of American high school youth. Gymnasiums were originally designed for gymnastics and calisthenics instruction, but boys organized games soon took more and more time on the floor space, as educators saw that they had value in their educational mission. Although indoor baseball was played in some high school gymnasiums on the east coast, participants usually searched for larger facilities, such as armories. Eventually, most colleges and many high schools-built gymnasiums with the support and endorsement of business leaders and progressive politicians.

Back in Alamogordo, Dudley School was built in 1914 and had four classrooms. Dudley School was set up as part of a segregation plan at the time and specialized in children that did not speak English being educated in a separate school facility. Hispanics could not go north of 10th Street or into the plaza at the time. The city of Alamogordo, New Mexico with its proximity to Texas was a racially divided city.

Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football.  The African American School was called the Delaware School and the school that spoke Spanish only was the Dudley School. Athletes from those schools were segregated from the white schools of the time. More on that to follow as we review the 1940’s and 50’s and the cultural shifts that were about to occur in a future story, post or broadcast.

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2ND LIFE MEDIA ALAMOGORDO TOWN NEWS-A Look Back Easter 1921- The Origins of the Easter Bunny

The origins of the Easter Bunny….

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the “Easter Hare” originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes.

In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the 

Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays.

The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau‘s De ovis paschalibus (‘About Easter Eggs’) in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times, it was widely believed (as by PlinyPlutarchPhilostratus, and Aelian) that the hare was a hermaphrodite. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of virginity led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child.

It may also have been associated with the Holy Trinity, as in the three hares motif.

But while the Easter bunny technically isn’t real, the tradition is very much alive, thanks to sneaky parents who have been filling the baskets as a tradition since the founding of America. 

Digging the New Mexico historical archives we see the first references to Easter Egg hunts and the “great Easter Bunny” making a showing in 1921 at the town square and New York Avenue area near the train depot. The first reference to an Easter egg hunt was referenced in a church flyer and a few other archival records.

Memories of early Easter Bunny’s and Easter Egg hunts in Southern New Mexico seem to be fading but one individual interviewed said in the 1950’s the best Egg Hunt and Easter Bunny in the region was always at the Lodge of Cloudcroft followed by a huge picnic around the property with all the women in huge Easter hats and the Best new Spring Dresses.

Enjoy your Easter however you celebrate and Happy Spring!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Fun Facts Good News Alert

The National Day Calendar defines April 2, 2021 as National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. Fun fact the average teenager graduating from Alamogordo High will have consumed 2000 P & J sandwiches by the time they graduate.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/26767/alamogordo-good-news-story-april-2-peanut-butter-jelly-day-history-lesson

But how did peanut butter and jelly originate and how did it become so popular as a food staple?

The peanut plant originated in Peru. Peruvians made pottery in the shape of peanuts or decorated jars with peanuts as far back as 3,500 years ago. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incan’s of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life. Tribes in central Brazil also ground peanuts with maize to make a drink.

Now fast forward about 2000 years and we learn that explorers  from Europe discovered peanuts as far north as Mexico, when the Spanish began their exploration of the new world. The explorers took peanuts back to Spain, and from there traders and explorers spread them to Asia and Africa. Africans were the first people to introduce peanuts to North America beginning in the 1700s.

Records show that it wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown as a commercial crop in the United States. They were first grown in Virginia and used mainly for oil, food and as a cocoa substitute. At this time, peanuts were regarded as a food for livestock and the poor and were considered difficult to grow and harvest.

Their popularity grew in the late 1800s when PT Barnum’s circus wagons traveled across the country and vendors called “hot roasted peanuts!” to the crowds. Soon street vendors began selling roasted peanuts from carts and peanuts also became popular at baseball games. While peanut production rose during this time, peanuts were still harvested by hand, leaving stems and trash in the peanuts. Thus, poor quality and lack of uniformity kept down the demand for peanuts.

In the early 1900s peanuts became a significant agricultural crop when the boll weevil threatened the South’s cotton crop. Following the suggestions of noted scientist Dr. George Washington Carver, peanuts served as an effective commercial crop and, for a time, rivaled the position of cotton in the South.

Who invented Peanut Butter?

There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

It is thought that Julia Davis Chandler issued the first reference to peanut butter (or paste) paired with jelly on bread in the United States in 1901. Her article is found in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.

Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.

According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers’ military ration list.

In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.

For 2021 the department of agriculture ranks peanuts as the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over one billion U.S. dollars.

Peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candy are some of the most popular products in the United States. Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year, worth more than $2 billion at the retail level.

Peanut butter accounts for about half of the U.S. edible use of peanuts—accounting for $850 million in retail sales each year. It is a popular sandwich spread, for children and adults, because it is both nutritious and economical.

The other half of U.S. consumption is divided equally between snack nuts and confectionery. Peanuts are eaten as snack nuts in many ways: roasted in shell, roasted kernels or in mixed nuts. Snack nuts are often salted, spiced or flavored with a variety of coatings.

As far as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches what is the most popular?

In anAsk Your Target Market’s survey on peanut butter and jelly we learn some cool facts…

67% of respondents said that they have a generally positive opinion of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In fact, 2% even said they eat them on a daily basis. 13% eat them a few times per week. 10% eat them about once a week. 20% said they enjoy pb&j sandwiches a few times per month. 10% eat them about once a month. 29% said they rarely ever eat them. And 16% never do.

There are, of course, a few different ways people can mix their peanut butter and jelly. But the majority, 55%, said they like when their pb&j has equal parts peanut butter and jelly. 27% like their sandwiches with more peanut butter. 12% like more jelly. And 5% have no preference.

What is our favorite peanut butter brand?

There are even several different choices when it comes to peanut butter. 66% said they prefer creamy peanut butter. 25% like crunchy. 15% like extra crunchy. And 4% have no preference. The most popular peanut butter brands among respondents include Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan.

What jelly do we like with peanut butter?

When it comes to jelly, 45% of respondents said they prefer strawberry jelly on their sandwiches. 42% like grape jelly. 19% prefer raspberry. 11% like other flavors like apple and blackberry. And 7% have no preference. Smuckers was the most popular jelly brand named by respondents. Others include Welch’s, Concord and Kroger brand.

For the full survey results visit: https://aytm.com/surveys/393374/stat/7d6f42738943a1698f70e898ffcc87e5#charts

Sources: www.peanutsusa.com, US Department of Agriculture, Smuckers Inc, National Day Calendar 

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/26767/alamogordo-good-news-story-april-2-peanut-butter-jelly-day-history-lesson

Author Chris Edwards, 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Daily News and Author of Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, NM or online at Amazon

Softening of America A Commentary By John F Kennedy Revisited 60 Years Later 4/2/2021

While doing research on a book I am writing on a New Mexico Track and Field Coach Bob Robert Sepulveda I came across this amazing take on physical fitness by President JFK. Quite a different approach to what we see today. I wonder if we as citizens truly embraced what president Kennedy embraces below if the national crises Covid-19 would be so severe or would our diabetes and obesity issues be less and us a healthier and happier nation? Maybe the softening of America’s youth he refers to then is a wake up call for now to become more physically active and to embrace fitness…

On Dec. 26, 1960, President-elect John F. Kennedy penned a piece for Sports Illustrated touting the importance of “physical soundness” for Americans — for kids and grown-ups alike. A precursor to today’s America’s Great Outdoor Initiative, which encourages families to get outdoors, it hit the outdoor nail on the proverbial head. Read on to see The Soft American in its entirety…

The Soft American
By President-elect John F. Kennedy

Beginning more than 2,500 years ago, from all quarters of the Greek world men thronged every four years to the sacred grove of Olympia, under the shadow of Mount Cronus, to compete in the most famous athletic contests of history—the Olympian games.

During the contest a sacred truce was observed among all the states of Greece as the best athletes of the Western world competed in boxing and foot races, wrestling and chariot races for the wreath of wild olive which was the prize of victory. When the winners returned to their home cities to lay the Olympian crown in the chief temples they were greeted as heroes and received rich rewards. For the Greeks prized physical excellence and athletic skills among man’s greatest goals and among the prime foundations of a vigorous state.

Thus the same civilizations which produced some of our highest achievements of philosophy and drama, government and art, also gave us a belief in the importance of physical soundness which has become a part of Western tradition; from the mens sana in corpore sano of the Romans to the British belief that the playing fields of Eaton brought victory on the battlefields of Europe. This knowledge, the knowledge that the physical well-being of the citizen is an important foundation for the vigor and vitality of all the activities of the nation, is as old as Western civilization itself. But it is a knowledge which today, in American, we are in danger of forgetting.

The first indication of a decline in the physical strength and ability of young Americans became apparent among United States soldiers in the early stages of the Korean War. The second came when figures were released showing that almost one out of every two young American was being rejected by Selective Service as mentally, morally or physically unfit. But the most startling demonstration of the general physical decline of American youth came when Dr. Hans Kraus and Dr. Sonja Weber revealed the results of 15 years of research centering in the Posture Clinic of New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital—results of physical fitness tests given to 4,264 children in this country and 2,870 children in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

The findings showed that despite our unparalleled standard of living, despite our good food and our many playgrounds, despite our emphasis on school athletics, American youth lagged far behind Europeans in physical fitness. Six tests for muscular strength and flexibility were given; 57.9% of the American children failed one or more of these tests, while only 8.7% of the European youngsters failed.

A Consistent Decline

Especially disheartening were the results of the five strength tests: 35.7% of American children failed one or more of these, while only 1.1% of the Europeans failed, and among Austrian and Swiss youth the rate of failure was as low as .5%.

As a result of the alarming Kraus-Weber findings President Eisenhower created a Council on Youth Fitness at the Cabinet level and appointed a Citizens Advisory Committee on the Fitness of American Youth, composed of prominent citizens interested in fitness. Over the past five years the physical fitness of American youth has been discussed in forums, by committees and in leading publications. A 10-point program for physical fitness has been publicized and promoted. Our schools have been urged to give increased attention to the physical well-being of their students. Yet there has been no noticeable improvement. Physical fitness tests conducted last year in Britain and Japan showed that the youth of those countries were considerably more fit than our own children. And the annual physical fitness tests for freshman at Yale University show a consistent decline in the prowess of young American; 51& of the class of 1951 passed the tests, 43% of the class of 1956 passed, and only 38%, a little more than a third, of the class of 1960 succeeded, in passing the not overly rigorous examination.

Of course, physical tests are not infallible. They can distort the true health picture. There are undoubtedly many American youths and adults whose physical fitness matches and exceeds the best of other lands.

But the harsh fact of the matter is that there is also an increasingly large number of young Americans who are neglecting their bodies—whose physical fitness is not what it should be—who are getting soft. And such softness on the part of individual citizens can help to strip and destroy the vitality of a nation.

For the physical vigor of our citizens is one of America’s most precious resources. If we waste and neglect this resource, if we allow it to dwindle and grow soft then we will destroy much of our ability to meet the great and vital challenges which confront our people. We will be unable to realize our full potential as a nation.

Throughout our history we have been challenged to armed conflict by nations which sought to destroy our independence or threatened our freedom. The young men of America have risen to those occasions, giving themselves freely to the rigors and hardships of warfare. But the stamina and strength which the defense of liberty requires are not the product of a few weeks’ basic training or a month’s conditioning. These only come from bodies which have been conditioned by a lifetime of participation in sports and interest in physical activity. Our struggles against aggressors throughout our history have been won on the playgrounds and corner lots and fields of America.

Thus, in a very real and immediate sense, our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.

However, we do not, like the ancient Spartans, wish to train the bodies of our youth to make them more effective warriors. It is our profound hope and expectation that Americans will never again have to expend their strength in armed conflict.

But physical fitness is as vital to the activities of peace as to those of war, especially when our success in those activities may well determine the future of freedom in the years to come. We face in the Soviet Union a powerful and implacable adversary determined to show the world that only the Communist system possesses the vigor and determination necessary to satisfy awakening aspirations for progress and the elimination of poverty and want. To meet the challenge of this enemy will require determination and will and effort on the part of all American. Only if our citizens are physically fit will they be fully capable of such an effort.

For physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. The relationship between the soundness of the body and the activities of the mind is subtle and complex. Much is not yet understood. But we do know what the Greeks knew: that intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound bodies.

In this sense, physical fitness is the basis of all the activities of our society. And if our bodies grow soft and inactive, if we fail to encourage physical development and prowess, we will undermine our capacity for thought, for work and for the use of those skills vital to an expanding and complex America.

Thus the physical fitness of our citizens is a vital prerequisite to America’s realization of its full potential as a nation, and to the opportunity of each individual citizen to make full and fruitful use of his capacities.

It is ironic that at a time when the magnitude of our dangers makes the physical fitness of our citizens a matter of increasing importance, it takes greater effort and determination than ever before to build the strength of our bodies. The age of leisure and abundance can destroy vigor and muscle tone as effortlessly as it can gain time. Today human activity, the labor of the human body, is rapidly being engineered out of working life. By the 1970’s, according to many economists, the man who works with his hands will be almost extinct.

Many of the routine physical activities which earlier Americans took for granted are no longer part of our daily life. A single look at the packed parking lot of the average high school will tell us what has happened to the traditional hike to school that helped to build young bodies. The television set, the movies and the myriad conveniences and distractions of modern life all lure our young people away from the strenuous physical activity that is the basis of fitness in youth and in later life.

Now is the Time

Of course, modern advances and increasing leisure can add greatly to the comfort and enjoyment of life. But they must not be confused with indolence, with, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “slothful-ease,” with an increasing deterioration of our physical strength. For the strength of our youth and the fitness of our adults are among our most important assets, and this growing decline is a matter of urgent concern to thoughtful Americans.

This is a national problem, and requires national action. President Eisenhower helped show the way through his own interest and by calling national attention to our deteriorating standards of physical fitness. Now it is time for the United States to move forward with a national program to improve the fitness of all Americans.

First: We must establish a White House /Committee on Health and Fitness to formulate and carry out a program to improve the physical condition of the nation. This committee will include the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and the Secretary of the Interior. The executive order creating this committee will clearly state its purpose, and coordinate its activities with the many federal programs which bear a direct relation to the problem of physical fitness.

Second: The physical fitness of our youth should be made a direct responsibility of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. This department should conduct—through its Office of Education and the National Institutes of Health—research into the development of a physical fitness program for the nation’s public schools. The results of this research shall be made freely available to all who are interested. In addition, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare should use all its existing facilities to attach the lack of youth fitness as a major health problem.

Third: The governor of each state will be invited to attend the annual National Youth Fitness Congress. This congress will examine the progress which has been made in physical fitness during the preceding year, exchange suggestions for improving existing programs and provide an opportunity to encourage the states to implement the physical fitness program drawn up by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Our states are anxious to participate in such programs, to make sure that their youth have the opportunity for full development of their bodies as well as their minds.

Fourth: The President and all departments of government must make it clearly understood that the promotion of sports participation and physical fitness is a basic and continuing policy of the United States. By providing such leadership, by keeping physical fitness in the forefront of the nation’s concerns, the federal government can make a substantial contribution toward improving the health and vigor of our citizens.

But no matter how vigorous the leadership of government, we can fully restore the physical soundness of our nation only if every American is willing to assume responsibility for his own fitness and the fitness of his children. We do not live in a regimented society where men are forced to live their lives in the interest of the state. We are, all of us, as free to direct the activities of our bodies as we are to pursue the objects of our thought. But if we are to retain this freedom, for ourselves and for generations to come, then we must also be willing to work for the physical toughness on which the courage and intelligence and skill of man so largely depend.

All of us must consider our own responsibilities for the physical vigor of our children and of the young men and women of our community. We do not want our children to become a generation of spectators. Rather, we want each of them to be a participant in the vigorous life.