AlamogordoTownNews.com: Spotlight on Author Rochelle Williams’ New Release of “Acts of Love & Ruin” Jan 21st at Otero Artspace

AlamogordoTownNews.com Author Spotlight Rochelle Williams

Rochelle Williams is a familiar face to those in the arts community of Alamogordo, as she sits on the board of Otero Arts and has been involved in arts and other activities in the area since arriving to Alamogordo almost 2 decades ago.

Some folks have seen her photography at various venues such as the recent online showing at Otero Arts Winter show. Other’s have read a few of her short stories and snippets that have been published in various periodicals dating back to 1995 such as the story, Intaglio which won second place in Southwest Writers Workshop literary short story contest in 1995. The judge was Elizabeth Gaffney of Paris Review. It was subsequently published in The Eldorado Sun fiction issue.

The following short stories by Rochelle Williams were published or accepted for publication in 2020 – 2022:

  • · Phoenix in Menacing Hedge
  • Trouble with the Painters in The MacGuffin
  • That Day in WOW Women on Writing
    and won first place for flash fiction
  • Shoeboxes is forthcoming in April 2022 in Mom Egg Review

But now, Rochelle Williams has taken the next step in her literary journey, with the release of her first published works in a book format that being Acts of Love & Ruin, a collection of short stories and snippets by the author as her first paperback and hardback book release.

The book launch is scheduled for the initial book signing at Otero Artspace – “The Historic Women’s Building” – on Indiana Avenue, January 21st at 6 pm.

She will follow that launch event with a Champagne and Book Signing event January 29th 4 pm to 6 pm at Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo. 

Her book will then also be available the next several months at Roadrunner Emporium and online via Amazon thereafter.

AlamogordoTownNews.com met up with Rochelle Williams to discuss her upcoming book launch and to better get to know this local author and what motivated her to go to print…

AlamogordoTownNews.com Question: What inspired your interest into writing short stories and snippets?

Author Rochelle Williams Response“I’ve been writing since I was about eighteen. I started with fragments, which still appeal to me as a form, and eventually moved to short stories. In the 1990s, I began a novel, “Bodies of Water.” As happens with a lot of writers, life got in the way, and I did not finish it. I’ve reshaped some of the material of the novel into short stories, and now some flash fiction pieces. But much of it remains in the form of fragments and scenes. I call those fragmentary pieces snippets.”

AlamogordoTownNews.com Question: Your short stories and snippets feel very personal when reading the pain, views, or feelings of your characters, are your characters inspired by personal events or individuals you’ve encountered in your past?

Author Rochelle Williams Response“Yes, many of my characters and the situations they find themselves in are drawn from my life and what I observe around me. That is not quite the same as being autobiographical. For example, the protagonist in my second novel-in-progress, “The Eye of Desire: Letters to a Dead Painter,” studies painters and painting and is especially taken with Pierre Bonnard, a painter I love madly. But the character, Patience, is a painter herself, and I’ve never picked up a paintbrush. My characters are drawn in a general way from my experiences, but the role of imagination in creating a character or a story always adds its own mystery to the process.”

AlamogordoTownNews.com Question: Do you feel a connection to your characters and what is your path to character development?

Author Rochelle Williams Response: “Yes, I feel strongly connected to my characters. I sometimes laugh out loud, or cry while I’m writing. They really get under my skin! I don’t work from outlines or have a plan when I start writing. A story or scene usually begins with a line I hear going through my head, or something I see. Characters often do unexpected things. I just kind of follow them around and take notes.”

AlamogordoTownNews.com Question: Rumor is you are also a prolific photographer, what subject matter do you like to photograph most and why?

Author Rochelle Williams Response: “I love to photograph the most ordinary things—the streets of Tularosa where I walk in the mornings, the beautiful sky, clouds, the changing light on trees, buildings. I used to use an old Nikon and shoot black and white film that I developed and printed myself. I miss having a darkroom and that process of watching an image come up in the developing tray. But now I shoot everything with the camera in my iphone. I find photography so relaxing and pleasurable, whereas writing is mostly hard work!”

AlamogordoTownNews.com Question: Tell us about your connection to Otero Arts Inc, what inspired you to join, and what is your role and the organizations path forward in 2022?

Author Rochelle Williams Response: “Otero Arts, Inc., is the realization of a long-held dream. A group of artists got together way back around 2003 and launched the Otero Arts Council. It didn’t really get off the ground, but we never stopped thinking about the potential for an arts organization to serve Otero County. Being able to lease the Woman’s Club building to house Otero Arts is also a dream come true—because of this we are a facility-based organization and that creates a wonderful foundation for developing the organization. I joined the board when I retired last year, and I’ve been working on getting our literary arts reading series organized. We’ve already had two wonderful readers, and have booked JJ Amaworo Wilson, writer in residence at Western NM University in Silver City and organizer of the biannual Southwest Word Fiesta, to read in April. We want to tap into the rich literary resources in Southern New Mexico and bring many kinds of writers here to share their work with us.”

AlamogordoTownNews.com Question: What is the one thing that you would like people to know about you?

Author Rochelle Williams Response“I’m very interested in people. My son calls me nosy, but I am just kind of insatiably curious about other people’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings. I guess it’s the writer in me. I want to know everyone’s story.”

A component to Ms. Williams’ story that is even more interesting and inspirational to us, is that Rochelle Williams is a survivor of a brain injury. So, it is with great admiration we see her so active in Otero Arts, doing photography, writing, and bringing her first book to life as a published work of art.

For many individuals it is often difficult to express what one may have experienced, witnessed, heard, or sensed in a verbal dialog. To many writers the true expression of oneself is through their writing and through her writing we witness character development by New Mexico’s Rochelle Williams that makes us take notice.

At AlamogordoTownNews.com we believe that to be the case of Mrs. Williams she is very expressive via her writing yet shy in person. Through Rochelle Williams writing, we experience the characters joy and pain felt from the authors expansive imagery in words. We can clearly visualize the characters through the prose she presents to us, the reader.

Mark Conking, Author of Prairie Dog Blues and Killer Whale Blues says of Rochelle Williams; and of her newly released book, Acts of Love & Ruin, “Rochelle Williams is a writer with remarkable talent. She weaves the emotional lives of her characters with a palette of words that results in a true literary art form. Her stories range over life in the way a painter would range over a canvas–brilliant and colorful with striking designs. Here is an author everyone should read. A fine collection of stories.”

We indeed agree with Mr. Conking’s assessment of Rochelle Williams prose and as such encourage the public to meet the author at two local book signing events. The first will be her official book launch reading and signing at the Otero Artspace at the historic 1936 Women’s Building on Indiana Avenue, January 21st at 6 pm. The 2nd event is a book signing and champagne at the Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo on January 29th at 4 pm. The public is urged to come out and support this talented local author at these two artistic venues.

Ms. Williams’ followed up our interview, by providing us a short story that she wrote from 2013 that she has titled Accidental Gifts.

While we can’t speak to the question, of if this is her story or a fictionalized version of the events that did transpire around her accident; what we do know, is we felt this character’s experience, as we did in every short story and snippet in her newly released book.

Below AlamogordoTownNews.com is proud to present the short story titled:

                                                        Accidental Gift – Author, Rochelle Williams

“The moment my life split irrevocably into “before” and “after” came on a calm, almost unbearably beautiful winter morning. The sun was out bright and strong, turning the previous night’s blizzard into a wonderland of iced houses and trees, knee-deep snow, shimmering ultramarine sea. I had pulled on my boots and set off for a walk in the brisk air, feeling so alive, drinking in the brilliant light, the gorgeous contrast of sea and snow.

I had arrived the night before, just ahead of the big storm, at my sister-in-law’s house perched on a tiny spit of land on the coast of Maine. It was two days after Christmas. I was stopping in for a visit on my way from New Mexico, where I live, to Vermont, where I was enrolled in a low-residency graduate program. Embarking on my third semester, I couldn’t have been more excited. It seemed to me those great vistas of possibility were opening up before me, and this walk in the sun and snow was a celebration of impending change. The change that was actually in store for me, I never could have imagined, nor voluntarily welcomed into my life.

The road hadn’t been cleared, but some intrepid souls had already been out on it; there were wheel tracks in the snow and that was where I walked, heading downhill toward the tall pines on the next curve of land jutting out into the sea. I remember looking up, marveling at the lovely robin’s-egg blue of the sky, and then, without understanding how, I was flat on the icy pavement. My feet had gone out from under me and the back of my head had slammed the pavement so hard I couldn’t comprehend at first what had happened. Time turned sticky; everything slowed down. I lay there, unable to move. I had no thoughts. There was only a sort of slow-motion sensing of being flat on my back on the ground, seeing the tree branches overhead, smelling the snow. Then very slowly, as if my mind was moving through something thick, it began to roam around my body: Am I bleeding? Is anything broken? Can I move my legs? These were not thoughts, but a kind of primitive awareness scanning my body. Finally, there was a thought, accompanied by a deep sense of foreboding, and it went something like this: You have really hurt yourself. And indeed, I had.

In the instant after that thought formed, a black curtain started to descend over my eyes. I knew I had to get up, that I needed help, and fast. Looking back, it seems as if some force outside of me lifted me up and propelled me back up the hill, the hundred yards or so to my sister-in-law Susan’s door. As soon as I was upright, a battle began against intense, burning nausea and an equally intense desire to simply lie down right where I was and go to sleep. I had spent much of my working life as a nurse; the symptoms of closed head injury were familiar to me. It’s hard to describe the feeling I had of being split in two—one part of my brain trying to control the symptoms that another part of my brain was cataloguing with increasing panic. I stepped through Susan’s door and said something like: I fell and hit my head. I need help. She queried me, saw that I was in trouble and dialed 911. Bile burned hot in my throat and I was taking short, fast sips of air to keep it down. The paramedics arrived quickly and began to “talk me down”—something I also knew from my experience as a nurse—head injury patients can be combative and wildly irrational. I was trying to cooperate but was seized by intense panic at the thought of lying down flat on the backboard they had pushed into the cramped living room. I knew with unshakeable certainty that I would die if they put me on that backboard. One of them moved in beside me, spoke in a soothing voice, assured me repeatedly that they would let me sit up if I needed to. I knew he was lying, and that he had to; his job was to get me safely onto the backboard. I knew that once I surrendered and let them enclose me in what turned out to be full-body immobilization, there was no getting out. Fear blazed on top of the burning panic. I remember asking what they would do if I started vomiting; he said they would turn me on my side, suction my airway and make sure I was breathing; they would take good care of me—he must have said it a dozen times while they gently pried my fingers from the arms of the chair where I sat rigid and unable to move, placed the brace around my neck and maneuvered me onto the backboard, strapping me in place. His voice was kind, but nothing could soothe the panic that made me resist everything they were trying to do for me. In the ambulance, a woman put an oxygen cannula in my nose and started an IV. I remember squeezing her hand so hard, the thought that I might be injuring her flashed through my mind, but I could not loosen my grip. She leaned close and talked to me all the way to the hospital, telling me we were going to go around a curve now, it would be this many more minutes, I was doing fine, remember to breathe. I thought, I have fallen among angels. And still the panic roared in me every second, leaped and gnawed and burned like flame at the base of my skull, in my throat and chest, and I felt trapped in a cage that might never open.

In the emergency room I was given a powerful anti-nausea drug, wheeled from X-ray to CT. The lights above me blared like interrogation instruments. There was no escaping them, or the noise—the crash and clang of equipment, the scrape of chairs on the floor, the voices around me—all seemed amplified beyond endurance. The backboard dug into my flesh. Tears ran down the sides of my face, into my ears. I remember bellowing, “My head hurts!” A nurse spoke to me in that gentle, reasonable way they all had, told me they needed to make sure there was no bleeding in my brain before they could give me anything for pain. Susan sat by me, her face tense with worry.

After many hours, many tests, all the information was assembled. No bones were broken. No blood was seeping. There was no visible swelling in my brain. Prescriptions were written for pain and nausea medications; instructions were given about returning for worsening symptoms. And with that I was released from the imprisonment of the backboard and brace, into a life that was simply unimaginable to me hours before.

Traumatic brain injury is a malady that confounds medicine. The day before the accident, I was running my own company, managing a million-dollar annual budget and sixteen employees; the day after the accident, I could not walk or talk normally, I stuttered badly, slurred words, my right foot dragged. I could not take care of basic tasks of daily life independently, could not stay awake for more than a few hours. How could something you couldn’t see on an X-ray or CT scan cause so much damage? On a deep, almost inexpressible level, I felt unsouled, as if my soul had left my body and what was left was an empty shell, an automaton. I felt emptied of anything I recognized as self. Who are we when we are not “ourselves”? What creates that sense of “I”, of recognition? These are questions I had ample opportunity to ponder in the weeks and months that followed.

Medicine, I discovered, has little to offer for the physical symptoms of brain injury: hypersensitivity to light and sound, debilitating fatigue and weakness, persistent headache, problems with attention, memory and language processing, and, often, severe posttraumatic stress symptoms. There are painkillers and antidepressants, but they all have risks and side-effects, and they only marginally reduce the suffering these symptoms bring. And Western medicine has virtually nothing in its toolbox to address the profound shifts in self-concept that can accompany such an injury—the loss of a sense of self, the damage to the delicate mechanism that knits together memory, experience and imagination to create meaning and identity. I found myself turning more and more to alternative medicine, and ultimately to depth psychology and to a deepening spiritual practice in my search for healing.

For many months, I was unable to drive, shop for groceries, read, or work. I spent most of my time in a dark room, with a towel wrapped tightly around my head. Pressure seemed to quiet the constant ringing and buzzing in my brain and lessen the pain. The flood of adrenalin that had allowed me to stay conscious and get help, turned out to be my worst enemy in recovery. Like a stuck throttle, it wouldn’t shut off. Panic erupted randomly, and also as a fatigue marker—a signal I had done too much, stayed up too long; but it never failed to accompany the act of lying down, especially on my back; my heart would race and pound like it was going to leap out of my chest.

The previous spring, I had learned a simple meditation technique to help me deal with the stresses of my business and graduate program: sit quietly and follow the breath. It was useful, but I didn’t settle into a regular practice. After the accident, I found myself clinging to it the way a drowning person clings to a life-preserver. It was the only way I could calm the heart-racing, the pounding pressure in my head, the panic and pain that had, in an instant, become my world.

This simple technique not only calmed me; over time it began to work a subtle change in me. I found myself slowly letting go of the idea that my worth was based on what I accomplished in the world. I suddenly couldn’t do anything. Did that mean I was worthless? Or worth less than I had been in my former condition? I began working with a Jungian therapist who helped me explore these questions and to dismantle what was revealed in our work to be a harshly self-critical belief system and build a more loving and compassionate one.

Almost two years have passed since the great divide. I’m not entirely well yet. I still stutter and slur when I’m tired. My right foot still drags. I long to hike, ride a bicycle, do many things I used to take for granted. For a long time, I kept wondering when I would “get back to normal.” I don’t remember exactly when I realized that would never happen. The person I was before the accident is gone, unrecoverable. In her place is someone I don’t know very well yet.

I no longer manage my company. It took some time, but that’s okay with me now. The part of my brain that generates ideas is alive and well, and I’ve found new ways to contribute to the business. I look forward to one day returning to school. Understanding speech, formulating and articulating a response—ordinary conversation, in other words—is taxing, but written language has become fluent, even joyful. A loss, and a gift in its place. There are other gifts, poking up like flowers among the ruins as I inhabit this unexpected life. Calm acceptance of the past. Freedom from fear of the future. But the sweetest one is the gift of the timeless present moment, which I used to hurry right past, and now choose to live in as much as I can.“

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AlamogordoTownNews.com – Thoughts and Reflections on 2022 by members of the Alamogordo Community

AlamogordoTownNews.com asked a few of Alamogordo’s movers and shakers for their thoughts of wisdom or reflection as we move into 2022.

From Mayor Payne and Sherrif Black with his wife Lorie Black, to those in the business and cultural arts community 2021, was a year of survival. 2022 promises to be a year of rebuilding, reconnecting and renewal.

We begin with words of inspiration and hope from the honorable Mayor Susan Payne, Mayor Elect of Alamogordo – Make 2022 an intentional year of kindness. Make it a point to take a moment to thank a small business owner or a server, cashier, laborer, law enforcement, military, or other workers. Tell them how much you appreciate them.

Look for the blessings in any situation. They are there if we will just pay attention. Let’s not dwell on what we cannot change but rather let’s be the change. Find an area of service and get involved in making our community the best it can be.

I want to wish all of our citizens a Happy New Year and I look forward to serving you in 2022!” –Susan Payne

We then progress to…

David & Lori Black – Otero County Sherrif and the Executive Director, Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts– “Live life in 2022 with no fear and a lot of faith! Hold friends and family close and treat them with kindness and respect that they deserve! And last if you are bored or lonely, connect with your community and give of yourself. We need you.”

and expand with thoughts and reflections of those from the non-profit community, the creative arts community, small business leaders and more…

Pam Gordner – Otero Hunger Coalition- “It is in the joy of giving that we are truly blessed.”

Peggy Pennington – Owner of Surplus and Stuff, Alamogordo –“Wisdom for the new year comes from ups and downs, success and failure falling down and crawling back up…for 2022 for many it is the year of crawling back up.”

Claudia Laya & Trent Shelton – Elite Memories Boutique, New York Avenue, Alamogordo – You don’t have to be perfect to help people. All you have to do is be real.”

Becky Botsford Hournbuckle -Artist/Educator Alamogordo/Cloudcroft– Don’t be afraid to experiment with the creative ideas in your head. After all, you are just practicing, so nothing is a disaster, just step toward a beautiful creation.”

Alice Weineman -Owner Victoria, 913 New York Avenue– “Simply, be kind!’

Brenda Barber – Pins and Needles, New York Avenue, Alamogordo – “Those who sleep under a quilt, sleep under a blanket of love. Be patient.”

Rosa Miranda – Seamstress Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo – “2021 was a rough year for many people. My hope is that 2022 is a year of health and happiness.”

Musician and Retired Teacher – Don Thorpe – “What I have missed during the pandemic is to be able to see smiles and do hugs. My wish for 2022 is a return to a healthier world so we can see smiles and do hugs.”

Maggie Nowell – Owner, Blush Beauty Bar, 10th
Street, Alamogordo – 
“Stay hopeful. Re-center often. Aim to finish better this year but be compassionate and forgiving of yourself anytime you miss “the shot,” and extend to others the same grace.”

Couy Griffin, Otero County Commissioner – “It is better to trust in God than to have confidence in man. I pray your New Year is blessed.”

David Quinlan, Owner Fatwood BBQ, Alamogordo – “In 2021 we lost two people we were very close to. We lost my father-in-law due to Covid and a few weeks before that a close friend and employee of ours at Fatwood BBQ was in a tragic car accident. It made us pause and think, a lot.

In 2021, we were able to take that extra trip, spend an extra day with family and do quick trips to see the in-laws and it was so comforting to know that when our father-in-law passed pretty quickly, that we saw each other 7 times last year.

So going into 2022, we’ve made a specific commitment to spend more time with the people we love, visit family, and not get so consumed with owning businesses that we forget to live life and make memories. The length of life is not promised so we have to spend more time with family and friends so we have no regrets when it’s too late.”

Cindy Strong, Board President of the Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts -“The staff and volunteers at the Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts are looking forward to a positive and exciting 2022. We so enjoy seeing the look of delight on the faces of our patrons at our shows. We especially enjoyed the enthusiasm of the children who were able to attend a special showing of Mariachi Christmas. We have 5 more shows scheduled January thru April. We love sharing the history and enjoyment of this Alamogordo treasure with our patrons, Happy New Year.”

Chez Sanchez- “With all that last two years have brought to us all, try to do this in 2022; do one kind thing for someone who you just don’t know each month. Give blood, donate to a charity. Just one thing, then maybe we can learn that we are all in this together.

Anthony Lucero, Radio Personality for KALH Radio provided us some levity in his response to a look forward to 2022 with his personal 2022 New Year’s Resolution:” Wake up half an hour earlier so I can hate you more.” (Meant in jest, we are sure.)

And finally, Rene Sepulveda and I, Chris Edwards, as co-owners of Roadrunner Emporium and the AlamogordoTownNews.com via 2nd Life Media; we want to thank our community partnership of over 72 artisans and entrepreneurs that we mentor and work with daily. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your lives and are privileged to be allowed to partner and to be a part of your lives.

To the many community partnerships in the business and arts community we have met along this journey, we are humbled daily, by your support, and are proud to be members of the creative class of Alamogordo.

2022 is a year of rebuilding. Rebuilding, repairing, and building bridges of understanding across a diverse range of people and beliefs. If we can play some small part of building Alamogordo forward, we are humbled to be a part of that journey and the year 2022 is a chance for renewal and further steps forward.

We look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead! You can count on us being here to help tell the story of Alamogordo’s past, present and future. Happy New Year 2022!

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Alamogordo Center of Commerce Trail of Lights Competition Winners New York Avenue, Alamogordo & High Rolls Score!

The Alamogordo Center of Commerce announced the 2021 Trail of Lights Holiday Contest Winners!  New York Avenue in Alamogordo shined in the business category with the 1st place and 3rd place winners. Cloudcroft’s The Summit Inn was the 2nd place winner showcasing the lights on the mountain.

Business Competition

1st – Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo

2nd – The Summit Inn, Cloudcroft

3rd – Elite Memories Boutique, Alamogordo

Residential Competition

In the residential competition High Rolls rocked a 1st place victory with the residence of 20 Old Firehouse Road placing 1st. Alamogordo scored the 2nd and 3rd place victors.

1st – 20 Old Firehouse Road, High Rolls

2nd – 234 Eagle Loop, Alamogordo

3rd – 333 Wildwood Drive, Alamogordo

The Alamogordo Center of Commerce offered a huge thank you to everyone who participated and to the First Place Sponsors First Baptist Church, Cloudcroft and Cloudcroft Properties and the Second Place Sponsors Bank 34 and Future Real Estate – Alamogordo!!

This Alamogordo shop brings antique bank vaults, celebrations of local culture and more to the city

Nicole Maxwell Alamogordo Daily News

Outside Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue in Alamogordo, are street signs, rotating window decorations that included a to Alamogordo High School sports and has since changed to a Día de los Muertos theme. 

Inside the store is a trove of arts and crafts made by local artisans, relics of a history of the not too distant past and classrooms to teach and inspire the next round of the community’s artists.

Currently, the decor is for Día de los Muertos. Skeletons alongside paintings, soaps, books and antique bank safes among other things such as clothing, lamps and more.

Roadrunner Emporium is under the management of authors Rene Sepulveda and Chris Edwards.

“We believe in the history of the building, we’re refurbishing the building trying to showcase the history that’s here,” Edwards said. “We’re trying to not only become an art gallery but a center for culture for Alamogordo.”

Sepulveda and Edwards wrote two books about Alamogordo High School sports including “Coach Bob Sepulveda: The Early Years” and “Coaches Bob and Marilyn Sepulveda with Coach Gary Hveem.”

Both books are available at Roadrunner Emporium.

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Roadrunner Emporium is located in the original location of the First National Bank of Alamogordo which was chartered in 1900 and closed during The Great Depression of the 1930s.

The safes the bank used were custom-built in Cleveland. Ohio with the locking mechanism from Hartford, Connecticut.

Chris Edwards, local auther and co-owner of roadrunner Emporium shows one of the existing bank vaults in the Roadrunner Emporium building. The building was hte original First National Bank of Alamogordo from 1900 unti the 1930s.

Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue in Alamogordo, features an eclectic mix of local history and artistry.

“It still operates today, if you can believe it, that was created in 1898,” Edwards said. “The vault was assembled in 1900, brought here by rail at a cost of $36,000. Which would be about $1.2 million in today’s dollars. Then the bank was created.”

It was not affiliated with the current First National Bank of Alamogordo which was chartered in 1954, Edwards said. 

Aside from the historical essence of the building, Roadrunner Emporium also holds classes and events.

This week there is a book signing and discussion with a couple of local authors and their illustrator and a Halloween Spooktacular from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Oct. 30 where Roadrunner Emporium has teamed up with the newly established MainStreet Entertainment, 928 New York Avenue.

MainStreet Entertainment is hosting Nightmare on Main Street which runs from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Josette Herrell wrote “Timmy’s Big Adventure” and Barbara “BJ” Oquist wrote “Farmer Jon’s Very Special Team” and their illustrator Diana Sill will be at Roadrunner Emporium Oct. 30.

Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.

https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/community/2021/10/25/alamogordo-shoppping-roadrunner-emporium-bank-vaults-celebrations-local-culture/8438383002/

Otero Arts will be holding a Virtual Art Exhibition

ATTENTION OTERO COUNTY ARTISTS

Otero Arts will be holding a Virtual Art Exhibition via Facebook beginning November 15, 2021.

Submit images NOW!

Please submit images of your work to Otero Arts Inc on the Otero Arts Facebook page or send images to our email address oteroartsinc@gmail.com

The deadline for submission will be November 13, 2021.

THE THEME IS WINTER. (your memories, what you like about the season, the holidays. You name it – we are interested!) 

We are looking for paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photography, and other graphic works. Sculpture will be welcomed as well. 

Our goal is to showcase talent in Otero County!

All artists who participate in the online show are invited to be part of our Winter Show at Artspace in Alamogordo in December. 

Both the virtual show and the Artspace show will be FREE – No fees for artists or gallery visitors.

Please provide dimensions, materials used and contact information with your submission.

Questions? Call or email janet.amtmann@gmail.com or 575-434-2231.

We will soon share further information on the Dec 12th start for the Winter Show at Artspace.

Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and More shares the vision of Otero Arts for an expanded arts community in Otero County. We strongly encourage our participating artists to join this exhibition. Our resident artist Rene Sepulveda will be and encourage the community to support Otero Arts Inc and the growth of a enlightened cultural arts community within Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico.

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An offering of Historical Rope Bed & Jenny Lind Spindel Bed from the 1800s

Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts, Antiques and More 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo has recently acquired two awesome antique bed frames from the late 1880’s or 90’s that are unique for the design and story.

The first acquired piece is Jenny Lind or Spool Bed Headboard and Footboard presented to our collectors.These have a history of fans from Abe Lincoln for the 1850’s Opera singer Jenny Lind, the ones from the later 1800’s and early 1900s are unique finds. The history of the spooled bed or Jenny Lind is unique…

The spool bed, or Jenny Lind bed as they’re often called, is one of our favorite antique styles. The spool detail is so delicate, crafted, and beautiful and these beds can really add a special element to a space.In the 16th century, colonial woodworkers rediscovered a tool called a lathe for the spindles, which dates all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece. Upon rediscovering it in Europe and America, they went nuts with it and used the lathe on every square inch of wood. They were so popular, even the president was sleeping on one.

Abe Lincoln’s bed at the Chicago History Museum was a spindle bed or Jenny Lind.

These beds are referred to as two things: spools for their resemblance to sewing spools and Jenny Lind after the 1800s Swedish opera singer of the same name. Ms. Lind came to America in 1851 on a much-publicized tour and captured the public eye. She was a “national superstar or music idol” long before the likes of Beyonce or Adele.

Johanna Maria “Jenny” Lind (6 October 1820 – 2 November 1887) was a Swedish opera singer, often called the “Swedish Nightingale”. One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe and undertook an extraordinarily popular concert tour of the United States beginning in 1850. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music from 1840.Ms. Lind was said to prefer the colonial-style spool beds during her hotel stays, and the notion stuck. The spool bed has been referred to as the Jenny Lind bed ever since.

Originally the spindles of these highly acclaimed beds were turned and crafted using a lathe operated by a foot pedal, which was a slow and laborious process. Can one just imagine how much effort and time went into crafting each bed?

Talk about an heirloom piece these are truly a work of artistic design, each one was crafted a foot pedal and then Steam power replaced the foot pedal in the later 1800s, making spool beds much easier to “mass” produce, if one can imagine such a thing in the later part of the 19th Century America. Mass production at that time meant about 1 to 5 a week produced with a team collaborating on their creation from crafting the spindles to staining the final bed frame produced.

Dating and Placing spool-turned Jinny Lind beds

The earliest spool-turned beds have long straight lengths of turnings because that was initially the easiest style to produce

1830 – headboards and footboards about the same height

1850s – spool-turned furniture was made with rounded corners because spool-turners developed a method of bending the spool turnings.

These bed headboards and frames showcased and available for the fine collector of antiques and fine arts at Roadrunner Emporium is believed to be dated from the late 1880’s and was submitted to us from an estate collection of 2 bed frames

.Rope Beds

The second unique bed frame being offered is a Rope Bed of similar caliber also of a fine estate collection

.In the 1800s and mattresses were held on bed frames using a woven rope design. These ropes needed frequent tightening to ensure a taut, firm mattress for a good night’s sleep. Hence, the phrase “sleep tight” was born.

The mattresses were often stuffed using straw, shredded corn husks, or down feathers. These materials attracted bed begs, and so over time it became a common phrase to say “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Rope beds were invented in the 16th century and fell out of fashion quickly after the invention of the coil spring mattress in 1865. The history of rope beds is so iconic that even the American Girl Doll Collection crafted a rope bed as a part of their American Girl Doll House furnishings collection.

The Rope Dollhouse Bed (also known as Addy’s Bed) was introduced to Addy’s Collection in 1993. Retail cost was $48. It was combined with the Family Album Quilt in 2011 to form Addy’s Bed and Bedding.

Antique Rope beds are unique finds and very rare to find with all the pieces intact. The unique offering found at Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and More is a true gem in that all of the pieces are intact- headboard, side walls and all of the posts. The wood is dry and aged but for a heritage selection with a little love and care this unique offering is a true gem.

These two unique heritage piece offerings are available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. Profits from the sale of these two heritage items go to Alamogordo’s historic Owens Chapel A.M.E.

Roadrunner Emporium presents Halloween Elegance Decorating Tips

It’s Halloween and the pressure is on to decorate the home but do we really want paper spiders and cobwebs around the home? The color black is our friend. Paint a flower arrangement black, accent with Crafts from Roadrunner Emporium’s local artist and the color black. Have a wreath, a vase and a few accent pieces splash black paint on them and you have a subtle Halloween look that is spooky but elegant in styling. Check out these simple looks…

Halloween decor can be fun, simple and even sometimes elegant. Check out Halloween elegance and the crafts, arts, home decor and more from the 55 artisans and antiquities partners of Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery Antiques and More- 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico we will be opened tonight till 9 pm and opened this Columbus Day Weekend Sunday from noon to 4.

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AlamogordoTownNews.com Politics: Questions for the Mayoral Candidates – Nadia Sikes Mayor Pro tempore Responds

AlamogordoTownNews.com polled our readers and came up with a list of questions for each of the Mayoral candidates of Alamogordo. 

We submitted questions to all three candidates. Alamogordo resident Melissa Gayle Laperuta registered with the Secretary of States office to run for the office of mayor yet she has not responded to a single media request for information mailed to the email registered with the secretary of state to date.  

Others within political circles have commented, she pulled out, as her run would place Susan Payne’s chances at risk by splitting the conservative vote. Rather that is fact or speculation, at this time we cannot prove nor disapprove. The fact is she, has registered with the secretary of state, and there has been radio silence every since.

We also sent requests to the other two candidates for biographies and for a response to the multiple questions we sent. 

The first to respond was Susan Payne telling us she would get information to us soon. Then on September 10th she followed up with us to say…

From: Susan L Payne 
Date: September 10, 2021 at 2:31:52 PM MDT
To: Chris Edwards 
Subject: Re: Candidates for Mayor in their own words

“I wanted to touch base and let you know I haven’t forgot about you. I went on a C planned vacation and while there the organization I operate shared to be the hub for donations for the refugees. Needless to say since I’ve been back I’ve been swamped. I’m planning on shooting you out an email this weekend. I hope this will work and again, I apologize.
Susan

We then went into silence, but got an email on September 29th as a response, after we prompted again for an update…

On Sep 29, 2021, at 7:43 AM, Susan L Payne wrote:

Good Morning,
I have been in quarantine for three past 12 days as I was really sick. Yesterday was my first day back to work in as many days and I’m moving very slow. I’m not sure what event I’m attending out of district but I’m sure it’s just not clicking with me. Along with your extremely long list of questions I also received a series of questions from the Daily news. If I attempt to do them all I will not make either deadline. Since Nicole only had 10 and they came first, I’m working on those now and then will attempt to answer yours. In terms of the invite let me speak with my team and see if that would work for my schedule. Have you received any feedback from other candidates or did you only send this to me? Sorry, you will just have to be patient with me I’ve missed allot of work and allot of valuable time and I now need to get caught up.
Susan

We appreciate the candidate dialog and will continue to wait for a response from candidate Payne, and when we do receive, we will release her response as we are doing so for candidate Sikes.

The same questions were sent to all 3 candidates and Mrs. Sikes responses are below…

Candidate Questionnaire Otero/Alamogordo Municipal Elections Nadia Sikes

1. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Provide a brief biography of your governing and business experience. 

Nadia Sikes Response“Bio previously provided.”

2. AlamogordoTownNews.com – If you have held office please provide 3 pieces of legislation, ordinances, or initiatives that you personally sponsored that were focused on jobs or education. Please provide the outcomes to the legislation since passed…

Nadia Sikes Response: “Legislation/Ordinances/Initiatives personally sponsored: When I first became a Commissioner, I realized the importance of the Commission as a TEAM. It truly does not matter who drives an idea and if the ordinance passes, we are all responsible. I have initiated shortening the time in which fireworks can be set off, allowing back-yard bee keeping, providing funding for public transportation. The Commission’s work with OCEDC and providing LEDA funding has focused on jobs.”

3. AlamogordoTownNews.com – What piece of legislation or ordinance have you passed that you are proudest off?

Nadia Sikes Response: “Proudest of my work with Code Enforcement, with improvements to our green spaces and the Bark Park, Alamogordo Mainstreet and ZIA, our public transportation, our library. Before I initiated the ordinance to require campaign reporting on the City level, there was NO reporting.

4. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Why are you running for office?

Nadia Sikes Response: I have been a City Commissioner for ten years – enjoying every meeting, every event, and every constituent conversation. I have learned a lot about city government and believe that the last ten years has prepared me to take on more responsibility, a larger role in the City.”

5. AlamogordoTownNews.com –  What is your vision for the office you seek?

Nadia Sikes Response: “The Mayor of Alamogordo has the same and equal power as each of the City Commissioners. The Mayor has, in addition, the role of spokesperson, the face of the Commission. My vision: to increase constituent interaction and communication.”

6. AlamogordoTownNews.com – When we sit down 4 years from now what will you tell us you have accomplished while in the office you seek?

Nadia Sikes Response:  More open conversation, more constituent input and a friendlier, easier place to do business. I truly believe we do well but there is some room for improvement.”

7. AlamogordoTownNews.com – When is the last time you visited New York Avenue and shopped or spoke in person with the shop owners of that business district? Specifically what shops and when?

Nadia Sikes Response:  “I am an active participant of everything Alamogordo Mainstreet.”

8. AlamogordoTownNews.com – What do you view as the biggest opportunity and how you can assist with that opportunity for business growth in the New York Avenue business corridor?

Nadia Sikes Response: “By actively supporting Alamogordo Mainstreet, their Great Blocks initiative and making sure the City continues their financial support.”

9. When is the last time you attended a High School Sports program?

Nadia Sikes Response: I have no children and have never attended a High School Sporting event.”

10AlamogordoTownNews.com – When is the last time you attended a High School Academic or Arts Program? Which event?

Nadia Sikes Response: “I have attended the band events, the graduation ceremonies and presented many scholarships over the years. I have been a judge in the elementary school spelling contests.”

11. AlamogordoTownNews.com – What is the last event you participated in at the Flickinger Center?

Nadia Sikes Response: Prior to the Covid pandemic, I attended most Flickinger events. The most recent event was the premier of the Atomic Bomb Documentary.”

12. AlamogordoTownNews.com –  What have you done to support local entrepreneurship and jobs growth the last 4 years?

Nadia Sikes Response: “I attend ribbon cuttings, shop at our retail stores, and eat at our restaurants. I make it a point to maintain a POSITIVE attitude about our businesses. I am responsible for the listing of new businesses that appear each month in the City’s Profile – the publication accompanying 13,200 water bills. Each month the new businesses and renewing businesses are listed with their phone numbers. I also enjoy promoting the businesses, new or not so new, on my radio shows.”

13. AlamogordoTownNews.com –  What have you done to improve upon the blight of abandoned homes and derelict businesses in Alamogordo or Otero County in the last 4 years?

Nadia Sikes Response: My efforts resulted in the demolishing of the Sahara Apartments and the cleaning up of the Tinsley Trailer Park. Sahara Apartments took years, Tinsley is still in process.”

14. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Where do you stand on the Recall of Couy Griffin and why?

Nadia Sikes Response: “I find Couy Griffin’s antics/behavior to be an embarrassment to our county. My limited, personal experience with him has shown him to be a liar, a grand-stander, a chauvinist and a misguided fool.”

15. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Where do you stand on the exposed broken sewer line issues and amending the law so the city would be responsible from the sidewalk to the street?

Nadia Sikes Response: According to our City Manager, our Facilities Maintenance personnel and everything I have read, our ordinances with regard to sewer lines are similar to and mirror the ordinances of most municipalities of our size. I would be open to discussion regarding this issue.”

16. AlamogordoTownNews.com – What have you done to welcome new businesses into Alamogordo?

Nadia Sikes Response: “See item 12 – I attend ribbon cuttings, shop at our retail stores, and eat at our restaurants. I make it a point to maintain a POSITIVE attitude about our businesses. I am responsible for the listing of new businesses that appear each month in the City’s Profile – the publication accompanying 13,200 water bills. Each month the new businesses and renewing businesses are listed with their phone numbers. I also enjoy promoting the businesses, new or not so new, on my radio shows.”

17. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Name the top 5 locally owned businesses that you believe best represent the image you would like to see of Alamogordo going forward.

Nadia Sikes Response: “NO Comment”

18. AlamogordoTownNews.com –  Do you support an arts and cultural zone and diversity?

Nadia Sikes Response: Yes. I am a member of Otero Artspace, I promote arts events on my radio shows, and I attend every art event I know about. I have recently been endorsed by Equality New Mexico, highlighting my dedication and commitment to diversity.”

19. What outreach have you done to build bridges of understanding and collaboration between people of color, the LBGTQ community and local government and the business community?

Nadia Sikes Response: “See my bio. Working with the NAACP, LULAC, Equality NM, etc., I have attended meetings, initiated presentations and workshops to build bridges and understanding.”

20. AlamogordoTownNews.com – How are you funding your campaign?

Nadia Sikes Response: “My campaign is funded by me and with donations from my supporters.”

21. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Would you support a local city and or county ordinance that requires annual reporting and transparency of finances on anyone in elected office with annual reports on campaign fundraising?

Nadia Sikes Response: “Not only do I support financial reporting, I initiated an ordinance on the City level to require campaign finance reporting. There was NONE prior to my ordinance.”

22. Would you participate in a public drop in, questions and answers and/or a public forum hosted at Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue in mid-October?

 Nadia Sikes Response: It would have to be non-partisan and Covid compliant.

23. AlamogordoTownNews.com – Given the job is a part time job and one of public service, would you be willing to accept the position if elected for NO pay and dedicate the public check each month to a local community organization rotating the donation monthly?

Nadia Sikes Response: My job as a Commissioner has been FULL-TIME. I spend all my time working for the betterment of our community and if anything, would support an ordinance to pay our Mayor and Commissioners more fairly.”

24. AlamogordoTownNews.com –  Would you support moving the farmers market to New York Avenue and amending city ordinances to allow weekly events and street fairs?

Nadia Sikes Response: “A few years ago I worked with the Farmers Market folks and actually had the Farmers Market move downtown – moving it from Alameda Park to New York Avenue. I thought it a brilliant way to promote New York Avenue and the downtown businesses. I love the downtown street fairs. The City was enthusiastic about it as well. Some of the downtown businesses did not like it and the market moved back to Alameda Park.” 

(AlamogordoTownNews.com comment, Who? Are those businesses even open at night and early morning? This should be revisited. As an anchor business the way the ordinance is written is what allowed this travesty to the investment happening by new business owners and those actual successful businesses on the street and needs to be revisited.)

25.  AlamogordoTownNews.com – Would you support the growth of more bars, restaurants, galleries, and entertainment venues in Alamogordo’s New York Avenue area? What will you do personally to support growth and revitalization of the corridor?

Nadia Sikes Response: “All growth is good and I would support it!”

26.  AlamogordoTownNews.com – What is the one thing about Alamogordo that excites you the most?

 Nadia Sikes Response: “The opportunity to make us LOOK BETTER! The opportunity to make our green spaces look better, our downtown area look better, our outlooks BE better. We are truly on the threshold of more positivity and, as cheesy as it sounds, we are on the threshold of enlightenment. I want to be a part of our transition!”


AlamogordoTownNews.com – 
we appreciate the feedback and the participation of candidate Sikes in the process of informing the voters of her views. An educated voter is better for all of the community. 

We anxiously await the response from the other candidate and will post her responses upon receipt of it and her updated biography, once provided.

With any set of questions responses bring more questions for specifics in details, examples of progress and a need for more information. Generalized answers or incomplete responses, always lead to suspicion and a feeling of political double speak, but that seems to be the art of politics these days.

We hope this race and whoever the winner of the race is, stays committed to the principles of non-partisan behaviors, shows compassion and empathy, is timely and accepts the role as their primary focus to truly represent the broad diversity of Alamogordo with tact and diplomacy.

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Creative Decorative Towel Making Class Taught by Katheryn Cecava Roadrunner Emporium

Katheryn Cecava leads the class in instruction and creation of beautifully crafted decorative towels for use as decoration, in the kitchen and for gifting. Her Milk & Honey creations are sold exclusively at Roadrunner Emporium and she is going to share the magic of crafting these artisan gems with her class.

Class is approximately 2 hours, supplies included and the fee is 20.00. RSVP by calling 7078806238, or IM us or visit us in person prior to the event.

The class is limited and is offered as a part of our crafts and arts teaching series, sharing the joy of arts, crafting and culture of the Alamogordo, New Mexico community.

Date: 10/9/21 
Time: 10 am
Location: Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo NM 88310
Contact 7078806238
Email cedwards121788@icloud.com

ALAMOGORDO nEW mEXICO mAIN sTREET: nEW yORK aVENUE 1900 TO 2021

Shopping #AlamogordoMainStreet the historic New York Avenue from 1900 to present day, anchored by Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery , Antiques & More 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico. Now is the time to shop local, shop historic, rediscover Alamogordo’s artesian community that makes southern New Mexico so unique. Santa Fe quality Southern New Mexico pricing. Welcome back to the historic New York Avenue.

#AlamogordoMainStreet #NewYorkAvenueAliveAfter5 #RoadrunnerEmporium #AlamogordoCenterofCommerce #ShopLocal #ExclusivelyAlamogordo #2ndLifeMedia #ArtistReneSepulveda #AuthorChrisEdwards