Sandoval Signpost
An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  Real People

Out and About

—Janet Shaw

Question: What is the wildest thing you’ve ever experienced in Placitas/Sandoval County?

Winnie Johnson

It was definitely the horse that got stuck in the bath.

I used to volunteer for the Placitas Fire department and one time somebody called us because their horse had got stuck in the bath they used for a watering trough. He had gotten a foreleg and a hind leg wedged in there. We had to jack everything up using bricks and boards. Then the horse popped out. It had been stuck in by suction. Fortunately, there were no broken legs.

—Winnie Johnson

Kimberley Calvo

It was a few years back when Las Huertas Creek flooded. It washed the road out. I live all the way back by the BLM. I had to go home the long way around.

—Kimberley Calvo, chef of Seasonal Palate

Regina Trautwein

Your (the writer’s) dog, Jenny. That dog was wild. Bandita Girl. She swallowed a man’s shoe once and pooped it out whole. She stole the neighbor’s fish from his fishpond and laid them out on the front lawn. She stole the other neighbors’ UPS packages and brought them back as gifts for you. She stole a big chunk of cheese one time and that caused her serious digestive problems. One year she ate all the Christmas gifts you had wrapped up for me. She ate the stollen, the marzipan pigs, the linzer torte, and all the other German treats. Including the wrapping paper! That dog was the wildest thing I ever saw in Placitas.

—Regina Trautwein, housekeeper and jewelry maker

Sarah Shaw

I think it was my thirteenth birthday party. I had six friends over for a sleepover and we watched horror movies until dawn. Then we ran up into the forest and daubed our faces with lipstick and then we ran down the mountain screaming, “Kill the pig, kill the pig.” That was a wild party. My friends still talk about it.

—Sarah Shaw, student and waitress at Blades’ Bistro


If you have a suggestion for a future “Out and About” question, please email it to the Signpost at:

History of Placitas in the Sixties and Seventies

Tony Hull

A year ago, the Signpost printed an article in which I asked the community to send me stories, pictures, and memories of this period. The response has been wonderful. It is said that “if you remember the Sixties, you weren’t there,” yet many have described amazing stories of the Placitas they knew, and I think they were there. Working with the Placitas Community Library, we kicked off a first exhibit in February of this year, “The Placitas 60s and 70s Heritage,”showing a diverse overview of photographs from Tawapa to Dome Valley to Sun Farm and Domesa, from the Thunderbird to Freeform Houses.

At the closing reception for this exhibit, author Roberta Price read to an overflow audience from her new picture book, Across the Great Divide, and added her memories and photos of Placitas. While this was a broad exhibit, it was but the tip of the iceberg of the stories here.

The response to this first show has been great. People who were here then have contacted me from Placitas, all over New Mexico, and as far away as San Francisco, Oregon, and New York. Photos and stories are coming in regularly.

Specific interest in the Placitas Fire Brigade has led to a Placitas Community Library presentation on the Fire Brigade by Winnie Maggiore on December 3 at 2:00 p.m. Wayne Jones has a picture he took that was published in last month’s Signpost showing many of the Brigade members on a fire truck. There will also be an exhibit by Larry Goodell on the Thunderbird Bar in February 2012.

The objective for the “Placitas 60s and 70s History Project” is to provide a framework for those who were here then to tell their personal stories in their own words and with their own photographs and documents. This will make sure that these friendships and experiences can be both shared and saved as part of Placitas’s heritage.

There are two additional Sixties and Seventies focused Placitas Community Library exhibits planned for 2012, and more exhibits anticipated for following years. In September, we will address Placitas’s contributions to the famous and seminal 1970s book Shelter, and have stories and images of the innovative range of houses from the freeforms to domes and zomes to yurts and teepees. In October or November of 2012, we will see a very personal view of Placitas of the period through the eyes of a nationally known photographer.

A group of people here in the Sixties and Seventies, plus the times before and after, are interested in gathering, writing, and sharing their stories of Placitas. Of course, all community members will be welcomed. If you are interested in participating in this group and seeing materials I have received, please contact me at or at 505-771-8566.

Blessings Day project brings holiday cheer

—Nancy Hawks

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church’s “Blessings Day” project is in its tenth year. Blessings Day is a project in which people can share their blessings with those who are in need this year. We provide an outfit and a toy for each child, a family gift, and a complete turkey dinner for the Christmas holiday.

San Antonio Mission has again partnered with the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, which will enable us to reach more families for the Christmas holiday. Over the past ten years our project has grown from helping twenty families, to helping over one hundred families. Last year with your kind donations, we were able to make Christmas a little happier for over three hundred and fifty children. This year, with the economic crisis getting worse, we expect to receive many more requests for help. We have only been able to do this because of the generous donations from the community at large, Placitas Realty, Rio Sierra Realty, Trial Lawyers Association, and many other generous individual donors.

We hope that you or your organization can again help us by providing donations, a gift certificate, or goods to help us meet the needs of the families who live in Bernalillo, Placitas, Rio Rancho, Algodones, and the greater part of Sandoval County area. T & T grocery store in Bernalillo is again providing a convenient way to purchase turkeys for our families. If you wish to purchase a turkey for our families, please go to T & T and purchase one. It will be held until our delivery dates of December 16 and 17.

We will be working again with members of the old CPU unit, which is part of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department, Jardineros de Placitas. We hope you or any other organization can help us help our families.

We will be wrapping the gifts on December 10 and 11 at San Antonio Mission from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We could use lots of volunteers.

If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer, contact Nancy Hawks at 771-4931 or Frances Stephens at 867-3077.

Community drum circle at Placitas Community Center

The community drum circle will be held at the Placitas Community Center on Saturday, December 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. We celebrate the Earth Mother, Grandmother Moon, and Healing Energies with our full moon drumming.

If you have your own drum, rattle, or other music maker, bring it along. There will be extra drums and rattles for those who have never participated in a drum circle. Also bring a snack to share during the evening. This is an alcohol-free event. If this event is successful, there will be more drum circles planned for the community. Come and help make some joyful noise. For more information, call the Richards at 771-3638.



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