Photo by Ty Belknap
Felix, Lawrence, “Creature”,
and Tom keep the smoke outside of Silva’s Saloon, in Bernalillo.
Silva’s Saloon goes smoke-free
Silva’s Saloon wasn’t just the oldest bar in Bernalillo,
it was also one of the smokiest, especially on Sundays when local
motorcycle clubs stopped by on their weekly road trips. Seventy-three
years of historical bric-a-brac on the walls and ceiling bore evidence
of the establishment’s smoke-stained past. Then about six
years ago, proprietor Felix Silva was diagnosed with emphysema and
things began to change.
Smoke ejectors were installed that did a pretty good job of clearing
the air, well enough for most people to breathe easy, but after
a lifetime of breathing second-hand smoke—and contributing
some of his own—Felix was hypersensitive. He had to keep his
oxygen bottle and nebulizer nearby.
Always ready with a joke or a good story, Felix had been a vital
part of the saloon’s historical ambiance for as long as most
customers can remember. Lately he could visit the bar only briefly
before retreating to the back office, where the air quality still
wasn’t good enough.
Throughout March, Felix had such trouble breathing that his daughter
and coproprietor, Denise, nearly dialed 911 on several occasions.
The No Smoking signs appeared on April 1—and it was no joke.
Now the cloud of smoke is gone and you can actually see all the
hats, paintings, license plates, antiques, and other memorabilia,
even up by the ceiling. And best of all, Felix is back.
Denise said, “Smokers have always been our best customers,
but they’ve all been great about it. I’ve always felt
that this place is like family and now I know it’s true. Nobody
has argued or complained.”
A biker known as “Creature,” who is a heavy-smoking
regular commented, “That old man gets what he wants. If it’s
good for Felix, it’s good for everybody. He’s more important
Felix says, “I’m excited to be out here talking to
people again. I should have done this a long time ago.”
That Felix feels better was obvious when he jumped off his barstool
to bar entry to a couple of undesirables—the septuagenarian
looked ready to throw them out physically, if need be.
Denise has been in charge of maintaining order lately, using some
of the techniques she learned as a career first-grade teacher. She
gives stars and other stickers to even the roughest-looking customer
if he watches his language and doesn’t get too rowdy.
The proprietors welcome new customers and the occasional clientele
who were repelled by the smoke to come and enjoy Silva’s Saloon,
smoke-free, located next to the Range Café.
New New Mexico program trains women to run for office
Emerge New Mexico, a new statewide organization with an advisory
committee cochaired by Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish and Attorney
General Patricia Madrid, is giving wings to the political dreams
of the state's Democratic women by training them to run for public
Democratic women in all parts of the state who are interested
in running for office are encouraged to apply for this special program.
Founders of Emerge America attribute the 60 percent success rate
of the program to its rigorous and comprehensive training, one Saturday
per month for seven months, that teaches skills to win elected office,
including organizing a campaign, creating a message, and raising
Applications are available now at www.emergenm.org and must be
postmarked by May 15. For further information, contact Julie Koob,
at (505) 920-6002, or email@example.com.
Not-for-profit donates 10,000 eggs for sheriff’s
posse egg hunt
The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Posse hosted their annual
Easter Egg Hunt on April 16 at the Sheriff's Posse Grounds in Bernalillo.
The event was free, with lunch provided. There were door prizes
for the children, along with hard and plastic eggs to hunt.
Families from Santa Ana Pueblo, Santa Domingo Pueblo, Bernalillo,
Algodones, and other outlying areas in the county participated in
the fun-filled afternoon.
This year, there was an overabundance of eggs, more than 10,000
to be exact, as Bound For Success donated 10,000 “huevos para
los ninos” for the Eggstravaganza. Plastic eggs were stuffed
with candy and money by the junior posse, who spent several days
getting all the eggs ready for the hunt.
Bound for Success operates Nearly New, a repeat boutique that
provides free clothing to women in transition from home to work,
school to work, and welfare to work. They also provide clothing
to victims of domestic abuse who often leave their home with only
the clothes on their backs. The majority of their clients are single,
minority females with at least two dependents. They have less than
a twelfth-grade education and earn less than $10,000 annually. Monetary
donations and gently used clothing are welcome. All donations are
tax deductible. For further information, call 771-8228 or visit
Nearly New is at 836 Camino del Pueblo, in Bernalillo.