treasure in Corrales bookstore
Booksellers Gary Wilkie and his wife, writer Marilyn Stablein,
have opened a new bookshop, Acequia Booksellers, in Corrales. Shoppers
in the north and west of Albuquerque and local Corraleños
will now have a store of their own featuring fine used and rare
hope to provide exciting discoveries for customers in every price
range—from unusual items in trade paperback format to truly
rare inscribed and handmade books,” says Gary Wilkie, who
has been a bookseller for over thirty years.
first shop was in the North Beach area of San Francisco in the early
seventies. In 1980, he opened a store in Seattle’s Belltown
district, which is where he met Marilyn. Together, they most recently
owned and operated Alternative Books, near Woodstock, New York,
in the Hudson Valley.
among the shelves at Acequia Booksellers, visitors will find one
of the strongest collections of twentieth-century poetry in the
area, a large number of signed and inscribed books, a large Western
Americana collection, twentieth-century art (including rare material
from avant-garde movements), twentieth-century fiction (including
many first editions and signed items), many rare items from 1700
to 1900, literary magazines, and a general collection of books in
the areas of history, metaphysics, religion, photography, architecture,
and much more.
and Marilyn have extensive backgrounds in the literary and publishing
worlds. Gary’s Workingman’s Press published Sad Dust
Glories, a book of poetry by Allen Ginsberg; he also worked in book
distribution and was a buyer for Bookpeople, in Berkeley, and the
marketing director for the Anthroposophic Press, in Hudson, New
York. Marilyn is the author of six books, most recently a memoir,
Sleeping in Caves: A Sixties Himalayan Memoir. She also teaches
writing and has founded a number of literary organizations, including
a literary center in Seattle and a publishing network in New York.
are always welcome in the bookshop, and Gary is always interested
in buying interesting books and collections.
Acequia Booksellers, 890-5365, 4436 Corrales Road, in Corrales,
is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
High Desert Gardens offers unusual
new service for the do-it-yourselfer
If you can’t afford to have your home professionally
landscaped, then how can you do it yourself and still wind up with
a professional-looking design?
Sure, you can call a landscape designer and pay to
have your design drawn by a professional. Typical design services
start at $50 per hour and go up from there. Minimum design time
is around ten hours, but that could easily triple. For that kind
of money you could buy a large part of the plants for your yard.
A few serious gardeners can do a passable job on
their own, but they can’t hope to do as professional a job
as someone that does thousands of designs over many years: a landscape
designer-horticulturalist who actually draws plans, has a crew,
and owns a nursery.
While living in Texas, Mike Dooley decided just to
give his clients the design if they would buy the plants from the
him. Mike knew that to make any money at this he had to do two things.
First, he had to reduce the time involved in creating a design while
maintaining the highest quality. Second, to compensate for the lost
of the design fee, he had to increase volume.
He gave away around 150 designs in four months! Local
radio and TV producers wanted interviews. He was given his own garden
show on a local radio station. Finally, he was doing garden segments
on the evening news in San Antonio.
He had solved a problem, provided a much-needed service, and even
made a buck or two. Then he sold the idea and the business, moved
to Rio Rancho, and started all over.
The revised and improved version of his innovative
service involves the use of a special type of laptop computer created
to help a designer produce a design in about thirty minutes, right
in the client’s yard. The do-it-yourselfer can then use the
plan to install the professional-looking design. To receive the
free design, the client buys a voucher from High Desert Gardens
for a minimum of $500 which can be used to buy plants, weed barrier,
edger, or compost. Professional installation is also available.
The service is called Landscape Design Express. The
kickoff is scheduled for fall planting. For more information, call
Mike Dooley at 400-0257.
The best hardware store in the world
TaGrMo took over this designation when Mizener’s
Hardware, along with almost every other small business on Main Street
in my hometown, was driven out of business by the big-box stores.
Mizener’s and TaGrMo had a lot in common: hundred-year-old
building with wood floor and punched metal ceiling, friendly and
helpful service, place in the community, etc.
The main difference is that TaGrMo is still in business
after twenty-eight years in Bernalillo. Co-owner Helen Abousleman
admits that her store has lost 20 percent of its business since
Home Depot came to town last year, but says, “We’re
thankful for the support of a lot of loyal customers who realize
that we still offer better service and convenience. We check to
make sure that our prices are competitive, and after all these years,
we have learned to tailor the inventory to fit the needs of local
At any given time, any of the TaGrMo personnel, including
owners and managers, may be helping customers on the floor. They
include Helen’s husband, Ron, longtime Bernalillo town administrator,
who recently retired from public service, and son Greg, a mechanical
engineer who specializes in upgrading the computer systems.
Helen said that manager Karla Miera has worked at
the store for twenty-five years and knows it “from top to
bottom.” Helen also feels fortunate to have in her employ
two former hardware-store owners who specialize in complete paint
and plumbing departments.
True Value paints are highly rated by consumer studies,
and TaGrMo has recently added a paint computer that can match color
samples of any brand.
My favorite place in the store is the two full nail
bins, where you can weigh out as little as a quarter pound while
discussing a project with other shoppers or the ever present salespeople.
You can select and buy just one nut or bolt from another aisle full
Helen says that True Value doesn’t dictate what
merchandise is provided by the TaGrMo, so they have flexibility
when special ordering and and don’t have to order items by
the thousand. “People should realize that they can enjoy shopping
and save time here. We’ll even help you load cement, lumber,
and roofing materials.”
Studies show that of every $100 spent at local businesses,
about $45 stays in the community, compared with $13 from a big box.
For more information or to make sure they have what you want, call
TaGrMo, at 867-3321.
New Sandoval County Small Business Development Center open for business
If you’ve been dreaming of opening a small
business in Sandoval County or expanding your current business there,
help is on the way. The brand new Sandoval County Small Business
Development Center is up and running. The center is at 237 Camino
Del Pueblo, in the Bernalillo Town Site. It shares space with UNM-Los
Alamos Bernalillo Site. UNM-LA will act as the administrator of
the Sandoval County SBDC.
The new center was made possible through a $150,000
grant from the state of New Mexico.
“The Sandoval County commissioners felt it
vital to establish a full SBDC center in the county, and they authorized
me to help obtain the funding,” said Gayland Bryant, Sandoval
County director of public affairs. “We worked with the SBDC
to support their recommendation to the state legislature. This will
be a great thing for our county and we’re delighted that the
legislature agreed with that opinion.”
Donna Wylie, director of tourism and economic development
for Sandoval County, agreed. “We had strong support from our
state legislators,” she said. “This a one-time grant.
Within a year, we must prove that we’re up and running. We
feel confident that the legislature will reauthorize funding. Sandoval
County has been an underserved county and the potential here is
Maria Rinaldi, Bernalillo’s director of community
development, is looking forward to working the new SBDC. “The
center is critical for business development and business expansion
here in Bernalillo,” she said. “It’s something
we’ve been desperately lacking.”
The Sandoval County SBDC has hired Howard J. “Ward”
Hickey, Jr., as director and will add two business consultants and
an administrative staff member soon. The future SBDC staff plans
to visit all communities in the county. Hickey wants the people
of Sandoval County to know that the office is open and invites community
residents to stop in at their convenience. To contact Hickey, e-mail
the Sandoval County SBDC at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call at 771-4071.