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Block by Block Piecing Together Central New Mexico's Past: The Homesteaders by Gail D'Arcy
Histories of the homesteaders and families of the Progresso and Cedarvale, New Mexico, area

Throughout reading these personal recollections, I was often surprised by the reporting of simple but very detailed incidents--events that would seem not to have any particular relationship to the story being told. These events, however, remain solid images that are passed down through the generations by the telling of stories; our oral histories. Several other things caught my attention, the number of children who died young and the awful illnesses with which they were afflicted. But, by contrast, the number of persons suffering from respiratory illnesses that improved their health from the New Mexico climate. My favorite stories were about the amazing pets, each one referred to by their given name, from horses to squirrels, they were special.

The harsh reality of these times seemed to foster affection and caring for one another; their families and their struggling neighbors. They hung together. They worked with and for each other. Times were tough but they took time to play; to socialize, to learn and to worship.

I am most grateful to those who generously took their time and their efforts to frame some pictures in our minds of life in the early 1900s in the New Mexico area. --Gail D'Arcy

Gail D'Arcy is also author of The Boys from San Francisco, a story of living with famous San Francisco architect Clifford Conly and The Coffee House Chronicles, a business she started in Sonoma County.

 

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