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GCH GATHERING OF SANDY'S SENIORS 11-14 AUGUST 2011 TAOS, NM

On the second weekend of August, 2011, some 30 Cibola and Hawthorne folks gathered at the St. Bernard Hotel at the Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. The Ski Valley is at the end of a narrow canyon at 9200 foot elevation about 15 miles northeast of Taos. It is also about 15 miles from San Cristobal, the valley where the Cibola ranch was located. Officially closed for the off season, the St. Bernard Hotel was made available to us privately at modest cost with the assistance of Steve White, former camper and Hawthorne/GDS associate, long time Taos resident and hotel staff member. Fabi Romero, daughter of Gabriel Romero, who maintained the ranch buildings and facilitated many camp events during the Cibola summers, opened her lovely home in San Cristobal for our Friday and Saturday afternoons. The gathering took place without a hitch, and many conversations and discussions took place more or less continuously. Find below a photographic record of the participants and the conversations. The formal invitation to this event can be viewed here. The gathering was not for profit.

Polly Breymeier, Penny Keith, Doris Summer, and Davis Cherington were forced to cancel just before the event. Their deposits helped to fund our breakfast and Fabi's receptions. Peggy Winter, a very busy attorney, was unable to fit in a blitz trip Saturday between court appearances. We especially missed these folks who almost made it.

We present here a number of images from the gathering. Click on the thumbnail to open a full size image. Note that we use original names throughout. The images are arranged roughly chronologically. Please communicate corrections to Steve at:

As you travel through these pictures, perhaps you will find four observations to be true. First, this is a happy group of people; facial expressions, body english, camaraderie, all speak to friendship and warmth; there is no flaming, anger, Tea Party, pretention. Similarly, it seems that on an individual basis our folks present themselves as they are; we are still campers and students, but mostly with our gray hair and wrinkles. Third, the central roles of the St. Bernard Hotel and the repeated afternoons at Fabi's home in San Cristbal kept us together as a large family without cliques - everyone talks with everyone else. Lastly, careful inspection of the images will show that, two months before the death of Steve Jobs, there are only Macintoshes to be seen, and a half dozen at that.

DH11-01. The Rio Grande just north of Española on the way to Taos.
DH11-02. The Rio Grande gorge cutting through the desert just south of Taos.
DH11-58. Thank you, Daphne, for this memory of times past.
SK57-23. In 1957 Steve took this photo of counselor Siegfried George at the view point before Taos.
SK01. On the way to Taos for the gathering, Steve took this image of the same spot in 2011; is that the frame of the same 1957 sign in front of the present one?
SK02. Buffet breakfast at the St. Bernard on Friday morning for some early arrivals. Jane Futcher, Rick Nelson, Sandy Orr, and Ed Epping (Peggy Diggs); Chris White, son of Steve White, in the background.
Friday afternoon at Fabi Romero's home in San Cristobal.
SK03.
SK04. George Thompson (D.H.), Daphne Harwood, John O'Hara, Ed Trickett, Dina Birman (E.T.).
SK05. The table with "Tapas" at Fabi's. The San Cristobal Valley runs below Fabi's home.
SK06. John, Dave Lewine, Dina, Daphne behind Molly Moore and Marcia Agronsky.
SK07. Sandy, Molly, Daphne, Fabi Romero.
SK08. Steve White, Linda Kemper, Cindie White, all living near Taos.
SK09. Dave, Dina, Ed.
SK10. Don Goldsmith, Hale Darby, Richard Bammer (H.D.)
SK11. Laura Sereno, Judy Gilbert, Molly Warner, Jane, Marcia.
SK12. Rick Nelson, Vera Romero (A.R.), George, Adelmo Romero. The key around George's neck is for the room at the St. Bernard. We basically were given free run of the hotel, which was officially closed for the off season.
SK13. Tamara Pinkas (E.G.), Ellis Goldberg, Leo Frank.
SK14. Ricky Lee, Molly, Sandy.
SK15. Jose Leon Trujillo, Dina, Ed.
TP01. Marcia, Molly, Ellis.
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TP04. Leo, Bill Lennox.
TP07. Dave, Lucia Murphy, Fabi.
TP09. Richard B., Ed, Don.
TP10. George, Adelmo, Vera (back toward camera), Rick, Ellis.
TP11. Laura, Judy, Jane, Molly W.
TP13. Fabi, Bill.
DH11-03. Still lives at Fabi's.
DH11-04. Still more still lives
DH11-05. Fabi Romero went out of her way to make us welcome, not only Friday but also Saturday, so that everyone could visit San Cristobal, regardless of travel times.
Saturday continental breakfast at the St. Bernard. Steve White helped us provide a buffet breakfast at the St. Bernard each morning. The self-help character of our stay at the hotel was entirely consistent with the traditions of Cibola/Hawthorne.
SK16.
SK17. Leo, Ned Sommer, Mary Sommer, Bill in foreground. Sandy, Daphne, Jane, Ellis?, Molly W., John, Peggy.
SK18. Molly W., Gail Moerman, Marcia, Peggy, Mary.
SK19. Leo, Sandy, Lucia?, Ed. That's Dina, plus 3 Macs in the background.
TP14. Leo, Daphne, Sandy, Jane.
TP15. Peggy, John, Leo, Bill at back.
TP16. SandyMatic employees, Peggy and Steve. The owner of the St. Bernard Hotel, M. Jean Mayer, was holding a business meeting in the room in the background.
TP17. Ellis, Daphne, Sandy. Leo, Ned, Mary behind.
TP20. Ned and Mary.
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TP24. Steve, Dave, Daphne; Mac heaven.
TP25. Jane and Molly W. Jane, a professional writer who wants to document aspects of Cibola, has her notebook and pen at the ready.
TP27. John and Ed watching the Cibola-Hawthorne slide show. Steve brought his Mac mini and connected to the hotel bar television monitor.
Saturday afternoon at Fabi Romero's home. A second opportunity to visit San Cristobal, thanks to Fabi. Her home is about a mile down the valley from the old Cibola ranch, now a upscale drug rehab. facility for teens.
TP28. Fabi.
TP29. Adelmo, Judy, Ellis.
TP30. Lucia, Adelmo.
TP31. Bill, Hale.
TP33. Sandy, George.
TP34. Lucia, Vera.
TP35. Low-time dormant pilot and high-time current pilot: Steve and Richard Oberdorfer, who flew in Saturday in his own Cessna 172.
TP36. Peggy.
TP37. Marcia.
TP39. Peggy, Judy.
TP41. Lucia, Sandy.
TP42. Jane, Ricky, and his son, Chris.
TP43. Daphne, Fabi, Sandy.
TP45. Ellis, Vera, Rick.
TP46. Ellis, Rick, Marcia.
TP48. Jim Armstrong, husband of Crestina Trujillo.
TP49. Laura, Peggy. Note valley fields in background below.
TP51. Adelmo, Steve, Richard B.
TP52. Steve. The string tie originally was Nat Keith's and is a gift from Penny.
TP53. Steve and Daphne before a camera.
TP54. Don.
TP55. Lucia, Peggy.
TP56. Crestina Trujillo Armstrong and Jim Armstrong.
Sitting down to dinner Saturday night. Steve and Cindie White, who operate the kitchen at the St. Bernard Hotel, prepared a great meal with trimmings, assisted by Linda Kemper and others.
SK20. Waiting. More Macs.
SK21. Almost ready.
SK22. About to eat. Everyone was too busy eating to take pictures during dinner.
After dinner, Sandy victimized those kids present who did not get victimized last year, with their files from Cibola and Hawthorne.
SK26.
TP61. Sandy has been waiting half a century for this.
SK24.
SK23. Here is Ned slowly wending his way forward when Sandy called his name.
TP60. Ned pretending to be happy to receive his file. Ricky, Daphne?, Molly M., Richard.
SK27. In a show of great restraint and humility, Ned was very reluctant to discuss his scholarship at Hawthorne.
SK25. Steve and Cindie relaxing after producing a fine dinner for 35 folks. Gail in the background.
TP63. Rick, Steve, Cindie.
TP72. Bill, Molly W., Mary, Leo, in background Ned, Gail, Ellis.
TP73. Leo, John, Ricky, pouring over documents. Mary at left, Dina in background.
TP76. Richard B. and Hale. In back, Molly W., Linda, Rick, Don, Sandy.
TP77. Ellis, with Ed E. and Linda behind.
TP59. Headmaster and retired principal school bus driver.
TP62. Jane, Ed E., Marcia, Don.
TP64. Daphne, George, Linda, Ned, Mary.
TP66. Sandy also had a collection of old records from Cibola.
TP68. Gail, Rick.
TP69. Steve, Lucia.
TP70. Jane.
TP71. Ellis.
TP74. Judy with Cibola records.
TP75. Don looking at a log book from Cibola.
SK28. Molly M. reading old Cibola records.
TP58. Fabi, Gail, Ellis.
Sunday morning began with the continental breakfast buffet followed by a round table discussion of remembrances and impressions of Cibola, instigated by Jane.
SK29. Jane asked each person who wanted to contribute to speak into an audio recorder that was passed from person to person while she took notes and asked a number of leading questions. Here she is in the foreground and you can just see a corner of her notebook (she filled several during the event).
SK32. Quiet attention being paid by a group of friends connected by the bonds of common adventures. Here Peggy has the recorder in her hand as she speaks. Much of the discussion concerned the nature of our past experience. Jane is taking notes in the background.
SK30. Ed and Dina, with her Mac Air.
SK31. Jane (pen in hand) talking with Steve W., Cindie and Ed in foreground.
After the round table, which lasted a couple of hours, things wound down and it was time for many to start home.
TP19. Jane.
TP21. Mary.
TP57. Ed.
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For the last part of this story we offer a series of portraits by Daphne, who for more than fifty years has recorded faces as well as places.
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DH11-19. Fabi feeding fish in her decorative pond. The San Cristobal Valley has suffered a serious drought in recent years and Fabi is worried that she may have to lose the pond and fish.
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Images by Daphne, Tamara, and Steve.