Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's Political Picture 2-Old Albuquerque

Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico - circa 1920's
(Courtesy of Zimmerman Library)

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; is populated by forgivers. THE REALM OF THE DAMNED By those who refuse To forgive, themselves.

Today's Political Picture 2 Con't - OLD ALBUQUERQUE

Old Town was surrounded by small farms, open fields and networks of acequias rich with vegetation and wild life. It was possible to walk along the banks and spot such things as asparagus, of La Acequia Madre, (Mother Ditch) and find aspargus, beets and radishes, growing wild at the base of tall willow hedges that served as property boundaries and crop separators.
It was not uncommon to find turtles, minnows, cat fish and sucker fish, even an occasional trout in the tributary waters. Giant bull frogs and, of course toads.
The most common animals were chickens and dogs as part of every household, rabbits, hogs, goats, cows, horses, cats, of course, are necessities in farming communities where adobe bricks are the greater part of the architecture but some people still maintained non poisonous snakes that did a more through job of riding houses of unwanted varmints .. while remaining out of sight.
Bird life was plentiful too, hawks, and eagles were not uncommon, Spotted owls, bats and other varieties of insect eating birds from common sparrows and swallows, robins etc .. Some people kept unusual or semi exotic birds such as canaries, guinea hens, some peacocks, and parrots.
Wild pheasants, and roadrunners. were also abundant., so were grasshoppers, homed toads, lizards and butterflies.
Albuquerque was self sufficient in the food and housing departments since most farms were owned outright by families. The farm that were in trouble were commercial truck farms such as the Blucher farm, or garden. It was the largest farm in Old Town and the employer of more people.
As the depression worsened, Old Towners reverted to the most ancient methods of making ends meet, the barter system.
Many people were employed at the saw mill, the railroad shops and in the new businesses that had sprung up in New Town, but that included people from a!most everywhere in New Mexico, plus many Old Towners, but many farming families felt more secure doing the work that had done for generations. and, many did have other jobs, they never really left the farm. The chores still went on when they came home.
Produce, livestock, arts, crafts, were exchanged for dry goods or services, be it chopping a truckload of wood, drilling for water, helping to build or plaster a house, relocating an out-house repairing and mending saddles, harnesses, or helping out at a mantanza.
Matanzas were community affairs, since there was no refrigeration, meat had to be disposed quickly, and most of those hogs weighed five-hundred pounds or more.
The squeals of the pig that was to be slaughtered was an invitation for everyone within hearing distance to show with their dish pans of assorted kitchenware, plus knives, whetstones and bell­like shavers to dress the kill, returning home with a load of pork for the family table.
Most pork was quickly consumed, although everyone knew of methods to preserver the meat, most people did not trust it, Carne Adovada and home-made sausage were the only two exceptions. Even so, the chile marinated of highly spiced, seasoned and salted pork, even in winter when the cold weather kept things longer. Most people did not own an ice box, and electricity was still some twenty years away. Perishable food was kept in a screened box like affair with wooden slats for shelves, To get to the food one had to either go outside or, if the cooler was built onto the outside of the kitchen window one simply reached out to get what one needed.
Beef, goat, and mutton could be made into jerky, smoked, or pickled, by the way, so could pig's feet, but only the Italians dared to do the same to pork. This writer's father did well for himself selling squabs, aged steaks, italian sausage and prociuto to the Harvey House Restaurant. Matanzas were planned according to the seasons. Hogs were usually slaughtered in the winter time, other livestock, in the spring or summer. Chickens, and rabbits had no season, wild fowl, deer and there was some fishing, but not enough to say that Old Towners were avid fishermen. summer kill could be preserved to eat in winter. Every part of the animal was utilized, especially the organs, skin and bones .the economy did not affect New Mexico. as much as the droughts that hit the state about the same time that Oklahoma disowned its people. Stay tuned. ///fgyl

Albuquerque Street car 1920's-Courtesy of Zimmerman Library

Albuquerque, Old Town, Kids riding Burro circa. 1890's
Courtesy of Zimmerman Library

Albert Congregation 1899-Courtesy of Zimmerman Library
The erecting of a church was a commuvent, Jewish or not.

Los Griegos, Albuquerque before the depression era. circa 1899.
Courtesy of Zimmerman Library

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