Follow Me to the Senior Center – “Dancing With the Stars”

By Carl and Jo Ann Hauser
Last month I decided to go down to Alamo and watch a friend play in a softball game. I was sitting in the stands, minding my own business, as usual. On one side of me was a crazy woman who was trash-talking her team, as well as the other team. Yelling things like, “You throw like a girl,” (to an outfielder who actually was a girl). And, did I mention this was a dignified church league? On the other side of me was a two-year-old boy ~ dirty-faced, and drooling, with one fist in his mouth. His other hand was busy climbing the backstop. I meditated for a while to decide with whom I should pretend to be sitting. Ultimately, I had to go with the crazy woman, commonly known as my wife, Jo Ann. During the course of the game she did, however, come up with a great idea for this month’s article:
We could talk about the Sacramento Mountains night sky, just one of our greatest blessings. Besides all the constellations and the Milky Way (Gee, Mr. Hale could cover this topic far better than I ever could!), on any given night as one sits gazing at the stars, the assurance of seeing a ‘shooting star’ ~ a meteorite ~ and even an orbiting satellite is one hundred percent! We may have missed the fireworks on the fourth of July, but did you also miss the meteorite showers at the end of July? The Delta Aquarids occurred on July 28th and 29th, being overlapped by the sometimes spectacular Capricornids on the 29th and 30th. Never fear, you can now plan to enjoy the Perseids, August 12th and 13th. Our low light pollution night sky will be very generous, albeit the moon will be full!
However, the stars we wish to highlight this month are the legendary women of the Senior Center. You may be sitting next to one of our brightest! After extensive research and interviews (about twenty minutes), these are just a few of the tidbits about our fabulous ladies. We promised we would not name names . . . we lied! See if you can match the following ladies to their claims of fame: BJ, Bonnie, Cindy, Ellen, Estelle, Fay, Fran, Geneie, Gloria, Jackie, Jo Ann, Linda, Mabel, Marcy, Martha, Marilyn Monroe, Marty, Mary Lou, Ozelle, Pam, Paula, Peggy, Rachel, Rebecca, Roberta, Robin, Ruth, Sandra, Sandra, Tammy, Val, Wanda.
Our first sweet lady used to sing on the radio; have you heard her melodious voice lately? Along the music strain, we boast a concert pianist in our midst! One of our ladies wished to take guitar lessons as a child, but there was no teacher in town ~ instead she was given violin lessons, and a violin she has yet to grow into! Another sweet thing was a Texas Tech majorette, twirling down the field in 1957! One curvaceous lady even seduced a president! Are you impressed yet? We have a Barrel Racer among us ~ she loves her horses! And one dear lady, the owner of a three-legged cat, hails from New York, via Michigan and Florida. One of our many pet lovers followed her daughters and all their cocker spaniels to Cloudcroft. Says this dog-lover, “This is the best place to live!”
Let’s get into family stuff now. Practically the entire village of Mayhill is populated with the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren of one of the best pie makers in the world ~ are you sitting at her table? Another family we enjoy eating with are the descendants of the Matney family. You know, Matney Canyon and Matney Springs of Capitan Mountain? The family homesteaded there in 1906 ~ have you visited Matney Canyon lately? We have two ladies who spent some time in the convent ~ believe me, these gals are more fun than the Flying Nun! Another sister redefined sibling rivalry and invented speed dating by arranging for three dates for her older sister ~ all in one night ~ and all three showed up! One of our campground hostesses, and frequent luncheon-mate, was from a family of five children . . . all of whom had bright red hair . . . their last name was . . . Pepper! If you join us the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, you may run into the sisters whose family ran a dance studio that was established in the 1930s by Aunt Helen and Uncle Dick of Vaudeville! Yowsers! The mother of one of our ladies was sent from Poland to New York to live and work with relatives ~ alas, she boarded the wrong boat, and ended up in Vera Cruz, Mexico! We are surely blessed her daughter found her way to Cloudcroft! One lady’s husband wrote a book, Footprints in the Snow; copies signed by the wife are available at The Tunnel Stop ~ this husband was also instrumental in getting our Senior Center started!
Did you know we have acclaimed performers? One of us was voted Best Actress of her Junior Class Play at Clovis High School. And then there is the elusive lady with the pale complexion who performs nightly at the Lodge. Do you know who our Roller Queen is? She was the roller Skate Regional Champion in 1958 ~ and Sonic thinks they have skaters! Now, this is s-p-o-o-k-y: someone at this Senior Center hangs out at peaceful, serene cemeteries at night ~ might be a great place for the Perseid Meteorite shower! We have a couple of truckers here; one is expert at backing her 38-foot motorhome into campsites. I do not think I could handle those rigs going forward! Can you believe all this talent?! And there is more!
Can you guess who was working for the FBI in Washington DC in 1968 when Martin Luther King was assassinated? One of our beautiful seniors met her first husband in 1948 while in college in Massachusetts, spelunking in a deep, dark cave ~ sounds romantic. We have at least three nurses in our ranks; one of whom received her degree in 1977 and still holds her license. We have a female ‘altar boy’ from the 1960s. One of our dears taught school in Mountainair for one-half year in 1954 ~ her senior class consisted of only 3 students! Another sweet thing was invited by the US Embassy in Kazakhstan to come there and teach art to special needs students and the students’ providers. She was invited back two years later to do a one-woman show at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Kazakhstan. Another of our artists, who has even sold some of her oils, is proud to claim that all of her male relatives served our country during WWII! We also have a delightful 85 year-old who creates beautiful floral arrangements, including many of the centerpieces that adorned the tables at the Methodist Church High Tea! Speaking of artists, one of our own creates cards and pictures, mostly animals and flowers, using pen and ink, plus watercolor pencils. “Have cake, will travel,” is the motto of an artist of another sort ~ she bakes, caters, and travels all over to delight palates! I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed!
So, come on down to the Senior Center and visit with our Red Hot Mamas . . . “our Stars.” Call the good-time girls, Kathy and Marrianne at 682-3022 to make reservations for lunch, van rides, to sign up for Roadrunner Food Bank (First Wednesday of every month at 2:00), find out about exercise classes, dance classes, bridge and Farkle.

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