Sunday, June 24, 2007

Las Cruces, New Mexico

In 1978, twenty-nine years ago, I commissioned an artist to create an oil on canvas painting of the desert in southern New Mexico. The result is the 25" X 49" painting above which shows the landscape and sky as seen from the valley of Las Cruces. The Organ Mountains are in the background. On the other side of that mountain range are White Sands and Alamogordo. (As an Army soldier in 1967, I spent three weeks in that area to participate in field tests of shoulder fired, heat seeking, anti-aircraft missiles called red eye.)

I made around twenty-five business trips from North Carolina to Las Cruces between 1975 and 1990. I was fascinated by the blue sky, clouds, desert, mountains, cactus, tumbleweed, the fertile valley, pecan orchards, stockyards, irrigation ditches, water management practices, and, of course, the people I worked with in the manufacturing plant. I recall names like John Rumsey, Freddie Gomez, Stan Smith, Chris Allen, and Jim Speas. We, along with hundreds of employees there, worked diligently and served our company and its consumers with sheer hosiery needs.

I wanted that picturesque image on canvas. Joan Kolody, a young artist at the time, was the person who painted this original. I continue to own and enjoy her painting. I occasionally stare into the desert scene and recall that period in time, the people I knew there, and the consumer products we manufactured in the plant.

If anyone knows Joan Kolody, please show her this page and ask her to email me via this blog.

Have a good week!


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