Because of the dearth of newspapers in our town, several friends have come to the rescue of the woman from Ima and have provided papers from many other areas. One friend comes from Las Vegas at least once a week and brings several copies of the Albuquerque Journal, thus giving me a few days of great reading even if the news is not exactly current. Recently, he decided to add copies of the Las Vegas Optic and unknowingly reintroduced me to a friend from the 70s, Editha Bartley of the Gascon Ranch near Rociada.
My dear friend and mentor, Dr. Marion Hardman introduced us back then when she spent several days at the dude ranch run by Editha and her husband. She invited me to spend a day there in order to meet the owners and to have the chance to enjoy the beautiful countryside. A year or so later, Dr. Hardman and I took her three granddaughters to that ranch to let those girls learn a little about life in the country.
We spent about a week there and certainly remained active. The three very young girls needed constant attention because they knew nothing about ranch life or about any dangers in nature. Fortunately, I was still rather agile and could keep up with them most of the time.
I’ll never forget the day that Editha and her family saddled four horses and told me I could ride herd on those three girls. The one thing in life I could do well was to ride a horse, but I wasn’t used to herding three little girls who might decide to ride off in three directions. We had many near accidents but no one was hurt, and we even manage to return to the corral without getting lost in the forest.
Many such memories arose as I came across a column written by Editha Bartley. She writes a weekly column about her life in that beautiful country and about her family. As I have read several of her columns, I have felt that we could pick up where we left off all those years ago and could have some great visits. She has mentioned members of her family and some of their experiences on the ranch. She also writes about the neighbors and about her own youth in that area.
We never know when we will have the opportunity to become reacquainted with a friend from our past. Such experiences make us aware of how fortunate we are to have so many friends from so many places. I would not have met Editha had she not advertised their dude ranch in The Saturday Review Of Literature, a magazine much perused by my mentor. When she read that ad, she decided to investigate and formed a lasting friendship. She also met people from all over our nation there during the years and certainly enjoyed the hospitality of a southwestern family.
Editha still lives on the ranch, but it is no longer a dude ranch. I hope we will have a cup of coffee one of these days and will have time to remember the experiences we shared briefly.