Tag Archives: Childhood memoires

Memories of New Mexico~Part 11

7 May


Judy Wills



 More Random memories of New Mexico…

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico from the time I was nearly four years old, until Fred and I married, and we moved to Fort Worth, Texas.

There were several movie theaters in town – surprising for a town the size of Albuquerque at that time. I remember the nearest one to me was the Lobo Theater – it was also close to the University of New Mexico (UNM), and their mascot is the lobo, so it was probably named for that. After closing in 2000, it was purchased by a church.


Credit to Google search – The Lobo Theater in 1938 photo courtesy of Dom Otero

Here’s a story I gleaned from Google Search:

Ms. Blanche Hatton, as the family story goes, was the manager of the Lobo. For about four decades.

Miss Hatton was closing the Lobo late one night (she was alone in the theater) when, with the “petty cash box” in hand, she was met with an armed intruder in the Lobo lobby.

“Give me the cash!” the robber demanded.

“You want the cash?” Miss Hatton asked. “Here,” she said, “take it!”

Miss Hatton hurled the cash box at the intruder. The weight of the contents of the box was sufficient to knock the pathetic, hapless robber unconscious. When the cops arrived, the bad guy was arrested, and Miss Hatton deposited the receipts early the next morning. By the way, she was close to eighty years old when she took out the punk who was 60 years her junior.


There was also the Hiland Theater. It was more “uptown” and closer to my high school, which was Highland High School. Seems like I remember going to movies there quite a bit in my high school years.


Credit Google Search


And there was the Sunshine Theater, which was right downtown. Downtown’s main street was Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66. Yep, right through the middle of Albuquerque was U.S. Route 66. We really enjoyed when the song came out – I Got My Kicks on Route 66. It felt like we were part of history, or something.


Credit Google Search and Joe Vogel


The Sunshine was opened on May 1, 1924, and was Albuquerque’s first big movie palace. By the looks of those cars, this photo was taken about that time.

Another theater where I spent a lot of time, was the State movie theater. I’m not even sure this theater is still in existence. One comment I found said there was some water damage to the floor of the building and it was closed temporarily, some time ago. But it was a nice building when I was young, and a great place to spend an afternoon at the movies.


Credit Google Search and Don Lewis


Next time I’ll talk about one more movie theater – and one of my favorites in Albuquerque, so…..stay tuned!


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~


Memories of New Mexico~Part 6

9 Apr


Judy Wills


I really love New Mexico. I actually don’t remember anything about living in Dallas, Texas, but then, I was only four years old when we moved from there to Albuquerque. I think the “memories” I have of the house in Dallas are from pictures I’ve seen, and the stories others have told me about it.



I do have one memory of Dallas – we attended the First Baptist Church in Dallas. I have a very vague memory of black-and-white tiles on a floor, and the smell of Pinesol. Mother told me that the nursery at the church had a floor like that, and that they used Pinesol as a cleaner. But that’s it!

Now, New Mexico…that’s a whole different story. I’ve given you pictures of our house – we lived in that house the entire time I lived there. It wasn’t sold until after my father died – and mother lived there more than five years until she married again and they moved into an apartment.

I had a most unique experience with that house in later years. It was in 1993, when my mother died. Fred and I, as well as my brother, Bill and his wife, DiVoran, flew out for mother’s funeral. Our oldest daughter, Karen and her husband, Brian, decided to drive from South Carolina to Albuquerque for the funeral, as well. On this particular day – the day after the funeral – Fred and Bill had stayed at the apartment to arrange shipment of some of mother’s things that each of us wanted. Brian drove his car with Karen, DiVoran and myself in it. I wanted to show him where we had lived and grown up.

We drove to the house, and he stopped the car in front of the house. As we sat, looking at the house, with me describing what was where, the couple who owned the house, came out and looked at us. I rolled down my window, and assured them that it was okay – that I had grown up in that house. I nearly fell out of the car when they asked if we would like to come in and see it now. Remember now, it had been about 22 years since I had been in that house!

I was NOT about to pass up that invitation!! So we all piled into the house. I would point out things for Brian – I think Karen might have been a bit too young to remember much about it, as well – and tell what we had then. When we arrived in the kitchen, I mentioned that mother had painted the cabinets pink, and that we had green linoleum on the floor. The husband looked at me and said, “ I remember stripping pink paint from those cabinets!” DiVoran and I then explained that mother had pink plastic (like Melmac) dishes, and she wanted to “match.”



Pink cabinets, green linoleum – Granny holding Trixie, Mom, Boots the cat, all in the kitchen

When we got to the bathroom, I told them that we had green tile around the tub/shower. Again, he looked at me, and said, “I tiled white tiles over those green ones.” I guess it showed him that I had, indeed, grown up in that house. I told him how mom and dad had added the patio and cover that joined the house to the garage. They had a large bamboo shade that they could roll up or down, depending upon whether the sun was beating down on it, such as at supper time. We enjoyed many, many meals out on that patio.

I still think it was quite brave of that couple to invite four strangers into their house!

More memories to come…..


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~


My Dad Changed the Family DNA

14 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

I have been hearing about DNA Encoding. It seems that when a very traumatic event occurs in a life, it can affect the DNA, and future generations will have an irrational fear due to it. Well my dad was way ahead of the science. He didn’t give me an irrational fear but he did change the family DNA.

Me and dad

Me and dad

As a kid, if I got mouthy around him and THE LOOK from my mom didn’t work, he would grab the hair on the top of my head and pull until I was standing on tip toe. I hated having my hair pulled so I calmed down pretty quick. When our son came along, he did the usual kid thing of throwing himself on the floor and pitching a fit. Nothing worked to stop it. Finally at wit’s end, I reached down, grabbed his hair and pulled him off the floor. (Amazing how one’s body will follow the hair) It worked. Unfortunately, he did this frequently so a lot of hair pulling went on. Now I know, some people will be appalled by this, but it took the drama out of the situation.

When he was in kindergarten, his teacher asked him why the hair on the back of his head always stood up. His reply “my mom pulled it so much it stuck that way.” Embarrassing. Fast forward twenty years and he has a son whose hair sticks up in the same place.

I love this guy!

I love this guy!

My dad gave me a final hug twenty-three years ago today. I still miss him.

Family Treasures~Part 5

3 Jul


Judy Wills




Last time, I introduced some things that were in my Aunt Jessie’s house. Since she and Granny lived so close to us, I spent a great deal of time at her house. When she died, I wished I could have just taken everything in her house and put it in mine. But then Fred said, “where would we put it?” and I had to let it all go. That’s probably the hardest part of it all – letting it go.

As I mentioned before, Aunt Jessie never married, and so “things” became the focus of her life.


Grandpa started her on the road to loving antiques, and she never quit. She would go to estate sales around Albuquerque and pick up what she wanted. Occasionally, I would go with her on these jaunts. She furnished her house with some REALLY good antique furniture. She was, at one time, the President of the Antique Club in Albuquerque. After she died, Mother was given the name of an estate auctioneer that might be of some help to us. He came to Jessie’s house, and his gaze was going from this-to-that the entire time he was talking to us. He finally blurted out: “this is some of the best Victorian I’ve ever seen!” Jessie really knew her stuff.


We held the auction – and the auctioneer suggested we hold it in her house, as it was the best setting to showcase what was there, and so we did. He advertised the auction in papers in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. From what we understand, there were about 500 people who came for the auction – and they did, indeed, sell everything “down to the carpet.”

While I don’t have any of these antiques in my house now, here are some of the beautiful things Jessie had. We know they are scattered to four winds now, but we hope and pray that everyone who found something, loves and enjoys them as much as she did.


All these “things” remind me of my Aunt Jessie, whenever I see them. They might not have been in my parent’s house, but they are still family treasures to me.

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