Saturday, June 9, 2007

Recycling in Rowe New Mexixo circa 1950 - 1960

You could recycle almost everything in Rowe, New Mexico in the 50's and very early 60's. Pig iron,, brown paper bags, pop bottles, tin cans, copper, lead etc. Even newsprint was recycled! As was the old Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs. They ended up as kindling for the wood stoves or in the outhouse as toilet paper. Everything seemed to have a second and even a third and fourth life as something other than its intended purpose when the item was manufactured.

Paper bags could be sold at the Midway Bar and Groc. for a penny a piece.

Folks there would actually use the tins of sardines and hook them together with wire or string to make toy trains.... At least that is what my grandfather told me my string of sardine cans was. My grandmother had jars of every description painted blue and filled with everything. It depended on the size of the jar. But the paint was always blue..... The color you still see around a lot.

Base balls were made of tightly rolled up string of every size and then taped with black cloth tape. Baseball bats were mended and taped until the bat was useless. Old baseball mitts were sewn again and again.

My padrino, Telesfor Archuleta, made me a wheel barrow out of an old metal wheel and some leftover lumber he had been saving. It was not a toy, it was a working wheel borrow.

I still have an old hoe that used to belong to my grandfather, Roman Benavidez, it had been repaired many times. Sometimes he did it himself and sometimes they were sent to Mr. Polinar Encinias, who had a blacksmith shop and who would do repairs on most anything made of metal.

Everyone had an old inner tube to make sling shots or rubber bands. Old tires were some of our favorite toys. Everyone had his or her favorite tire. New soles and heels  for shoes were made from old tires. Cut up and made to resemble a flower were favorite planters.