Sunday, December 23, 2007
Click on the image to make it larger. This image is part of the one on my previous post. Just separated it.
This is the back of my grandparents house in Rowe, New Mexico in 1955. There is a peach tree on the left some measly Lilac bushes behind by the window. The wood pile by the bushes and the remnants of an old corral, now being used as a chicken coop. If you look carefully from the house diagonally to the upper right hand corner you can see the path to the out house.
The front of the house faces North East towards where I-25 is today. The approach to the exit as you drive between Las Vegas and Santa Fe would have been visible from the front porch. But that was years in the future.
The house was a "jacal" built by my grandfather Roman Benavidez. A "jacal" was built by using juniper or pinon trees standing upright. They were inserted into logs that had been shaped to accept them as a foundation and a header. The logs were then chinked with mud and plastered with mud over that. The roof was an "azotea". That being logs used as "vigas" and, in this case, boards placed across the vigas and mud plastered on the roof several inches thick, sometimes up to a foot.
I spent many nights there with them. There were no electric lights, water was carried from the spring in the arroyo about 200 yards away. The house had a large kitchen, a "dispensa" or pantry and 2 bedrooms. One bedroom they used and the other one was for when someone came over. The kitchen served as a living room too.
For entertainment in the evenings we used to play card games, or look through the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Sometimes my grandparents would tell us stories of the old days or read from a book titled "Mil y Una Noche".