Once upon a time--all good stories start out "once upon a time"--some teachers at Zook School decided that the time had come for them to visit Carlsbad Caverns, and other interesting points in the vicinity. So on November 27, 1941, they put the children on the busses early, locked the doors, threw the keys away, and started on their holiday. They took Lester Adams' new Chevrolet (because that is the only car that would have stood the trip) with Lester as official chauffeur. Glenn McMurry and Sollie Humbargar were his very able assistants. Mrs. Humbargar was treasurer and chief chaperone with inspection every hour on the hour. Margaret Kagarice and Eleanor Compton were along just for the ride.
From left to right: Lester Adams, Margaret Kagarice, I, Eleanor Compton,
Mrs. Humbargar, Solomon Humbargar
They left Zook at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon, with Sollie at the wheel and Carlsbad as their immediate goal. The first stop was made at Texahoma for "fill up"--the car with gasoline and the passengers with candy bars. The next stop was made at Amarillo, Texas, where coffee, etc, was indulged in, and Sollie hit the table so hard he scared Eleanor's headache away. By midnight the party had reached Portales, New Mexico. There a peanut roasting plant was seen. This was a very interesting sight, but the roasters having been called out in the middle of the night to roast 18,000 pounds of peanuts, were none too cordial. Lester purchased a large bag of peanuts that furnished also a chief source of disgust for Lester when he had to sweep out the shells and also for filling station operators whose clean sidewalks they were swept upon.About 4 o'clock Thursday morning they arrived in Carlsbad. Glenn, who was driving, drove out southwest of town and pulled off the road to sleep. In this cramped and most uncomfortable position they "slept" until daylight. The travel-worn, tired group proceeded to White City where they ate breakfast, browsed through the curio shops, and cleaned up a bit. The state of affairs is quite evident in the accompanying pictures. Sollie was so done up he couldn't hold the camera still. Here Lester, Glenn, and Margaret rubbed up against some fresh white paint, so they came away well painted.
The group then went on to the Caverns that were located up in the hills a little way. There they found another curio shop where Eleanor caused no little disturbance by telling them that she was looking for souvenirs for her 25 children.
Words cannot express the beauty and the grandeur of Carlsbad Caverns. Their timelessness makes one feel very insignificant. The sightseers entered the cave at 10:30 and walked and climbed seven miles within the cave, going to a depth of nearly 900 feet. There were 397 people who made the trip that day. Lester and Margaret bet on the number. She bet him a coke that there were less than 600; he bet a coke that there were more than 602. If it was 601, they bought each other malt. She enjoyed her coke very much.

They ate lunch in the Cavern lunchroom over 750 feet below the surface of the earth. Lunch cost 50 cents and consisted of sandwiches, cake, fruit, potato chips, and drink.

Eleanor created a real impression with the feathers in her hat. Every one looked twice to see what they were attached to, and were quite surprised when they saw no crow. Lester thought that there were a lot of cobwebs brushing him on the back of his neck, until he discovered Eleanor behind him very innocently gawking at the scenery.

One impressive place was the Rock of Ages where the people were seated in a natural amphitheater. The lights were all turned out, and the guide said that they were in more complete darkness than they had even seen before. Then a choir sang "Rock of Ages" as the lights were turned on in the distance, getting louder as the lights became nearer and brighter.

In the cave Eleanor saw a girl she had gone to school with at Hayes, and Lester saw a man who used to live at Belpre. It's a small word.

The trip through the cave was completed about 4:00 and they immediately out for El Paso, Texas, about 160 miles west. This proved to be a very long barren stretch with no towns between. This drive was uneventful, and El Paso was reached about 7:00. They had no trouble finding adequate cabins, and while the girls dressed, the boys secured much valuable information from the attendant who was quite familiar with Mexcio. They decided to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Old Mexico, so they crossed over the International Bridge which spans the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico, paying their one-cent to get across, (and two-cents to get back), and entered Juarez, a city of 54,000.

The cabin camp attendant had recommended Lobby No. 1, so they being hungry found it immediately. Lobby No. 1 catered to El Paso society, and many people were there eating Thanksgiving dinner (turkey dinner was $5.00, but being school teachers they contented themselves with $3.00 steaks). Liquor flowed freely and this group from dry Kansas ate slowly so they could see everything that happened. The floorshow was mostly Mexican, however there were two roller skating artists from the States. The food was excellent and the service superb.

After dinner Main Street of Juarez was explored and some curio shops visited. However, no one bought anything that night.

On the way back over the bridge Eleanor and Sollie became separated from the rest of the party. When they found them talking to an official, they were rather worried until Sollie came up and said, "Mother, do you remember so and so who used to go to Wesleyan to school? He's an official here." It's still a small world.Breakfast on Friday morning was eaten in El Paso, and the chief side attraction was two women with a hangover and a dog. Sollie and Mrs. H. saw the better part of the show, because their booth was better situated.

About 9:00 they re-crossed the International Bridge and spent the day in a veritable land of enchantment. Guides were eager to show them the jail and Old Mission, but other things were so pressing that they passed them up and saw these buildings only from the outside.

The market place proved to be the main attraction. It was just like a carnival, with booths along the outside and in rows down through the middle. Having been warned by the cabin camp attendant not to pay the first price asked for anything, everyone did a lot of looking until Sollie's "Jew" warmed up. Then everyone really went to town. When Mrs. H. got a man "jewed" down to 50-cent on lunch cloths, everyone went back and bought lunch cloths. Most time and energy was spent getting Humbargars' and Eleanor's serapes and rugs.

Toward evening Lester began to wonder where he could get a good trailer cheap to carry all the baskets, lunch cloths, pottery, egg beaters, serapes, rugs, and other numerous articles which had been collected.

The outdoor market where the Mexicans did their buying was most picturesque. Meat, including dog carcasses, was hanging out in the open. When it was purchased, the shop man wrapped it in a newspaper. It was quite evident from the display that every part of every animal had been utilized. There were huge cone-shaped bunches of sugar cane and pine pitch was sold for fuel. Some of the booths here were filled with cheap American goods.

An unusual sight was the number of children on the streets, education not being compulsory there. For a penny or a nickel they were glad to carry bundles or let their pictures be taken. These small boys also sell cigarettes--which are very cheap, five packages for 25-cents--going out from a central booth in the market place. One boy, about 8 eight or nine years old tried to sell Lester cigarettes three or four times. On every street corner stood a booth or stand full of bracelets, pottery, and other trinkets. Everywhere you hear, "Bracelets for the lady? Cigarettes for the gentlemen?"

A small native gardenia or rose may be purchased from street vendors for 5 or 10 cents. Margaret splurged on one of these.

Of course no visit to Mexico would be complete without a visit to the bull ring. A school boy---who said he was 15 years old and in grade 1--with slick black hair and flashing eyes displayed the ring. It evidently held much fascination for him, but he said he didn't have money enough to attend these fights. Each Sunday the fights were held, and 3 bulls which were to be used on the ensuring Sunday were in a pen at the rear of the structure.

Men were working on the arena, getting it into shape. One of these quite willingly took a picture of the group. There were two ticket windows, one for the sunny side and one for the shady side. At the front of the building was a plaque commemorating the last fighter who had been killed in the ring in March 1941.

About 4:00 everyone suddenly realized that he was tired and had no dinner, so they started back toward the bridge, taking long last looks at everything.

Probably the most attention commanding thing of the Mexican trip was Confetti; the only Mexican senorita Lester could find who was willing to desert all for him. His heart was taken by a little Mexican hairless dog that he saw early in the morning, but just before he reached the bridge, he saw the man with Confetti, and lost it all over again. They soon struck a bargain, and Lester, thrusting all his packages into the nearest hands, was completely lost to everything but that little soft, furry, brown and white ball. He was a little perturbed when a bystander mentioned that customs officers might not let her across, but he happily had no difficulty there.

Deciding that such a day would not be complete without Spanish food, the famished group decided upon Ashley's, who are famous for all Spanish dishes. A good time was had by all expect Eleanor, who just couldn't take it. The food was excellent even though hot.

It was decided that time could be saved by driving to Albuquerque that evening, so about 8:00 they started on the 200 mile drive north. Lester had some little trouble finding a box and some milk for Confetti, but he finally succeeded, and with a Mexican dish for her to eat from she so wouldn't get too homesick, everything was under control.

Borden's lactarium at the north edge of El Paso proved to be an interesting sight, and a few minutes were spend there watching the cows being milked and the milk being conveyed to the cooler and bottled. The milk is "untouched by human hands" from start to finish.

They reached Albuquerque about midnight and secured cabins at King's Rest. Poor Confetti and Glenn put in an awful night. Confetti wanted her mamma, and she didn't think Glenn was a very good substitute, but he finally moved her close enough to the bed that he could pat her when she whined, and that helped some.

Saturday morning they backtracked to Isleta, an Indian Pueblo, about 15 miles south of Albuquerque. Isleta was a typical primitive Indian village with adobe houses and outdoor ovens. The people were dressed in a mixture of Indian and American fashion. The streets were little one-

track paths', often ending in dead-ends. Red peppers strung on long strings hung from many of the houses.

The Kiva, where their religious ceremonies were held, was a chief attraction here. Glenn incurred the wrath of the natives by looking down into the "bogy hole," and an old man chased the entire party off. Later in town they learned that some fraternity boys' stealing the ladder out of it had caused a near revolution.

Here they also saw the Isleta Mission Chapel. Father Padilla is buried here.
Here also was a weaving industry owned by two brothers about 25 years old. They had twelve or fifteen looms upon which were woven beautiful materials. They employed Indian labor entirely. They said that the Indians were very undependable, coming to work only when they felt like it. Everyone gathered around the bargain table and bought enough ties for all his friends for years to come. After all who can resist a bargain?

In the afternoon the trip toward Santa Fe was resumed. A monument to a Mormon battalion was seen along the way.

Out on the grazing land was an Indian boy tending a large herd of sheep. He was thrilled to death to have his picture taken.
Madrid, New Mexico, a small mining town tucked away in the mountains, was very festive with its Christmas decorations. All over the hills were erected scenes from the Nativity. These were electrically lighted. There was a fascinating "Toyland" scene for the Christmas pageant. All of the nursery rhymes were represented, and many of them were mechanized. It would have thrilled any child.
Every house in town was decorated with evergreen. Many of them had brown paper bags filled with something lined up along the roof. No one could not learn what these were. Later, they learned that $2 is assessed from each miner annually to pay for their lighting. The schoolhouse was very modern and quite elaborately decorated.

An old turquoise mine south of Santa Fe proved to be an interesting sight. The old caretaker and his wife were rare characters. While Sollie, Glenn, and Lester looked in the dump pile for turquoise, Mrs. H., Eleanor, and Margaret talked to the lady who gave a very graphic description of their adopted son and his difficulties. They were very much wrapped up in their rocks, and took great pride in showing their extensive collection.

Many of the sights of Santa Fe were missed, because it was dark by the time it was reached. However, they did see the outside of the Old Mission and the oldest house in town. Supper was eaten in a Chinese restaurant. After supper the dime stores were given the once over.
Eleanor created a sensation with her seal skin coat, feathered hat, and Confetti. Everyone looked around to see which limousine was hers.

The trip from Santa Fe to Raton took until 12:00. The moon was shining brightly and the snow-capped mountains were beautiful.

Sollie and Mrs. H. went to bed, but as usual Glenn and Lester had to eat, so Eleanor and Margaret went along to keep them out of mischief.

The late hours were beginning to tell, because when Glenn and Lester went to get the rest of the party on Sunday morning, they were still in bed. So while the rest of the party dressed, Lester cleaned out the car, and hid the peanuts to insure the job's lasting. The cabins here were the worst on the entire trip--the more they came, the worse they got.

From Raton they proceeded to Trinidad, Colorado. A brief stop was made at Hasty, Colorado; to see Cadoa Dam that is being erected there.
Dinner was eaten at La Junta, Colorado, at Fox's Cafe, where the "service was poor, and coffee muddy" according to the sign. However, the meal was very good. Incidentally, this was also the largest liquor store in the Southwest.
About 7:00 Sunday evening the group reached Larned, and since Glenn still had 35 cents, he took everyone to the Bon Top for a coke. So it was "Home Sweet Home" after 1800 miles of one of the best times anyone ever had.

Prepared by Margaret Kagarice - 1941.

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