Mountainair history celebrated

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Mountainair wasn’t always a sleepy little community situated at the intersection of N.M. 55 and U.S. 60. It was once the “Pinto Bean Capitol of the World,” before great walls of roiling top soil rose day after day, relentless in their destruction. The legendary bean fields simply blew away on horrific winds that laid waste to everything in their path. Devastated families hung on, struggling for survival. Others sold what few possessions they had and struck out, looking for work.

In 2001, several of the grown up children of the bean fields got together and self-produced a musical history of life on the once flourishing bean fields and the soul wrenching struggles that followed as the winds swept away families’ hopes and dreams. The story was told through narrative, poetry and 21 original songs. It played to a packed auditorium.

At the request of the Manzano Mountain Art Council, many of the original 18 amateur musicians, plus a few newcomers to the area, have agreed to once again share the production on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Dr. Saul Community Center on Roosevelt Street, just off U.S. 60. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., and is free to the public with a suggested donation of $5.

Preceding the performance, the dedication of the “Tribute to Mountainair” mosaic will be held at 6 p.m. Photographs of old timers, burned into tiles and surrounded by found implements of days gone by, make up the tribute which is on the east wall of B Street Market on U.S. 60. The mosaic is the latest in a series of mosaics and murals which have been supported by the Manzano Mountain Art Council and sponsored in part by grants from New Mexico Arts and BNSF Railroad.

More information about “Diamonds in the Field” and the “Tribute to Mountainair” mural can be found on the website,

www.ManzanoMountainArtCouncil.org.