2011-03-23, Mike Taylor, Camino Real Historic Trail

At 12:08 ½ PM, our bell ringer in-chief, President Richelle Ponder, dinged the donger and declared the meeting to order. She started by introducing herself as the “Program Chair” but quickly realized she was really our illustrious and exalted president instead. Bruce Darrington gave the invocation and President Richelle led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jim Maxon was again song leader and still being full of the Irish spirit, led us in “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover” which started out strong, faded in the middle, and ended with gusto.

Following another boisterous grip and grin, it was announced Lya Jordan was the mystery guest. The introduction of guests and the donation of Happy Dollars followed. There were no student Rotarians due to spring break and no visiting Rotarians due to our having a reputation for signing off key. Howard Ness introduced his guest, former State Representative J. Paul Taylor, which caused Jim Maxon to lead us in a round of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.Kent Evans, Howard Ness, & Paul Taylor

Blaine Goss gave a brief talk about the Japanese city of Sendai where he lived many years ago. He noted that the tsunami did not hit the city itself, but rather the suburbs that were located on a flat plain that ran to the sea. Mel Parish announced that 16 survey forms concerning the resumption of the international student exchange have not been returned. He reported that if they are not returned by the next meeting, the committee will consider the answers to be in the negative. It was also announced that Kiel Hoffman’s mother had passed away. The club expressed its sympathy to Kiel and his family.

Camino Real mapThe Program

Camino Real logoMarch Program Chair Jim Maxon then returned to the podium to introduce our guest speaker Mike Taylor, son of J. Paul Taylor. Mike began his talk by noting that he was a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student to Brazil back in 1968 and what a great experience it was for him. Mike, as an employee of the National Park Service in Santa Fe, has the primary responsibility of overseeing the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Royal Road to the Interior) National Historic Trail. He noted that the trail was begun by Juan de Onate in 1598 when he lead a caravan of 83 fully laden carts up the trail to the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo just north of Espanola on the Rio Grande. (The Villa de Santa Fe would be established in 1608 to relocate the Capitol away from the Pueblo.)

Mike stated that the Camino Real would carry traffic for 300 years of Spanish, Mexican, and American rule until the advent of the railroad. He displayed a picture that showed how closely the Trail parallels I-10 north of Las Cruces. Mike TaylorHe pointed out that 2/3’s of the trail is in Mexico, so the Park Service works alongside a sister organization in Mexico to preserve and interpret the trail. He noted that portions of the trail in Mexico have been designated World Heritage Sites and hopes that the U.S. portion can achieve a similar designation in a few years. Because the Park Service doesn’t own the land the trail is on, he works closely with the owners including the Bureau of Land Management and other organizations. He noted that the NPS works hard to interpret aspects of the trail through signs and displays. He also cited the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the El Camino Real International Heritage Center, and Fort Seldon as having excellent displays about the history of the trail. Mike then went on to show some of the threats and challenges to the trail including development, wind and solar farms, ATV’s, vandalism, and the spaceport. Questions and answers followed.

After the Program

Bill Harty won the drawing and Paulina reported that the can collected $72 for the club’s beautification project. President Richelle announced that there would be a club party in June for new members and their sponsors. They would get to eat steak while the rest of us will eat beans. (Bar-be-qued with pork, I hope.) The moral of the story is to bring in a new member between now and June (so far only 6 have done so). The meeting ended with a recitation of the Four Way Test. A number of members then stayed to visit with J. Paul Taylor. 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest  Host
Janet McPherson Robert McPherson
J. Paul Taylor Howard Ness
Judith Ames Lyn Ames
Tom Taney Lya Jordan

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club
NADA (again...three w  eeks in a row)  

Student Guests

Student School


Rotarian Date Club

Submitted by Ron SalakRon Salak