Uplifting the Spirit using my voice & talent.

June Highlights

Wow, what a month it’s been!  June has flown by–now half the year is over!

I wanted to share some of the awesome events I’ve attended and show you a couple pictures.  The month kicked off with the Chama Book Fair on June 4-6.  The featured speaker was David Morrell, the author of the book “First Blood” which launched the Rambo movies.

Carla Aragón and David Morrell

David has written dozens of books, including “Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing.”  He showed the group a documentary on the making of Rambo and talked about how it launched his writing career.  I learned that the character “Rambo” was modeled after War Hero Audie Murphy and the name Rambo was inspired by an apple David bit into (The Rambo Apple).

This was my first book fair and it was terrific.  I met some wonderful folks from Chama and other New Mexico authors (and bought many of their books).  I sold several of my books and CDs.  Special thanks to Jill Lane for organizing the event.


Next stop on the June Tour was Nambe, New Mexico at the Estrella Del Norte Wine Festival on June 12th.  The vineyard is owned by my cousin Eileen Vigil Reinders and her husband, Richard.

Friends at the Festival

Despite the gusts of wind that challenged all the vendors, there were tons of people who went.

The night was capped off by an exquisite Wine Dinner.  Salud!


June 19th was date for a Book Reading and Broom Dance Demonstration at the Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in Santa Fe.  If you haven’t been to the museum, try to visit.  It’s up on Museum Hill and it’s a wonderful place–great exhibits and history of Spanish Colonial Art.

The Spanish Colonial Art Museum has asked me to Emcee its Young Artists Presentation during Spanish Market on the Plaza at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 25th.  I’ll have a book signing right after at 12:30 p.m.  Come on by!


For those of you who know me, I’ve tried to help in the fight against Cancer.  On June 25-26th, my stepdaughters hosted a Silent Auction and Golf Tournament for the Lasso The Moon Foundation which benefits Cancer patients and their families being treated at the New Mexico Cancer Center.  I donated a book and CD with a School reading for the Silent Auction.  Many thank to Kathy Kunkel who got the winning bid and to everyone who donated and bought dozens of cool items.  Close to $20-thousand dollars was raised for Lasso the Moon.  Kudos to Sarah, Jamie, and Katie.


And finally, I got a chance to do an appearance in the Village of Los Ranchos where I live.  I did a book signing on Sunday, June 27th at the Village Barn during the Lavender Festival.  It was wonderful visiting with the crowd and friends I hadn’t seen in a while.  Many Thanks to Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhett from the New Mexico Book Coop for spearheading the booth and signings.  They have helped many New Mexico Authors on so many levels!

Article on Carla

July Issue Albuquerque The Magazine

Barbe also wrote an article on me and the book for the July issue of  “Albuquerque Magazine.”  It’s on page 211–and I got two pages!  Yahoo!  Mil gracias Barbe and Albuquerque Magazine!


June 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Owner of KDCE Radio, Richard L. Garcia Broadcasting, Inc.

Ask Richard L. Garcia what he loves best, and he won’t skip a beat to answer: “play country music and sports.”  As owner of KDCE-AM Radio in Española, NM and Richard L. Garcia Broadcasting, Inc, Garcia does both.  On Saturday mornings, he is the DJ on Country Gold, a four-hour music program featuring old time country music, and Richard is a long time sportscaster who is dedicated to promoting girls and boys high school sports.

70-year-old Garcia actually got his start in radio in 1959 doing sports with Ivan Head.  He then went on to work at KVSF with Ernie Rivera, and after a stint in the service, he came back to Santa Fe in 1963 to work with Johnny Vigil at KDCE.  He never left.  Richard worked for three owners– first, Former Governor John Burroughs, then brothers George and Blackie Gonzales, and then a man from Chicago–before buying “Que Dice 950-AM” in 1989.

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May 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Watch as Mary Ann Orate and I discuss Baile de Cascarones!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

March 30, 2010 Posted by | Baile de los Cascarones | Leave a comment

Book signing at Cosmetic Artistry

I woke up Saturday morning and there were large flakes of snow falling to the ground. I love the snow and we definitely need it, but it’s not a good sign if you have an event planned for the day.  I scrambled to drive up north for the book signing in Santa Fe.  Actually, the roads were clear as I drove up.  When I arrived in the City Different , the sun started to shine and warm up the day.  It was perfect!

Signing Books

Several friends and family members came by Cosmetic Artistry to buy a book and have them signed by me, Socorro Aragón (my mother and the book’s Spanish Translator), and George Gonzales (my uncle and the book’s other Spanish Translator).  It was the first time we had done this together.

My Helpers

As you can tell, this project has been a family affair.  Special thanks to Michelle Marmion and Dora Anaya (my sisters who own the shop), AJ Anaya (my nephew who handled the money), Miranda Anaya and Socorro Ojeda (who assisted with the crowds).  Here are some pictures of everyone who came.  Thank you all!

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March 26, 2010 Posted by | Baile de los Cascarones, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Every once in a while, I’ll hear my peers complain about the younger generation…“they’re lazy, distracted, unreliable, and spoiled.” That may describe some young people, but certainly not Brittany Marmion. 25-year-old Brittany is a shining example of a young woman who works hard and plays by the rules.

Brittany graduated from Nursing School at the Santa Fe Community College in December with a 3.7 Grade Point Average. She was chosen to represent her class and speak at the Pinning Ceremony. A month later, she aced her Nursing test and earned her license as a Registered Nurse. Her journey to reach this milestone hasn’t been easy, but Brittany wouldn’t have it any other way. She thrives on challenges.

After graduation from Santa Fe High School, Brittany attended the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. Her brother, J.D., also went to NMMI. The disciplined culture of the military shaped her life and gave her an impeccable work ethic. She went on to join the U.S. Air Force Reserves where she is a Staff Sergeant and has received extensive training as a medic.

In between college and the Reserves, Brittany has worked as a nursing assistant at Christus Saint Vincent and a phlebotomist for Tricore Reference Laboratory in Santa Fe. Now she’s looking for a full time nursing job. Continue reading

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Brittany Marmion, Santa Fe Hometown News | | Leave a comment

Children’s Book Honors Santa Fe Tradition

There is an incredible amount of satisfaction and pride when you actually make your dreams come true. Fifteen years ago, a light bulb went on in my head as I returned from one of my favorite family traditions, the annual Baile de los Cascarones. As the confetti shook free from my hair, I thought I should write a bilingual children’s book about this fun tradition to pass on to future generations.

On March 1, 2010, “Dance of the Eggshells/Baile de los Cascarones” by Carla Aragón was finally released. It is an absolute thrill to see it in a bookstore and to know I reached a lofty goal.

The story is about a young brother and sister who visit their grandparents in Santa Fe for Spring break. Skeptical at first, they join the preparations for the post Easter celebration of the Baile de los Cascarones (Dance of the Eggshells) – a family oriented dance with cascarones or confetti filled eggshells and traditional folk dances. People ask one another to dance by breaking a cascarón over their partner’s head. The conflict and sibling rivalry between the main characters is resolved through the activities of the dance itself. The brother gets carried away with cracking cascarones on people’s heads, but is embarrassed during the Baile de la Escoba or The Broom Dance, in which the only person caught without a partner has to dance with a broom. He is saved from embarrassment by his sister. The grandparents introduce the kids to a cultural tradition that engages them in unexpected and powerful ways. Continue reading

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Baile de los Cascarones, Santa Fe Hometown News | | Leave a comment


Have you ever been moved to tears while listening to a musical performance?  That’s a common occurrence when you hear the celestial voices of the Schola Cantorum of Santa Fe. Perhaps because, according to Dr. Billy Turney, this inspirational music is based on prayer.

Turney founded the Schola Cantorum (Latin for school of singers) in 1990 to perform the masterpieces of the Roman Catholic Church– sacred music that includes Gregorian chant, music of the Renaissance masters, and contemporary sacred music.  Now in his 20th year, Turney has produced the group’s first CD “Echoes of Mary.”  Whether you are Catholic or not–it is truly a gift for the soul.

Turney’s interest in the this music was sparked when he was a young boy attending Vespers at the Loretto Chapel.  He went on to study music at the University of New Mexico and pursue graduate studies at the Vatican’s Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.  Turney goes back to the Vatican almost every two years to learn more.  He also gives university lectures in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Continue reading

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Billy Turney, Santa Fe Hometown News | | 2 Comments


Most things change, but when the Legislature convenes on January 19, 2010, you’ll see a fixture who’s been around longer than the Roundhouse itself.

Sitting in the middle of the action is a stunning woman with porcelain skin and silvery white hair who is the longest tenured employee of the House of Representatives. Eloisa L. Block has worked in the House for 52 legislative sessions. That’s amazing… considering New Mexico has been a state for 98 years! In fact, 78-year-old Eloisa is a walking history book, filled with stories on how laws were made (or killed) and the politicians who put (or tried to put) them in the books.

Eloisa, who is the Assistant House Chief Clerk, has worked for a list of “Who’s Who” in New Mexico politics. She’s served the most Speakers of the House, including Donald Hallam, Mack Easley, Jack Campbell, Bruce King, David Norvell, Walter Martinez, C.G. Samberson, Raymond Sanchez, and Ben Lujan. She served under three House Chief Clerks, including Floyd Cross, Al Romero, and Steve Arias. When Eloisa worked in the Old Capitol (now the Bataan Memorial Building), Steve Arias ( her current boss) worked in the cloak room. She saw other young children who served as pages grow up to hold public office, including Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, Rep. Ken Martinez, and Rep. Rhonda King. Continue reading

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Eloisa L. Block, Santa Fe Hometown News | | Leave a comment


As a journalist, I have scored hundreds of interviews, but the one I would have loved to tape for posterity “got away.” My precious cousin, George Anthony Gonzales, passed away on October 23, 2009 at the age of 51. He had battled cancer for ten years, but most people didn’t know it. Anthony preferred not to discuss his health problems. He would much rather talk about his family, tell a joke, or find out what was happening in your life. It was good medicine to focus on the positive. Besides… Anthony knew with every fiber in his body that it was all in God’s hands.

I had the honor of witnessing that faith and strength throughout his entire life. My Aunt Celine had all boys. My mother had all girls. Officially, we are cousins; but Anthony and the boys are my brothers. We learned how to swim together, ride bikes in Casa Solana, speak proper Spanish (sometimes slang), and recite our prayers. We played in Grandpa John’s chicken coop on Canyon Road, built a fort in the foothills, ate tortilla and bologna sandwiches–and vienna sausage, too. We watched Cantinflas and Elvis Presley movies, rode in Fiesta Parades, danced, sang, and put on skits (with the front porch as our stage). Ok, I know it’s gross– but we lovingly greeted each other by saying, “¡Órale, moco!”(we still do as adults). We did everything together. Continue reading

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Anthony Gonzales, Santa Fe Hometown News | | Leave a comment


America has a fascination with the TV game show “Survivor,” but the courage, sacrifice, and heart of a true survivor is found in the real life story of Vicente Ruelas Ojinaga.  At 91 years old, Ojinaga has overcome a heart attack, cancer, the infamous Bataan Death March, a voyage on a Hell Ship, and years in a POW camp.  He didn’t just manage to live through these unimaginable hardships– with his faith in God, he thrived because of them.

After fellow POW Benjamin Martinez passed away last month, Ojinaga became the only survivor of the Bataan Death March still living in the city of Santa Fe according to the NM Department of Veterans’ Services. He was one of 1800 young men from New Mexico in the 200th Coast Artillery of the NM National Guard Army who were taken Prisoners of War by the Japanese.  Roughly 900 returned home.

That horrifying experience has been a big part of Ojinaga’s life, but it isn’t all that defines this amazing man.  He graduated from UNM, then worked for the IRS and the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue.  His wife Celia says he has always served the community… as Treasurer of the Knights of Columbus and the Neighborhood Association; he was a member of Toastmasters; and a devout member of his church.  She says his greatest strength is his love of God and family.

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October 31, 2009 Posted by | Santa Fe Hometown News, Vicente Ruelas Ojinaga | | Leave a comment