Interview with Bud Wilson Part 1

Bud Wilson was born in 1925 in the suburbs of Chicago, but forged his connection to the land and people of Northern NM when he was just 16, while accompanying his high school teacher on a research trip to San Cristobal. Bud served as a Navy Pilot, attended medical school and became a surgeon, practicing heart and general surgery for fifty years. He established surgical programs in New Mexico, Colorado, and India. In 1947 Bud began to buy a ranch in Lama NM and in 1985 Bud and Barb (his late wife) founded the Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch Summer Camp, which continues to this day.

Interviewee Name: John “Bud” Wilson
Interview Date: February 20, 2020
Interviewers: Daniel Hutchison and Claire Coté
Interview Location: Bud Wilson’s Home in Lama, NM
Topic covered: Bud’s life story, Lama and San Cristobal history, Northern NM in the 1940’s, Heart Surgery, International Travel.

Bud Wilson Interview Part 1, Time Stamps
0:00 Intro

0:01 [Born approx. 1926] Grew up in the Northern suburbs of Chicago, high school student when he came to NM for the first time with his teacher, who was doing PhD research on DH Lawrence; so that took us to San Cristobal.

0:3:30 Bud worked in Kansas as a farm hand when he was 15, with an elder cousin. Put up 17 haystacks and filled a barn with hay. Teacher ran a camp that Bud helped with.

0:07:06 Summer of 1942, Bud spent time in Latir/Sunshine Valley area on his own at 16 years

0:08 Took campers on backpacking trips including to Blue Lake/Forest Service

0:14 Met wife to be in Jenny Vincent’s kitchen

0:15  1947 Helped with Jenny Vincent’s Summer Camp

0:18 1948 Bud Completed College/Applied to Medical School
Discussion with Romero Family
Took Fabi Romero and other kids to the dance

0:21 Story of becoming a doctor – heard that a young woman died in childbirth, left a couple of kids without a mom, no doctor available, saw a local need. This sealed the deal on his decision to go to medical school.

0:22 Bought Lama Ranch Camp land from Reyes Martinez, who had been living on it for some years.
0:23:30 Nickname of Reyes Martinez was “The Fox” because we would turn the water on the ditch at night

0:24:26 Bud graduated in 1943 and knew he would go into the military. He enlisted in the Navy Aircorps program. He had been selected to be a night flyer if he had stayed in the military as part of the “Black Widows.”

0:27 “We had times when we were less than careful” in training.

0:28 Night flight story – daredevil

0: 34:00  Medical School and buying land in Lama

0:38 Camp Inspiration, including horses, eights weeks with travel time

0:45 Becoming a heart surgeon – medical school in Colorado, 12 years

0:47 Research on shock and heart, Denver, CO

0:49 Time India – medical school, heart-lung machine, 1965-67

0:56 School/Life for kids

1:05 Attended Gorbachev meeting (announcement of Peristroika), 1985

1:14 Time in Sweden

1:15 Monkey pet from India

1:18 Jako the monkey, Grandmother’s

1:25 Revisiting info about childhood and college

1:32 Heart Programs in NM
Sourced his philosophy from CO partners he’s worked with – everyone was equally valuable in the group and got the same salary, very different from most professional groups at that time. Took this philosophy when he started a private group in Albuquerque. Started first heart surgery program in NM; two other people had tried to start a heart surgery before and it didn’t work out.

He started a program at UNM (called Bernalillo Indian County Hospital at the time), very under-resourced and primitive conditions. Then moved to Presbyterian help start their programs.

1:44 Sterling Edwards joined UNM after Bud left UNM (father of Wyman Edwards 1:46)

1:48 When doing the camp with Iliu Romero, Bud (while still in medical school) met the Taos early doctors, description. He worked with Dr. Al Rosen and Dr. Deveau, good GPs in Taos.

1:50 Bud’s “Open ether” fainting story when helping with a surgery in Taos in the early days

1:52 Bud’s reflections on going into medicine, going where help was needed

1:55:30 Advice from Bud “Make choices for your life that help make the world a little better….one thing after another.”

1:58 Discussion of ¼ Mile hike up to his house through the snow.

Interview with Joseph Marquez, Part 1 & 2

Joseph Marquez was born in Española New Mexico on October 30th, 1944. Joseph was married to Florence Marquez (deceased). His 3 daughters are Lori (deceased) Eliza, and Desiree. Joseph grew up in Costilla, NM.  He has been a member of the  Morada, La Cofradia de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, in Garcia, Colorado for 54 years. La Cofradia de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno was established in 1599 in San Miguel, New Mexico (currently Española, New Mexico). Jospeh currently lives in Albuquerque, NM with his kids Eliza and Desiree Marquez.

Date of Interview:
January, 13 2021
Chris Arellano (nephew), part of the 
Location of Interview:
Joseph’s home in Albuquerque, NM
Topics and places covered in interview: Joseph’s history with La Morada Brotherhood, Los Penitentes, Alabados and the musical traditions

Listen to Part 1:

Listen to Part 2:

This interview is part of Northern New Mexico Music: Past and Present, a project of the nonprofit, Questa Creative Council, dedicated to strengthening community through arts, culture, history, and education. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts and Taos Community Foundation.

Gathering Thoughts after Gathering Memories

In the middle of  summer 2018, when the land was bone dry and we dreamed of summer storms, the Gathering Memory: Object, Photos, and Story Community Workshop was held at the Questa VFW Hall. How many people would come on a Sunday afternoon, organizers wondered? Twenty? Fifty?

On July 8, 2018, the VFW parking lot filled to overflowing and more than a hundred people filed in with objects of significance – photos, shoes, lamps, quilts, love letters – along with their stories.

Participants sharing their objects and photos on July 8 at the Gathering Memory Community Workshop. Click photo to enlarge.

Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, former New Mexico State Historian and native son of Questa led the event, inviting participants to bring a special object that held a memory about a person, moment or place, or a photograph that could be used to tell a story. He asked that people bring the name of one ancestor whose life held special meaning to them. The idea behind these particular requests is that storytelling engages and strengthens a community’s sense of itself, that we all hold a piece of history, and that community members are community historians.  

Left: Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, presenting an eloquent introduction. Right: Room full of workshop participants.

At the height of the event, the wished-for rain arrived; everyone applauded until their sounds were drowned out by the drumming of the torrential monsoon. The wealth of stories, and the depth of individual and community history shared that day was as heavy an outpouring as that summer rain.

Questa Stories was there as well, to collect local stories for the online community archive. (Thank you, Sarah Parker for your diligent recording and editing – pictured at left.) We scanned images, recorded audio and took photographs of people with their objects. Now our work is to collate this collection and release individual stories as blog posts.

The day after the event Gaea and Claire sat together in Claire’s yard to reflect on this experience and the potential and purpose of the Questa Stories Community Memory Project . They recorded this audio.     

Audio Time Stamps
00:00 – Introduction
00:30 – Where did you grow up?
01:00 – What do you love about this place?
02:15 – Love of New Mexico, Discussion of Place
04:15 – What is Questa Stories?
06:20 – July 8 Gathering Memory Workshop, Rainstorm
06:45 – Extending an invitation to contribute stories, more description about Questa Stories
10:00 – Community Archive
10:30 – Diaspora Community
11:00 – Questa Stories includes surrounding communities – Cerro, La Lama, Costilla, Amalia
11:54 – End

The July 8 event was hosted by the Questa History & Community Trail ( and its sponsors: New Mexico Humanities Council, Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, and the National Park Service. The Questa History & Community Trail is a project of the Questa Creative Council, a non-profit organization (

This post has been re-posted on the Manitos blog, a digital Resolana (gathering place) for people, histories, and stories of northern New Mexico.

Dia de los Muertos Stories

On Nov 1st, OCHO Art + event Space in Questa overflowed with activity, color, music, delicious food and a diverse group of guests. We honored loved ones and ancestors with ritual and celebration by gathering the living for Questa’s second annual collaborative Dia de los Muertos celebration. This full, late afternoon and evening party included art and altars, Aztec dancers, a community feast, music by Questa High School Mariachi, sugar-skull-making, print-making, face painting, the Dead Letter Office and more! OCHO was filled to capacity (approximately 150 people) and participants represented a broad cross-section of the Questa community and beyond.