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Stories from Socorro: an Introduction

July 4, 2013

viva yaViva Ya! (oil painting by a. leon miler)

In my town people dance on the plaza. In the afternoon, old men sell watermelons and chillies from the back of old pickups. Travelers stop to take pictures of San Miguel Church started 400 years ago by the Spanish for the local pueblo ( Someone is selling tamales outside the grocery store on California St., visitors to the college go shopping for souveniers, and tonight a band is playing on the plaza.

Socorro is not Santa Fe. It isn’t even Santa Fe lite. It is Socorro, and tonight the band is playing; people will be there dancing on the plaza.

A town is more than buildings, and history is not made by chance events, but rather people build things and do things, and people have lived in Socorro for a very long time indeed. They 1st arrived here a thousand years ago, more or less. I suspect, they too, danced in the plaza as many of their descendants, the Piros of the the Piro-Manso-Tiwa Tribe of Guadalupe Pueblo, in Las Cruces still dance on Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta day*.

We have been to weddings on the plaza, memorials on the plaza, luminarias on the plaza, farmer’s market on the plaza, but at night, at closing time, when nothing is happening, the plaza gets exceptionally quiet.

It is my intent to write several Socorro themed pieces, for Socorro is one of the most curious places I have lived.

*Many of the Piro people of the Socorro pueblos retreated south with the Spanish during the pueblo revolt. See also

 See also:

closing timeClosing Time  (oil painting by a. leon miler)

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