Haphazard Observations of the Everyday

And a little fiction by Miguela Holt y Roybal

Miguela Holt y Roybal

Miguela Holt y Roybal
New Mexico, USA
March 10
Monarch of All She Surveys
Miguela Holt y Roybal is my maiden name en Espanol. I am a retired schoolteacher and aspiring author looking for crumbs of beauty among the ruins. My novel has been a work in progress for longer than I care to admit. It is a postmodern pastiche of magical realism and about a young woman from New Mexico who goes to work in Washington, DC during the 1980s. She has been a longtime witness to the secret rituals of the Penitente culture in her home state and learns about herself and redemption as she sallies forth on her quest for novelty and adventure. I claim fair useage of images found on the internet that illustrate some of my posts. All contents copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.


OCTOBER 31, 2011 4:32PM

Freshman Disorientation (Update)

Rate: 15 Flag


Demolition No Longer Delayed

New Mexico is the land of manana and the demolition that was scheduled on this building last month began just this week.  DeBaca Hall was a women's residence at Eastern New Mexico University built in 1962-- a splendid example of Eames era architecture.  I lived there in 1973.  It has stood empty for many years and the university scrapped plans to refurbish it and will instead build a park on the lot.

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A glamour shot of ENMU's DeBaca Hall taken last month.

I took a walk a few minutes ago because it is such a beautiful fall day in Portales --about 70 degrees.  With camera in hand, I wandered over to the campus and took the following snapshots.  There is a lone workman spraying the debris to keep down the residue of asbestos as the brick and mortar comes crashing down around him. 

Had I been involved in the designing of the proposed park, I might have tried to figure out a way to retain and bolster the distinctive front entrance that always looked to me like The Flying Nun's wimple and build the park around it.  The concrete structure would have made a nice shade much needed in this desert location with so few trees.  University spokesman, Scott Smart, indicates that the park will be xeriscaped which means gravel on the ground and drought resistant plants.

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I have nothing more to say about the demolition except goodbye, DeBaca Hall.  I'll miss your dignified presence in the town.






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This makes me sad. Hope you can keep the memories in your heart. You had good times there!
Pretty sad isnt it??:(
Miguela, I certainly remember your original post on the dorm recently and am very sorry to see the demolition taking place in the photos. Such solid construction and a noted historical architectural style from the last century now knocked down and carted off.
Victoria--Thanks for the sweet thoughts.

James--Our town is really changing, isn't it?

Linda--It is sad, but at least the lot will be made into a park and not a parking lot.

designanator--That is the tragedy of it. Thank you.
Fascinating but sad, Miguela. Great photos.
Even destroyed memories can be beautiful. Tis "progress," I guess. Beautiful piece, as always.
Great photos, but I'm so sad for you. -R-
MaryS--Thanks for stopping by to look at these sad photos. It is progress, I guess, but I sure wish they could have found a way to save this building or at least a portion of it. Too late now.

Christine--I feel better about the whole demolition after having taken the pictures to commemorate the beauty of it as well as its destruction. To tell the truth, I couldn't wait to move out of there-- off campus--and did so as soon as the university allowed me to. Thanks :D.
Sad, sad, sad! I get very upset seeing historic buildings neglected and then demised. It sounds strange to say "from the last century", but it was indeed so, over half a century old. Glad you have a photo and memories of its good days, Miguela. And I hope the new parc will be a worthy ground.
the places we inhabited once
as freshmen/women
which sustained our growth
are now existing only in memory, which is a real realm.

i go by my parents' house, where i lived for 35 yrs,
and feel weird, but indifferent. places are of time.
memory is not.
I remember your original post. It's sad to see the good (or salvageable) scrapped with the unusable, but at least the land will get a new life and use. I hope you'll post pictures of the finished park and bring the story full circle.
Miguela, I agree with James, "places are of time, memories are not."
The places aren't the same anymore without the people, the events, the relationships that you experienced there in another time. They are now a vacant stage, but you always have the memories and those don't depend on the physical location remaining unchanged.
My comment got eaten again!! Miguela, I love your eye. We grieve with you, and I remember the first time you told us this was scheduled to happen. We have to believe what is coming is better!
To tear down in order to rebuild. To walk with camera in hand to catch it.