October 27, 2012     A Busy Week with New Mexico Magazine

Will Banister at Kelly's, in New Mexico Magazine

After I posted the October 21 blog (below), my Raton feature continued to top the New Mexico Magazine website for a week, then rotated down the page to give a turn to another feature. During the week, Editor in Chief Dave Herndon went on both radio and TV to promote the November issue. He included kind comments about the Raton feature in both interviews, and the magazine posted the TV interview on the home page of the website.

Meantime, Dave knew that I was out arranging for copies to be available for purchase in Raton, and doing an interview on KRTN. He sent a note to some of his other contributors and to his bosses up the food chain:

"Tim Keller wrote and shot Raton, did Will Bannister piece a couple months back, has a fireballs piece in the works .
He is really taking the bull by the horns promoting the magazine/Raton article, including retail/newsstand in Raton, a local radio ivu., posting my interviews on YouTube and his own site.
This is all very encouraging and inspiring, and setting an example of what we and our contributors can do to penetrate into communities, metastasize content across media platforms, and spread the gospel. SO – many thanks to Tim! -- Dave"

Minutes after receiving a copy of that e-mail, this one arrived:

"This is great! Thanks Tim! We appreciate all your hard work and that you are really going above and beyond, as you say it
is a definite win/win.  --  Monique

That was Dave's top boss, New Mexico's Director of Tourism, Monique Jacobson. Fun. Thanks to Dave and Monique.

The Fireballs, Raton's Shuler Theater, 1958
As I got deeper into the November issue myself, I discovered a letter to the editor complimenting my September feature on country traditionalist Will Banister (photo above); I've posted the letter below the feature here at TKA.

Meantime, the magazine this week did final editing and page layouts for my next piece, a January feature on Raton's The Fireballs, who played the Shuler Theater February 24, 1958 (click photo above), and are playing there again tonight in a concert to benefit Raton's Alternatives to Violence. I'll be there tonight giving my new camera, the Nikon D4, its first test drive. I'll post some results on my photography blog tomorrow.





October 21, 2012     A Pleasant Morning Surprise

New Mexico Magazine

I was thrilled to discover this morning that New Mexico Magazine has chosen to feature "The Heart of Raton" atop its website throughout the run of the November issue, which came out last week. Click here to see the full text with the opening spread. Then, if you'd like to see the feature with all the photos, you can continue to here. (I don't usually post my articles until their sales runs are completed, but since the magazine itself posted this feature, I'm making an exception.)

Raton Pass

Finally, since the magazine included only ten of the forty photos I submitted, you might visit my new Raton Gallery to see all of the photos. It includes a separate gallery of restaurants, with people and food, as well as a separate gallery for one of Raton's treasures, the Shuler Theater.

Meantime, I spent some hours this weekend making requested additions and revisions for my music feature on The Fireballs. New Mexico Magazine will publish the feature in its January 2013 issue to coincide with the 55th anniversary of the band's first performance.





October 14, 2012     A Rambunctious Raton Rendezvous

Caravan of Thieves at Raton's Shuler Theater, October 2012

Raton Arts & Humanities Council opened its 2012-2013 entertainment season Saturday night with a rollicking, percussive performance at the Shuler Theater by the four-piece gypsy swing band Caravan of Thieves. The four-year-old Connecticut band is in Week 2 of its two-month "Homeless for the Holidays" fall tour that started in Georgia, gets as far as Los Angeles and Seattle, then ends in Pittsburgh well after Thanksgiving.

The band's four members have remained unchanged from the beginning, impressive for a touring four-piece, and their act has the well-honed timing and fun that grow from a lot of good shows together. Their promo material describes them as "Gypsy swinging serenading firebreathing circus freaks!"

Caravan of Thieves at Raton's Shuler Theater, October 2012

Leader Fuzz Sangiovanni plays his little mahogany Martin guitar with exciting zeal and impressive precision. He and his wife Carrie Sangiovanni often let their guitars hang while they turn to beat wooden kitchen spoons on drum kits consisting of wildly-painted 5-gallon plastic pails, frying pans, a cigar box, and assorted other objects from the household and garage. Fuzz also dances wildly, even getting my guest Michael Vigil onstage to join the fun (note violinist Ben Dean supine on the floor behind them). It was fun and a half.





October 12, 2012     A Tiger Displays His Stripes

Billy D of Raton's KRTN

I had fun shooting pictures of the KRTN gang today in the annual homecoming parade on First Street downtown. The overcast and drizzle did nothing to dampen spirits or diminish the mile-long parade.

Mayordomo Billy D, right, led the charge for KRTN, tossing yellow KRTN frisbees all along the parade route and making lots of faces while doing it. My wife Christina, aka KRisTiNa, below left in yellow swim cap, provided more than just moral support, while Ashley Rose Mills took the Scout position. Big Mac walked, Debbie and Just Daniel rode bikes, and Alan Kenny drove the big black truck. Very slowly.


 KRTN parade float 2012

I also like a photo I got of the newly-crowned homecoming queen and king, Miranda Luksich and Tyler Vertovec. I took it from behind to frame them against the mountains and it turned out nicely. Check it out over on today's photography blog.






October 7, 2012     Camping and Fishing in New Mexico

Nathan Coleman & Cole Kuchan

A Zara Spook is a kind of fishing lure. (Who knew?) Joan Ackerman's quirky play "Zara Spook and Other Lures" is a comedy in which two cars containing three couples drive to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, for a fishing tournament. Risqué content made it a bold choice for Raton High School's Mask & Wig Club, which launched its season at the Shuler Theater this weekend under the direction of Stefani Milstrey. Nathan Coleman and Cole Kuchan (above from left) played Mel and Talmadge, respectively.

Clair Willden & Georje Rose

It was the first time I've seen Cole or Georje Rose (right) on stage; I enjoyed both immensely. Clair Willden, left, designs the Shuler's programs these days and they keep getting better and better...except the Zara Spook program neglected to list one of the six characters, Clair's own Ramona. Oops. Having watched Clair as a self-conscious child actress, it's fun to see her blossom into an accomplished and effective actress in her teens; she delivered some of the play's best lines. When her stalker ex-husband fires rifle shots from the distant darkness, she dismisses it with, "It's a sexual thing. Just a bit of foreplay." She says men are all looking for their mothers and "Killing is as close a thing as a man can get to giving birth."

Ably filling out the cast were Kate Little and Tess Neary. I've taught all of these students and it's fun to see them playing onstage. Many other students contributed their skills offstage. It was a great start to a new season -- kudos to Stefani Milstrey -- and the New Mexico content of "Zara Spook and Other Lures" added to the fun.





September 23, 2012     Still Rockin' and Rollin'

The Fireballs, 2012 by Tim Keller

During the four weeks I've gone betweens blogs, Christina and I have moved into a big gorgeous house surrounded by wildlife and huge trees. I finally have my office set up again and, along with re-establishing my blog, I should be posting news of the October issue of New Mexico Magazine with my feature on Raton's venerable band The Fireballs. The magazine reached subscribers last week but I don't have mine yet: apparently it's caught between addresses, so I've yet to see it. Meantime, The Fretboard Journal found my online Fireballs photos and is now in the process of pairing some with its own manuscript on The Fireballs' guitarist/leader George Tomsco for the January issue. As luck would have it, George is one of our new neighbors, one block away. Lots of magic in the air these days.


P.S. I just learned that my Fireballs feature has been moved to the January 2013 issue, to correspond with the band's 55-year anniversary. More later.







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