2017 Year in Review: Quotable quotes


“Lard, anise and sugar, and in the right amounts.” Judges at the annual Taos biscochito contest when asked what makes the perfect cookie.

“I’m too old to go to war.” Enriqetta Vasquez, 87, with a smile, recalling the Tierra Amarillo Courthouse raid and the current wave of political activism.

“I was hopping from place to place. Every morning, they’d be like, ‘Yo, you got to go,’ so I’d go find a place to stay. I was getting hurt so many times. It was getting old.” Nathalie Chacon (pseudonym), 16, on issues of homelessness.

“The councils need to meet now more than ever.” Carmen Acosta Johnson on the federal Bureau of Land Management’s citizen council, which was canceled amid President Donald Trump’s national monument review.

“Everything in our daily lives before colonization was based around agriculture, from our ceremonies to how we viewed the world to how we viewed each other. Having the earth take care of you and you take care of the earth was the foundation of our lifestyle for countless generations.” Daniel Martinez on saving seeds at Taos Pueblo.

“I’m all in favor of stopping terrorists, but I wonder if this is all that necessary.” Ed Scott on the new state Department of Motor Vehicles regulations that continue to plague drivers.

“To many a Taoseño, the appearance of the memorial leaves much to be desired. Their objection is purely esthetic. The cross … looks as though it were made of plastic or faced with a coating of kitchen linoleum. The sad thing is that another hundred years will have to pass before anything can be done about it which will not … be considered an insult to the men whom it honors.” Satirist Spud Johnson, writing in 1960 about the erection of the Plaza cross.

“The mass media has shut out [this story]. They aren’t there. The only source we had was the Facebook social media and live feeds. That’s how word got out. After a while we didn’t really need the mass media anymore.” Christopher Lujan on the NoDakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL) resistance.

“We have all these ancestors and we’ve forgotten about them,” Michele Potter on retracing her family history with 1,000 love letters written by her father over 70 years ago.

“These are people who are from here and they can’t find housing. They’re doubling up with family, trying to sleep in cars or staying in a hotel because they can’t get together the rent.” Siena Sanderson on the housing crisis.

“Sometimes, we get rid of weeds because we think they’re just weeds. But they’re not. I’ve learned from the folk healers that anything considered evil or bad can be made good, depending on how you use it. All you have to do is discover the hidden qualities, even the ones you don’t understand, the ones you don’t like, the ones you hate, the ones that are distasteful. And you’ll find out that, yes, they have their place here also.” Larry Torres on the 2017 Unsung Heroes, and on working with the harder aspects of life.

“It’s important to remember that the gospel of Jesus is perfect, but the church is run by imperfect people. It’s a very real human institution with a divine message,” Larry Torres on the Catholic priest scandal.

“If the Dollar Store is architecturally compatible and attractive, I don’t see it as an egregious assertion into our historic little community here. The four-story hotel is a mortal sin. This is more of a venial sin.” David Maes on a Dollar Store in Ranchos.

“He was a pillar of New Mexico music. I wouldn’t be where I am at without the legacy that Al has left behind. He was always a very open person, and he loved seeing other musicians succeed.” Former Taos Mayor Darren Cordova on the passing of Al Hurricane.

“We shouldn’t ignore that our educated young adults are leaving this community.” Rio Grande ACE Hardware Manager Sean Walker on the job market in Taos.

“None of my stuff will fit in any gallery in town. We don’t have a spot in some classical famous spot – maybe someday, but not now. There’s no market, so I feel it needs to be more open.” Omar Wilkins on the arts scene in Taos.

“Parents of kids are coming out and showing excitement that someone is taking care of the park again. A lot of kids, they end up hitting these old cracks and falling. It’s also empowering – all these other people who have never done cement work and taking ownership of [this] place.” Professional skateboarder Joel Meinholz on the guerrilla repairs by skateboarders at a town of Taos skatepark.

“The river guides have been here at the hospital holding vigils. They’ve been coming and staying.” Sherri Woolard said about her son Cody, who was badly injured, and two of his friends killed, Sept. 30 when a drunk driver crashed into their car.

“I don’t think it’s millennials’ fault if we’re not spending enough time outside. It’s partially the fault of our workaholic culture. When young people start a job that has two weeks of vacation, making only $31,000 a year but with $100,000 of student debt right out of college, you don’t have time to go traveling to these places, even if they’re only a day’s drive away.” Mike Meyer on a gay millennial road trip to national parks.

“These signs are a mere suggestion.” Jim Dodson, a rebellious vendor at the Río Grande Gorge Bridge, where signs prohibit vending near the road.