Tag Archives: Mayor Bruce D’Salas

Four FASF Members Exchange Ideas with AMERICORPS Team

L to R: Florian Waitl (Kansas); Jack Rosenberger (Minnesota); Stephanie Boedecker, Earth Team Unit Leader AmeriCorps NCCC (Wisconsin); Jerrod Irvin (Tennessee); Mayor Bruce D’Salas of Columbus NM; Carly Steinauer (Nebraska); Jill Morrone (New Hampshire); Michael Maria Peterson (Pennsylvania). Front Row L to R: Lonna Bradley (Michigan); Haley McKay (Georgia). Both Florian and Mayor D’Salas are long time FASF members.

Click on any photo to see or save it in full resolution.

Florian Waitl (above photo at far left), of Kansas City, came to Columbus, to oversee the US Army Engineer School Team in their work at the FASF’s 1916 Historic Airfield the final week of last month.

While here, Mayor Bruce D’Salas of Columbus invited both Florian and Ric Lambart to join in with the AmeriCorps team along with some other local leaders, including another FASF member, Roberto Guttierez, in a celebratory and final closing get-together as the AmeriCorps Team finished up their Columbus area projects.

The gathering was designed by Mayor D’Salas to be an unstructured and interactive brain-storm or idea exchange to help with future similar engagements with other outside volunteer groups.

The AmeriCorps team members had some genuinely constructive ideas and suggestions for the City and its future operations.  They also had an opportunity to learn more about Columbus and even its unique role as the cradle of American Air Power and Rebirth place of American Civil Aviation – – – and how that all actually led to the U.S. lead in outer space exploration.

L to R: Mayor Bruce D’Salas & Former Columbus Fire Chief, Ken Riley, explain how the city emergency services work.

According to the Team’s Leader, Stephanie Boedecker, the AmeriCorps Team has been operating out of Deming, NM (nearest large city to Columbus)  since April 12th.  They were brought to the area by the joint effort of the City of Deming and by the Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School.

City Councilman, business owner and long time FASF member, Roberto Guttierez, describes life on the Mexican border.

Some of the commitments made by the team during its sojourn out of Deming have been work done on projects such as: Deming park infrastructure; improvements at the charter school; renovations to the old Deming library; meal delivery with the senior center and assisting with a summer rec program for Deming children.  They also spent considerable time in Columbus, and even Lordsburg and Silver City, NM.

FASF Historian, Florian, listens to Mayor D’Salas describe the AmeriCorps work in Columbus over the past months.

During the recent emergency crisis in Deming, when hundreds of Central, South American and Mexican refugees were unexpededly dumped on the City of Deming by the overloaded Federal Border Agencies, the AmeriCorps Team immediately volunteered to help with the migrant families and their children.

L to R: AmeriCorp Team members Carly Steinauer, Jill Marrone, and Haley McKay take in the conversations.

In Columbus and Lordsburg, the AmeriCorps members primarily did infrastructure work, such as painting and weeding.  In Silver City they even  helped out with the annual Gila Bike Tour event.



It Took 2 Years – But The FASF Has its NM Historical Marker!

Thanks to the untiring efforts of our 1st VP, Jason Adams, the FASF now has its own local NM State Historical Marker firmly planted near our historic 1916 Airfield, which, as Columbus Mayor Bruce D’Salas’ official business card proudly states:  is “The Cradle of American Air Power.”

Let’s take a photographic look at the sequence of actual physical events that took place before the two-year long process of obtaining state approval for the Historic Marker was successfully completed.

The entire lengthy process took place under the jurisdiction of the New Mexico Department of Culltural Affairs. The Department’s web pages describe the process involved: “The markers happen through a strong partnership among the Historic Preservation Division, the Cultural Properties Review Committee, New Mexico Department of Transportation – and the public.” 

All of these agencies and groups must have been queried and counselled in order for such a Historical Marker to be approved, and then finally contructed for the site it represents.  As you might imagine, Jason had a big task in hand to get this objective reallized, and it took no small amount of patience to weather the long process involved in the achievement.  But, today, we now have this marker in place, with its own highway tourist/visitor pull-off parking area so that passing motorists can conveniently pull off state Highway 9, right in the town of Columbus itself, to safely read both sides of the sign’s historical inscription.

Remember: Just click on any photo below to see it in full-size and hi-resolution!

L to R: Miguel Garcia, of Deming, NM, and Baltazar Granados, who actually  hails from Columbus, are with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT), and did the original site survey work for the new FASF Historical Marker.

Miguel and Baltazar pose by their truck before commencing the survey work. The FASF billboard marking the 1916 airfield is behind them to the left.

Here is Baltazar measuring the dimensions for locating the new Marker Sign. Highway 9, in the forefront, has a steep drop-off shoulder closer to the Airfield, so these men had to find the nearest place where the shoulder was relatively flat, so that passing motorists might easily park their vehicles when they go over to read the Marker Sign. These men began this stie work almost exactly one (1) year ago!

Here we see the men from the P&M Sign Company Team working to erect the new sign, which was made by their firm under contract to the state of New Mexico. P&M makes most of these historical marker signs for New Mexico.  They are located in picturesque Mountaiinair, NM.  This work was completed by them this past September

Here are the actual text portions of the two-sided Marker, which clearly point out the historical information regarding the location’s importance.  This sign is heavy-duty and completely weather proof.

The P&M team halfway through to completion. L to R: Larry Archuleta of Las Vegas, NM, Marcos Tavera ,Charles Padilla, and Andrew Lopez, all three from Mountainair, NM

Here is the front side of the sign, with page one of the story facing to the West.

And here, above, is the back side of the Marker, facing East towards El Paso, Texas. You can see by the construction of the Maker that this ediface is both sturdily made – and situated.

L to R: FASF celebrants of the new Sign’s Official Dedication: Columbus Mayor Bruce D’Salas, Airfield Director, Bob Wright; Long-time FASF member and just-retired Manager of the nearby Pancho Villa State Park, John Read; FASF Treasurer, Alma Villezcas; Bill Madden, Airfield Site Chairman; Fritz Wagoner, Airfield Survey & Artifact Team; and Historical Marker Committee Chairman, 1st VP of the FASF, Jason Adams, and his daughter, Chloe.  All four of the FASF members on the right side of the sign are from Las Cruces, NM.  At the left in photo, The Mayor and Bob Wright are from Columbus, and John Read and Alma Villezcas are both from Deming, NM.