Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories

In Terrero, "we were a bunch of friends working together." When the United Mine Workers organized in Madrid and Terrero, Bill was for the union. He served on the grievance committee, and when the strike began in 1936, he walked the picket line,"rough nights out in that cold." His first child was born that year, in a one room shack on company land. American Metals hired a union buster. When the union triumphed at the end of a long strike, they shut down the mine. By then Bill, "who knew how to carpenter a bit moved to Santa Fe to help a cousin build his house. A furniture company hired him as a door to door salesman. "My shoes are still all right; they'll last," he assured his employer. Later he worked, for better pay, with Charles Ilfeld's wholesale grocery.

The Depression lingered. "Rents were going up and wages weren't too good," so Bill set out to find a place of his won. With a loan of $300 from a local bank -- his honesty the only collateral -- he bought a "two room adobe shack," and "that's where I am right now. This is where I made my home sweet home. My neighborhood on the sunny side of Santa Fe."