Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

She attended school in a "little two-room, red brick school-house five miles east of Plainview. My grandparents kept the two teachers as boarders, so they also taught me at night," Rae said. She went to high school in Plainview "but just got through three months of the tenth grade" when she had to quit because her health broke down. Then she "worked on the farm." At nineteen Rae was married briefly and had a son, Robert. "I was on my way to a rodeo and was putting water in my Model A when I met Winston 'Doug' Douglas. I had the hose in my hand and accidentally squirted water in his brand-new pair of shoes," Rae recalled. A few days later he looked her up in Plainview.

She married Doug, who adopted Robert, in Santa Fe. They moved to Los Alamos in "the last part of 1943 with two dump trucks," said Rae. "We hauled bricks to the State Penitentiary for two years.

While selling home products door-to-door "in the boondocks, I saw poverty," she said. Rae can't begin to estimate how many families she has helped, but a committee of Los Alamos volunteers makes the necessary arrangements so that the Christmas Lady's needy families are adopted for Christmas. Northern New Mexico families provide food for Christmas dinner and gifts for each member of the families they adopt.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes