The Sierra Blanca peak overlooks the Tularosa Valley of New Mexico. In this valley, generations of my ancestors settled, were born, lived their lives and lie buried.
Tularosa was the hometown of four generations of the Telles family. (Telles is the surname of my paternal grandmother.) Most eventually departed to California for economic reasons.
My father, Sylvester Raymond Mireles, at the White Sands, New Mexico.
This adobe home, now stucco covered, was the site of my father's birth in 1929.
Sally Canning, a polymath whose skills range from ranching to violin and piano playing, in her ranch house near Capitan. Her father, Hap Canning, developed a breed of cattle specifically for the dry conditions of the Tularosa Valley.
Tularosa resident Gabe Sanchez enlisted in the military in 1941 before the US entered World War II. He expected to return to New Mexico after two years, but the war intervened. Sanchez invaded North Africa, Italy and finally made it to Germany to finish up the war. His then girlfriend waited for him to return, turning away the many male suitors who came to train at the new army base in the region. 70 years later, they remained married.
The living room of the Trujillo family home in Capitan New Mexico. Margarito Trujillo built this house with the remnants of Ford Stanton, an old west fort built in 1855.
After World War II, the US military opened the White Sands Missile base. It, along with adjacent Holloman Air Force base, brought economic opportunities to the poor area and helped bring down the racial segregation and discrimination - against the Hispanos - which were rampant in the prewar area.
Handyman outside the Alamagordo house of my great-grandfather Lino Telles.
My grandfather Silvestri Mireles lived, worked and died in the town of Carrizozo. In 1929, months before my father was born, he suffered from a bleeding ulcer and died in his one room adobe home, my grandmother at his side.
Fructoso Marujo, a distant cousin, and his wife outside the adobe home in Tularosa that he built back in the 1950's. Currently their children and their grand children live with them in the upgraded and modern baked-clay residence.
Shopkeeper and local historian at a vintage store in Carrizozo. The town is attempting establish itself as an arts community, however growth is slow; its renaissance mostly still a dream.
Margarito Trujillo served in the army during the Korean war. Captured by the North Koreans early on, he became the longest held American POW in the war.
Where many of my family left for California, my second cousin David Marujo remained, working until his retirement at Holloman Air Force base.
Picnic tables at White Sands National Monument, a place I thrilled to visit as a child.
The western border of the White Sands Missile Base near Las Cruces. The nearby highway is often closed when a missile test takes place.
Grave markers in the Catholic cemetery in Carrizozo. My grandfather was buried here however his wooden grave marker has long since disintegrated. Towns in the area possess two cemeteries - one for the Catholic Hispanos and another Protestant one for the more recently arrived Anglos.
Jamie Sanchez, rancher and cattle roper, outside his ranch near Lincoln.
The Tularosa Valley near Carrizozo.