Newsletter 2010

"Sheltering the Creative Spirit"

Home Up Site Index Author Index Mission Statement F. Waters' Biography Speeches On Writing Lyon's  Anthology Reviews Photo Album Artists in Residence B.Waters' Biography New Book Tributes to Frank Waters' Park Friends Frank's Car Opera Literary Critiques Fundraising & Membership Open Forum Bronzes Store Centennial Contact & Links FW Room, UNM Meeting Frank Waters Spirit Gypsy Wagon Workshop Events


Taos, New Mexico USA





August 2010



Message from the President

Most will already know from our postcard mailing that it has been decided to post newsletters on our website rather than print and mail hardcopies. Perhaps the major reason for this decision has been cost ( near $1,000.00 + hours of volunteer effort per newsletter). We hope you will enjoy the postcards we will send announcing newsletters and others activities and then refer to the website.




We are excited to offer the Medicinal Plant Workshop with Rob Hawley as its leader. This will be on Saturday, August 21, 2010 from 9 am to 2 pm with a one hour catered lunch break at noon. It will  be at the Waters property.  Please call or email Mark Rossi  Tel: 520-603-4875  <> or Barbara Waters Tel: 575-776-2356  <> to make reservations. The fee for the workshop is $20.00 per person. The fee includes the catered lunch. The workshop will have a limit of 20 participants. We can only accept payments of check or cash. Please click Here for Workshop and plant list.

Rob Hawley was born in Denver, Colorado in 1956. He attended the University of New Mexico and later worked in the University's Cancer Research and Treatment Center. Thirty years ago he studied with herbalist Michael Moore and became fascinated with herbal medicine. He soon began the Taos Herb Company with his sister and brother in law. They manufacture over 300 herbal products. In 1984 Rob began teaching local wild medicinal plant identification. He has lectured widely. He is most specifically familiar with the ethno-botanical medicine of the Hispanic northern New Mexico where elders have shared their wisdom to augment Rob's self-teaching. We were pleased to have had Rob's participation in our summer  "Bio-blitz" and very happy with this opportunity to add to that species identification event with this special Medicinal Plant Workshop.

The Frank Waters Foundation has new Board of Director members whose short bios can be found here on the website. We are excited about new ideas these board members are bringing to add to projects being developed and ongoing work and activity.


Aspen Eye


The Board is considering how we can hold an essay contest for high school students in Taos County. This can then be a model for broadening the geographic area of future contests. Essays will be responses from reading two chosen novels by Frank Waters that will consider their relevance to contemporary culture and sense of place. Donations will help with purchase of books and monetary awards to students writing winning awards. In the past, the Foundation has published 2 books. We hope to have funding for new publishing ideas which could include a literary journal. Your comments and ideas are welcome.

Work on the Waters property will always continue. We would like to do some upgrading with our resident studio and sheep herder’s wagon. We will soon be installing a bronze portrait sculpture of Senora Alicia Quintana. Look forward to a future newsletter article about Mrs. Quintana. We also want to regenerate the apple orchard in the middle of the property. This will take physical activity and some funding.

Again, we welcome your comments and ideas and remind you that we need your support. We are pleased with the past and ongoing accomplishments of our foundation and thankful for your support past and future.

Board of Directors President,

Mark Rossi





New Board Members


Lee Bentley was born in Atlanta, GA and attended public schools in Orlando, FL. He received an MA degree from Florida State University and taught art and design at Daytona Beach Community College. Bentley moved to Taos, NM in 1972, working as an industrial designer and craftsman before successfully founding and operating a computer graphics studio for 25 years. Bentley has two children and resides in Arroyo Seco, NM.


Arleeta Viddaurri-Rossi was born in St. Louis, MO, moved to Tulsa, OK shortly after, and has resided in Tucson, AZ for the past six years. She has three children, and three grandchildren. She recently completed 16 years of homeschooling her youngest child, who began attending community college at the age of 16. Arleeta enjoys writing poetry, and currently assists her husband, Mark Rossi, in his sculpture studio.



Board of Directors

Barbara Waters, Executive Director

Mark Rossi, President
Arleeta Viddaurri-Rossi, Secretary/Treasurer
Bill Farr, Webmaster
Arleene Arnell
John Nizalowski
Lee Bentley



MEMORY OF A FRIEND John D. Gilchriese (May 30, 1923 - May 18, 2004) by Mark Rossi


Quite recently, during an impromptu visit to the Tucson Audubon Society Center in Tucson, I purchased a book from the Society’s “rare book” group to support their library fund. When I opened ornithologist/artist George Miksch Sutton’s autobiography, I noticed that the author had signed it to his friend John Gilchrease. I am a fan of Sutton’s work; however, I bought the book for another sentiment. I met John and his wife June thirty-five years ago when they hired me as their gardener. I had just moved to Tucson. I was a young married father and needed work. John took me under his wing. Every Friday morning, from the trunk of John’s pale metallic green Buick sedan I unloaded five 100lb bags of bird seed. Remaining work time was taken with watering, raking, mowing and hustling boxes of books. Eventually, I became John’s assistant as he catalogued and microfilmed a large probate library filled with century-old county histories. I loaded the Buick with boxes of books and we drove downtown at mid afternoons during the summer while John smoked his daily cigar.  ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire.” was true with John Gilchrease. John loved his family and friends; his fire was an immense and deep passion for history of people and lives of birds.

During John’s last years he began organizing his collections related to Wyatt Erp, Tombstone, and the American West. After John’s death, his close friend and fellow historian, Bill Shillingberg (author of Tombstone, A.T., The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1999) completed work to present the collection for auction in San Francisco. In the auction catalogue, Bill presents a fine biographical sketch of John where he details John’s first meeting with Frank Waters when Frank delivered a lecture at Occidental College. This meeting began a  forty year long friendship that endured until Frank’s death in 1995. Of this time, Bill Shillingberg wrote:

During the late spring and summer of 1959 the two traveled all over Arizona, researching by day and sipping Scotch whisky in the evenings, for as Frank noted in the book that had brought them together, “Researching Western Americana is not an armchair job. “

After the 1960 publication of his own controversial interlude, The Erp Brothers of Tombstone, Frank Waters gave John all the original notes of his interviews with Virgil Erp’s widow, adding another dimension to the ever-expanding Gilchriese Collection; a treasure-trove that Frank freely acknowledged would be, “...when finally released, a definitive history of the entire Erp family and a major piece of Western Americana.”

John’s passion for birds began in his young years and blossomed with his time serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps tending to messenger pigeons. John would add to his own collections a library of ornithology that filled an entire room in his home. The amount of bird seed he and June and their son Murdock spread in the backyard of their Tucson home seems incalculable. The birds had stomped away the lawn in their festive feedings (thanks from the gardeners who operated the mower), leaving only a fringe of lawn near the Tombstone rose vine that covered a southern wall and the denser growth under a gnarly olive tree. Shade from the tree cooled the coops where the Gilchrieses nursed injured pigeons and doves.

As my own life moved along and I began sculpting full-time, the Gilchrieses became patrons of my work as they purchased a group of pieces important to me; these included a bust of Frank Waters. John kept me informed about the growth of a line of ponderosa pines that I had planted in his eastern yard.  Often, a telephone call would find John in the mood to chant a litany in Latin of bird species frequenting his back yard. He liked to add Felis concolor  (mountain lion) to gauge the attention of his audience. Many of John’s friends liked to hear his summaries of weather. When rain was scarce, some of us called to suggest that he consider doing a dance and a singing. Truthfully, John liked exercising his knowledge of Athabascan (Navajo and Apache) language. The imagined picture of John dressed in a loin cloth while dancing and drumming and singing on the roof of his house consistently evoked his thunderous laughter which, of course, seemed quite adequate to call the rain.

One of the American West’s finest contemporary painters, Don Crowley, was a close friend of John. Don reminds me of one of John Gilchriese’s most poignant contributions to life......that of introducing so many to one another. Indeed it is very true that John wove a nest of friends who always remember him as we continue to share his interests, stories and fond laughter.                                                 








While discussing the writing of Frank Waters,  the question "What is the best book to read to begin understanding Frank's ideas?" is often posed. His book of essays titled MOUNTAIN DIALOGUES  is one good suggestion because it is deep with concept and varied with subject.....perhaps easiest reading. Still, to find the most personal and autobiographical, Frank’s PIKE'S PEAK must stand first. This thick book is a compilation of a trilogy of novels written  early in his career. As subtitled, it is a family saga.

Presently, in our country's changing consciousness following the destruction of the twin World Trade Center towers and the more recent onslaught of our Great Recession, the writing of Frank Waters remains poignant. One may "surf" through the pages of PIKE'S PEAK to find access to recurring themes in Frank's writing and underlying current of the heritage of nature and humanity in all families.

Following are some waves in an hour of surf!

PIKES PEAK. A Family Saga

Book 2

Below Grass Roots


Part 1

"To glimpse again, after an absence of only months, that great Peak rising over the ears of his team; to watch it take shape above the forested slopes of pine and spruce and sparse aspen, above the frost-shattered granite of timberline; to see it stand at last an imperturbable sentinel on the crest of that Great Divide which separates earth and heaven as it does dreamless sleep and wakeful consciousness - to meet it thus, face to face, was to arouse in Rogier a resurgence of those inexpressible thoughts and conflicting emotions provoked always in a man who returns to a realm which destiny has marked for his own."


Book 3

The Dust Within the Rock


Part 4

"Rogier uttered one gasp - a gasp that seemed to empty his lungs and bowels - and then was silent. What he saw was a geode, a vug, a "poop hole" as Abe called it - an immense hollow chamber in solid rock nearly forty feet high, twenty feet long, and fifteen feet wide. A cave of sparkling splendor that almost blinded him, a cave from whose walls and ceiling hung crystals of sylvanite and calaverite crystals and flakes of pure gold big as thumbnails glowing in the light.  A cave floored with gold particles thick as sand and glittering like a mass of jewels. Everywhere he looked was gold tellurium of astounding purity, sparkling gold crystals, glittering gold sands; even a protruding small boulder of quartz gleamed golden. Here it was as he envisioned it so clearly: an Aladdin's Cave transported from an Arabian Night to the twentieth century, a treasure greater than..... "


Book 1

The Earth's Wild Nobility


Part 5

"Time, the ageless and the sexless, the eunuch of all eunuchs. Time, the great builder, the great destroyer, life's equation sign. The powerful and fickle ambassador of human fate, Time with its vigor and senility, its wisdom and capriciousness, and the infallibility to level with its own mistakes the greatest fruits of its handiwork. Linear flowing time, man's greatest and most persistent illusion in a world whose full-dimensional reality he cannot yet perceive."

In the books final pages, Frank's words italicized as the "muted whisper of the aimless ancient winds":

"Remember your grandfather's square hewn face and figure, his granite will. Look now at the massive granite Peak, son; do you no longer recognize your grandfather's flesh?

Did not your father's fathers and their sons rise out of soft adobe? Out of it and its rich abundance they built the walls of their soft colored bodies. Into it they have returned. Do you no longer recognize your father's flesh? Look down at your feet, son."

"And now they both lie before you, intermingled, even as the rising plains merge into the rocky mountains. Here where the chamisa blooms brightest, the sage smell sharpest - who knows which is buried here? Over them both the tall rain walks, the ghost buffalo sweep past, and we, the ancient aimless ones, whisper in the pines. What is adobe and what is granite but the mingled flesh of all flesh, the earth eternal? Look closer....."


Charcoal by Nicolai Fechin


Bio Blitz Terrestrial bugs



            Orthoptera (Grasshoppers)

                        3 Unknown species

Hemiptera (True Bugs)

            Unknown species



                                    Podisus spp.  Spined Soldier Bug

                        Miridae (Plant bugs)

                                    Unknown species

Homoptera (Leaf Hoppers/Cicada)


                        Membracidae (Tree hoppers)

                                    Stictocephala spp.  Buffalo Treehopper

                        Cicadelledae (leaf hoppers)

                                    Unknown species

Coleoptera (beetles)

            Unknown species


                        Chrysomelidae  (lady bugs)

                                    Unknown species

                        Cerambycidae  (long horned beetles)

                                    Unknown species

Diptera (Fly)


                        Tipulidae (Crane flies)

                                    Tipula spp. Crane fly

                        Muscidae (Muscid flies)

                                    Musca domestica  House fly


Lepidoptera (butterflies/moths)

            Unknown species


Hymenoptera (Ichneumon/ants)

            Unknown species



                                    Unknown species

Araneae (spiders)

            Argiope sp.


                        Thomisidae (Crab spiders)

                                    Xysticus elegans  Elegant Crab Spider

Salticedae (Jumping spiders)

                                    Metaphidippus spp. Metaphid Jumping Spider

                        Dictynidae (Dictynid Spiders)

                                    Dictyna spp. Branch Tip Spider









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