My town

My town is people
who care about each other
and the future,
integrity and hospitality,
creative energy.
My town
has dedicated entrepreneurs,
some just starting out,
some stalwart and foundational
to my town.
Some struggle,
some thrive,
some have hope,
some have drive.
My town
looks to the future,
plans for tomorrow,
lives today with anticipation.
Many hands
work to make better
what is already pretty great –
My Town.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central


5 Reasons you are important

Volunteers Wanted

When I go to meetings, I often see the same faces. These are dedicated folks who believe in making a difference, and who believe there is a difference to be made. They Will Rogerssometimes suffer criticism instead of praise for their efforts, but this does not deter them. They show up, give their opinions, lend their support, stand up for the promise of a better tomorrow, and forge ahead. They volunteer for business groups, animal welfare activities, social justice causes, civic improvement organizations, and anything else you can think of that will make your life and mine a little better. They don’t get paid, and most go unrecognized. These engines for change are the lifeblood of a vibrant community. If you aren’t currently working for the betterment of the community as a volunteer, here are a five reasons you might want to come to the next meeting of interest to you, and sit down at the table.


Ideas are the seeds of change. Without ideas, there would be no iPad, iPhone, or iMac. There would be no interactive notebook that responds to a touch. There would be no music, no art, no books, no invention of any kind. It all begins with an idea. If you think your ideas aren’t important, think again. You can and will make a difference, but only if you are at the table.


I’ve been at the table many times, perhaps too many times, some might say. My perspective comes from my frame of reference. I still believe my perspective has value, but so does yours. When decisions are being made your thoughts count. If you aren’t present, those thoughts won’t be heard, not because your perspective is being ignored, but because you aren’t there to present it.

Kick the lid off the box

It is an unfortunate fact of organizations that sometimes leaders become mired in procedure and process and forget their primary purpose, whatever that may be. The board and membership ages. Individual members become complacent or overburdened. In either case the lid must be kicked off the box so new energy, new leaders, new members can come pouring in. Leadership development is as critical as new ideas. Your presence and participation as a new volunteer can make that happen. You can learn from and be mentored by seasoned volunteers.

Your Experience

Nobody brings to the table what you bring. Your experience at every level will help inform and define the organization you become involved in. You will get out of it exactly what you put into it. Your experience will make the organization better and stronger for your participation.


Getting acquainted with people you don’t ordinarily encounter is an excellent way to expand your horizons. Their energy, their ideas, their dedication will energize you, inspire you, and broaden your creativity. Studies have shown that people who are more involved and engaged in life are happier. Volunteering is good for you. So, come to the table. Be a part of making your community great. Just as seeds need water and sun to grow, organizations need your fresh ideas, perspective, and experience. They need you to kick the lid off the box and pour in your creativity and energy. And isn’t it encouraging to know you will benefit from the experience?

Thank you for being a reader/subscriber. It is my goal to present informative, interesting and creative content on this site. Your likes, shares and comments are welcomed and hugely appreciated.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central

What makes Las Vegas special?


I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, especially since I have accepted an assignment to write an article about that very thing. Face it, if you live here you are in one of two camps:

  • There’s nothing special about Las Vegas!
  • There’s everything special about Las Vegas!

What I want to know, is what you think makes our town special, what makes it a vibrant community. If you were looking for a place to visit, what would attract you to Las Vegas, NM?

Susie Tsyitee, director at the Las Vegas Arts Council, asked the question at a recent Rotary of Las Vegas presentation: What do you think the common response is when visitors ask, “What is there to do in Las Vegas?” Most commonly the response from people who most often come in contact with visitors is, “There’s nothing to do in Las Vegas.”

Gas station attendants, motel registration clerks, fast food restaurant workers, cashiers at quick shop markets like Allsup’s, these are often the only contact visitors have with our community.

Do people not know about:

  • The City of Las Vegas Museum (on Grand Avenue, history and culture)
  • The Santa Fe Trail Interpretive Center (inside CCHP on Bridge Street, history and culture)
  • Montezuma Castle at the United World College (international students and history)
  • Five historic districts with self-directed walking tours (history and architecture)
  • Hiking (outdoor recreation)
  • Fishing (outdoor recreation)
  • Camping (outdoor recreation)
  • National Wildlife Refuge (outdoor recreation and conservation)
  • Special activities year around
    • NMHU special events open to the public (entertainment and education)
    • UWC special events open to the public (international cultural interaction and entertainment)
    • Saturdays @ the museum (history and entertainment)
    • Monthly Fort Union “Glimpses From the Past” at CCHP (history and military)
    • Gallery 140 on Bridge Street (arts, culture and entertainment)
    • Fiesta in July (cultural enrichment and entertainment)
    • Places With a Past in August (history, architecture and culture)
    • Heritage Week in August (history and culture)
    • NMHU Homecoming in September (celebration and education)
    • Two national parks (Pecos National Monument and Fort Union) within easy driving distance (history and culture)
    • Fridays al Fresco in Plaza Park through the summer (music and entertainment)
    • Antiquing (shopping)
    • Galleries (shopping, arts and culture)
    • Annual Light Parade in December (celebration and entertainment)
    • Annual Holiday Home Tour (CCHP sponsored celebration)

    Access to much of what happens in Las Vegas is free or at minimum cost. You can’t find a better deal than that.

    This doesn’t begin to touch on the private sector sponsored music and arts events like gallery openings, live music at local taverns, amateur productions put on by a local theater group and special events designed to celebrate the talents of local artists in every creative discipline.

    There is no better affordable dining experience anywhere! Local eateries have been recognized for generous servings, freshly made entrees with locally-grown (when possible) produce, excellence in presentation and service, diverse menus… Can you tell I’m a fan of our little town?

    When I posed the question of what makes our town special to local businessman Charlie Sandoval, he said without hesitation, “History, culture, and New Mexico Highlands University.” My husband said, “Location, location, location!”

    What do you think? In one word or as many words as you like, tell me what you think makes Las Vegas, NM special. What shouts, “Las Vegas is a vibrant town!” to you? Respond in the comments section below, or e-mail In the subject line type LV Special.

    Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important to me. Thanks for reading One Roof Publishing Magazine. The publisher may be reached by e-mail at

Q&A With Cinematic Entrepreneur

And promoter of Las Vegas: Jim Terr

Jim TerrPromoting the community can sometimes feel like a thankless job. It requires hard work, a sweeping understanding of the area, discerning what makes the area appealing locally and to visitors, and an ability to connect with readers and viewers in interesting ways. Jim Terr continues to be a light in the tunnel that leads folks to visit – and helps those who live here appreciate – the sweetest little town around. He does it in creative and often quirky ways, always positive and lighthearted. What you may not know about Jim is how very talented and creative he is. He has produced countless YouTube videos that highlight Las Vegas positives, and many that celebrate life. He is a satirist with a liberal bent, a song writer, and a tongue-in-cheek commentator on the fractured political landscape. This Q&A is about his consistent dedication to promoting Las Vegas, the original.

Watch Jim show off his talent in Over the Edge Part 8 at Sala de Madrid, Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and in a matinee performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. He will be performing as an opening act featuring a couple of his songs, including his most recent video Road Show Rejects. (A disclaimer here, Bob and I have our 10 plus/minus seconds of fame in the video.)

ORP: Talk about yourself and Blue Canyon Productions.
Jim: Blue Canyon Productions
, a name I don’t use much anymore, was originally coined after a canyon near here, to go with my first production, an album I did with Sweetgrass (1972), a bluegrass band I was in. I’ve used the name to cover a lot of my music and other productions, which transitioned into a lot of video work starting in 1993 with Las Vegas, New Mexico – America’s Oldest Film Location, which has gotten almost 3,800 views on YouTube since I first posted it, and hopefully some good publicity for Las Vegas.

I’m participating in the upcoming CCHP Places With a Past Film Tour of Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 6, as a docent at the Plaza Hotel, speaking as an expert on Las Vegas film history – which I’m actually not but I’ll brush up on the subject. I also have a long-running website on film at And I’m trying to promote some future film and TV productions, hopefully in Las Vegas, with a “Romaine Fielding” series of vignettes at

ORP: You’ve had success writing jingles. Talk about that and how it inspired your creativity.
I think my first jingle was a song I did on an album around 1983, called Is Your Mama Behind You?, about littering (wondering if your mama is following behind you to clean up your litter). The jingle was distributed nationally by the Sierra Club. When I returned to Las Vegas in about 1985, I did quite a string of radio jingles for local businesses, banks and Murphy’s Drug Store to name a couple. I have done many since then, including a national jingle for Snapple, which I was told was the most popular of that series. It was called Sing a Song of Snapple. My little niece and nephew accompanied me on vocals and saxophone respectively. I found out later that the kids made much more in royalties from it than I did! Anyhow, I have a foundation-funded documentary in progress looking at jingles in a larger perspective historically, a realization that came to me while listening to an old-time brass band in Plaza Park one day.

ORP: At what point did you burst into the digital arena with your very active Facebook page, and what have you gained or realized from this effort.
I was resistant to Facebook (like everything else), until a friend signed me up, and the rest is history. I spend half my day on Facebook. I always say I learn a lot about other people, and have made a lot of real friends and business connections. It’s a great playground for me, and educational in a million ways. Facebook has gotten my videos and other content out there. Although I’ve gotten more than 1.5 million views of my videos on YouTube, I get many more views per video on Facebook, so maybe I’ll surpass that total on Facebook videos someday. Here’s one about Jimmy Carter that amazingly got over 140,000 views on Facebook, and almost 6,000 shares (reposts). So Facebook has been a great gift for me.

ORP: Talk about your website.
I have so many websites I wouldn’t know where to start. Way too many, mostly momentary inspirations that have not been productive; I’m “website poor.” You may be referring to the New Mexico Vegas  website, That was an idea to incorporate the many Vegas-related websites and projects and videos under one umbrella. Several folks and businesses in Las Vegas pitched in for me to put that together and make some new videos specifically for that site, some of which have gotten quite a few views already. So, it’s an effort to sort of consolidate a lot of my local promotional efforts in one place. I’m expecting that the Road Show Rejects video will get quite a few views over time. Like some of the other videos I’ve done at Charlie’s (Spic & Span, Bakery and Cafe), and around Las Vegas, I think it features some of the “good spirit” that makes Las Vegas unique. An occasional resident once told me it was the friendliest town he had ever been in. I had never thought about it, until then. I try to promote that generosity, which I think is extraordinary, as well as the physical and historical beauty.

ORP: I’ve thought about uploading videos, but it seems a bit daunting. Talk about how you became such an active producer on YouTube.
Jim: Before YouTube came along (or before I got onto it), it was quite a deal to upload a video to a website. YouTube made it much easier. Once you get familiar with the procedure it’s pretty simple. It’s even easier to “embed” a YouTube video into your website. I’ve become rather compulsive about producing videos – it is great fun and has produced some income and some visibility for issues I care about. I now have more than one thousand videos on YouTube. Facebook is where my new videos get the most views, and that’s equally easy to upload once you understand the procedure.

ORP: Why do you work at promoting the community when your only compensation is an occasional, “Thank you?”
Jim: I enjoy it for some reason, and enjoy sharing and seeing beautiful pictures of nature and architecture and people in general. I hope some of it generates tourist business for Las Vegas as well as additional pride and appreciation among residents. And I do get compensated – sponsorships – for some of my videos, occasionally.

ORP: What do you most want people to know about the area?
Jim: I’ve covered a lot of that in the videos and comments above, but here’s one that’s been very popular on YouTube (almost 20,000 views!), Las Vegas New Mexico – the Real Las Vegas, featuring our superstar, Brenda Ortega. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever put that video on Facebook…

ORP: Talk about some of the songs about Las Vegas – serious and parody – you’ve.
Jim: Here’s a funny one about Las Vegas – or Northern NM in general – with more than 5,000 views on YouTube), though probably not everyone will think it’s funny. I would hope we all agree that Las Vegas is absolutely unique in about a million ways – including its history and culture and architecture.

On a more serious note, I did a series of videos about some of the “elders” in our area, if you search for “NEW MEXICO SURVIVORS” on YouTube you can find them.

ORP: What is your goal in producing/creating your many Las Vegas-related YouTube videos?
Jim: It’s just been some sort of itch to appreciate Las Vegas and to share that appreciation and hopefully promote tourism, and of course to keep myself afloat with sponsorships for videos and websites when I can.

Jim Terr is available to film videos on commission. You may contact him at, e-mail:



Artistic Adventure

Artists at WorkNote: I don’t have names of the people in these photos, but they were having as much fun as we were at the “Wine and Paint” event held on Saturday at the El Fidel Restaurant. Lots of interpretations and lots of laughs.

More years ago than I want to remember I took painting lessons. I gave up because I could tell right away that “great artist” wasn’t something anyone would ever call me. Not even “mediocre artist.” Bob, who was far more talented than me, took lessons as well, back when he was in the Army. He should have stuck with it, but that whole thing of being an optometrist got in the way. He concentrated on his patients and didn’t pick up a paint brush again until recently, when he started taking lessons from gifted artist Duffy Peterson.

So, along comes this thing called “Wine and Paint,” a fund raiser for the Media Arts Club at Highlands. It looked like fun and a neat way to support a worthwhile organization. And it was something we could do together. So we paid the very small fee ($35 per person with all the supplies provided), and entered into “Wine and Paint,” with a boatload of trepidation. Would every one there be a really good artist? How would it work? Would we be the only “mature” (okay, old) people there?

From the minute we arrived our concerns disappeared like a bad painting under a thick coat of gesso.

It was just plain fun. We were the only – ahem – older folks there, but the HU students and one HU prof and his wife made up a congenial group.

The cat's meowWe found out pretty quickly the instructions were simple; the application perhaps not so much, but it was fun anyway. We laughed. We complimented each other. We ordered wine and food. We painted. We laughed.

The El Fidel Restaurant staff members were gracious and the food was yummy. Not every one ate. Bob and I had the fondue with bread and apples. It was fantastic! The wine and food where not part of the fee, but all in all, it was an evening of entertainment for very little cost.

We learned two important lessons (or at least I did, Bob probably already knew both): water is your friend, and you write with your wrist, you paint with you elbow. Okay, if you don’t get it, all I can say is you had to be there.

In the end we all came up with a variation on the painting we were recreating, or interpreting. One person who said she didn’t much like cats, painted stylized flowers using the color palette provided. Another did gargoyles.

Bob said his cats looked like they’d been out all night and had a time of it. I said we should title the painting, “We might look like we’ve been in a cat fight, but we won!” I have to say his cats and my cats sort of resemble us. His were thin and scrappy, mine – umm – plump and complacent.

We asked Angela Meron, the instructor and an assistant professor in Media Arts at Highlands, to let us know when the club has another event. We want to be there.

This is not thWine and Painte only paint-a-painting in a single session opportunity in Las Vegas. Melody Perez of Running Horses Studio has a similar program. Paint Out is designed for beginners and first time painters, with full instruction and all materials supplied. To find out more about Melody’s great opportunities  check out her website at We will likely do one of her classes soon.

For us, the main thing is to enjoy life, and this painting thing is one way to do it. Now we have two – hmmm – rather interesting paintings to show for our experience, and you know what? Every time we look at them, we smile.

Give Me Understanding

Psalm 119:34: Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.


In our desire to be self-sufficient, we forget that on our own we are alive but lifeless. We have no purpose except to please ourselves. When we seek to understand others, we find ways to help those God puts into our paths. We reach out, and grow inside. We look up, and our horizons expand. We bow our heads in prayer and know we have made a connection, the most important connection of all. When we look to our neighbor and try to understand them we see God’s plan at work in all people everywhere. In Matthew 22:38-40, Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Who is your neighbor? Who is my neighbor? It may be the person next door or it can be someone a world away. The only way you know how you can help is to ask, and to understand.

Something Different

If  you’ve never been to my site before you won’t see anything different, other than the fact I haven’t done much since my marathon poetry writing self-challenge in which I wrote a poem a day from Dec. 1 – 25. I’ve written a couple of other blogs since January 1, but that’s it.

notebooks.jpgIf, however, you are a follower you will note a new look. The “new look” may be new again tomorrow, I can’t say for sure. I’m in flux right now, wanting to write but being frustrated by what to write and who my audience is, or who I think it is. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’ve figured that out yet.

And then I remembered. According to one of those cockamamie tests on the internet, my word for 2016 is Innovative.

With that it mind I decided to think outside the box. Unfortunately someone hid “the box” and I can’t find it anywhere. So here is what I’ve come up with, which applies to any blogger out there who wants to have readership:

  1. Write.

Okay, that’s it. Every day sit in the spot you feel most creative and write. Even when it’s bad writing you’re flexing your brain and developing ideas you can make something of down the road.

I have two almost finished novels. They’re just sitting there waiting. I’m the roadblock to these books being completed. Whether I’m blogging or writing poetry or short stories, or working on a novel, the first step is to write.

In an interview with Noah Charney, Jodi Picoult, whose last seven books have all hit number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, talked about her approach to writing.

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Discipline leads to success, maybe not Jodi Picoult success, but success at some level. If nothing else there is satisfaction in knowing you tried and knowing you did your best. I’m preaching to me, now, because right at this moment I need a kick in the pants and nobody can give me that other than me or better than me.

Tune in tomorrow for more on my innovative approach to writing and blogging.


Britt Realism: Nothing is as it seems

Meredith BrittMy friend Meredith Britt is among the artists taking part in the Second Invitational New Mexico Painters Exhibition at Kennedy Hall on the campus of New Mexico Highlands University. The show will be up beginning Sept. 6 and run through Oct. 16, with the reception to be held from 4-7 p.m. on opening day.

Meredith is one of my favorite people. I thank her for kindly answering my questions and allowing me to feature her in this blog about the show. Her dry sense of humor makes me smile; her work lets me know how important art is to her.

She said about painting: “I’ve always painted. I’ve considered painting my main focus since I was 29 when I went back to school and changed my major to art.

“‘Formally trained’ sounds like I’m housebroken, which I am. I’ve been to obedience school too,” she replied to the question about whether she is self-taught. “Art kind of teaches you, whether you’re in school or not. As long as you’re making art, art is the teacher.”

In addition to painting Meredith does beautifully created collage art in vibrant colors with amazing detail. “I got started with collages just playing around with colored paper and glue stick when we had the Community Art Center by the bridge. Both mediums are so malleable – you really can’t go wrong. The artist always gets to play god.”

She refers to the artistic style of her painting and collages as Britt Realism. I can see that. There is subtle simplicity and power in her work.

Of the five bold-image paintings she submitted for consideration, three were chosen.Meredith's Work

“The pieces I picked for the show sort of go together because they are all large-scale still lifes: an ice cream cone, a toaster, and a thermos with two cups and saucers. They all sort of relate to food so there’s another thread. I also entered a painting of a chair and one of the women’s room in the Highlands art building. Those didn’t get in. Maybe the curator was hungry. On another note, I seriously hope my work gives people some joy or helps them remember there’s a bigger picture. Nothing is as it seems.”

I asked Meredith what three things she wanted people to know about her as an artist.

“I want people to know that I believe art is everything; that I hope to inspire others to make art without judgment; and that I no longer think about the fact that I’m the world’s greatest artist.”

Meredith’s work can be seen at el Zócalo Gallery, 1809 Plaza in Las Vegas, an art space she is proud to share with others.

“Eleven of us members own it cooperatively. It’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s a beautiful place and we all get along well. Everyone is invited to come see us – we’re open every day. I’ve been in galleries in Santa Fe and Taos, but I don’t need them now that I have el Zócalo.”

For more information about the Second Invitational New Mexico Painters Exhibition at Kennedy Hall, click here to read an article by Margaret McKinney.

What: Second Invitational New Mexico Painters Exhibition at Kennedy Hall
Where: Kennedy Hall Art Gallery
Dates: Sept. 6 – Oct. 16
Opening Reception: 4-7 p.m., Sept. 6
Cost: Free

A walk in the park

Happy Face   These are a few snapshots from the People’s Faire. It was a perfect day. There were many booths and lots of bargains. The atmosphere was relaxing and interesting. As usual I saw lots of folks I hadn’t seen in a while so it was worth its weight in gold to reconnect. A couple of young men (teenagers?) were playing live while I was there. They had a powerful sound and were really talented.

I bought a couple of Christmas presents for friends. I also snagged a treat for me for only – get this – $7. A multi-strand necklace and two pairs of earrings. That’s right, folks – $7. I asked if that wasn’t a mistake and the very lovely crowds&boothsartist who created the pieces said she was moving inventory because she wanted to retire. Believe me, I wouldn’t have strung those tiny beads for $70!

It was a great way to spend a couple of hours and the best part is that I got some great photos.

I just want to thacropwalkkarylCartwheelnk the Las Vegas Arts Council for its dedication to the arts and artisans of Las Vegas and the area. This covers a lot of territory and includes the visual experience through exhibits, as well as writing and performance.

I heard once that there are more than 100 artists in this area. I suspect there are more than that. They are as important to our economy as the local businesses that invest in our community. Creating art is not only a joy, the artist is an entrepreneur, their commodity is the work they create. Support local artists. Buy original work for yourself and as gifts for family and friends.

Today I saw lots of handmade jewelry, ceramics, woodcrafts in a variety of styles, paintings, wearable fabric art, and much, much more. Many of these folks show in local galleries or participate in coop galleries. When you buy something from a local artist you are purchasing something unique and showing your appreciation for their work.

There were a number of nonprofits at the People’s Faire as well. One particular upcoming event caught my eye. On Sept. 27 from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. the Friends of the National Wild Life Refuge will be sponsoring the 11th Annual Concert for the Birds. It’s a family friendly event with outdoor games, art projects for kids of all ages, a hayride, and more. The concert performed by the Mystic Lizards is from 3 to 4:15 PM. Put it on your calendar and plan to attend.

So, that’s how I spent my Saturday. I hope your day was as grand and pleasant as mine.

What I Believe

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3:16-18, from The Message

Love is LoveI am not a theologian. I am a believer. I don’t know what God thinks about the world as it is today, but I do know what I believe. I believe God loves everyone who calls upon his name. Everyone. I believe he looks at the heart not at the head, or the gender, or the ethnicity, or the sexual orientation of those he loves. I believe when God gave his only begotten son to die for the sins of all, he made no exception about which believers are covered by the gift of grace. I believe that my loving understanding of a just God accepts that he is Supreme and I am not. I believe when we are so busy finding reasons to judge and criticize, we miss out on life. Believe Out Loud gives an overview of the LGBT equality position from the Christian perspective of gay and lesbian believers. It’s the view you don’t typically see in the media. If politicians must have something to fight about, maybe they should focus on poverty, mental illness, literacy, and health care, and stay away from debating equality, which every citizen in the U.S. is guaranteed under the constitution.

Thank you for being a reader/subscriber. It is my goal to present informative, interesting and creative content on this site. Your likes, shares and comments are welcomed and hugely appreciated.

Follow Sharon at:
Amazon Author Central