Mary Davis, historian summa cum laude of Corrales and beyond, just did her first book promo Zoom for fans of her newest book, Hometown Corrales: A Family Album, courtesy of Bookworks in Albuquerque.
She decided to sit in front of her randomly filled bookshelf for her remote chat, as is now customary among celebs and the litterati. This hour-long virtual event June 21 attracted just over a dozen possible customers/readers. Coming July 28 at 1 p.m. is Davis’ second Zoom appearance, this one for members of Village in the Village. For more information, call 274-6206.
As reported by Corrales Comment the end of last year, “Ten years of researching, interviewing, hair-pulling and collating later, Mary Davis has completed a second book about Corrales, an effort aided and abetted by the skills and commitment of Carolyn O’Mara, graphic designer, as well as by members of the Corrales Historical Society. This new project is called Hometown Corrales: A Family Album, and its primary focus is people —59 family names, and as many as 200 people, representing a tapestry of interwoven names and families.
As Davis put it, “This book is the answer to those who asked “Why is my family not in the book?” Her first such volume, Corrales, put out in April 2010 by Arcadia Publishing, was part of the series “Images of America.” And yet, even after all this, Davis admits there are “numerous families I know nothing about.’”
During the ongoing pandemic, Davis has been staying close to home with her husband Paul, retired University of New Mexico professor and author of numerous books, whose days are firmly focused on creating remarkable wood block prints that capture the essence of the novels of Charles Dickens. These 18 by 18-inch Dickens evocations are not for sale.
In a recent conversation, Davis said she had not eaten lunch out anywhere in over three months, though she is well-supplied with groceries by her daughter who lives next door, but had been out to her doctor for “a shot in the knee.” “Already had one knee replaced,” she said, chuckling, “But in my mid 80s now, likely there’s not much time left, so why bother?” She also was mildly fretting about members of her family traveling from Florida to Denver.
As for her latest Corrales book, Davis reckons she may have a few copies left of the 500 she herself paid for. “We gave away close to half of the books, signed, to the members of the families featured in the book, and have about three boxes of books left.” One is at Bookworks on Rio Grande Boulevard. And sales are steady at Frontier Mart. And not too shabby on Amazon, where the book, published in February 2020, sells for $25. Davis is keen for some written reviews on Amazon.
And the next publisher for Hometown Corrales is not yet known. Davis is wrestling with the expensive reality of digital publishing, versus photo offset, which she was able to arrange with Sunstone Press in Santa Fe for the initial run of the book.
Reactions to Hometown Corrales?
Historic preservationist Taudy Smith wrote "lovely recollections from people and places I am very fond of. Well done.” Davis served as the historic preservation planner with the City of Albuquerque for nearly 20 years. Antoinette Montano Patterson asked Davis to send a copy of the book to her sister, Dorella, in El Paso. “When it arrived it had made her day.”
Gloria Zamora, daughter of Irene and Tom Tafoya, included in the book, “said something nice but I can't find her email,” as Davis put it. Zamora is the author of Sweet Nata, published by the University of New Mexico Press, in 2011. Set during the 1950s and 1960s in Mora and Corrales, it’s a memoir “about familial traditions and the joys and hardships the author experienced in her youth,” according to the press writeup.
While Davis said she had quit the board of the Corrales Historical Society, and was no longer the chair of the archives committee, she admitted her involvement would continue a bit longer as “I’m the only one who knows this stuff.” Maybe someone out there would like to be an archives intern and “shadow” Davis.
Also on Davis’ mind is the fact that CHS is losing money during the current isolation experience, and all involved are seeking ways to raise funds. One way is to donate a portion of your Amazon purchases to a non-profit like CHS. Another is to use a Smith’s Market Rewards Card in a similar manner. Or to step up “planned giving.” Check out the options at http://www.corraleshistory.org/ supporting-the-old-church.html