I received a most wonderful gift today in the mail from Pinky Werner, granddaughter to Oscar Huber, who once owned the Madrid Mines and was the driving force behind the small coal town of Madrid, New Mexico of the 1920s through to the early 50s. I've written a good deal about Madrid throughout the blog -- partly because my grandfather Pierre Menager worked as an artist to help create the famous life-sized (and even larger than life-sized in some cases) dioramas for the Madrid Christmas Light Show. But so much of what I have learned about Madrid has come from the generosity of Pinky Werner, who when I lamented on the blog that I had no photos of Madrid's light shows or my grandfather's work from the 40s on the project, she sent me a disk with close to 700 photographs from the Huber Family albums on all aspects of life in Madrid between the 20s and 40s.
Pretty much gobsmacked by the sudden wealth of materials -- much of it unseen by anyone but the Huber Family, I started posting about life in Madrid, including more detailed posts about the Christmas Light Shows, the Miners and their work, their play at baseball, and summer holidays. (You can find links to the albums in the left-sidebar) These posts were discovered by Jerry Dimass -- who grew up in Madrid until he entered the Navy with his twin during WWII. Jerry has generously shared his biography on the blog, and best of all, answered as many of the questions in the comments to those younger generations interested in learning about their great grandparents and grandparents lives in Madrid. Such a treat to be at this wonderful crossroad -- made possible by the internet.
But today, Pinky, in thanks for having made these photos public (and there are still more posts to come) sent me this gorgeous Madonna carved by my grandfather Pierre Menager -- who was a friend of the Huber family, and admired, both for his tricksterish nature, but also for the stunning work he did on the Light Show dioramas. I can't begin to thank her enough for once more thinking of me, and for sending this lovely Madonna, with her peaceful, smiling baby to me. I feel so blessed and grateful.
And here is a small side note: another reason I am so grateful to receive this Madonna by Pierre is because in 1971, a Madonna which Pierre had given my family and which I loved as a child, was stolen from the apartment of a friend in Chicago -- as my mother had placed the sculptures with her friend while she traveled abroad, ironically to keep them safe. If you see her, please let me know. I am willing to believe they are still in Chicago, somewhere. This is the only photo I have of her. She was painted with great care -- gold gilt on her and the baby Jesus' halos. She is about two feet tall and the detail on her garments, the baby's swaddling are really lovely. Sigh...I would so love to see her again.