The Diner That Never Was
Last weekend, Johnpaul and I went on a little photo-adventure to the Rio Puerco Bridge on-the-mother-road-to-rio-puerco-bridge.html which is out on Historic Route 66 west of Albuquerque. From there, we decided to take Hwy 6 back to Los Lunas and, on the way, came across Maybelle's Diner.
After posting a few photos on Twitter, one of my followers shared some interesting information about this location, namely that there never was any such place as Maybelle's Diner.
Turns out the original name of this place was Wild Horse Mesa Bar. After it closed, Hollywood came in and used it for an on-location set in the 2016 movie Katie Says Goodbye. It was renamed Maybelle's Diner for the movie.
A Steel Guardian Of The Mother Road
Originally constructed in 1933, the Rio Puerco Bridge stands guard over this section of Historic Route 66 in New Mexico. It is no longer accessible by automobile but I-40 is a mere stone's throw away and certainly a safer method of crossing the river.
The Rio Puerco Bridge is a Parker Through Truss style bridge and was fabricated by the Kansas City Structural Steel Company. The bridge is 250 feet in length, making it one of the longest bridges of it's type in New Mexico.
These photos were shot on January 12, 2019.
Rt. 5 Box 326
My family moved to Los Lunas in 1982 and we rented this house for a few years upon arrival. It was spacious with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, separate living room and den, 2 car garage on five acres of land with a horse barn. We lived here until 1985 when the owners decided they wanted to move back in, at which time we bought some land up the hill near Meadow Lake.
While my family had many good times here, I did not have the best relationship with this house. I was six years old when we moved there and don't recall ever being afraid of ghosts or anything unseen that may go bump in the night prior to living here.
The main things that stick in my memory are being afraid in my room at night and being afraid to go into my parents room alone, ever, at any time of the day or night. In my room at night, I felt that I was safe on the bed but would be absolutely terrified to get off the bed for any reason. If I had to pee, that was gonna have to wait until morning. One night, I was very sure that I saw a man's face in my bedroom window. In the photo above, my bedroom was the last window on the right. Those windows are pretty high up. Maybe it was all in my head but, to this day, I can still see his face.
My parent's bedroom was even worse though. Anytime I might go in there by myself, regardless of the time of day, I felt a wall of energy pushing me out. Like a hand on my back shoving me towards the door and I could never get out of there fast enough.
It would be easy enough to chalk all this up to a little kid's overactive imagination, and maybe it was, but I never felt that way before we moved to this house and it stopped when we moved away.
After we left the house, the owners fixed it up and did a little remodeling and I guess they lived there for awhile but no one lives there now and I have no idea why. When I stopped by to be nosey and look around, there were "No Trespassing" and "Condemned Building" signs on the front windows but no signs in the yard or any indication that the property was for sale. Obviously, I couldn't get inside - and would've been too afraid to go in by myself anyway - but I shot a few photos through the windows that weren't boarded up.
I don't know why the house sits abandoned and decaying now except that maybe something in there doesn't want company.
Looking through the window of the master bathroom. Occasionally, I would shower in here instead of in the hall bathroom. This shower was barely larger than a phone booth and there was a broken piece of tile sticking out near the bottom that (to me) resembled a severed snake body. Anytime I showered in here, I was always afraid that if I closed my eyes snakes would crawl up out of the drain and bite my feet.
Buried By Neglect
As with many old cemeteries in Albuquerque, San Jose has fallen into a sad state of disrepair. It is no longer an active cemetery, meaning that new burials are being performed elsewhere and it doesn't seem that anyone is officially charged with it's upkeep. Meanwhile, city life goes on and the unkempt cemetery becomes a haven for tweakers and vandals.
Postscript: If you go there, don't be part of the problem. Remember the golden rule of visitation and photography: Leave only footprints, take only photographs.
Vicente "El Picosito" Garcia
In these old cemeteries, it is unusual to find a new(ish) grave and especially one with a news story.
Buried here at San Jose Cemetery is Albuquerque boxer, Vicente "El Picosito" Garcia. In 2006, he was found shot to death in a car. The young boxer was only 20 years old.
Johnpaul and I were at the cemetery on November 17, 2018 and there had obviously been recent visitors to Vicente's grave as evidenced by the relatively fresh jack-o-lantern and half bottle of Modelo beer.
To learn more Vicente "El Picosito" Garcia and what happened to him, click here.
Past It's Prime
I'm not sure that Meadow Lake ever really had a "prime". It's a weird place that boasts neither a meadow nor a lake. To be fair, there was once a man-made lake that someone must have gone through a lot of trouble to build for the five people who lived there. It is closed now and barricaded behind a razor wire topped chain link fence. I grew up in this area and don't recall it ever being open.
Abandoned Building On Meadow Lake Road
It's hard to tell what this building used to be, the inside doesn't look like a house. The land is for sale if anyone wants to use it for something else.
The Little White Church
Whenever I tell someone that I live out near Meadow Lake, they always ask "is it past the Little White Church?" This building is the iconic landmark of the Meadow Lake area.
For the record, it's not abandoned, but I'm sure they get asked that all the time.
Abandoned Gravel Pit on Meadow Lake Road
This gravel pit was operational when I was a kid. It is located about half way up the big hill (there's only one). There is a derelict mobile home park at the bottom of the hill. The park is inhabited but no one is paying their neighborhood association fees. Anyway, when I was a kid, the mobile home park was in a more respectable condition and then one day a truck loaded with gravel was coming down the hill and lost control at the curve. It tumbled a few times causing one of the axels to fly off and by god if it didn't cut one of those mobile homes clean in two!
Since then they put up a guard rail.
And Then There's This
Just one of many curious structures that had electricity.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.