The last time I photographed this abandoned house in Golden, NM was about ten years ago. In fact, my profile picture for this blog (the one with the guitar) is from that trip and was shot right there on the front porch.
The Diner That Never Was
Last weekend, Johnpaul and I went on a little photo-adventure to the Rio Puerco Bridge 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.
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.
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.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.