Pelancho is the nickname that some of my aunts, uncles and cousins on my Mother's side (the Bouvets, Herrera's and Rosales) called me when we were kids. Some of them still do. It seemed appropriate to use it as my blog handle.
The image of the star on Mount Franklin is important to me as my last job in my hometown of El Paso before I left on January 15, 1977 was to turn on and guard the star at night. The star graces the side of Mount Franklin in El Paso and is situated right above our family home.
I worked at El Paso Electric company at the time. I would drive up to the mountain in a jeep and spend the night on the crest. It was a wonderful place to "PONDER" life, art, the future. On a few occasions I had to chase kids down off the mountain that had hiked up to shoot out the light bulbs. At the time the star was made of bulbs suspended from telephone poles. I'm not sure that is still the case. Also, the star was only lit during the Christmas Holiday. Today it is lit nightly and can be seen from over 100 miles away.
The Mountains in El Paso while being landmarks in and of themselves house other landmarks of great consequence to me. In my youth the letters of all the high schools were painted on the mountain and on Friday nights they would be lit with luminaries during football season. Austin, my high school owns the piece of property that our A is placed so while the others have faded, ours is still there for all to see. Not having been in El Paso during Friday night football for many, many years I am not certain whether the A is still lit during the games. Seen here from the Austin High Campus almost two miles away.
Another landmark which I cherish is Cristo Rey. In Sunland Park, New Mexico west of El Paso, stands a 29 ft. limestone image of Christ carved by Italian sculptor Urbici Soler. Work on the sculpture began in 1937 and the stones were cut and prepared at quarries in the Austin area. The piece was completed in October of 1939 in time for pilgrimage. Soler's sculpture hosts thousands of pilgrims each year. The entire structure is 42.5 ft. high.