"September 4, 1964 was a Red Letter day for the village of Cuchara for on that day Cuchara Hermosa was born" Hermosa scrapbooks portray a community of friendly, energetic and giving people who, through the decades, have strived to improve the quality of life in the charming Cuchara valley. Hermosa (meaning friends) began in 1964 when a group of ladies met at the home of Margaret Bradley with the idea of helping beautify the valley. Within the first year, Hermosa removed three truckloads of trash from along Colorado Highway 12 between Cuchara and La Veta and sponsored its first Flower and Art Festival - setting the stage for years of projects that continue to beautify and benefit the valley.
1965 Highway Clean-Up
The Cuchara area residents in the above picture are shown with one of three loads of assorted junk which they picked up from the roadsides on the 12-mile stretch of highway between Cuchara and La Veta last Friday. The group began its project about 9 a.m. and completed it by dumping three loads at the La Veta City Dump, where this picture was taken, about 3 p.m. They stopped at the home of Clara Peterson for cake and coffee about 11 a.m. From left to right in the picture are: L.A. Cummings, Audrey Mason, Florence Cummings, Clara Peterson, Shirley Jameson. The Cucharans said the most common item of junk was beer cans, and that they discovered nothing of value along the highway.
The First Flower and Art Show
The first Flower and Art Festival of the "Cuchara Hermosa" group, which was held August 6-7 and 8, was a grand success. With favorable weather and community interest, unusually large crowds attended, and expressed their appreciation and hope that it would become an annual affair. In the art section more than 150 entries were registered, representing the work of residents of Cuchara and visitors. Betty Anderson's gay stitchery of a stylized bird was hung in the Yesterday Room. Margaret Bradley exhibited several oil painting, "Spanish Peaks", "Inland Harvest", and water color, "Fog on Mountain". Mary Britton showed an oil, "Spanish Mission", Vicky Johnson, watercolors, "Valley Road", "Yellow Sky", and unframed watercolors. Elizabeth McLean, watercolor "The Gap", oil, "Fall Aspen Leaves". Mrs. Charles Photon, oils, "Maroon Bells, "Old Maple Tree" and a collection of water colors. Helen Simpson, "Potato House. Dorothy Towne, oils, "Silent Hills", "Flowers" and unusual "Ink Nicks". Bill Williams, collage, "Early Autumn", scratch board "Mountain Cabin", and a collection of wood cuts, lithographs, and etchings. Jo Forbes, watercolors, "Cottage", "Still Life", oil, "Portugal", and an unusual wood panel decoupage of "El Greco" pictures. The youngest exhibitor, Barbara Bundy, 14 years old, was sponsored by Mrs. A. S. Pipes. She had a painting of "Blue Gentians", as grown in Mrs. Pipe's yard. This young artist shows promise, and attracted much attention. Michael Lenin of Walsenburg exhibited two oils, "Mime", and "Childhood". Clayton Staples, the well-known artist, who at one time had a studio in Cuchara, exhibited two oil painting, "Winter Road" and "Fall Rain". Jinx Wright of Hutchison, Kan., where she directs art in the the public schools, had an interesting group of watercolors including several of Cuchara. Mrs. Everett Bradley, chairman of the art section, was ably assisted by Fred Hector, and Bill Williams. Bill has spent many summers here and will teach art in the San Juaquin Delta Junior College at Stockton, Calif. He has been an illustrator for the missal training program the past seven years at White Sands, N.M. The exhibit of flower arrangements, was eye stopping, and positioned at the opposite side of the room from the art exhibit on raised levels, made a beautiful sight. Mrs. F. B. Umpires was the chairman, and had arranged the entries which varied from the delightful ones by children to the more sophisticated ones by experienced hands. To mention a few of the outstanding exhibits were Nellie Barrington "Along a Cuchara Deer Trail", Behenke and Hall "Mullen and Thistle",
1967 Welcome Letter
Dear Members: Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. I'm sure all of you are beginning to think of the beauties of Cuchara. For those that have not heard, Hermosa has the same officers and committee chairmen with one exception. We hope this will be easier for all concerned. We are very pleased to announce that the children's playground back of the rec hall is ready for use if the grass grew as we hoped. When we left camp November 1, plans were being made to clean the rocks from the park area so the grass can be cut. In the near future, we would like to have trees and a flower garden in the front area.
All this takes money, so be thinking of something you can make and bring for our food pantry and Christmas table. Mary needs your help. No surprise packages this year, we have asked Mr. Summers to apple for federal income tax exemption for Hermosa. Our meetings have been planned for the following dates: Hermosa Luncheon, Thursday, June 22 Hermosa Pot Luck, Thursday, July 6 Hermosa Luncheon and election, Thursday, August 10 Hermosa Pot Luck, Thursday, August 24 The art Festival will be held August 5-6. For those of you who are interested, we hope to start some projects that we can all work together and make things for the festival. So bring an idea, your favorite paint brush, needle and thimble. We need your membership. If you have not paid your $2.00 dues for 1967, you may send it to Mrs. Pearl Davis or you may join when you get to camp. Yours, Margaret Howard, President
1967 Meeting Notes
Our first meeting for 1967 was held June 10 at the home of the President, Margaret Howard, with most of the officers and committee chair-men present. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for the coming season's program and activities. It was suggested that $200.00 be donated to the Fire Truck Building fund. Marie Umpires and Mary Ervin will act as hostesses for the meetings this year. The president told of plans to plant trees in the parkway and to place benches and a suitable marker there. At the regular luncheon on June 22 at the Chuck Wagon there were 31 ladies present. The Treasurer announced at this date there were 51 paid members and $899.07 in the Treasury. A motion was made and seconded to give $200.00 to the Fire Truck fund. The dates for the Art Festival were announced as August 4-5-6.