So I am visiting my favorite bookstore across from the University of New Mexico and I’m reading the bulletin board outside, looking for rental ads. One ad caught my eye. “Manage an Apartment in Exchange for Land”…. Say What ??? I had to find out more so I gave the number a call. I met with Jerry and his wife who explained that they owned an Apartment building with 4 units on the East side of Albuquerque.
They needed someone to live there and keep up the grounds and generally communicate tenet concerns. In exchange for one year of this, they were offering an acre of land down south between Belen and Socorro. My rent would be less as well. So, I signed on !
After moving in I took a trip with Jerry to go see the property. He had purchased several 1 – 6 acre parcels of a subdivided ranch in Socorro County. I checked out several locations and found the one that just felt good to me. I loved the view of mountains in the distance and learned that they were called the Ladrones. A lot of mystery surrounds these mountains with stories of hidden treasure, a large population of rattlesnakes and people getting lost then found unharmed days later. I loved this !
As I sat low in the grass, there was suddenly a shared moment of startle and surprise as a free range bovine came up on me just grazing along. (Imagine here a cow gasping with me…) She recovered quicker than I and continued on her way.
Jerry eventually returned. On our trip home he shared a story about a ranch located up by the Ladrones. He had it on the market and sold it to an artist. Said this artist was quite renowned, especially in Santa Fe and was real eccentric. didn’t like people much. I remember being intrigued and thinking it would be cool to meet this guy. Amazingly, a few years later my path would cross with this artist, but you will have to wait for that story.