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A Cliffie Experience: Tales of New Mexico 1902-1940

By: Heaphy,Mary Lou
Price: $25.00

Diamond Press,2005.
At the turn of the 20th century, Albuquerque, New Mexico was still a small town, but things were changing fast. The railroad was the big employer in town, and the local high, dry atmosphere made Albuquerque an ideal place for tuberculosis patients to recover. The Fred Harvey Company was building a big, new hotel, the Alvarado, to handle all the train passengers. Their architect, Charles Whittlesey, built a new house on the escarpment overlooking the city to live in while he oversaw the construction of the Alvarado. Around 1916, a young nurse arrived in Albuquerque to care for the TB patients she had brought from Louisiana. From stories of traveling around New Mexico with Dr. Lovelace in a horse and buggy to treat patients, to working with Mayor Clyde Tingley to improve the city, Mary Lou Heaphy brings to life the delightful story of Cliffie's experiences in New Mexico. Her father wanted a boy and had named the baby Clifford before she was born. Cliffie was bold, eccentric, and flamboyant. She lived in the log-house over-looking the city, that was built by architect Whittlesley who not only built the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque but the El Tovar Hotel at Grand Canyon. Cliffie's home, the Hall Log House, was frequently a social center for friends and dignitaries. During prohibition she brewed bathtub gin. She knew gangsters, governors, artists, newspaper magnates, aviators, and movie stars. Mayor Tingley would drop by to discuss his political strategy for the next election. Cliffie was a flapper, a nurse, a seamstress, a beautician, a realtor, and a businesswoman. She lived at a time when the journey from Santa Fe to Albuquerque could take an entire day. For Cliffie, everything was a great adventure. A Cliffie Experience! Heaphy's book is both entertaining and informative.Paperback, 294 pages.