On the last day of several summers, EOrr asked every kid to find a quiet spot alone with pencil and paper. We were told to write about "what the summer meant" to us each, alone with our thoughts. The idea may have been to collect them for distribution sometime later.

In the process of sorting through the collected records and files from the Cibola years, Sandy Orr found many if not all the personal statements for 1959 and 1960. Sandy gave these papers to Steve Knapp in 2010 for archiving. Steve has transcribed the most legible statements from the original faded handwritten papers. Here are these transcribed personal statements. Note that the transcription process (itself prone to typos) has inadvertently corrected many but not all spelling errors.

These statements give a snapshot, usually personal, at times intimate, into the minds of more or less affluent urban articulate teenagers who have experienced one or more summers quite distant from the streets and cultures of Brookline, Shaker Heights, Scarsdale, Winnetka, Cleveland Park.... Naturally some minds were more mature than others. Often these summers were transformative.



We call it Barefoot Creek - Sharon and I. It's a beautiful creek. We dipped our toes in the cooling water and enjoyed the sun and the trees and the stones. I was surrounded by things I loved, my friends, horses, little woodchucks and the freedom of the woods.

I watched the water rush and babble over the rocks and I felt relaxed and cool and close to the outside world.

I walked along and picked up the colorful stones that caught my eye. I put my hands in the water and felt it swish past the little pebbles. I saved some of the pebbles - when I am cold in the winter I will hold them in my hands and think of the sun and the trees and Barefoot Creek.

-Ann Milstein


I think one of the three things I cared most about this summer was playing instruments with Howie and Mary, but what is there to say about it? We played so few times and for such a s[h]ort time, but those times played such a big part in my summer. It was so wonderful to let myself go completely and just play all that I had in me. The arch way was a perfect place for the music, which echoed and vibrated, and made me want to play forever. What more is there to say?

The other two things that I cared most about were one, staying at the Cate's which I have already very [ ? ] written about, and two, the awareness of nature, life and the earth's history that I have gotten. I loved standing in the middle of the hot & dry dessert, and being able to see where the sea had once been, and climbing down into the Goosenecks, seeing the different layers in the rock, and finding fossils. In working on the museum and on the dig I became very aware of time, because here were these people dead now more than two thousand years, and maybe two thousand years from now I might be dug up. Seeing a storm come across the arid land and upon me and just being with people who live life as it is and who are not involved in the superficialities of life that most people are in the East made me more aware of life and a little bit about what is really was.



On the third night of the first pack trip at La Tear some of us were sitting around the campfire talking while others had already gone to bed. All of a sudden it began to hail and hard too. I finally got in my sleeping bag which hadn't even been rolled out yet.I was unbearably soaked and in the process I pulled my shoes, purse, and hat in my sleeping bag with me. Then my sleeping bag leaked. Everyone was complaining or singing to console themselves. The hail finally turned to rain. After an hour of torture I got out of my sleeping bag and joined some other kids around the fire while it was still raining. We complained for a good long while and passed community cigarettes around. Even kids who had never smoked before had some of the community cigarettes. We stayed up the rest of the night talking, freezing listening to jokes Douglas's nurse, Martha, told. This was one of the unexpected experiences some of us will always remember at Cibola.



It was late afternoon when we arrived at the Santa Domingo pueblo. Dancing, and chanting were Indians colorfully dressed. Men, women and children were all dancing, never seeming to tire from dancing all day. Each step they took, seemed to be of great significance. Unfortunately we came at the end of the dances, but we were in time to see the finale when the Indians went into the altar to kiss the statue of St. Dominique.

Because our bus had broken down, we were fortunate enough to stay at the house of the Lieutenant Governor, Joe Cate'. It was very sweet of him to offer his home to a group of people he didn't even know. From the two days I spent at his home, I feel as thought I learned so much about the Indian way of life. When I left home, I had a knowledge that somewhere, there were Indians; but I never expected to live with them. All the people in the pueblo were so sweet, kind and considerate. While I was there, I felt so at peace with the world because the pueblo had such a quiet, warm, friendly atmosphere. It is so much different than in the East where it seems so rushed. I feel that just two days living in the pueblo, taught me something I could never have learned without being with the Indians. When I am older, I would love to return to Santa Domingo and see the people again. I hope that civilization doesn't come to the pueblo. The people are so wonderful just the way they are.

-Susie Ledner


August 6, 1959

Letter to Parents

Dear ______________

The camp has had a good year, as always, and everybody has had a good time.

The weather has been very dry until lately when it has begun to rain enough so that there is the possibility that the swimming pool may be filled.

The first half of the summer was rather lacking in motor trips because 2 of the 4 vehicles had broken transmissions. Transmission has, therefore, been the word on everybody's lips and names like "Transmission Tex" and "Mess 'em up Mike" have a lot been common. Other minor engine difficulties have laid up all of the other modes of transportation at one time or another so that it is only lately that we've been getting out of camp.

The motor trips we have had, however, have been marvelous. One group was lucky enough to have tamales and see an ancient weaving shop where hand weaving still flourishes. Another group, when their bus broke down, slept two nights in an Indian Pueblo, where no white man had ever slept before.

Those are just two of the numerous examples of some lovely sightseeing and down-to-earth views of the country.

The pack trips have been good. The kids have had a great time "roughing it" and the horses have been excellent.

Not, as the time approaches for the caravan home, everybody is thankful that they came to Cibola for everybody, I think, has been helped in his little way, by the other kids, the anglo-spanish people and the Indians. In other words the whole environment has changed several people noticeably and everyone somewhat.

There is something about Cibola, one can't say what, something about it that gets you and it is, I think, impossible to describe.

It is not time to close (for postage is high) so we shal lsee you soon.


-Chas Peck


Hello there -

It has been raining lately so there is a nice fire in the library where I am sitting composing this work of which (God forbid) you may receive part in a later mimeographed letter from our leader(s). During the beginning of this year's Cibola season everything started out on a fairly regular schedule with working on various projects in the morning and relaxing with games, discussions, and so forth in the afternoons and evenings. We have had several occasions in which the people from the valley have gathered at the ranch and they are really a bunch of fine people. It is my personal opinion that living in this area, or at least I believe that to be the cause, teaches one to enjoy small favors and really appreciate everything new that happens. Lately we have bee catching up on various trips which are usually very interesting and a great temptation to spend ones precious money and it really is precious when you come too close to running out. On almost all of the trips, which are I believe usually unscheduled and unplanned or at least seem to end up that way a vehicle breaks down which in my opinion makes it all the more eventful and interesting.

-Ned Sommer


Dear Mother and Dad,

I thought I would try to give you a picture of life at Cibola.

A lot of things at Cibola remind me of boarding school. Things like, a bell rings for meals and periods, rest hour, and mail-call. This of course doesn't mean I don't like Cibola. It is such a change from the wild, rushing, Washington that I adore it. It is good, I think, to get a break from Washington and the busy, humdrum life in it. Cibola, on the other hand is informal and carefree. It is really great! You feel so relaxed out here. Also the people our here are so much nicer.

One of the main activities of Cibola is the trips we take in the surrounding area. These trips are to historical and modern day spectacles, and are very interesting. We go to old Pueblo ruins and to modern Pueblos. There are only a few actual Pueblos where the Indians still live as they did hundreds of year ago. It's hard to believe that these Indians still live the way they do with the anglo-spanish influence. But they'll probably live like this for a long time.

Another one of the main activities is, of course, the work. You work just about every morning and some afternoons.

Cibola is really a change from Washington and that is why it is so nice.

-S. Ailes


Dear Mom + Dad,

Cibola, situated deep in the Southwest, is packed with fun, adventure, and irregularity. The best part about it is the irregularity. From day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute we don't know what will happen next. For instance one day we came down after rest hour and were told to go get ready for a trip. Nobody knew where the trip was going, or for how long, and some weren't even sure we were going. When we start out on bus trips, we are even more susceptible to irregularities because another factor, the buses. So far, without fail, we haven't made a trip yet, during which at least one bus didn't have something go wrong with it. Because of the buses a trip scheduled for one day may take as many as three days.

The people of San Cristobal Valley are industrious, hard-working people who make the most out of what they have. Though the earth is hard and dry, and the water low, they still have managed to keep themselves going strong. With their extra money they have set up a scholarship fund for every kid in the valley who goes to college. This is done without regarding how smart or how rich the kid is.

Beyond the valley to the south is desert, spotted with mountains. Behind the camp and on both sides are mountains 11 and 12,000 feet high. The camp itself is centered by the main building which contains the dining hall, library, ping pong room, recreation room, office, infirmary, muchachas, muchachos, and a few counselors' rooms. To the north east of the main building are the 4 boys' cabins, all without running water. Below the main building are the 3 girls' cabins, all with running water, the barn where the theatre is, and the tool shed. Above the main building is Sandy's and Eleanor's home above which is the baseball field. Down and away from the main building is the corral near which the road runs and turns up the 1/10th of a mile hill to the ridge. The road up the hill has and is being conquered a number of times each morning by runners.

So with the valley below and mountains above, Cibola lies waiting for an unexpected idea of Eleanor's to send us off on our merry way.


-John Oberdorfer


Description of the Ranch

To begin with there are 7 cabins into which 49 people fit. Three are girls' and four are boys' cabins. All the cabins are on one side of the main building. On the opposite side in the Orr's house in back of which is the baseball field. Most important of all is the stream which runs through the middle of camp. We must be careful how we use the water because the stream feeds the rest of the valley, and being a rather dry year, the irrigation ditches of the farmers in the lower end of the valley are dry. These are the rooms included in the main building:

[Hand drawn plan views of the two storys of the main building go here.]

Now when you have a layout of the main building, here is one of the camp.

[Tiny sketch of camp is here.]

The view from camp across the desert and mts. is really beautiful especially during the sunset or sunrise. There is much sage and dust and it gets pretty muddy when it rains, but otherwise the country is truly magnificent and a great place to spend the summer.

There are many historical places. For instance Cibola has a dig which the campers are unearthing. Underneath lies an ancient Indian pueblo, and already many bones and pottery have been uncovered.

So, as you see, Cibola has a little bit of everything, and, is the place for you.

-Ken Marburg


The atmosphere at Cibola is not a strained one. One never feels the need to be a bigger person than himself. Upon arriving one automatically feels a part of something far more important than personal importance. Being a significant part of a group over powers the need to be a big person.

Another significant part of the life at Cibola is the magnificent scenery. Living in a large city, one is not able to picture space without an end. In New Mexico the deserts and mountain ranges stretch out as far and wide as the eye can see. The surrounding sky changes colors from bright red at sunrise to deep blue at sunset, resembling water colors. All blend to make a truly breathtaking sight.

The social world at home tends to produce a strained personality. Out here the relationship between tthe people from the valley and the camper s and counselors is a relaxed and easy one. There is no need for a social rat race. Everyone is equal.

These things are not all that are needed to make an enjoyable and educational summer. Experiences are needed also. Cibola does not lack this. We have taken many trips all over New Mexico. Our first, to Latier Lakes, was on trip I shall never forget. I had never ridden horses for any period of time before and I was given the happy privilege of ridding 9 hours home. Stiff and sore as I was, I returned to camp happy and satisfied that I had made it.

There is so much more that could be said about Cibola but as a closing sentence I would like to sum it up. My first summer in Cibola has been a happy, educational, and satisfying one and I only hope that I may return so as to understand more fully the life of the people and the country of New Mexico.

-Bonnie Holzman


Dear Mom + Dad,

We arrived here on teh second of July on account of bus trouble. The bus which had broken down was sold and another was purchased in it place.

When we arrived, Gabriel Romero, a resident of San Cristobal Valley was on hand ot greet us. He had straightened out the cabins and put the place in shape for living. The electricity wasn't hooked up yet, so we slept in the rec. room in our sleeping bags.

After a few days of getting things in order we started to work on the ranch. "Whoever heard of paying $750 to come to New Mexico and work" is heard all the time. The work consists of things such as, mending fence, roofing, cleaning up the Hawk Road (a separate piece of property the Orrs own) and general repair jobs. In my case it's fixing the busses.

The work takes up most of the morning, and after lunch we are obliged to go to our cabins for an hour or so. We are called down by a bell which is loud enough to raise the dead. Eleanor by this time has thought up a game which usually involves looking for someone. We usually end up walking a mile into the woods, at which time the bell rings for dinner. By the time you have walked the mile back to camp there is no dinner left. C'est la vie. After dinner there is a dance, party or general goof session which lasts who knows how long.

The first trip was a pack trip (horses) which took half the camp into La Tier country while the other half of the camp sat around waiting for the bus we had just bought to be fixed. Well it never got fixed so we hiked up Sand Cristobal Peak and sat out in the rain the whole night. The next night I went to all the trouble of building a lean-to and obviously it never rained. The second trip was to Puye, a cliff dwelling about 70 miles from here. The whole camp went in the busses which were finally fixed. We played a game called sardines in the caves. To play this game you send 4 or 5 people to look for a hiding place and at a given time you set out to look for them. When you find them you climb into the hiding place with them and pretty soon you have sardines. Try cramming 30 people into a cliff dwelling. On the way back the newly purchased bus broke down again, and I proceeded to take the radiator cap off. The 'water' was boiling and in a short time, so was I. I ended up with second degree burns on the right side of my chest. On August 4th we went to the Santo Domingo Corn dance in the Red Bus. 3/4 of the way there we again stuck out our thumbs for the simple reason that the bus broke down. We were picked up by a truck and driven the rest of the way to the dance which we saw about 45 min. of. The other group started back and we were left stranded. The Lieutenant Governor of the Pueblo offered to let us sleep on his front porch, which we did. His name is Joe Cate' and he is a full blooded Indian.

We stayed for two nights and headed home. While we stared there he showed us some of this jewelry which he had made and some of us, including me, bought some. This brings us up to date except for the fact that I spent all my money plus $20 that I didn't have. I suppose I will have to take it out of the money you have kept for me.

Love Mike

-Mike Cottone


Things I care about

I care about nature. I care about all that is unspoiled by man, all that has existed before him. This, I think, is all that is beautiful, perfect, and complete in itself. I, personally, don't give a damn for people and all their achievements. I don't think that this is what matters. It doesn't matter to me, at least. I find peace when I am attached to and can enjoy all that is not made by man. I find utter relaxation when I can sit next to a cold mountain stream in the mountains and hear the water rushing along and the wind softly rustle in the trees, as if the wind were speaking to them. I love to experience the red-gold of a sunset reflecting on the clouds, the trees, the mountains, and paint them into something so beautiful that it can hardly be expressed. Even a thunderstorm I find tremendously impressive. Although some may be frightened by it, I enjoy it. It is filled with a tremendous power which I find a pleasure to experience. This all is what I care about. I feel that all that man has made does not even start to measure up to that which was there before.



There is something about the kids, the way they freely accept other kids, the work and activities out here that gives one a feeling towards others my own age that I very rarely experience at home. Back east the social system is such that you just can't like anyone you want to like, do anything you want to do, or be anything you want to be, and still be accepted by the so-called group (which in the majority's eyes is THE most important thing).

When I first started on the caravan from Lakeside I had so many fears: 1- I'd never get to know all these strange people. 2- There would be cliques and "groups". 3- I wouldn't enjoy the summer etc. All the same fears that face me or anyone else when thrown in to a group back home. Maybe it's just Winnetka but I'm pretty sure most teenagers in any sort of society are faced with these feelings.

You can't imagine how thrilled I was to see how quickly and easily I was brought into the group and how quickly I relaxed and fell in with the fun. There's a theory I've always had which was certainly put to use on the caravan and it still. That is whenever you put 2 or more people (more so with kids our age) together under crazy, very funny or unusual (sometimes very serious) conditions they will become very close friends or at any rate ver familiar with each other's personality. This, I think, is one of the strongest factors in the ranch life - along with the unroutineness (is that a word?) of it. I could go on forever here. I really feel that the way of living has been invaluably educational yet done wonders to relax and prepare me for the coming school year.

Thank you, Judy Gilbert


What I care about at Cibola

After living for two months in the southwest, never having been west before at all, with the very wonderful and amazing people who run Cibola I think what has impressed me most and what I think I have enjoyed most of all are the excursions Eleanor makes. I really enjoyed the Monument Valley trip, because it wasn't a trip at all. We actually were part of the area, and learned a great deal about it and its ways. That may be brief but that is really it, the informality, the frankness, directness and the general who gives a damn where we are, what time it is, let's do what we want to do.

-Ned Sommer '59


What I care about most of all this summer is very hard to say. I can not put everything on the same scale. One of the important things of the summer for me is the people I came in contact with, the valley people, Indians, and campers themselves. I learn something new from each person, or at least I try. I guess the people I care about most of all, are the valley people and other Spanish-American people I have met.

Most of these people I have met are very sincere and kind. This is quite a generalization but they always seem to be willing or rather anxious to help us when we are in trouble. Most of them are very easy to get to know. They are open to new experiences and people.

My ambition at the moment is to major in Spanish at Hood College in Frederick, Md. and become a teacher in New Mexico or South America. I feel a great attraction for this part of the country. I feel it is not just the land and surroundings but it is the people who make this seem like home and the only place in which I really belong.

-Molly Moore


The day is August 4. We are on our way tothe Santo Domingo Corn Dance. The bus on which I am traveling suddenly has engine trouble about seven miles from the pueblo at which the dance is to be held. We then left the bus and proceded to flag down a truck, whose driver was kind enough to give the whole group a lift to the dance, which we saw only a small portion of.

After the dance we wslded down to the Rio Grande where we had dinner. After this, our next problem was to find a place to sleep. Eleanor went back to the pueblo to seek advice from the governor who was asleep. She was then told to seek the lieutenant Governor who agreed to let us sleep on his front porch. The man was doing this out of the kindness of his heart because he flet sorry for us, and was taking a risk because no group of white people had ever been allowed to do this. Another reason he did it was to show us how the Indian lived in there own simple peaceful life. The pueblo ws deathly quiet aside from the dogs barding and sleep came easy and was restful. In the morning he found a place for us to eat, ... later in the day he showed us the jewelery he had made with his one hands, which is another thing that impressed me, because there are so few people in this country today who can make beautiful things with their hands. He again amazed me when he offered to let us sleep in his house after he had heard that the bus wouldn't be ready until the next morning. WE were obliged to impose on hid and stay the night. In the morning his wife fed us breakfast before she fed her family.

The funny thing about being a lieutenant governer, or governer is that there is no salery or money given for the service. The position is soley for the honor and they are completley at the peoples' disposal 24 hrs a day.

Summing it up, the people are simple, cultural beings who are proud enough of their culture that they will let no one change their ideas on life, cultures, or spiritual belief.



After 10 minutes of sparse thought I find no subject worthy of discourse.

Time passes! - and a thought:

I think of the San Juan and remembering the Goosenecks and the river at Shiprock, I crave to personify that mighty old "Man".

I wonder if any human being could have so varied and attracting a character. Could we say that the San Juan River is "many-sided". He certainly has 'intensity within tranquility'. He seems to also have 'psychological maturity', for he must in order to exist where he does. The parallelism between the Indian and this personified River is amazing (I hope I am not creating this parallelism).

On a Walt Disney T.V. show, the San Juan was featured as the scene for an expedition. The film has a theme, the last lines of which was: "And there's no one left but the Old San Juan, ..... And ghost of the big old River". This theme was written by a Southwesterner whose occupation is writing songs of similar nature, and I think he expressed the feelings I had after leaving the Goosenecks... OF THE OLD SAN JUAN

-Stephen Knapp




Sandy and Eleanor -

My mind has often wandered over the many fruitful years I've spent here at camp, and the following will probably deviate immensely from what you wish in the way of this written expression of an idea, thought, feeling, etc.

This summer has been the realization of myself as a person. As I sit here on "Problem Rock", the little pile of stones behind home plate on the baseball field, so called by me because of the talks I've had here with Mac Williams about his girl and leaving camp, Sharon Williams with her "in " and "out" groups, John O'Hara about - well, you know what - and most recently Shannon about her home and friends there, I realize that these people had a trust in me which, at their age, I was not able to have in others. This does not depress me, however, but makes me even more aware of the direction my life has taken and the guiding light which led me on.

You once told me, Eleanor, that I was a very stable person considering my younger childhood and the way I had been brought up at home. This is a very true idea, although I am exceedingly happy that I was brought up in an atmosphere of nearness yet distance, of love without understanding, of security without security - if you can see what I mean. My family life gave me an air of independence which I would not relinquish for anything in the world. I was spoiled, but I think I profited from that also. But I was given very little understanding, and in that comes one of the driving forces in my desire to understand and help those around me.

You Sandy, and you, Eleanor, through Cibola have given my life the stability which I could not find in my home. This stability has given me the confidence and initiative needed in my search for self-understanding. I have talked with you often about this, Eleanor, and you know how important this to me. It is in this basic way that Cibola has been, and will be, such a dominant part of my life.

My first four years here were spent having fun. Although I didn't realize it at the time, these years were showing me a way of life which I could compare my own with, a way of discovering how I felt about ideas, a tolerance, a fairness, a "human" way of looking at people and situations. This to me is invaluable, and I thank you for it.

You, Sandy, have always been very distant from me. I always felt that for one reason or another, you did not know me or like me. This year I have gained a better understanding of you, and I thank you for that also.

I have paid the price for my idealistic, "progressive" life. The price is happiness, the most precious idea I own and believe in. One never knows what my life would have been like without Cibola - perhaps it would have turned out the same general way - but that does not matter. What matters is that I did come here, and learn here. Although I occasionally differ from you, Eleanor, in my ideas, I believe in the goals which you set and try to attain. I hope, Sandy and Eleanor, that I have, this summer, been able to give back to Cibola a small portion of what you two, as people, have given to me. I hope this both for my sake and yours. This is partially from a sense of gratitude, but much more so from a now deep-seeded belief in what is right and what is wrong. I still struggle to fine myself, but I know the direction in which I go. These are my thoughts as I sit on "Problem Rock" and look over the ever-changing desert.




Eleanor and Sandy and Cibola,

I am looking at Ann Milstein three years ago. She is a shallow stereotype of every other person her age in her environment. She has nothing individualistic in ther personality. She could be suddenly snatched from the earth but the world would not miss her because it would have Mary and Jane and Alice who are her carbon copies. She is going to grow up, become a nurse or a secretary, or a farmer's wife, live her life and never know herself or realize the wonder of people. She dies and has lived the life of Ann Milstein, a person who has never seen anything powerful or greatly moving, a person who has never expressed her hopes, her dreams, her fears, her happinesses, her loves, her beliefs, her longings, a person who has never really lived.

But now Ann Milstein is three years older and a lifetime more productive and abundant in happiness + hopes and beliefs and loves.

She is a real person who has a real future and real dreams and a real sense of satisfaction because Ann Milstein is well set on the long road of knowing herself and knowing the world end knowing people, and Eleanor, Sandy and Cibola. Ann Milstein is very very thankful.


I feel that the Indians, mainly those of Santo Domingo, left a very deep impression on me. Their friendliness and being hospitable to those who are practically strangers, is a treat which, I feel, not many people have. The whole time we were at the Pueblo, they all tried to make our trip more enjoyable, and they succeeded.

Their way of life, and their happiness in being alive makes me wonder why other people are so discontented with life. I think this is due to the fact that these Indians are satisfied and happy with what they have and if not, they work to make it better. Their customs and ideals are something they feel very deeply and don't talk about them the way in which one might talk about his religion just for the sake of sounding off.

I think that I will never forget Joe Cate'. In a way I somewhat idolize him because he has so many wonderful qualities that I wish I could have and is such a real person. I wish there were more Joe Cate's in this world, for I think people like Joe woud help in making this a better place in which to live.

I can't really describe my other feelings toward thes Indians, I hope someday I'll be able to, for I really think so highly of them as people. I don't think of them as being something unreal but as really genuine people, whom I'll never forget.

-Susie Ledner - 1960


1960 At Cibola the day before we leave.

Ah, and here we are again; this statement is supposed to start this composition for me, because I really know not what to write about. Let it be known that my mental condition is one of "Oh, what the hell, this is strictly for ones's pleasure, and many years late I will get a good laugh from it!"

And that sets the mood.

I remember my other papers:

The first, revealing a strong 14 year old immaturity (and a little about S. Yampolski).

The second, 1958, having a little about S. Fitzgerald, and still immature.

The third, much better I think with no females involved, and dealing for the most part with a personified San Juan River.

And now this one, almost a summation, for it will probably be my last.

I will only mention in this one sentence the beautiful, deep, and, above all, free individual, Lynne Harwood.

I must mention also the now much more exciting Canyon De Chelly. The return visit drew from me much more respect for the canyon, its people, and the Southwest i general than I have ever before given (Poor grammar!); Much more realization of the human, joking Joe Cate' with his army stories; and a profound respect and trust in John Collier and his great theory. By the way, I have one reservation toward it, namely that it will be extremely difficult for a capitalistic society to adopt the Indians' policy or spirit of peace and cooperation; at any rate, I hope that is succeeds!

I also have reservations about myself and this year. I feel that I have not been a very relaxed individual at many times. Nevertheless, I have been happy.

Perhaps the most interesting, if not strangely amusing, incident involving myself this year was it time when, on the Sanchos pack trip, that I drove that fisherman's jeep! It was quite a mistake.

I will end this rapidly by saying only that these four summers (and the winters in between) have convinced me that the Southwest is the place for me to ultimately live.

-Stephen Knapp


August 20, 1960

Dear Sandy and Eleanor,

I think my biggest gain this summer was a discovery of people. One in particular stands out to me and that is Rick Nelson.

As you will remember, Eleanor, at the beginning of the summer I was pretty homesick. I don't think I'll ever forget how terrible I felt the day I cam to you. For a while I wasn't sure whether I would be able to stick out the summer. Then I talked to Rick.

After lunch we walked down the stream to this beautiful spot that he often went to. We sat an stalked for a couple of hours, but we didn't talk about my problems, we talked about his. Our conversation started with his saying how lucky I was to be homesick because that meant that I had something wonderful at home. As we talked I realized how insignificant my problem was in comparison to his many problems.

Looking at Rick you'd never guess how deep he was - but I know, Eleanor, if you'll remember ager I talked to him I came up to you and said "If he likes me as a person, I'm very honored." That still holds true.

Right now I'm sitting on the front porch and he's right behind me in the dining room. I wonder what my summer would have been like if I hadn't spoken to him.

I once tried to find the place where we had talked, but couldn't. It gave me an odd feeling as though it was a magic place and it was all a dream.

Discovering people meant a lot to me this summer. And discovering Rick meant the most of all.

All my Love

-Ellen Shaw


Dearest Eorr and Sandy,

This summer has done more for me as a person than anything. I feel that I have begun to learn to respect people for, and understand, their differences. When I came here this spring, I can see that I had a false and materialistic sense of values, and often tended to be intolerant of people about whom I knew very little. I think I tried to judge them by my own narrow-minded standards instead of trying to understand how and why they felt and acted as the did. Right now, I am more dissatisfied with myself than I have ever been, but maybe this is good.

When I go home, it willbe sort of a challenge to see whether I can stay myself, versus surrendering to the falseness and sarcasm of the society in which I live.

I know I still have a hell of a lot to learn, but I feel that in realizing my many faults and shortcomings, I've at least taken a small step in improving myself.

Eleanor and Sandy, you couldn't possibly realize how much good your trust and understanding, and your bringing out some good in everyone, has been for me. I think maybe that always trying to improve myself will, in a small way, repay you for the wonderful job you've done in helping me find myself.


-Carolyn Nagursky



Deep; silent; peaceful. A body floating, seemingly in air, no suspension. Thoughts mixed: horses with foam rubber saddles; dance music with an uneven, impossible beat, yet tiring; red bananas, yellow water melon, and peaches tasting like strawberry ice cream.

Far, far back in some intangible spot comes a piercing sound from between blurred, whirling images; sounds that are partially heard and partially seen; and smells that are an unbelievable mixture of imagination flavored with emotion. The banging, now becoming a shrill but still far off annoyance, takes away the air and the body drops. Light now becomes a driving force to bring the body, mentally and physically, back.

-Nelson Ric


In these last tow months at Cibola I think I have, in a sense, overcome what I consider to be one of the major problems on the young american societies.

I have learned to be myself and be more independent of others than I was before. I am not, by any means, saying that a good friend is nice to have, because I feel that there is nothing more wonderful than a true friend that you can talk to about anything at any time. Here I have seen many false relationships, but again in contrast to that I have seen some very deep and true relationships. When I saw these true feelings it made me feel brighter and happier, while the false "fronts" that were put on discouraged me at times.

I have written the above because it is on my mind more than anything that has happened to me in these last two months at Cibola.

-Doris Sommer


I can honestly say that Cibola has had more effect on me emotionally, spriritually, sentimentally, and about any other deep feeling you can think of than any experience I've ever experienced. Actually, it's not Cibola (the ranch) that makes it so hard to leave when the time comes, but Cibola (the people) which makes me not want to leave. But Cibola (the ranch) plays a great part in making Cibola (the people) the way they are. The best example I can think of is the reunion. Sure, Cibola (the people) are all there, but something's lacking. Ths was very noticeable to me. The spirit of Cibola cannot be the same in DC as in New Mexico or not in New Mexico but specifically at Cibola.

I don't know how strongly Cibola is implanted in my soul, but I hope it is deeply rooted enough to enable me to think back on it in times of loneliness or insecurity. I feel just thinking about it or a visit to or from a Cibolite would or could really boost me out of depression.

I Love You, E-Orr

-Ken Marburg

[Ed.: What reunion?]


August 20, 1960

Dear Eleanor and Sandy,

I don't really know why I started this thought addressing it to you, but I feel that each of you has played such an important part in the thing that has happened to me this summer. I know that I have learned one of the most important lessons of my life - one that I will never, never forget.

Dependency on your friends rather than yourself, almost complete reliance on them to govern your moods and ups and downs, is never half so rewarding or satisfying as to be 'self-dependent'. I used 'self-dependent (not knowing if it was an accepted word) rahter than independent because I feel there is a difference when I apply it to myself. I think I nave learned that I must be 'self-dependent' to be happy, but I don't have the real desire to be independent --- in my interpretation of the word.

To me independence is going through life almost removed from the rest of the world; to experience each thing not relating it to one individual but as an experience self-rewarding ... however ... requiring no ties. I get a great deal of satisfaction and I guess it adds to my security to know that I have certain responsibilities to people.

There are so many people, I can think of four easily, that have helped me in *my* discovery. I almost want to go up to each one and thank him for being the way he was. I know in the learning process, I wanted to hate each one, but now, they are the people for which I have the most respect and that I want to consider as my closest and trusted friends.

To go on would be to drag out my thought, and I think I have said what will always stand out as being the most rewarding experience of the summer.



When I came to Cibola this year, I felt very confused about what kind of person I really was and what my role would be with the people out here. During the summer I was unable to find the answer to this question. I do feel, however, that I no longer am trying so hard to answer this question but that I will eventually find the answer through living a normal day-to-day life.

Obviously the most important part of a person's life lies in his relationship to the people he comes in contact with. A person's happiness is usually determined by how well he can adjust to different types of personalities. The first thing I discovered about myself this summer was that I could not accept people whom I did not approve of in some way or another. I am still aware of this but I have not yet met with success in becoming more open-minded toward people.

Finally, I think I have learned how to most enjoy Cibola. Through the first half of this summer, I became aware of an increasing feeling of frustration about my relation with Eleanor. I flet there was a vague feeling of tension among the kids to constantly please and agree with Eleanor. Frequently, I felt that certain of the kids were losing there own minds and falling into a state where they were letting Eleanor do all their thinking for them.

I was unable and I still am unable to explain why this bothered me but I finally came to see that I could not ever feel relaxed unless I guided myself not by what Eleanor might think but by whether I thought that I might in any way alter the meaning of Cibola as the many kids who had been to Cibola had come to think of it as. This does not mean I do not respect her ideas but that I cannot accept a state where my mind is constantly under an outside pressure.

-Davis Cherington


During this past summer I myself have learned alot aobut people. I have also learned alot more about Cibola.

Even thought Cibola isn't as tight [?] a unit as last year, I still enjoyed camp this year as much as last. It seems to me that there is a great many wonderful kids out here this year, and although camp could of been a notch higher, it was fun on the general [?].

In my opinion Cibola was presented with a rebellious attitude by some of the boys which lasted throughout the most of the summer. Among the girls this business [?] of talking about all their problems among one another did the camp no justice throughout the first half of the summer.

The past summer I have grown to like more people than in any of my previous summers here. I really formed a wonderful relationship with Sharon Williams, which I think I'll never forget.

I also became a good friend of Davis Cherington, who in my opinion is one of the best persons out here. I also noticed [?] Ken Marburg become and [?] much more independent person and really [illegible] and beginning to open up.

I also think at the end of last year and thought this year I have begun to develop myself. I can really say Cibola has done more for me as myself more than any other factor. I have become [?] to like so many people out her that this year will not be forgotten.

Joe Cate' has left a new impression on me this year and and last. He is a real person, and meeting him has proven to me the better people there are out west compared to the east. Even though I've been here five years I think I could come another year, even though it is very doubtful.

[Illegible] talks that lasted most of the night this past year were really great, and I learned and [illegible?] of a lot from them. Those are some of a few highlights of the summer.

-Joe Ferber


August 20, 1960

Last year when I came out here, there was nothing that was important to me, nothing that I really cared about. And, needless to say, Cibola fulfilled that which I was looking for. Cibola became more important to me than naything had ever been before, and became my utopia.

The unity felt between all people who were a part of the group, the overwhelming country which gave me a real sense of peace, the indian and the spanish who had expressions on their faces, so different from the neurotic east, who betrayed to me the feeling that was coming over me, ...all these things along with the individual inspiring and very happy happenings made me feel that this was my ideal.

I went home with a feeling that I could describe with only one word - ecstatic, and I worshiped and longed for my ideal, my kind of living, all winter long. And, when I came back, I found myself very possessive about this experience I had discovered. I was angry at the intruders, and frustrated that I was unable to recapture the same feelings.

As the summer progressed, I discovered in a less excited way that which had been so important to me, and began to realize what was necessary in order to obtain the utopia. And, this is more important than discovering it in the beginning, the understanding of all the people I have been involved with and the country that I have had this summer has been more intense, though less frantic, excited, and ecstatic, and relaxed.

I feel very very sad now about leaving in a calm way, triumphant in a quiet way, and I'll come back in a gentle way.

-Lynne Harwood







A smile, a warm embrace
The introduction to eternal youth
To reality of dreams

Savory nourishment:
Peanut butter, apple butter, bread
I quantity with 

Pain: an aching stomach
Diarrhea, Kaopectate anguish
Is dominated by

Bodies or mire
Willingly kiss the blessed earth
Where adolescence is