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Three Generations of Santa Feans Watch Their City Change

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Three Generations of Santa Feans Watch Their City Change

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico

©LizCoughlan (www.geriatricnoma

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico

©LizCoughlan (www.geriatricnoma

©LizCoughlan (www.geriatricnoma

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico

Dominique Trujillo, Author

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As years go by, many things change and grow over the generations. Some situations seem to change in negative ways, but some turn out for the better. Of course, this applies to life in Santa Fe as well.

My grandma and grandpa, Ruby and Leroy Trujillo, always say, “We used to be able to leave our door unlocked and trust that nobody will break in.” But now it’s like a student can’t even leave their backpack in a classroom and trust that nobody will mess with their stuff.

“Back then people cared and helped each other,” Ruby said. “Nowadays it seems like they don’t.”

Ruby graduated from Santa Fe High in 1982, and Leroy graduated in 1978. Ruby remembers that classes were not as big, so the teachers had more time to help each student individually.

The trends back then were different too. ¨The girls would always wear dresses and the guys would be in their Levi’s,” Ruby said. Big bell Jeans, feathered hair, guys with long hair and platform shoes were also highly popular around the time of the late 70’s and 80’s.  

Santa Fe High was open-campus for lunch, meaning students could leave school at lunch and not be questioned about where they were going or when they’d be back as long as they made it to their next class.

Leroy shouted from the kitchen, ¨We would fight with our fists and not our guns or knives! … Kids these days don’t have respect; parents were more strict back then.¨  

As a teen living in these times, I would have to agree with my grandpa because I see kids with no respect all the time.

He also said, “We always had the best cars and trucks.”  

Leroy even remembers when his car got keyed because the other kids were jealous that he had a nice car. I guess jealousy will always be around, no matter what generation you come from.  

If you needed to talk to your friends back then, you would actually have to meet up with them instead of just sending them a text. Back then guys had to actually go up to the girls if they wanted a chance with them instead of through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.  

The next people I asked were my mom and auntie. They were both born in the mid-80’s.  

My mom, Nicole Trujillo, who graduated in 2001, said about her experiences at Santa Fe High, “The basketball team was like my second family.” She had a coach who took them all around to play in tournaments, even to California. (Sports are a really big thing in my family — my grandpa Leroy was a coach as well.)  

My auntie, Stephanie Trujillo, who graduated in 2002, stated, “It was laid back, and most everyone got along with each other. The guards were not as strict. They were very friendly and got to know most of the kids.

“The campus was bigger,” she continued. “We had a south campus where there were trade classes that they don’t offer anymore.” (Before ECO opened as its own school in 2017, Santa Fe High offered classes such as auto mechanics and welding on South Campus.)

“Back then the style was thuggish,” Stephanie said. “Everyone from the boys to the girls always wore baggy clothing. They either had Converse or DC’s for their shoes. Their styles were more hip-hop then today’s styles. For example, now guys are wearing skinny jeans.”

Denny’s has been here since my grandparents’ generation. There was also a Tasty Freeze that Ruby worked at for her first job. Other restaurants they remember are Carrows, Village Inn, Diego’s and Fred’s Drive-in. One restaurant that has always been around is Furr’s. Downtown, Woolworth’s was still on the Plaza, and all the old hotels that are said to be haunted today.

Back then there were more activities to do, like roller skating, bowling, and Quiggy’s. Stephanie and Nicole also really enjoyed the cruise line, which was along the river, downtown on West Alameda, where young people would drive down to meet new people and see all kinds of cars. When you got to the end of the road, at Paseo de Peralta, you would turn around and do it again.

Back then was way different because the town has changed — Santa Fe has grown. But one thing I will always like about our city is that it will always have the same adobe look that makes it feel like home. Once in a while we even see old-fashioned cars and trucks.

I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else.

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Three Generations of Santa Feans Watch Their City Change