I was the first doctor to live in Questa, and remember the town and many friends with much warmth. A little over a year ago we were able to visit two families — Andy and Christine Martinez, and Eric and Elizabeth Vom Dorp. My wife, Gail, and I hope to return for a longer visit before we’re too old to travel.
A neighbor told us about The Questa del Rio News and we have subscribed and are delighted to read about the people and town. How things have changed since Margery Howe wrote “The Bee Line” in The Taos News. A good editorial (Let’s Not Tear Down Statues, Let’s Erect More) caught Gail’s attention and she made me read it. I agree with her that it is very well written, but disagree with its point.
The Questa Health Center started in an abandoned house beside the elementary school, but we were delighted to move to much larger quarters below Christine and Andy’s home, on the hill just to the west of the highway. In addition to the clinical part, there was a small area in the back for offices. The back office was also used for education, including CPR classes. Resusci Annie was stored there — on the floor. Several times I walked into the back office and saw Annie lying on her back and had a strong emotional reaction. Of course I knew intellectually that she wasn’t a real person and that she hadn’t just had a cardiac arrest, however her presence there was frightening to me.
I am a white male and a member of the dominant social structure. I have come to realize, however, that Americans with other backgrounds can have strong adverse reactions to stimuli and situations that would seem benign to me. For instance, even though seeing a Confederate flag makes me a little angry, I can understand that the same red, white, and blue symbol could elicit fear in other people.
Yes, there are intellectual reasons to leave offensive statues standing. However, for some people the statue may be psychologically damaging, even though it might seem just intellectually stimulating to me.