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Introduction to Bobbie, Joseph and Travis

Introduction to Bobbie, Joseph and Travis
This is the first of many entries to my new blog site. First of all, I am a recent journalism graduate from New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, New Mexico! (Yes, New Mexico is part of the U.S., a fact of which some people are unaware.) I ran face-first into this realization when I lived overseas in Aschaffenburg, W. Germany 20-some years ago. Some of my then-husband’s co-workers in the First Battalion, Third Infantry Division looked in wonder at us, and asked why we spoke such perfect English. Next was the inevitable question about money (U.S. or Mexican), then drinking the water.

After we moved back to Las Cruces, I worked as a substitute teacher, cashier, office manager, and raised my first son, who is now 23 years old. Joseph is currently a senior at NMSU, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with a supplemental math major and a minor in military science. He is also in Army ROTC, the New Mexico Army National Guard (elements of his unit have just departed New Mexico for training and an eventual deployment overseas to Iraq). He is also a member of two guitar groups — Trio los Guapos, which means the Three Handsome Ones, and Roma. Joseph and Mike Stevens comprise Roma. This group plays Gypsy jazz, Gypsy fusion, rumbas and flamenco music. Mike and Joseph play most Saturday nights at the Azul Lounge in the Hotel Encanto here in Las Cruces. If you are here in Las Cruces, stop by! They are great!

My youngest son, Travis, is 16 and a junior at Las Cruces High School, home of the ‘Dawgs. He, like his big brother, is highly gifted and intelligent. He is a member of the LCHS Chamber Orchestra, String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Mariachi Diamante de Las Cruces High School, and out of school, a member of Mariachi Espuelas de Cobre (Copper Spurs). He will begin to practice with Espuelas de Plata (Silver) when he comes back to Las Cruces in August. Espuelas de Cobre is the apprentice group for Espuelas de Plata. Travis plays a wicked violin, some guitar, and has taught himself some basic piano. He also wants to learn trumpet! His probable majors in college are music (obviously) and/or preveterinary medicine.

As for me, I am currently working at NMSU in the Office of the Registrar. While I am working there, I am also looking for permanent employment in the journalism field, thus, this blog.

As I wrote earlier, I graduated from NMSU in December, 2006 with my B,A, in Journalism and Mass Communications. I am a single mom of two hyper-busy young men. I used to be a social worker for the state of New Mexico. I suffered burn out and left that field. I will always love social work and I applaud the efforts that every dedicated social worker makes every day to facilitate change in the lives of their clients/families.

My plans for this blog site are to create entries like today’s, comment on everyday news events, such as the Ohio mom who has been missing for almost two weeks. I will also upload some of my earlier writings, such as stories I wrote for assignments, as well as new creations.

I hope the writings on my blog will interest all who enter and read; I also look forward to your comments. As I become more technologically proficient, I will also upload photos. They will be photos of my family and me, and content related to the topic I am writing about.

For now, have a great weekend, don’t overdo, and I  will see you again!



About Roma

About Roma
Roma is the name of a relatively new music group here in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Mike Stevens and Joseph Alvarez are the two young men who created the group.

Mike writes all of the music for Roma. Although he is not formally trained in music, his talent is such that he is able to create combinations of sounds, notes and chords which combine in a blend that is uniquely gypsy. Mike is of Gypsy descent, born and raised here in the United States. He is originally from Los Angeles – he and his family have moved to Las Cruces.

Joseph is not Gypsy – he is Mexican-American, born at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and a former Army brat. He spent his first three years in Germany and has lived in several New Mexico cities and in El Paso, Texas. He used to borrow his mother’s guitar, and convinced his parents to let him take formal lessons. Both his mother and father made a good choice in allowing the lessons. Joseph is a highly-skilled, artistic musician.

Mike and Joseph met almost two years ago when Joseph was putting up flyers, advertising his availability to give private guitar lessons. Mike asked him to play, was impressed with Joseph’s ability, and they started to play together on a casual basis. Mike is a member of a group based in Los Angeles, and he plays gigs with them when he is visiting L.A. He wanted to have a similar group in Las Cruces. He and Joseph worked on the idea of a group and started actively writing, practicing and increasing their performance repertoire. The name, “Roma” evolved from Mike’s membership as a Gypsy.

Gipsy Kings came to El Paso in February, 2007. Joseph and his younger brother, Travis were able to go to this concert since their father, who is on active duty at Ft Bliss, was able to obtain free tickets through the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office. Mike also went to the concert – in fact, he and Joseph both took their guitars into the concert venue with them ald played along with the Gipsy Kings! (Gipsy Kings is composed solely of ethnic Gypsies. Mike speaks the Gypsy language, and was able to obtain a backstage pass to meet, chat and play music with the group.)

Of more immediate note to Las Crucens, Roma often performs on Saturday nights at the Hotel Encanto (formerly the Las Cruces Hilton Hotel), in the Azul Lounge. They start playing their sets at 8 p.m., finishing their final set at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. The music is fast-paced and full of surprises.

Because Joseph is a server at a local restaurant, as well as being a member of the New Mexico Army National Guard, the group is not able to play every Saturday night. In addition, when Mike is out of town, the group does not play. On the nights when Joseph is not committed to his server’s job or the National Guard, and when Mike is in town, the group usually plays.

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